G. Bruce Boyer’s True Style might have been the best serious #menswear book of 2015, but the Where’s Waldo? parody Where’s Karl? may have been my favorite fashion book of last year. Where’s Karl? sets out and sends up in hilarious, delirious pageantry the fanciful fleshpots flit through by the international fashion set, all as seen through the inspired pen of fictional French blogger Florence “Fleur” de la Sabine as she attempts to track down couture’s favorite cipher, Karl Lagerfeld.
By now the reader is no doubt aware of the ban various French municipalities have enacted against the wearing of the burkini at their beaches. The French constitutional court has overturned such bans, but not before video went viral of armed police forcing a burkini-wearing woman to remove her clothes.
I was about to post a musing on my tumblr (yes, my tumblr is where I go to write about subjects even more inane than those I write about here) about how pleased I was with the neat little Oertel umbrella with a cute tiger maple handle that I got to replace a baby Brigg I left on the bus. Then the juxtaposition of posh umbrellas and the bus made me think.
Those who fear they have used up all their original ideas find themselves reduced to reacting to the ideas of others. This must be why I have been mulling over a fan mail response by my friend @dirnelli, a very prolific #menswear blogger and hashtagger. I find I must react.
If you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas, the old saying goes. No doubt my dog would call it racist and tell me to check my privilege. Literal canines aside, I find myself in the unenviable position of arising after yet another assignation with a figurative dog, the new book Les savoir-faire du luxe: Portraits de maisons françaises (The Craftsmanship of Luxury: Portraits of French Makers), another set of profiles of purported craft brands.
My first legal drink was a vodka martini. Because I was naïve and impressionable, and those impressions were formed, of course, by James Bond - the most famous mixed drinker in the world, who made the vodka martini the most glamorous, if not the most famous, mixed drink: legendarily shaken, not stirred, with a twist.
A recent piece by David Isle steered me to The New York Times’ oddly behind-the-times prognostication about the death of the necktie, to be replaced by the suit with open shirt. For the NYT, precision about pretentious details and wrongness about the larger picture are par for the course, but even for the Gray Lady (or as Gore Vidal termed her, the Typhoid Mary of American journalism), announcing the birth of a look that was current 15 years ago is a new low.
Spare a thought for the poor tailor, one of the real artisans often ill done by in today’s supposed vogue for all things artisanal, which usually privileges the marketer over the maker. A case in point is the enormous new book Gaetano Savini: The Man Who Was Brioni.