The Swearing In: Fashion Roundup

New York has the Met Gala, and we have… well, a limited number of big social events. The swearing in is perhaps the fashion event of the year- and I’m here to be the Manx Joan Rivers (RIP). There’s some interesting outfits, but unfortunately no one took a leaf out of AOC’s book and wore a white dress with ‘Finish the Prom’ on the arse, which is truly disappointing. Regardless, here’s a look at the outfits.

Arbory, Castletown and Malew: Tim Glover and Jason Moorhouse

First time MHK Tim Glover has come in bold. He’s scrapped his allegiances with Manx Radio, meaning you won’t be seeing a purple tie on him. Interestingly, he’s gone for a striking periodic table pattern on his tie, a truly puzzling piece for an ex-journalist. Perhaps he’s edging for the ministerial role at DESC?

Otherwise, I feel the blue and grey check is clashing a bit: perhaps a sign that he will clash with other MHKS? Or, maybe, he will just be like all the others in grey suits. 

For Jason Moorhouse, a seasoned MHK, his choice of clothing reflects a confidence that suggests that he doesn’t need to be flashy. A classic, well fitted suit with a patriotic red tie. Very classy, Jason.

Ayre and Michael: Tim Johnston and Alf Cannan

Tim Johnston is in a classic suit- hardly a statement to be made there. However, the tie- black and yellow, with an abstracted honeycomb pattern suggests that Tim Johnston might be an ally to the bees? A worthy cause, Tim.

Like our mate Jason, Alf has also kept it simple. Crisp white shirt and a navy suit, with an electric blue tie. Is that an allegiance to conservative views, Alf?

Douglas Central: Chris Thomas and Ann Corlett

Firstly, I love the energy that radiates off this picture. It really feels like Chris and Ann are standing in court, waiting for sentencing after going full Bonnie and Clyde in some kind of timeshare scam. Not that our respectable MHKs would do such a thing, obvs. 

Chris Thomas has gone completely monochrome, suggesting that he sees the world in a very black and white way. Chris mate, the world is a nuanced place with lots of colour. 

Now Ann has truly excelled. Genuinely, I have a red skirt suit that is very similar to that on my Zara wishlist, so I approve completely of this outfit. The red, alongside the three leg pin, suggests a bit of patriotism, which, honestly, I don’t hate. I would also like to point out the volume in Ann’s blowout: true props to her hairdresser. 

Douglas East: Clare Barber and Joney Faragher

Clare Barber has demonstrated that she’s no shrinking violet with this floral number. I love the bold statement: she is not conforming to the grey suits. I hope this dress is a suggestion that she is committed to the environment and continued protection of our green spaces. 

Joney went a little more reserved, with a simple and elegant purple number. As a Labour MHK, she didn’t go for the obvious red: a suggestion that her support won’t be necessarily obvious, despite her political allegiances. 

Douglas North: David Ashford and John Wannenburgh

A classic choice from John here- nothing out of the ordinary. It’s unclear what is on his tie (I feel that they’re rocking horses?), perhaps reflecting his stances will be unclear.

Now we know what to expect from David: we’ve seen a lot of him in the last two years. A waistcoat and tie clip combo says that he is a formal man, who sticks to the rules. His choice of purple suggests regality: but then again, he is kind of Manx royalty (I am a republican, btw). 

I won’t lie, I initially thought David’s pin was hammer and sickle. This did feel revolutionary, until I realised it was a humble three legs. Maybe it’s time to surprise us David. Maybe it’s time to become a communist. 

Douglas South: Claire Christian and Sarah Maltby

Claire and Sarah look like they’re at a funeral: perhaps of CoMEN?

Claire Christian, of Claire Christian Couture fame, has gone quite masculine, with a three piece suit. I hope this doesn’t mean she’ll blend into the male world of politics. 

Sarah, on the other hand, has gone simple in a black and lace number. It’s a classic, timeless look- suggesting her views won’t date soon. 

Garff: Andrew Smith and Daphne Caine

Come up with a generic man’s name, and you’ll probably land on Andrew Smith. Come up with a generic man’s suit, you’ll probably come up with Andrew Smith’s suit. I know nothing about Andrew, his suit says nothing to me. That’s fine, I guess.

Daphne Caine, in comparison, has shown her wild side with a multicoloured snakeskin dress: a cheeky nudge at all the snakes in House of Keys. She’s subtly Manx, with a Celtic necklace: a statement that says ‘support shopping locally and the Manx culture renaissance’.

Glenfaba and Peel: Kate Lord-Brennan and Tim Crookall

Kate Lord-Brennan has stood out in a gold number. I love that. Go for gold. 

Tim Crookall has gone FULL Manx with a Manx tartan tie (something I expected to see a bit more of) and a three leg pin. Patriotism runs in this man’s blood. It’s also nice to see another MHK with a three piece suit, a man with decorum. 

Middle: Jane Poole-Wilson and Stu Peters

I love this look for Jane: she looks like a no-nonsense head of a pathology lab that discovers some key information during a post-mortem that helps crack the case in a ITV police drama. She’s a smart woman ready to take charge, and I am excited to see how she shakes up the House of Keys.

Stu Peters… I’ve seen this outfit before… on Alf. Look, we all know Stu’s views, so it’d be obvious to say that this is showing allegiance to the famously blue Conservatives. I actually think this might be a power play: he’s dressed for the job he wants, and that’s Treasury Minister. With Alf Cannan a favourite for CM, perhaps imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

Onchan: Rob Callister and Julie Edge

We’ve already seen a lot of outfits that suggest a mix of political views, but Rob Callister’s is the one that most explicitly says “red or blue? I’ll keep you guessing”. Solid watch, too. 

Like Clare Barber, Julie Edge has gone for a floral number matched with a bright orange blazer. It really evokes hi vis chic: perhaps Julie will make her Council of Ministers debut in infrastructure? If that’s the case, good luck with that poisoned chalice. 

Ramsey: Lawrie Hooper and Dr Alex Allinson

Lawrie, for those who didn’t know, is the leader of the Liberal Vannin Party. As a leader, I want him to- well- lead with his looks. I felt he could go bold with his party colours: imagine if he had a bright yellow suit, just like Jim Carrey in the mask? Instead he’s wearing a very muted colour palette, simply accessorised with a three legs pin and his trademark glasses. Fine, I guess.

Now Dr Al has showed his allegiance to the NHS with a head-to-toe blue look. But it’s not the suit that is the most notable part of his look: the (bleached?) blonde curls are really evoking NSYNC-era Justin Timberlake. Not quite what you want in the era of #freebritney.

Rushen: Juan Watterson and Dr Michelle Heywood

Hello Mr Speaker! This is just a smart look, isn’t it? It’s what you want from a speaker.

And welcome, Dr Michelle. This is a simple outfit: grey dress and black blazer. This would be boring, if it were not accessories that really amplify this ‘fit. I hope this indicates that Dr Michelle will have a key eye for detail in her political career.

Fashion icons? Perhaps not. But let the MHKs know, Gef isn’t only judging the sartorial choices. We’ll be keeping a keen eye on all the goings on, like the island’s very own Gossip Girl…


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