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Aryan Master Drapes

drapes suit

Whether or not this Obedient Sons suit is made of wallpaper, curtains, or drapes, Izzy thinks it would be wunderbar were it from the designer’s Von Trapp collection.

Apparel Disfunction

George Clooney and Brad Pitt with open collars

There are only two ways to wear an open collar under a jacket: 1) firm and erect, 2) limp and flaccid. Someone, please get Mr. Clooney some Viagra for his shirt.

The Artist of Rhetoric

Frederick Douglass

Born a slave, the nineteenth-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass was not only one of the best orators in American history, he was also one of the most dashing—whatever it takes to captivate an audience. Izzy would love to see someone resurrect Douglass’ romantic hairstyle, a sort of a combed-over afro.

Der Shorn Artist

Werner Herzog with moustacheclean-shaven Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog, the obsessive director of obsessives real and imaginary, a filmmaker whose career began with his stealing a camera from film school, serves as a stark example of a gentleman who ought to have kept his moustache.  That horizontal strip of hair flatters a long face and de-emphasizes a mountainous nose.  Given that one of Herzog’s chief fixations has been the nature of manliness, it’s all the stranger that the director of Fitzcarraldo deforested the wide swath between his nose and mouth.

Not a Girly Boy

manly male model

Having bemoaned the plague of less-than-masculine male models, Izzy is not quite willing to praise this rare example of the opposite extreme: a hairy, meaty chav with teeth that only an orthodontist could love—all courtesy of punk fashionist Vivienne Westwood.  Izzy hasn’t seen this much bling since Hans Holbein the Younger.

Tape Me

Alexander McQueen tape shirt

It’s “shirts” like this that explain why male models have no chest hair.  And maybe Izzy should have put “male” in quotation marks, too.

Swiss Mister

Arpad Busson

Not being a habitué of Gstaad, Izzy had never heard of French/Swiss financier Arpad Busson prior to the announcment of his engagement to Uma Thurman, but the self-made ladykiller definitely has the rich-playboy style down pat.  Note his high shirt collar, decolletage, unbuttoned (or are they uncuffed?) mitred cuffs, and funky bracelets.

In the past, with a different beauty on his arm, he has even been able to add color to a tuxedo without looking gauche.  But Izzy is even more impressed with Busson’s ultra-slim-fitting peak-lapel dinner jacket. (Are those bracelets his trademark?)

Arpad Busson in tuxedo

Pregnant Pause

Thomas Beatie pregnant with beard

Like milk and orange juice, pregnant and bearded are two things that were never meant to go together.   Izzy hopes that, upon being born, the baby girl will not curdle our blood.

Pulling Off the Pullover

brown and blue in Manhattan

It’s not easy to wear a sweater on one’s shoulders without looking unbearably preppy, but this gentleman in Manhattan succeeds, perhaps because the dark navy melds into the shirt and jacket.  His entire outfit is a well-balanced study in brown and blue, even in such details as his tortoise-shell glasses, woven belt, and puffed-up pocket square.

Magnetic North

Roman Polanski in wing collar

Like the directions of a compass rose, Roman Polanski’s hair and open wing collar point in all directions—which, fittingly for a director, makes his face the focal point.

Monsieur de Pompadour

Sean Penn with pompadour

The poet Walt Whitman once rhapsodized:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

But that apologia for inconsistency surely doesn’t excuse Sean Penn’s combining a 1950s rockabilly pompadour with a nineteenth-century-style shirt and tie.  To Izzy’s eyes, chronological contradictions can be the most disagreeable.

Hairy Like a Guerrilla

Steven Soderbergh with neck beard

While visting Cannes for the screening of Che, his bio-pic of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, director Steven Soderbergh sported a beard that extended down beneath his shirt collar.  Given that Soderbergh is usually clean-shaven, can there be any doubt that he disposed of his razor (and good sense) in homage to Che’s neck beard, which made him look like he had a lion’s mane?

Che with lion’s mane

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