The late fashion snapper Bill Cunningham left nothing if not good will with his passing. Long before his death, the originator of street style photography was already a wraith in a blue work coat, haunting a few preferred corners of Manhattan to touch, through his camera lens, the favored of his eyes, elevating them as if he really was some supernatural being to the pages of The New York Times
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across the trailer for Jobs? Never!!, a new skateboarding film directed by, and starring, Jim Greco. Through its nefarious algorhythm, Instagram has correctly pegged me as a former skateboarder and distant fan of the sport, and so these kinds of clips pop up in my feed pretty often. Still, this one seemed different. The video didn’t show any tricks–no flashy 360 varial flips, no nollie crooked grinds–just a man pushing through the streets of L.A., a dusty suit jacket flapping open in the breeze.
Those who know me recognize that I have three great loves; comics, hip hop and fashion. Anyone close to me would be to tell you that. What may surprise those who have only met me recently is that my first obsession was comic books and that my first hero was Stan Lee.
Autumn has always been my favorite season to dress for. While I enjoy the longer days of summer; I find that the high temperatures make it so that I can’t dress the way I’d like to without looking like a sweaty mess within two seconds of stepping out of the air conditioned confines of my apartment. Most people start to make plans about what the upcoming year is going to be like but to me, this is a perfect time to start making changes and why not begin by getting rid of that nagging voice in your head that tells you that you can’t pull off certain looks.
In the beginning, there is only navy, grey, white, and brown. Perhaps army green if you like to wear military gear on the weekend or olive if have a tailor in Naples. But there comes a time in every clothes-wearing man’s life when he tires of the traditional menswear palette. “I’ll have no more of this monotonous uniform!” he cries. “Let there be color!” he demands. And so there is color.
Unhappy is the man who assesses everybody’s clothes. Most likely, they will fail to meet his cultivated eye, and he will have no option but to write to the usual places about how standards are slipping, and nobody but him remembers the rules. But worse, one fine day he might find himself in a room full of bespoke, and realize that for once the hand-welted shoe is on the other foot. He will be on the receiving end, he imagines, of the same withering critique.
One of the joys of custom made clothing is getting to choose your own details. But there are plenty of subtle yet distinctive embellishments that can be put on bespoke and off-the-peg clothing alike. Any jacket shipped with unfinished sleeves, for instance, is ready and waiting for any button configuration you care to conjure.