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Critical Snap Judgment

Roger Ebert

As reported in the Daily News, a recent film screening in New York became the site of a case of extraordinarily bad manners:

Soon after the lights went down, a source tells us, “a man in the audience started yelling, ‘Don’t touch me!’ People looked around and shrugged. Ten minutes later, the voice yells again, ‘I said don’t touch me!’”

Again, people shrugged off the disturbance. But a few minutes later, says our source, “the guy stands up in the darkness and thwacks the guy behind him with a big festival binder. He hit him so hard everybody could hear it. Everyone freaked out and turned around.”

The thwacker? New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick.

The thwackee? Esteemed Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert.

After battling thyroid and salivary gland cancer for years, Ebert, 66, can no longer speak.

“Apparently, Roger was just trying to tap Lumenick on the shoulder to signal him that he couldn’t see the movie,” surmises our source. “He was trying to ask him to move over a bit.”

Though Lumenick seemed surprised to see whom he had struck, he offered no apology, according to another source.

Obviously, Lumenick’s hitting of Ebert was beyond the pale, but even if the former had just responded rudely, he would have been at fault.   He ought to have upheld a principle of charity: on first glance, assume that other people have good intentions and motives, even if they’re not obvious at first. But even if in this case the tappee had been actually rude, Lumenick should have remembered that the true test of manners is how you deal with people with no manners.

Check, Baby, Check, Baby 1-2-3

Jay Z in checks

Like the pro he is, Jay-Z managed to successfully combine checks with checks plus a third pattern on his sweater.  Certainly his monochrome color choice helped prevent the appearance of too much busyness.

Krazee-Eyez Killa

Christopher Walken in askew bow tie

As if it wasn’t enough to have a reputation for playing imbalanced, crazy characters, Christopher Walken let his bow tie rest at a disturbing angle.  That lack of left-right symmetry is all the worse for someone, like himself, born with heterochromia.

Curious Yellow

yellow gloves

This gentleman in Milan is doing so many things right, it’s hard to know where to begin.  There are his narrow, short trousers which show off the sensational antiqued shoes (Berluti?).  And it’s not every day one sees a pocket square in an overcoat.  But the gloves, cradling a cigar, are really what set the outfit apart.  If there’s one accessory any dandy must absolutely possess, it is a pair of canary yellow gloves.

Fasten Your Scarf

SoloUniko Origami scarf

The quirky design firm of SoloUniko has invented a scarf with a button to hold it in place. It’s a neat idea, but ordinarily it’s not too difficult to tie a scarf securely.  Then again, why take a chance of ending up like Isadora Duncan?

Libyan Glam

Sarkozy and Kadhafi

Still fabulous after all these years, Muammar al-Gaddafi, the world leader/rock star with the most glamorous backup group/bodyguards in the business, zhuzzes up his white suit/black shirt/wrap-around shades combo with a sash and a giant brooch of Africa, which he apparently has in multiple colors.

Izzy knows what French President Nicolas Sarkozy (who has quite the narrow lapel, by the way) is thinking: Is that a botched perm?

Measuring Up

Kean Etro with giant tape measure

Kean Etro seems to have stolen a tape measure or two from the sculptor Claes Oldenburg, lover of all things colossal.

Emperor Penguin

George Miller

Dressing like a stout flightless marine bird is par for the course at the Oscars, but George Miller, the producer of Happy Feet, went delightfully all out by tucking a white silk scarf into his jacket.

Tied Up in Knots

Chelsea knot

Inspired by a letter to the editor enquiring why men in London are going about with scarves knotted like a woman’s, The Daily Telegraph weighs in on this pervasive phenomenon:

“Just what is the right way for a man to wear a scarf?”
[...]

“A man’s scarf should be worn inside his overcoat and exposed an inch above the collar, with the tie on view,” protested Ted Shorter from Tonbridge. And the response to this mild observation? In short: Get knotted.

“There is no other way now; this is a major revolution. Everyone is knotting,” said Jeremy Vine, a committed scarf knotter and presenter of BBC1′s Panorama programme. “Scarves are just so long now, you’d be tripping over them otherwise.

“Is knotting too feminine? People will just have to take a view depending on the person.”

Even the established Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes admits time has moved on. The classic drape was immensely popular “to bring some breakage of colour with your lapel”, said our friend with the tape measure.

“And with a silk scarf, really, that’s the only way to wear it. But for a woollen scarf, it’s perfectly acceptable for men to loop and knot.”

Gareth Scourfield, the fashion editor of Esquire magazine, admits that men may be influenced by their wives and girlfriends. “But it has allowed men to wear scarves in a much more creative way. Let’s face it, men don’t have as many exciting clothes to play with as women.”

Nick Foulkes, the author and self-confessed “dandy” and style guru, said: “The scarf is a sartorial flourish. It’s the early 21st century equivalent of the bold linings worn by 1980s estate agents.”

A Gigli Odd Idea

Dario Fo

Romeo Gigli, the Italian fashion house, just announced that Dario Fo, the Nobel-Prize-winning satirist, will galumph down the catwalk at their upcoming show in Milan. But by inviting Fo, who in this beast of a shearling coat looks like a giant Gore Vidal, it isn’t clear exactly on whom the joke is supposed to be.

Back to School

Yale schoolboy scarfElizabethan schoolboy scarfDavenport schoolboy scarf

The fine folks at J. Press are offering a wide variety of schoolboy scarfs, which are great for adding some whimsy to weekend wear or for showing one’s school colors.