Showing posts with label outfit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outfit. Show all posts

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Khalil Musa Portrait Shoot

As mentioned in my event coverage, Khalil Musa was the photographer-in-residence for I am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman's coming out party at Gieves & Hawkes last week

Khalil is the sort of portrait shooter that goes for sharpness and flash in the studio; in concert with his direction, his results show the confident sides of his subjects - whether they are or aren't, I suspect - whilst rendering their differing personalities and appearances in bold, bright strokes. Put simply, his work is worthy of several advertising campaigns, which I mean in the best way possible

To whit, if The Balvenie are looking for a new ambassador, I would like to think that this shot sets out my candidacy. But who knows? They might not care for my shirt

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Daniel Barnett Wedding Portrait Shoot

   Even though I've had cause to abandon The Mode Parade over the last few months, it hasn't escaped my notice that new followers have joined, links have been shared throughout the digital community and my mother keeps showing it to her friends

   I can't promise that the column is getting back on track, though if you are a semi-regular reader trying to parse these sentences into coherence, then you're old enough to know that I'm lying - this train has redefined the meaning of derailing several times over the course of three years. For Buddha's sake, I stopped taking my own photographs sometime in mid-2010

   To emphasise that last point, as well as make another reference to times past, my friend Daniel Barnett, whose portrait of me leads 2009's 'The Party Post', snapped me once again over the weekend when we attended the nuptials of two very dear mutual friends in Central London. I am at that age where I am becoming surrounded by the marriages of others, but that is not to complain - I treasure (and keep) every invitation, I congratulate, I indulge, I laugh, I feel. Now and again, I even do the splits

   Now, this is not the first time I have written on wedding ensembles, nor shared my own, albeit in informal/Ghanaian-modern modes, but this is the first time I am presenting my morning dress version, which, because of the nature of Britain's weather, tends to be adaptable all year round. With events set for a late afternoon start, I gave the briefest consideration to slipping into black tie mode after dinner, but I'm relaxed by nature and more importantly, even "the rules" don't give a damn - eveningwear doesn't officially kick in until after 6pm, which gives all the leeway for one to keep morning dress on into the night if the wedding starts prior to then. And regrettable as it might be to some, formal events aren't so strict any longer

   I found my morning and waistcoats, along with my hidden braces, at the Hackett sample sale three years ago, whilst the trousers are vintage sourced from Old Hat London, a shop that has much to offer in this particular menswear category. Who knows when, but at some future stage, I will complete this with decent gloves, houndstooth trousers, a solid gold pocket watch and maybe even an antique top hat, if they were ever made to suit the likes of my oversized head, I suppose

   Ardent traditionalists may beat one over the head with strictures that favour only dove grey waistcoats, white linen pocket squares and silvery ties, but I'd say it's obvious that they gave up trying to save my soul a millenium ago and now devote themselves to only the truly worthy causes, like ex-members of N-Dubz and the attendees of Pitti Uomo. Besides, pale colours are also acceptable. Morning dress has long allowed more expressiveness than it receives credit for; even this 1930s-era piece by the formidable Laurence Fellows promotes a subtly opalescent take; whilst  the face of the man on the left is at risk of being washed out by the similarly coloured shirt, save for its contrasting collar, this works well in injecting a stylish variety of tone into this most soberly joyous version of formalwear:

   Winston and I talked that day of trouser tailoring, particularly as they related to morning dress in the early 20th century (ahead of W's Men's Flair article on the topic, published today). This is an interesting arena for the details fiends, for if there's one thing internet forums and catwalk shows have demonstrated, it's that well cut trousers are often as difficult to spot as an interesting person at a creative industry receptionist recruitment drive. The Fellows illustration definitely contains an element of veracity in this regard; a lot of this can be put down the utilitarian manner in which braces hold one's trousers in place and smooth out their fall, along with the valuable assistance of a higher rise. That said, everyone should still take to a good belt when they can

   Here's a number of people wearing this traditional outfit better than I:

Stanley Mortimer and Babe Paley, 1940

A.J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. was well known for his clothing nous. His habits are catalogued in George Frazier's 1960 Esquire article, 'The Art of Wearing Clothes', as hosted by

An unknown American couple on the fateful day of 22nd November 1963, Jack Kennedy's last day on Earth

A trade magazine fashion plate, 1969

Prince Charles can be legitimately described as wearing a morning suit, since his coat and trousers are in matching grey (the waistcoat is up to individual taste). This is a less formal number that is usually deployed at warmer weddings

Fabulous Dead Person Alexis von Rosenberg, Baron de Redé, pictured in his morning suit and corresponding grey topper in 1968, accompanied by fellow stylish ghosts Elizabeth Taylor, Maria Callas and Richard Burton

   By the way, everyone else at the wedding, the bride especially, were on effervescent form. But then, my friends usually bring out the best in me

Required Reading: Sator on Formal Wedding Attire and Black Tie Guide

Barima's portraits are the property of Daniel Barnett Photography

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part Five - Albert & Chesterfield

   Mode Parade is an entity that has always been founded on the talents of others. Nowhere is it more apparent than in my portrait sessions, those collaborative confluences of shutterbug eye and manufactured lens, of architecturally pleasing location and crafted clothing, and of shooter and subject. Truly, it is much like work

   For those who may have wondered where Alex and I could possibly go after last year's series, our latest shoot last Sunday included a heavy dose of Winston Chesterfield, whom some here will know from his prolific, insightful writing at Men's Flair and his ensemble-chronicle Le Vrai Winston. W has also remained a steadfast friend to me for a few years now, and I have long considered him an inspiration for getting The Parade off the digital ground three years ago this month. So in a way, this surfeit of narcissism that my semi-regular readers have devoured since then is ever so slightly his fault

   Nevertheless, it does yield fun like this; a day spent at the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial of Kensington Gardens in an early English spring (a preview of temperatures to come sometime in April, I suppose), with Alex utilising his vintage Hasselblad and scanning these results from film specifically used for stongly lit scenes. I'm certain that W will post his own solo shots, so I will proceed with mine. Another duo picture has already done a decent trade via Mode Parade's Tumblr; I'm naturally grateful to those who have enjoyed and reblogged it

   And, of course, Alex and I will return

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

African Bloggers Council

Via Street Etiquette's Tumblr, a blue jacketed coalition of style writers converged over this past weekend on, appropriately enough, Savile Row post Ozwald Boateng's presentation. Pictured with me are Eli and Anthony of the site Ape to Gentleman

 I am wearing a "Sunday Best of British" ensemble: suit by Pokit, shirt by Deborah & Clare, necktie by Mr. Fish, footwear by Alan McAfee, boutonnière pin by Rose Paradise

Photograph by Joshua Kissi

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part Four - Victoria & Albert Revisit

   Part Four involved a return to this city's venerated and adored Victoria and Albert Museum; long-term semi regular readers might recall that this was also the site of last year's Jamie Archer Portrait Shoots. But the V&A is a big form and spaces were found to avoid overlapping with that other lensman and friend's fine work:

 It was humid enough that I donned my tie indoors before proceeding to pose; I accomplished this without the use of a mirror and Alex was too polite - read: British - to warn me that my Deborah & Clare shirt collar was askew

   Some of you may be amused to know that a curious gaggle of young black girls asked me if I was in costume. And of course, I responded in the affirmative

   Will there be more of this collaboration in the autumn and winter seasons? Time will tell, Paraders; it always does

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part Three - Dog Day Afternoon

On one of the hottest days of this dying season, Alex Wilson and I reunited to further our collaboration, this time in the residential environs of Knightsbridge

For thematic consistency - or due to obsessive tendencies -  I utilised another Deborah & Clare shirt (one may note a textured star design in its weave), this time with one of the duo's neckties, and a different pair of vintage Ultra eyeframes. Common sense dictated that I don an unstructured ramie Junya Watanabe Man jacket, currently the lightest wearing coat I have

Needless to say, more to come

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Saturday, 13 August 2011

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part Two

Part Deux of my recent collaboration with ace photographer Alex Wilson is upon us. This edition saw us taking to the streets of South Kensington and Chelsea for a style more familiar to followers of previous
portrait shoots

It's been quite some time since I last looked and felt so much like a post-colonial African. The Deborah & Clare shirt certainly helped to impel this deliberate styling choice towards its optimal expression

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Saturday, 6 August 2011


   Danielle Meder invited me on Thursday to attend an art exhibition launch within the East Bowel of London with her; specifically the Robert Crumb-esque cheek and Golden Age of Animation-stylings of French illustrator McBess, which is presented under the title The Folding Knife and housed at hip young person's - and, as it turned out, hip young family - venue, The Book Club

This August, highly regarded French illustrator, McBess (aka Matthieu Bessudo) will be exhibiting previously unseen canvas work, prints and 3D objects at The Book Club. His fascinatingly intricate work provides snapshots of his own experiences and is a contemplative diary of illustrative creations. The Folding Knife contemplates both current and childhood memories from which the title of the exhibition was born. A folding knife was a childhood keepsake of Matthieu’s and also reflects the detailed nature of his work. Don’t Panic commented on McBess ‘he’s so wonderfully French that he can make what would otherwise be freaky cartoon porn seem lovely and whimsical’.
A collection of his art from the last three years will be published this July by Nobrow and The Book Club will be lucky enough to have the original cover design adorning the walls. Having shown previously at galleries across the globe such as Issue in Paris and Nucleus in LA as well as having his art on the cover of Design Week this month, this French gentleman certainly has an exciting buzz around him.
   Whilst the venue cleverly stiffed Danielle on her previously advertised complimentary drink by way of a vital and missing horseshoe stamp - not too Draconian to require approval for a freebie on opening night, I'm sure - I found time to be photographed in my current heatwave mode and stood in front of a McBess piece for The Book Club's Flickr page:

   Being introduced to the work of McBess for the first time, I found some of his tics redolent of other latter-day illustrators of a cartoonish, surrealist bent such as Kaws and Pete Fowler; always crafting worlds of humour, fantasy and neuroses in a way that suggests persistent trouble from waking dreams (which would not be so unusual to me - these clearly explain much of the work and unique humour of self-confessed sufferer Joe Kelly, co-creator of Ben 10 and Marvel/DC stalwart). Fun and gifted, he certainly is, but one suspects McBess, with his penchant for isometric layouts (which he shares in common with the talented and engaging pixel fiends, eBoy), music sideline and memorable creativity, is one hipster touchstone away from licensing collectible vinyl figurines made in his image(s). I am therefore unsurprised that Kidrobot already made an overture towards him; six years ago, I would likely have been first in line:

Dunny and Mega Munny figures by McBess, seen in the second photograph


'The Perfect Saturday Afternoon' 

'The Desk (My Desk)'

  We had a decent perusal (at least when we were able to avoid the throng), an amusing moment involving those curvy hairpins that, according to a young fellow on a date that we encountered, are never far from a woman's head (including Danielle's) and it did indeed pique my interest to revisit it at a more opportune time. But in truth, this was all a prelude to our flight to Dalston an hour later to squeeze ourselves through two over packed dancefloors and indulge ourselves in the company of topless, dancing lesbians

   The Folding Knife will conclude on the 18th September, 2011


Thursday, 28 July 2011

James Bond vs. Lord Brett Sinclair

   So, two Roger Moore-portrayed adventurers of the 1970s walk into a haberdashery and -

   Oh, that ridiculous scenario is not worth the contriving I'm trying to produce, but suffice to say that whilst my outfit is very much akin to 007's stylings-circa The Man With The Golden Gun - without even observing my higher heeled Alan McAfee snaffle bit slip-ons, a girl actually and facetiously told me that evening, "You scare me, Baron Samedi" (and never mind that I did in fact dress as that particular character for Halloween in Hong Kong last year to the total bafflement of the entire metropolis) - the shirt is certainly more at home in Sir Roger's Tony Curtis-co-starring, Peacock Revolution-set series, The Persuaders!, a reference that is particularly apposite, given that it was created by now-esoteric shirtmakers Deborah&Clare of Beauchamp Place, London some time between 1965 and 1975. They made the shirt Mick Jagger wore for his wedding to Bianca Pérez Morena de Macias, don't you know

   D&C will return in a future Mode Parade entry

Special thanks to The Suits of James Bond

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Alex Wilson Portrait Shoot, Part One

   It's a touch distracting  - but also pleasing - to recall that I first met Alex Wilson 20 years ago, but our recent reunion brought some lost time between us into focus. And if this entry's title was not enlightening enough, that tasteless unintentional pun should reference clearly that Alex is now a professional photographer, in whose current project I was more than pleased to participate. The call for subjects has been free and open; my friend Danielle Meder of Final Fashion has also answered it, resulting in more of Alex's signature striking imagery, illuminating as he does, the nuances of his subjects in every portrait that he crafts

These two were taken using Alex's Canon 1Ds Mk II:

And this shot is good old fashioned 10x8 film:

As taken with this wondrous contraption:

Fun fact for the details fiends - I am wearing a Sulka silk bow tie with a moiré pattern, which is most evident in photograph no.2. As I wrote before, the nuances always benefit from a little illumination

All photographs are the copyright of Alex Wilson:

Monday, 9 May 2011

A Blast of Bombast

   For all the simplicity of the palette I chose, this might be the most forceful colour play of mine, thus far:

It is certainly fair to say that my Holliday & Brown aggressive abstract acid shirts are getting quite the workout; teaming one with H&B collaborator Prada (the bootcut dress trousers) and the Spencer Hart-designed Aquascutum coat, gives the wearer an overall look of a hedonist in search of a happening 

Adding to the fun, in the Lobbs I am just shy of 6'4"

Photograph by Harry L

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Karaoke Shippai

   With my own personal Leather Lust Objects on my feet, a body in mod's clothing, a spring in my step and a song in my heart, I decided to go forth and take the microphone. No, there's no surviving audio - what do you take me for, a Guantanamo Bay interrogator?

   The object lesson of the night was to keep me away from hits that require an upper register, though one cannot discount my comedic falsetto when performing Timberlake standards. Basically, 'Paint it Black', 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' and 'Johnny B. Goode' are serviceable. 'Simply The Best' and anything sung by Axl Rose are not. Unfortunately

   I even found a little moment to do my dance - this must have been during 'Like A Prayer':

   And then it was over

   Postscriptum: Jacket sleeves and sides adjusted by Graham Browne Tailors