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July, 2006 | Manolo for the Men
Archive - July, 2006


Testoni smiling moccasins

Is it me, or do these driving moccasins from A. Testoni appear to be smiling?

Savile Row Strikes Back

A reader has kindly informed Izzy that a master tailor has responded to Giorgio Armani’s attack on Savile Row:

If anyone reading this works for Mr. Armani, please pass this message along to your boss:

Thomas Mahon, the Savile Row tailor will gladly meet up anywhere with you, anytime, in front of the press and some bloggers. Then, armed only with basic tools i.e. tape measure, bolt of cloth, shears, needle and thread, chalk etc, you two will both measure and make a suit for a third gentleman, a customer, WITHOUT the assistance of anyone else. Just the tailor, the customer and the tools.

When completed, we will show our results live, to the press and the blogosphere. Then we can all transparently see how much the skills actually match the rhetoric. Easy.

Izzy loves the idea: Iron Chef meets Project Runway.

Shirts vs. Skins

human gorilla

The Daily Mail is reporting that Britain is considering banning men from going bare-chested in town centers. The descamisados are revolting, indeed.

The Flesh-Colored Cameo

Izzy recently saw The Devil Wears Prada, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Though not mentioned by name, Valentino makes a surprise appearance in the film. Izzy was happy to see the sun-kissed couturier looking like a human being, and not an Oompa-Loopma as in times past.

Valentino as Oompa-LoompaOompa-Looma

Incidentally, for those of you who have ever wondered about such things, that strip of fabric with a buttonhole that extends from Valentino’s left lapel is called a throat-latch.

Lavishly Packing Heat

Gerard Oury

One of Izzy’s favorite sections in his daily newspaper is the obituraries—as the saying goes, they’re the only news that stays news. While recently reading about the life of Gerard Oury, the director of some of France’s favorite comedy films, Izzy learned that after receiving a string of death threats, Oury

responded by carrying a pistol concealed in a Louis Vuitton bag.

Only a Frenchman could have made a Louis Vuitton bag très masculin.

Keeping an Eye on the Extraordinary Pedestrian

Slate magazine is featuring a fascinating article about the advent of street-fashion blogs, which publish photos of stylishly attired passers-by. Izzy wholeheartedly agrees with the author that

The best of these sites capture the joys of people-watching and offer an experience that’s more like lounging on a park bench than flipping through a fashion magazine. For one thing, the blogs aren’t label-conscious: Few identify the brands worn, and not one mentions the prices paid. Their subjects also tend to be dressed casually, with few business suits or cocktail outfits in sight. Even better, many of the subjects are actually smiling—quite a faux pas in the fashion world, which still demands the scornful, stricken look that traces back to Lord Byron.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

The Travel Umbrella

Having been travelling a lot lately, Izzy has been frustrated that only a diminutive compact umbrella can fit in his luggage.  (As much as he would like to, he alas doesn’t travel with steamer trunks.) Accordingly, he was very pleased to discover this ingenious travel umbrella from Brigg, the venerable purveyors of umbrellas to British royalty.

Brigg travel umbrella

He was less pleased to discover that this Malacca beauty costs $495 at Ben Silver, or that the “humble” maple version still goes for $375.

There’s a fortune waiting to made for someone who can cheaply knock off manufacture this sort of design.

English as She Is Spoke

Having learned that The Manolo’s unique patois may have been ripped off by the folks at Neiman Marcus, Izzy wishes to inform fans of his master’s voice of a book they will definitely enjoy: the unintentionally hilarious nineteenth-century classic English as She Is Spoke. Intended as a Portuguese-English phrasebook, its Portuguese authors suffered from just one minor problem: they knew no actual English. Instead, they relied on literal dictionary definitions when translating, which caused them to pen some of the funniest English of all time.

Here are some sample phrases from the book, which are followed by the correct English:

Sentence in Portuguese Given translation Idiomatic translation
As paredes têm ouvidos. The walls have hearsay. The walls have ears.
Anda de gatinhas. He go to four feet. He crawls. / Crawl. (imperative)
A estrada é segura? Is sure the road? Is the road safe?
Sabe montar a cavalo. He know ride horse. He knows how to ride a horse.
Que horas são? What o’clock is it? What time is it?
Quem cala consente. That not says a word, consent. He who doesn’t object, consents.
Que faz ele? What do him? What does he do? / What is he doing?
Tenho vontade de vomitar. I have mind to vomit. I feel like vomiting.
Este lago parece-me bem piscoso. Vamos pescar para nos divertirmos. That pond it seems me many multiplied of fishes. Let us amuse rather to the fishing. This lake seems like it’s full of fish. Let’s have some fun fishing.
Bem sei o que devo fazer ou me compete. I know well who I have to make. I know very well what I have to do and what my responsibilities are.

Real Tears for the Crocodile

Lacoste sport jacket

Izzy will sometimes begrudgingly put up with logos on shirts, but seeing that Lacoste crocodile on the outside of a sport jacket makes him root for Captain Hook.

Pity the Fool’s Gold

Mr T with gold plate

Chastened by having witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Mr. T has decided to shed his signature gold chains (and plate and spoon). It’s a sad day for lovers of outrageous bling, but his back and neck will thank him for it.

The Suede Givenchy

Givenchy suede shoes

Men’s fashion maven G. Bruce Boyer advises that any man aiming for elegance should choose his own sartorial trademark. For Boyer, it is wearing only suede shoes. Izzy was reminded of his bold individual style upon finding these svelte suede shoes from Givenchy, which fall somewhere between business and casual.

What Would Ghengis Say?

Mongolian wrestlers

According to Mongolian lore, its folk wrestlers dress like this is to ensure that each contestant is male. But Izzy supposes that they may simply be making up for not having any cheerleaders.

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