LAST NAME BASIS – The Round!
NOTES: Looking for a way to retire a few of your ties from that large collection? Then here is my advice. Put aside the neck ties that get compliments from the ones that don’t.
The beautiful time honored craft of bespoke tailoring rests eternally within the heart of Naples’ enduring cobbled medieval passageways.
O’MAST is a documentary about the strong, passionate life force of tailoring held in the Neapolitan former Kingdom. From the anecdotes spoken humbly by some of Naples’ master tailors, director Gianluca Migliarotti stitches together a story of spirit de corps, heritage and sartorial distinction.
From the opening panorama of the Bay of Naples as seen from a 16th century balcony, the soundtrack, an aging, jazzy, sinuous bit, Magliarotti wraps the audience and plants them in an atelier of the tailor Beppe Modenese and Marchese Giancarlo. Terrifically seamless editing-masterfully executed. When Antonio Panico spoke of his clientele spanning three generations, the perspective of commitment to a craft on an instinctive level becomes so clear. All those wonderful, rarified bolts of luxurious fabrics, seducing at decorum’s distance my willing heart.
Naples’ noble empire of bespoke craft reminds us of the day when attention to detail and passionate approach to one’s craft was not taken as a trend, a whim of branding. O’MAST is one for my collection, a permanent place among the other cineaste gems.
The Enduring Paisley: An exotic reminder of antiquity; of kingdoms, sacred empires, dynasty & revolutions, a unique gentleman’s accessory, usually subtle in hue and tone. Notable in its elegance. Grab any psychedelic paisley and give a distinct flair to a venture capitalist or a menswear novice; a classic navy blazer with brass buttons, a simple shirt of choice; The paisley tie, no tie-bar, a perfectly washed pair of jeans; solid over-the-calf wool socks, finished off with a handsome pair of chukkas in dusty brown.
Adapted as print for men’s neckwear at the end of the 1920, paisley as a design has the unique distinction of remaining intact and true to its origins through millennia. From pre-Islam Persia, the pear or swirling pine-cone pattern image laid out, overlayed or intertwined with embellishments, found its way as a template in the weaving centers of the Silk Road, sacred places like Samarkand. Silk & cotton weavers took note in the early Chola dynasties existing in W. India and Tamil, their terrorities throughout Indonesia in the 12th century.
Coming into Kashmiri kingdoms, the native goats offered the luxury of letting their coats be woven. The effect was warm yet featherweight, an ideal partnership for fending off the chill of evenings spent abroad sumptuous summer houseboats on the mountain rimmed lake Kashmir. This featherweight, beautifully woven, jewel-toned fabric fashioned into generously sized shawls soon found favor with the colonials on post during the British Raj. Empire building fostered, timely enough, a wave of technology advancing rapidly in north England and Scotland, paisley. The industrial revolution gave this intriguing design a more manageable name than those it endured over the ages. The tradition remains, the function altered to modernity.
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 the fragrance’s longevity and they even put your name and date of purchase 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.
A well thought through combination of solid colors like Black & Blue can turn out like the finish of a marathon Kenyan runner, smooth and effortless, with a lot of staying power.
Black & Blue make a striking but harmonious combo. Here, Ryan carries it off urbanely. If this combination is any inspiration for your next entrance, make sure that one of these two bold colors takes the floor. Ryan declares blue below the belt; Indigo sporty dress pants, deep cerulean socks, and a loafer, nubuck in texture, inky blue, on a subtle natural wood pseudo platform.
We lift our eyes to Ryan’s choice of a crisp white perfect cotton shirt, no collar buttons; A blank canvas enlivened by a deep cerulean challis floral burst patterned tie. And for the topper, a BRANDO-ESQUE vintage schoot real biker jacket encases him in urban armour, mirrored ray bans reflecting.
Moray Kaba is one of the most superlatively dressed men in New York. He has an appreciation and understanding of menswear and, likes to talk about style, and where it came from. He hopes to inspire others when he dresses. As those who know him will attest, he has impeccable taste.
I met Moray over a decade ago through the acquaintance of an old friend, and, can still remember that moment as if it were only yesterday. He was affable to the point of familiarity. Like a true swell, graceful in manner, and spoke seven languages. On the subject of dressing, Moray knows his stuff as well as anyone I know and is always willing to share some of that knowledge. Every suit Moray owns is constructed with working button-holes on each sleeve. At home, the man’s wardrobe is a treasure trove of handsome, Italian worsted wool suits, colorful hand-stitched ties and, some of the most finely crafted shoes, of quality leather. In my many years of knowing Mory, I can’t remember once, ever seeing him not well turned out.
I met up recently with Moray, at Tincati, an Italian menswear store he manages, over on Madison Ave. There are four floors of terrific haberdashery and custom tailored top quality choices of apparel to offer today’s urbane urban male.
If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor – Albert Einstein