What makes a summer garden party? I have a theory that it is actually the people who make it. Inviting a lively, attractive crowd will do more for an event than all the chicken wings, Rioja and Space-age Bachelor Pad music in the world. For one thing, the soul of a good garden party or barbecue is the conversation between those attending. How sophisticated or enjoyable this conversation is will depend largely on what tone is set; too jocund, and the event can be abandoned as too raucous, and equally, too staid and dull and people will be thumbing the tops of their wine glasses, pondering the possible entertainment value of a nearby wake. This halfway point between ferocious fun and utter boredom is exactly the point to be remembered when choosing clothing for such an event. [Read more…]
If you mention King Edward VIII, later Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor in conversation, sadly the only response one is likely to get is; ‘Oh, the guy who married the Wallis Simpson woman.’ The fact of the matter is that this man’s legacy is overshadowed by his practically small, but consequentially huge decision to abdicate, thus giving up the crown in order to marry the woman he loved. Precious little is known of his youth or his other influences. Such was the consternation of the British establishment, and so mighty was their power in the early part of the 20th century, that later generations of British people have known him for little more than the man who wanted to marry a divorcee. [Read more…]
This week, men.style.com ran a short article on the 5EP for Styleforum jean, which I’d had some hand in bringing to reality. 5EP is a small American company that makes some of the most remarkable denim in the world, at any price. The dye is a mixture of natural and pure indigo, which Christine Rucci, the “Godmother” of the 5EP family, created with a Japanese master, one of the few who have been designated a national treasure in Japan. Christine has told me that the dye is very unstable, which accounts for the complex “ageing” abilities of the denim as it is worn and washed, with hints of purple, green and yellow undertones emerging as the jeans slowly fade.
One of the few things that I cannot buy online and be assured of a reasonably good fit (I apparently have an astoundingly average build) are hats. Not only is it difficult to find a cool one, but after having found a cool hat, it will find me about one out of 100 times. I have bought two hats in the past year. So, that means that I’ve tried on about 200 hats, and looked at about… a thousand, at least. [Read more…]
I saw The Great Escape when I was about eleven years old, and I thought that “The Cooler King” was the coolest dude ever. He wasn’t the smartest or even toughest of the escapees, and he didn’t even manage to escape, but he was definitely the coolest. I had no idea who Steve McQueen was at the time (obviously), but the cooler king sure was cool. Best way to describe how he always had a way of effortlessly annoying his guards and staying alive. Everyone cites the scene in which, trapped between most of the German Army and a really high barb wire barricade, he goes for the barricade. But in my opinion, he is at his coolest when, captured at last, he pulls his dogtags out of his shirt, with a look that said “hah, you think you caught me spying, but I’m still a prisoner of war. I live another day.” [Read more…]