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A-droit Attire

young William F Buckley

William F. Buckley, Jr., widely considered to be the patron saint of American conservatives, has died (or, to put it more obscurely, is now communing with the eschaton). As befitted his politics, he never swayed in matters of appearance from the preppie style seen in this photo of him around the time of his college days at Yale. Ironically, that look—comprising a button-downed collar, narrow tie with a small knot, and three-button sack jacket rolled to the second button (note the button hole on the lapel)—is now at the height of fashion, and is being copied by labels such as of Band of Outsiders (some of whose wares can be purchased here).

The one time Izzy was in close promixity to Buckley, your humble blogger noticed that Buckley’s tuxedo—which had survived innumerable galas, fundraisers, and rubber-chicken dinners—was so battered that it had a faded brown stripe on its shoulder, the result of years of wear from the leather strap from his briefcase.  Surely there is nothing more trad than a dinner jacket that is no longer entirely black.

The Man in the White Hat

Spike Lee in white hat

With his thick, nearly-octagonal eyeglasses, Obama-for-President button, and bowtie-less tuxedo shirt, Spike Lee had a lot going on at the Oscar’s, but thanks to that dashing white trilby, he proved himself one of the good guys.

Divorce, British Style

Paul McCartney in thin-lapelled suit

Prepared to face the unpleasantries of his acrimonious divorce, Paul McCartney arrived in court in a suit whose narrow lapels harkened back to a far happier time when he was just a young Beatle.  But by wearing a (disproportionately) wide tie with the youthful lapel, he shows himself to be stuck in the doldrums of middle age.

Turning Siamese

Thom Browne siamese pants

Courtesy of Thom Browne comes this freakish nightmare—of ironing, that is.

Black and Blue

Clint Eastwood in blue shirt and tux

Like a colorblind Medusa, Clint Eastwood, in his blue shirt and black tuxedo, bruises the eyes of anyone who looks in his direction.  Even worse, his “formal” wear includes a bent collar.

The Pitts

Brad Pitt in three-piece suit

With his bangs, patchy goatee, and ill-fitting disco-era suit (note the shirt peeking under the vest, the pants pooling at the ankles, and the wrinkles in the trousers’ crotch), has Brad Pitt ever looked worse?  Tom Cruise couldn’t get away with this look either.

Mickey Mao

Mickey Mouse in Mao suit

Hong Kong Disneyland recently unveiled Chinese New Year costumes designed by Vivienne Tam.  She chose to put Mickey into a cherry-red Mao suit, the military-influenced tunic suit that was popularized by Communist dictator Mao Zedong.   (According to Wikipedia, the suit was originally designed to cater to Western sensibilities yet still remain Chinese.  For example, instead of the three hidden pockets of Western suits, the suit was designed with four outside pockets to adhere to Chinese concepts of balance and symmetry.)

Witnessing this jarring combination of Mickey and Mao, Izzy looks ahead to the day when  Disneyland Havana sells t-shirts printed with this version of silk-screen Che.

Che Mickey

Until that time comes, you can buy the shirt at Bureaucrash, purveyor to militant capitalists everywhere.

Robot Teddy

Karl Lagerfeld with noose

The fine folks at Kempt pointed Izzy to a story in WWD about a teddy bear being modelled after Karl Lagerfeld:

FUZZY WUZZY: It’s a bear market out there — at least where Karl Lagerfeld is concerned. The famous German teddy bear maker Steiff plans to immortalize the indefatigable couturier in stuffed-animal form. The fuzzy Karl comes complete with dark glasses, a dark suit, high collar and logo belt buckle — nuclear-powered design prowess not included.

Izzy can’t help thinking that the teddy bear ought to be a creepy robot like the one featured in Steven Speilberg’s A.I. (which was originally a project of Stanley Kubrick’s, a director with a far darker sensibility).

Teddy supertoy

The plot, including the character of Teddy, was inspired by Brian Aldiss’ short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long,” which contains a passage that could well describe any ursine automaton based on Lagerfeld:

“Come down here, Teddy!”

She stood impassively, watching the little furry figure as it climbed down from step to step on its stubby limbs. When it reached the bottom, she picked it up and carried it into the living room. It lay unmoving in her arms, staring up at her. She could feel just the slightest vibration from its motor.

Parla Inglese?

Angelo IngleseAngelo Inglese detail

The Sartorialist today featured a certain Angelo Inglese, whose surname is too-good-to-be-true for those who enjoy British style all’italiana.  While his jacket sleeves and trousers might be too tight, his subtle combination of patterns should be an inspiration to us all.  Also, although his cardigan appears have been tucked in carelessly, it is more likely a messy example of sprezzatura.

Pink Eye for the Conservative Guy

pinks and reds

Capturing a sentiment that originated with the French Revolution, Republicans in France for a long time subscribed to the slogan, “Il n’y a pas d’ennemi à gauche,” meaning “No enemies to the left.”  Whether or not that should be the case in politics, it is certainly true with respect to the colors on the political spectrum: Pinks and Reds can indeed get along.

Afro Halo

Cavailli with afro

…I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for an afro to fit through the opening in a turtleneck. Isidore 19:24.

The Sport of Princes

Prince Charles playing cricket

A suit is good for nearly any occasion, though playing cricket, or any strenuous sport, is usually not one of them.  Still, Prince Charles didn’t look completely out of place taking a swing in a double-breasted suit with two-inch cuffs (a cuff size that is generally acceptable only with such a suit).  Izzy especially appreciates the understated tie, something that is all-too-rare in the U.S.

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