Styling The Man

Bros, Brahs, Buds & Dudes

Square – A gentleman always carries a handkerchief for incidentals. Just don’t offer a lady friend the same one you blow out loogie.

I give you the handkerchief, also known as the handkercher, hanky, the hank, the pocket hank, the Pocket square, the square. A contemporary reduction in size, maybe on average 5 – 8 inches square, from the elaborate swatch of fine linen or silk heavenly flowered in non-stitched lace of many descriptions. The pocket square, now in its more conservative size, is adaptable to many origami-like transformations of debonair.  Color, texture, weight.

I like subtly with an edge. Like a dusty tan linen shirt, hard white lightly shred Levis, a natural flax-tone silk-linen single button or DB and, stuffed into a casual three-point flop in the breast pocket, a hanky by Christian Kimber. A recent design addition to the menswear world. A square which celebrates the London Gherkin structure, which architecturally, rather resembles the Graf Zeppelin of the first Led Zeppelin album cover. As you play around to get it just so, the feel of the pliant silk is sumptuous and the graphic pattern grid has endless artful possibilities of lines and planes, meridians and longitude perspectives which DeChirico could find amusing. Another eye-catcher for the well-dressed, is the Federation bandana. A Journey into a mushroom Taupe space, gridded by abstract white larger slashes. The designer’s iconic spaniel sits in attention in mild color frill.

Take a look through Christian Kimber’s Look-book. The footwear is also superb with Spanish and Italian craftsmanship on display.

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Reflections on a Golden moment

mySaxonMY SAXON – I see that Leo DiCaprio, auctioned his watch to a fellow swell, in the name of Earth’s
redemption.  An admirable thing but, I wonder if he really enjoyed wearing his timepiece, treasuring each minute’s movement, confident in knowing precisely the date, should an unexpectedly serious moment blitz the short-term memory suddenly. Did he privately caress the burnished black fine grain leather of the classic gold buckle wristband-something ultimately genteel and suave, that might be glimpsed under a french-cuffed, gleaming white linen shirt, worn say, by 007’s adversary? Would he pause to buff the crystal gently and reflect into the matte obsidian watch face and consider the simple pleasures of being a swell fellow?

This is a pleasure, owning and experiencing my Larsson & Jennings gentleman’s timepiece.

Glenn Hammonds Curtiss

PlaneAviation Pioneer – Glenn Hammonds Curtiss was one of the most influential figures in American History that you’ve never heard of. He made the first long distance flight in America in 1902, from Albany to New York City. His lifelong fascination with speed made him one of the great pioneers of human flight.

In 1878, in a small village that sits on the southern end of Keuka Lake, named Hammondsport, Glenn Hammonds Curtiss was born to parents Lua Andrews and Frank Richmond Curtiss. At a young age, Glenn became fascinated with bicycles and how fast he could make them go, and would ride the bicycle his grandmother bought him-up and down the mountain roads in his neighborhood. Like those other pioneers, the Wright Brothers, Curtiss designed, built and repaired bicycles. Being the constant innovator that he was, he soon begin to experiment, adding combustible engines to his bicycles and started racing them. In 1903, Curtiss set a motorcycle record, riding at 64 miles per hour. Four years later in Ormond Beach, Florida, he rode the world’s first V8 motorcycle he designed and built-at a whopping speed of 136 miles per hour. That same year he built the handlebar throttle. The Media of his time nicknamed him “fastest man in the world”.

In 1907, Curtiss joined Alexander Graham Bell’s Aerial Experiment Association (AEA). The next three years, he snagged the Scientific American Trophy with planes built by Alexander Graham Bell’s Aerial Experiment Association. In 1909, at the first International Aviation Competition Meeting held in France, Curtiss narrowly beat France’s own Louis Bleriot in the main event to take the gold cup. But, his greatest triumph came on May 29, 1910, when he completed the first witnessed cross-country flight in the United States. With hundreds of thousands of people lined up on the Hudson just to get a glance of their local hero, Curtiss flew 150 miles from Albany to New York City. Thirty-four years after his death, Curtiss was enshrined into the The National Aviation Hall Of Fame.

The Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY is a spectacular way to discover and experience the wonders of aviation and invention. The moment I entered the Museum, I felt like a kid in a candy store, I didn’t know where to begin my exploration. The Museum offers a remarkable insight into the life of one of America’s most significant figures, with a precious collections of artifacts, dating all the way back. From vintage motorcycles, bicycles, cars, period furniture, antique guns used in combat by the U.S. Military, to guided tours, interactive exhibits, and get this, a movie theater that sits up to 75 people. There are even restoration shops, with people actually restoring old airplanes, vintage cars, bicycles.

Even though the story of aviation may begin with the Wright Brothers, Glenn H. Curtis made many noteworthy contributions that led to sweeping changes in aviation.

Small Style Details

Double Knot Cufflinks and Longines Wrist watch

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Mr. Ignacio Quiles

The Man From Harlem

Mr.IGNACIO650

Mory

Moray achieves a well taut, casual three point flop with slight up sweep

Happy Birthday, Ralph!

Ralph LaurenTHE VISIONARY – The genius of Ralph Lauren has always been his expansive imagination, which fills his inspirational passion and spirit for design.

I remember when the doors swung open to Ralph Lauren’s inaugural venture into Soho, the focus of a dynamic stronghold of the art scene downtown. The concept was to bring the customer closer to the designer’s working process of his vision. The design studio hybrid boutique melded the various lifestyles, drawing major creative names from around the globe. The product looked fresh and new and everyone wanted to get their hands on some.

Events, parties, soirees, were in abundance in Soho. The aroma of fresh perfume filled the air, and everywhere you looked, there were swarms of the hip & stylish roaming about. People were so friendly and on top of their game-whether artificiality stimulated or innately elated. Fridays heralded a jam session at 357 Magnum, where live drummers added a third dimension to the D.J. spinning vinyl. You might just dance into Lenny Kravitz or Lou Diamond Phillips, or even the peripatetic Mick Jagger with the fabulous legginess of Jerry Hall in tow, on a usual evening. Conveniently across from our boutique on West Broadway was the downtown destination, Cipriani, where our crew after work, frequently kicked back, sipping on the house specialty Bellinis, so delicious and refreshing, while munching on freshly, crisp baked bread sticks. That was when Cipirani was humming under the radar and far away from clash of the titans. Sunday nights around the corner, you found Boom cafe, where there was a cool Euro vibe, and a very sexy sophisticated energy. I remember Maximiliano, the manager, drew a crowd of the cool and fascinating. There was always a D.J. ensconced in the dimness, rocking exotic mixes. It was the mid 90’s, so we as a freshly assembled staff were enjoying the benefits of a booming economy, and basking in the radiance of the new arrival of a true icon.

One of my fondest memories of those times was the occasion of Ralph Lauren’s 66th birthday, when our store manager decided we should all chip in and get Ralph a present. You could only imagine what a challenge this posed. What do you get a man of many tastes-a man who truly has everything-and a radiant being at that-for his birthday. Well after days of meandering around possibilities and fizzling ideas for many hours of conversation, our vintage buyer, Bob Melet, came to the rescue with just the perfect thing. He found an American flag, made entirely of vintage denim, dating back to the early 1900’s. Since Ralph is clearly a fan of true denim, and passionate about the American flag-it was a match for a life icon.

Gentleman that he is-we received the most genuine thank you note.

 

What I do is about living. It’s about living the best life you can and enjoying the fullness of the life around you-from what you wear, to the way you live, to the way you love.

LeLabo

THE MIGHTIEST OF SENSES – The charming little perfume shop Le Labo, on 232 Elizabeth St in Manhattan, is a delightful olfactory experience.

After being at Le Lebo I felt I’d walked into the world of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, from the book Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. My sense of smell was awakened and it was as though I was seeing the world from a whole new perspective. Everywhere I went, I noticed the subtle smells, making me more aware of how and why I was perceiving my environment.

While I was there at Le Labo talking to their extremely helpful staff, and taking these pictures for my blog piece, in walked a gentleman asking for a fragrance to help cheer him up from his winter depression. Such a testament to the power, smell has over us! Smell is a sense we tend not to think much about. It is largely ignored in comparison to taste or sound and especially sight. Fragrances are only really considered when purchasing a luxury perfume, when we have to put up with a bad one. But smell taps into our deepest, most abstract emotions, dreams and memories; it is inexpressible, intangible, ephemeral. In Patrick Süskind’s book Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, the omnipotence of smell is demonstrated by the unveiling of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s final perfume – those who smelled it experienced God!

So it makes sense that this surreptitious little sensation of ours has power over who we are attracted to; we are much more likely to fall in love with someone who smells wonderful than someone who looks wonderful. Moreover, fragrances can make us feel emotionally and physically connected (or disconnected) to those around us! Le Labo also has scented candles, which are a subtle, but powerful way to create an enchanting atmosphere in your home or the bedroom.

The FAQ section of their website is quirky and very informative about the processes of creating, selecting, storing and using perfumes. Here is just one example:

Q: Are there erotic perfumes?

A: Here we go… “Well literally not, at least on in the sense of direct-action aphrodisiac. Pheromones in fine fragrances are a myth. Nevertheless, some raw materials reproducing notes of an animal musky nature, and which somehow may unconsciously stir our ancient memory of sex attracted pheromones expelled… At Le Labo, we love animalistic/sensual notes, not only for the sensuality, the long-lastingness and the very special signature that they bring to our perfumes, but also because they bring back the animal within us! All perfumes are created keeping this in mind: don’t forget fine fragrance is about seduction, and seduction is ultimately about sex”.

The other thing that’s really unique about Le Labo is that they mix the essential oils and alcohol together only once you purchase the fragrance. This ensures it’s longevity and they even put your name on the label. I only wish I could include the experience of smell to this blog post, but the images will have to do for now. I highly encourage you to go into Le Labo to smell the beauty for yourselves.

Happy Birthday, Billie!

LADY DAY: Billie-Holiday-Lady-Sings-the-BluesBorn Eleanora Harris in Baltimore Maryland, Billie Holiday was one of the greatest Jazz vocalist of her time and a legend whose music has aged timelessly, long after her death.

Billie and Ella were the women whose music my parents played constantly on their stereo and I still listen to them this very day. When I was a young teenager, Billie Holiday’s voice, was like nothing I’d ever heard before, and the lady, when in top form, was incomparable. I remember seeing her picture for the first time on the LP jacket of Lady Sings The Blues and how smitten a 13-year-old I was. Billie had the most striking face with a gorgeous set of round eyes and soft cheekbones that made me melt.

Inside Billie, stired profound sensitivity and pain, and beneath the pain, she showed a toughness that made her so unbelievably attractive. Even as a teenager I somehow understood the magnitude of the pain this brave women’s heart felt, as her music expressed an incredible depth of emotion that spoke of hard times and injustice as well as triumph. Billie’s career cooled somewhat in the later 1940s due in to personal problems including her mother’s death, alcohol abuse and a heroin addiction, that saw her loose her cabaret license to perform in New York.

With no licenses to perform in New York City nightclubs or on stage, for the majority of the 1950s, Billie traveled to other states throughout the U.S. performing. As a result, her audience and popularity grew even larger than before and she became a hit with the critics. Year after year, they crowned her the greatest vocalist in America. After the death of her dear friend, legendary saxophonist Lester Young in 1959, feeling as though she had nothing to live for, Billie died at the young age of forty-four.

Though her career was relatively short and often erratic, Billie Holiday bestowed upon this world a body of music as great as any vocalist.

Billie Holiday

Shoes

A man’s shoes are the details of his soul. The benefits of maintaining a pair of shoes are reaped by the subtle public approbation of doormen,restaurant maitre d’s. And others who hold your possible future in the first overall glance.

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