Posts Tagged ‘classic’

“So this fellow gave you the look?” — 

–“At his age it was more of a blink.” 

Clifford Clenk

W. Clifford Klenk and his wife, Hope, in a photograph by Slim Aarons  –from the book “A Privileged Life.”



April 1968: Mr and Mrs Donald Lease with their Rolls Royce and two pet dogs outside their home in Palm Beach, Florida.  –Photo by Slim Aarons


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The Prince of Wales’ full name was Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David Windsor but he went by David until he was crowned Edward VIII in 1936.


“If there were no God,” said Voltaire some little time before he embraced Catholicism, “it would be necessary to invent Him.” Today the apparel industry echoes with religious fervor, “If there were no Prince of Wales, it would be necessary to invent him.” The National Association of Clothiers and Furnishers, during their meeting in Atlantic City in February of 1932, unanimously agreed that, of all the men in the world, England’s gallant Edward Albert alone deserved the title “Beau Brummel.” The one other male, it was naively recorded, who approached the Prince even remotely in the matter of influence was insouciant Mayor James Walker. And their report neglected to state whether the power exerted by this blithe individual should be praised as beneficial or condemned as corrupting and evil because of its jazzy sausage-causing lines and Broadway eccentricities.


From “Apparel Arts”, 1933 via Dandyism

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No one has ever looked as good on the golf course as the legendary Bobby Jones.


The highest degree of excellence typically carries with it a high price. Even a casual glance at Jones’ achievements in golf might give the impression that he must have done little else with his time. Actually, quite the opposite was true. Even when he was playing his best golf at the pinnacle of his career, Jones never regarded golf as anything more than what it was-just a game. Later in life he would reflect on his priorities saying, “My wife and my children came first; then my profession (by this he meant his legal profession, not golf); finally, and never in a life by itself, came golf.”


“Competitive golf is played mainly on a
5 1/2″ course, the space between your ears.”  –Bobby Jones




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His sporting clothes brought out the peacock in him. ”I believe in bright checks for sportsmen,” he once wrote. ”The louder they are, the better I like them.”

The Duke practically invented comfortable clothes.  As Kerry Taylor, the Sotheby’s specialist who has spent seven years preparing for this sale, explained, ”He was reacting to his buttoned-up and old-fashioned childhood.”

Ms. Taylor said the Duke so disliked suspenders that he invented pants with elastic in the waist.  He didn’t like buttons on pants, so insisted on zippers, which were large and primitive in the 1930’s.  He preferred buttons on the sleeves of his jackets — four, to be precise.  He always wore cuffs on his trousers, which infuriated his father.  After World War II broke out, he had his pants made in the United States because textiles were rationed in England and cuffs required extra fabric.


Duke of Windsor Country suit

 Prince of Wales check sports suit.  Jacket by Scholte of London and stalking trousers (modified plus-fours) by Forster & Sons, 1923.  Altered in the mid 1930s when a zip was inserted.  Came with the removable blue cotton plus-four linings (more below).


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Crit Rawlings, president of Oxxford Clothes at the time, dropped $12,650 on a silk suit. In all, the Duke’s 25 suits, sport jackets and formal outfits took in $773,145.



A double breasted navy wool suit with Grenadier (front buttons) and Welsh Guards Officer (sleeve buttons) buttons, worn on the 1936 Nahlin cruise. Jacket by Scholte, London labelled H.R.H. The Prince of Wales 25.4.31 Made of lightweight navy worsted. The matching pair of trousers were made by Forster & Son, London.


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Kenneth Jay Lane, the jewelry designer, and a friend, said he never paid too much attention to the Duke’s wardrobe when he saw him, which he considers a great compliment.  ”When you see a perfectly dressed man, you don’t think about it,” he said.  But he recalled that the Duke was very aware of fashion.

”Once when I went to dinner at their house,” Mr. Lane said, ”I was wearing one of the first black velvet tuxedos, and he commented on my ensemble right away.”

Duke of Windsor Wedding Suit

The morning coat and trousers worn to his wedding, with a different waistcoat. Jacket by Scholte is a herringbone cashmere weave and is marked H.M. The King, 25.1.36. Waistcoat matches the jacket and marked same. The morning trousers are by Forster & Son and marked 9.6.32

This was bought by the CEO of Kiton for $27,600.  Mr. Paone, who also purchased several other items from the Duke’s wardrobe, knew the Duke of Windsor and admired his style. He plans to exhibit the suit and other items in his Kiton stores and in other stores that carry his clothing around the world.


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”I was in fact produced as a leader of fashion, with the clothiers as my showmen and the world as my audience,” the Duke once recalled.

The Duke of Windsor stood only 5′ 5″ and favored comfort in his clothes, free movement and a style that he referred to as ”Dress Soft.”  His jacket waists were uniformly set high to elongate his silhouette.  His pockets were cut wider on the left side of the trousers to accommodate his ever-present cigarette case.  He wore elasticized girdles inset beneath his waistbands to preserve the flat appearance of his stomach.  He tweaked the proportions of all his clothes, Mr. Bolton said, for effect.  ”Even when he wore a lot of patterns, which are a no-no for small people,” making them seem squat, the Duke gave the impression of being a taller man.


The Duke’s dressing room at the Paris residence with a suit (above) in medium-weight worsted with darker blue checking.  The jacket is dated 16/11/56 by Scholte, London and the trousers dated 3/4/57 by Harris, New York.  Jacket has side vents and substantially padded shoulders.  


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Founded in 1977, Drakes remains under the directorship of Michael Drake and Isabel Dickson, two of the original founders. The original collection comprised of mens’ scarvesand accessories, a range of English handmade ties and linen handkerchiefs quickly followed. Drakes are now the largest independent producer of handmade ties in England. Over the years Drakes has won many accolades for design and export achievement, including the Queens award for Export and the BKCEC award for UK British fashion exports.


Michael Drake’s original concept for the company style was that what ever was produced had to have a refined English look that would be endorsed by the best shops in Milan and Paris. The rationale was that if the two most discerning markets in the world were won over, satisfying the rest of the world would be relatively easy by comparison.

Having met Michael Drake, I can confidently state that the man is the real deal.  He places his brand’s quality and reputation before all else. 



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brad_1245723cI knew there was a reason I loved the wardrobe so much–


Belstaff, which was founded in Longton, Staffordshire, in 1924, opened up its 85-year-old archives to West and supplied original, classic designs for Pitt-as-Button’s screen wardrobe.

When Benjamin Button is riding his vintage Indian motorcycle through Louisiana he is wearing the Belstaff ‘Panther’ jacket in dark-brown leather, a timeless classic as popular today as it was 50 years ago. At another pivotal point in his life, Button takes off on his Triumph motorbike wearing the Belstaff ‘Button’ blouson in black leather, a ‘new’ classic based on an original design. In another key scene, opposite Tilda Swinton who plays diplomat’s wife, Elizabeth Abbott, Button is in a vintage Belstaff shearling jacket in black leather with cream collar.

Link to Belstaff/Button story

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