Showing posts with label etro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label etro. Show all posts

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Peregrination, Or, By the Time I Get to Everywhere

   Peripatetics of the World Unite! Let's get on the Open Road

Globe Trotter photograph courtesy of AJ at The Forvm

   Men will always talk of escape but today, they omit to be escapist in practice. And yet we still nurture an ideal of a common language of travel: the donning of a mode that combined perambulatory-centric practicality with pure and polite gentility

   With no obviously rational reason in the world but for staunch refinement, my father yesterday left the 30 degrees+ environs of Accra on a flight to The World, clad in a double breasted, gilt buttoned blazer, a striped shirt, dark slacks and comfortable loafers and was easily the most dégagé and elegant human on board. And his self-possession remained steadfast in the face of a many hours-long check-in disarray, with its concomitant, envious griping of a ruffled economy class uncomprehending of, and unused to preferential dealings with this - or any other - airline, and a further confluence of errors that saw his arrival time gain an extra eight hours

   But travel has always had the capacity for metaphorical, as well as actual rectal distress; when arrangements disintegrate, it's a challenge to avoid bending, let alone breaking

   Good dress places some of the pleasure directly in the traveler's hands. Most Britishers' - amongst others - idea of comfortable journeywear is my idea of pyjamas, and if I'm to fall asleep on long haul transport, I'd rather not present as if I'd planned to do so since the night before embarkation

   In these post-jet set days, we have much to contend with where aesthetically unpleasant visuals are concerned - trashy "ass logo'd" casuals that overemphasise the "bottom" in "tracksuit;" nauseatingly displayed spray tans masquerading as the results of natural solar communing and jiggly flesh whose owners seem to wear it as proudly as one would a military medal or an attractive girlfriend. And that's only the staff

   It is its own reward to be a man for all locations; think of the leeway offered for mercuriality or for unexpected juxtapositions and the odd defining statement

Leavened with globetrotting aplomb, we have: Coward Leaving a Plane! Coward in Havana! Coward in Las Vegas!


'Sentimental Journey,' the 2009 Spring/Summer offering by Junya Watanabe Man, grounded the romantically chimerical notions of colonials and jet-setters past in the preoccupations of today's cropped clothes-donning, judiciously economising male, albeit of the kind suited to its pricing. Centered amidst the designs that spanned the gentlemen and farmhands of the 20th century, the enticing Tricker's collaborations and the ornamental, illustrative use of Globe Trotter cases was the collection's pivot: reversible jackets that sensibly doubled one's investment. Indeed, the craft was more revelatory in person; these doubled garments suffered no surfeit of bulk from inside-out transformation and the disparate fusions readily elicit protean usage and ensemble

And where Watanabe favoured the Western World Wise Vagabond, Kean Etro dreamed of Bottled Bohemia and Marrakesh:

An itinerant urge also emerged amongst Ralph Lauren's looks for the season in 2007; this was cultivated according to that Old World milieu that remains the stuff of bathtime fantasy for RL and his ardent adherents:
I'm uncertain as to how the sandals found themselves here

As for Bottega Veneta, leisurewear is functionally its Printemps-Été raison d'etre:

And to conclude; for boarding a plane, train or automobile, one could do worse than wear Hermés:

   Let's get out!

Runway photography: GQ

Monday, 18 January 2010

Relaxed Suiting

The Fifth Earl of Lichfield, Thomas Patrick John Anson, via LIFE Magazine

   Men who want to leave the suit behind when their day is done at the coalface are shortchanging themselves. Learning to adapt and procure suits for occasions and for pleasure is merely another aspect of the fun that comes with sharpening one's image. And that suits-with-trainers lark only ever worked for downtown New York New Wavers and David Tennant

   There are other options, you know:

YSL, circa 1969

Also from LIFE, The Beatles take Japan. And Lennon probably didn't need to ask anyone if it was acceptable to sport a muted pink suit

Etro, via the NY Times; the label has entirely defined itself through uncompromising flamboyance, sharp cuts and playful patterning

Etro for summer. There's only one element I'd not wear

The post-colonial African hipster look revived for the NY Times. Suits by Viktor & Rolf (l) and Dries Van Noten (r)

   Let's face it; the mods, suedeheads and peacocks were deriving much enjoyment from their appropriation of traditional dress codes and the results thereof. It's all over Patrick Lichfield's face up above; he's bold, but not over the top, able to enjoy his appearance without being self conscious about it. Given what parades up and down today's metro paving, it's only out of the ordinary because sartorialism is the current incarnation of iconoclasm. Having said that, it still takes a brave or uncaring man to wear a hat crown as large as his face

Mick Jagger and Mary Whitehouse. Really

The 1971 wedding of Mick and Bianca Jagger. His suit was from Nutter's of Savile Row; at this time, the pattern was cut by master tailor Edward Sexton. His shirt was created by Deborah & Clare of Beauchamp Place. The photograph is, of course, by Patrick Lichfield, via The Independent

   It's been well documented that I achieve a more informal look the same way other likeminds do; my shirt and tie combinations could only really be seen at parties or in a creative office. Anyone who really thinks bold ensembles are de rigueur in a conservative professional environment is an idiot or has befriended one too many wide boys. But going the other way and playing the colour field down doesn't harm a suit's out-of-the-office cachet:

Knit tie, green pocket square, striped cardigan; relaxed in more of a cosy sense than a creative one, but also perfectly felicitous for a dressy occasion

   Rather than simply thinking "It's not for me" or "I'm not (delete as appropriate) cool/rich/famous/handsome/slender/crazy enough to pull this off," you simply have to remember that menswear is about the details. For every exuberant pattern, there must be a balancing act performed by the cut; it must, of course, fit exceptionally well. Don't compound the potential shock factor of a statement fabric with offbeat tailoring decisions (unless it's a shorts suit, which is a topic for a future time). Stick with two buttons in a single breasted or go double in a 6x4 configuration. Rather than standard padded shoulders, why not try roped shoulders and/or lightly padded natural shoulders. Retain a well shaped silhouette with subtle buttons. Let the fabric do the shouting

   If anyone would like a place to start, I can think of nowhere better than Dashing Tweeds. Their Exploded Houndstooth design has previously appeared on this column. I do like this Foulkesian 3-piece tailored from one of their cloths by Savile Row's Davies & Son:

   A final thought: don't neglect the outerwear