Most writing about new technology sounds painfully outdated within a few years.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.
Any shop that’s had a nameplate on London’s Savile Row or its neighboring tailoring streets (Old Burlington Street, Conduit Street, Clifford Street and the like) for more than a few decades has acquired a variety of different identities.
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.
I love a book whose author dares to actually assert a viewpoint. In clothing, this means more than simply asserting “style is eternal” or “nice clothes are nice”, as most books on the subject seem to do.
I have a hard time imagining the elevator pitch for Neo Yokio, an animated series on Netflix about a pink-haired “magistocrat” named Kaz Kaan, who jets around a futuristic city analogous to New York on the back of his robot butler trying to boost his social reputation and win back his old girlfriend, while slaying demons on the side. And what if I told you that all of this outlandishness was really window dressing for a series of mediations on fashion and consumerism?
A great achievement of the classes that rule us is making us love our chains. I had this (almost certainly not original) thought reading the estimable Bruce Boyer’s recent essay “Dress Up” on the faith-oriented website First Things, and remembered it again as I struggle to restore one of my chains, my badly worn briefcase bought new 16 years ago from the heavily fetishized English whipmaker Swaine Adeney Brigg.