Justice, when it comes, can be by act or omission. There are moments when the machinery of state moves to right inequity, and moments where it must relinquish power to do so. A case of the second kind occurred in May 1937, in Albany, seat of the New York Court of Appeals.
For some reason, recent years have seen a surge of discussion of how people could be so gullible they believed the obvious distortions of so-called reality TV shows and their stars. If my memory serves me correctly, I, too, was that credulous several decades ago. I was so disappointed to discover that Kitchen Stadium was not a real place in Japan, and that Takeshi Kaga was not an eccentric millionaire obsessed with discovering the most refined experiences for his jaded palate, at least those which could be prepared within an hour by a stable of specialized iron men of cooking. I suspect he was not even a real chairman of any organization.
His appearance, for the last forty years of his life, was alien, mannered, armored by various styles of outfit that were less uniforms than the carapace of some unique extraterrestrial being. It was this persona, behind gently waving fans, knuckle-length gloves, heavy-looking Chrome Hearts jewelry, that made him such a memorable media figure. An unforgettable bowsprit, rather than figurehead, for the many different fashion houses he designed for – at times creating collections simultaneously for Chanel, Fendi, Chloé and his own Lagerfeld label, among others.
Just as the return leg of a journey seems shorter, as if the mental energy has already been spent on the outlay, and now you are being pulled magnetically back home, unpacking feels easier than packing. The difficult decisions are already made. Did I need that second whisk, or the book about Alexander von Humboldt? Either way, it’s too late.
A reaction to the response of a friend. That friend, the prolific #menswear blogger Dirnelli, frequently models his secondhand bespoke suits. What he calls “respoke” is suits made by a custom tailor for someone else, altered to fit a new wearer.
This past January 30th was Fred Korematsu Day, a state-wide holiday in California celebrating the legacy of Japanese American activist Fred Korematsu. Born in Oakland in 1919 to parents of Japanese ancestry who owned a flower nursery, Korematsu was one of three Japanese Americans who protested against the United States’ internment policy during World War II, eventually taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court.
With Oscar nominations recently announced, I’ve been thinking a lot about the movies that amazed me last year. While reflecting, one movie in particular has been on the forefront of my consciousness. Marvel’s Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, was a bonafide cultural phenomenon. Coogler managed to take the form of the movie he was given and Trojan Horse themes of identity and the ramifications of isolationism. During my latest viewing, I really focused in on how the art of the costume design helped tell that story in a real way.
Today There Are No Gentlemen, wrote fashion historian and fabulist Nik Cohn in 1971. Upper-class British Member of Parliament Jeremy Thorpe was soon to prove him right. And now, thanks to Stephen Frears’ excellent television adaptation of John Preston’s book about the infamous Thorpe Affair, we have a much-needed reminder of that lesson. Or at least those of us with access to Amazon Prime and to a sense of insight do.