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Glambassador

mutassim-qaddafi-in-shiny-suit

In his memorable essay “The Secret Vice,” Tom Wolfe writes:

one day in December, 1960 . . . Lyndon Johnson, the salt of the good earth of Austin, Texas, turned up on Savile Row in London, England, and walked into the firm of Carr, Son & Woor. He said he wanted six suits, and the instructions he gave were: “I want to look like a British diplomat.” Lyndon Johnson! Like a British diplomat! You can look it up.

Note well: Never ask your tailor to make you look like a Libyan diplomat, or else you’ll get the shiniest suit known to man.  Apparently, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas, sartorially speaking.

But at least Libya’s National Security Advisor, Mutassim Qaddafi (son of Muammar Qaddafi), is carrying on the family tradition of eccentric flamboyance.

Mojo Rising

austin-powers-mojo-boots

Hard economic times appear to have affected even Austin Powers, who must be the British eBay seller hoping to exchange these groovy, Cuban-heeled Chelsea boots for cash. If any of Izzy’s loyal readers are friends with the Riddler, please tell him to bid now.

Eexamsheets – http://www.examsheets.com/exam/CISSP.htm
Realtests – http://www.realtests.com/exam/646-206.htm
Test-inside – http://www.test-inside.com/70-462.htm
Passguide – http://www.passguide.com/640-554.html

Out of the Blue

grenson-blue-and-white-boots

Excluding saddle shoes and a few other exceptions, Izzy is averse to two-toned footwear. And were you to ask him to imagine blue-and-white boots, he would start to gag mentally. And yet there are these highly unusual boots from Grenson, the storied British cordwainer, which, despite consisting of off-white canvas and light-blue leather infill, somehow work wonderfully. They are not exactly meant for everyday wear, but if you find your self running a tropical colony while wearing a pith helmet

A Portait of the President on Casual Friday

The National Portrait Gallery just unveiled the official portrait of President George W. Bush, which should look familiar to Izzy’s most faithful readers.

official-george-w-bush-portrait

Izzy is almost certain that that light-blue shirt, with its two unusual pocket flaps, is the same one Bush wore when engaging in diplomacy with Vladimir Putin. As Izzy pointed out at the time, that quasi-militaristic style has also been favored by fellow Texan Charlie Wilson. Clearly, Bush’s choice of shirt and pose—bent over, sitting on a couch while smiling—was intended to give an air of casualness and familiarity. Unfortunately, given how the shirt’s cuffs ride up due to bent arms, Izzy mainly sees poor tailoring. (The pleats adjacent to the cuffs are a further sign that the shirt was not custom-made.)

Artistically, Izzy thinks that the official portrait pales next to one by the same painter, Robert Alexander Anderson, which was created for the Yale Club of New York City.

george-w-bush-portrait-for-the-yale-club

Here, Bush actually looks somewhat presidential, though it’s amusing that he crosses his leg in the European style that some American yahoos consider effete. (Also, what’s with Barney’s demon eyes?) It’s a shame that even this portrait contains a sartorial blunder: loafers with a suit. W simply can’t escape informality, which, admittedly, is a very American peccadillo. It even looks like his right French cuff is undone.

And is it Izzy, or does that sofa bring to mind a Rorschach test?

By Your Own Very Soft Bootstraps

When it comes to velvet footwear, Izzy thought he had seen it all.  But, yes Virginia, velvet boots do exist—thanks at least to the fine folks at John Varvatos.  Presumably this pair is the choice of Puss ‘n’ Boots, or, as the far classier original French has it, Le Chat botté.

Comma Chameleon

Izzy never would have thought that suede paisley loafers could be done tastefully, but this pair from Cole Haan—not Etro, as one might expect—proved him wrong. Almost a pair of slippers, they are just the thing for reposing at home in a smoking jacket.

Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?

Ralph Lauren Mojave boots

Ralph Lauren has probably done more than any other designer to romanticize the Southwestern U.S., and, as witnessed here, he even found a way to put a wool Indian-blanket pattern on a trail boot.  You won’t find a more colorful way of kicking up sand in the Mojave desert.

The Making of a Cowboy

Ronald Reagan in cowboy hat

The accusation, now frequently heard, of “cowboy politics” stems from the iconic image of Ronald Reagan as an all-American denim-clad horseman.   But it turns out that, while Reagan had long enjoyed riding horses, his cowboy attire originated as a bit of showmanship:

In 1966, a local reporter from KTIX in San Francisco wanted to do a segment on horseback with the candidate for governor of California. Lyn Nofziger, Mr. Reagan’s press secretary, accompanied the reporter and was shocked to see his candidate in jaspers [jodphurs?] and English riding boots.

“When he changed into his riding clothes, he came out. And I looked at him—and he was not yet the governor—and I said, ‘You can’t do that,'” Mr. Nofziger recalled. “He said, ‘This is the way I always ride.’ I said, ‘This is not the purpose of that. It’s to get votes. They’re going to think you look like a sissy!’ He’s a great cowboy, looking at him. He played a cowboy in movies.

You can find photos of Reagan in his more aristocratic, English riding-wear here.

Velvet Underfoot

Christian Louboutin men’s pumps

Unlike The Manolo, Izzy can barely comprehend the mystifying, wonderful world of women’s shoes, but if he had to name his favorite designer for the female foot, it would have to be the fanciful Christian Louboutin.  Hence, Izzy was pleased to discover that the Frenchman has created at least one model  for gentleman.  Now, Izzy wouldn’t actually advise wearing these velvet opera pumps—which are best left to Cinderella’s footmen—but he is happy that they exist.

Heavily Stitched

Bettanin and Venturi boots

Handmade in Vicenza, Italy, these boldly seamed boots from Bettanin & Venturi, share a family resemblance with these impossible shoes.  If Frankenstein’s monster was a dandy, these are what he would wear.

Le Smoking

Del Toro monogrammed slipperDel Toro velvet slipperDel Toro custom design

Del Toro shoes were started by two gentleman from Palm Beach who bemoaned how difficult and expensive it could be to find velvet slippers—with, say, the emblem of their boarding school on them—to wear with their smoking jackets. Their one model, made in Spain, is an updated version of the Prince Albert house slipper, which can be ordered plain, monogrammed, or even with a custom design. Their prices are surprisingly low—the plain version is just $120—but if you have a family crest to embroider on your shoes, money shouldn’t be of much concern.

Far From Straightlaced

Virtual Shoe Museum Converse Extension 1

Like a bodice for your feet and legs, these Converse-inspired boots (for lack of a better term) can be found on display at the Virtual Shoe Museum, home to footwear both fantastic and nightmarish.

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