Many of the best clothing-industry memoirs, such as Martin Greenfield’s Measure of a Man, spend less time describing the writer’s time in the industry than they do the circumstances that led the writer to the business. Or, as Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day calls it in the fascinating Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem, the hustle. And for him, it was the attraction of, for the first time, carrying out “a hustle with no vic[tim]s.”
There’s a danger in our latter-day dandy syncretism: the rolling of anyone who dresses in flashy or anachronistic jackets and sportcoats into a loaf of the indigestible and incoherent. By its title, Dandysmesacknowledges various different types of dandies, and different conceptions of the dandy, all seen through the prism of Beau Brummell, the putative dandy zero.
The struggle for sartorial revolution creates strange alliances. It’s rare to find another style writer with whom I would link arms and, in the words of an Internet sage, “face God and walk backwards into hell.“ Because of his erudition, wit and dogmatic insight, Le Chouan des villes, the (collective) pseudonym for the writers of the now-dormant blog of the same name, is one of them. Les chroniques de l’homme élégant, a collection of essays by Le chouan, is fascinating to read.
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
Most writing about new technology sounds painfully outdated within a few years. It’s hard to evoke the thrill of a new device or technique which will soon be commonplace, harder still to capture its effects on the society which anxiously welcomes it.
The world does not need another clothing book, let alone one purporting to collect “icons,” as does this one. Fortunately, this book, the second by Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson, is as refreshing and original as his first, the entertainingly vivid memoir Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed.
A few days ago I had a realization: We may destroy that which we love most, but often our object is more than happy to return the favor. The charming and elegant crook Roger Duchesne plays in Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le flambeur is a stylish case in point. Bob is a well-dressed rogue who wends his way through the moral penumbra of a classic film noir – effortlessly but inexorably towards destructions of his own making.