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On the Best
14 Sep

On the Best

I was astonished to learn recently that a new international custom shoemaking competition, and even more astonished that 30 entries placed.  I hadn’t counted on 30 decent custom shoemakers existing in the world today, let alone entering an international competition.

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So we’ll go no more A-roving
11 Sep

So we’ll go no more A-roving

I knew the art of travel was dead. We all know those hopelessly aspirational social media posts from clickbaiters with that tag, showing pictures of matching hardsided leather suitcases or steamer trunks, with all of the ridiculous specializations that used to be needed for the itinerant leisured class: hat trunks, crocodile-wrapped valet cases fully stocked with every unguent and ivory-handled accoutrement, shoe cases…

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Alternative Style Icon: Babar the Elephant
27 Aug

Alternative Style Icon: Babar the Elephant

It wasn’t until I read The Story of Babar as an adult, to a young child who loves elephants, that I realized how jarring Jean de Brunhoff’s charming childhood story is. The Babar stories lay in my mind as a vague genial tale of a mellow, rather formal, pachyderm civilization.

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On Protection
09 Aug

On Protection

The American government’s recent rush to offer billions to farmers harmed by the trade war that same government has threatened reminded me, as do all things, of #steez, of the zoning protection that London’s Savile Row tailors keep pleading for and the recklessly rising rents that are causing Savile Row prices to further skyrocket. 

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Alternative Style Icon: Oetzi the Iceman
02 Aug

Alternative Style Icon: Oetzi the Iceman

To quote the TV dub of The Big Lebowski, “This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.”  He’s been called Europe’s oldest celebrity. But a style icon? 

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Death of the New Gods
12 Jul

Death of the New Gods

We thought we could transcend ugliness. An old world had exploded and from its ashes rose a new. A new ungainly cosmology of myths as flamboyant as the New Gods comics genius Jack Kirby invented in the 1970s. Cosmology is our attempt to explain – and perhaps impose artificial order on -- a chaotic world. 

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Outpost of Self
26 Jun

Outpost of Self

Long, long ago your correspondent dreamed of an ideal rootless world of a jetsetting lifestyle, ideal for the shock troops of capitalism among whom he daydreamed himself to be, without realizing that they, too, are just more cannon fodder swarming out of trenches for our overlords.

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Intuition
05 Jun

Intuition

The best book about Savile Row in 30 years is not actually about Savile Row.

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