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Posts Tagged ‘tartan’

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“Don’t let your mouth write a check that your tail can’t cash.”

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–Bo Diddley

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Bo Diddley had an enormous impact on the development of popular music, largely due to his emphasis on rhythmic elements.

Bo Diddley had an enormous impact on the development of popular music, largely due to his emphasis on rhythmic elements.

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“I opened the door for a whole lot of people– and they just ran through and left me holding the knob.”

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–Bo Diddley

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Bo Diddley in action on his signature Gretsch guitar --late 1950s.

Bo Diddley in action on his signature Gretsch guitar --late 1950s.

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“I thank you in advance for the great round of applause I’m about to get.”

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–Bo Diddley

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Bo Diddley on guitar with Jerome Green on the left playing maracas  --late 1950s,

Bo Diddley on guitar with Jerome Green on the left playing maracas --late 1950s.

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“I made Bo Diddley in ’55, and everybody freaked out.  Caucasian kids threw Beethoven in the garbage can.”

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–Bo Diddley

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“Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.”  –Woody Allen

 

In this case, I have to agree.

 

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tartan fashion bad

 

 

tartan menswear fashion bad pants

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“At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.” –William Somerset Maugham

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formal plaid menswear dinner jacket

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formal plaid menswear dinner jacket party

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plaid menswear formal

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“Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves to walk in liberty.”  –Aldous Huxley

 

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plaid menswear formalwear fashion

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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.

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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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paul-smith24

Paul Smith always stands for color, pattern and cheek; but since so much of his tailored clothing this season was cut from conservative fabrics with gray or brown backgrounds, what was under the jacket became the statement maker. Sportswear came in corduroys, stonewashed black denim and lots of tartan, especially Black Watch.  Foulard print scarves were layered for a bohemian effect.

paul-smith12

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The Barbour International, in the range since 1936.

 

Steve Mcqueen in his Barbour International.

Look through the history of motorcycling and it’s obvious that the International jacket was de rigueur riding apparel for the serious rider.  Heard of Steve McQueen?  Barbour was worn by virtually every British international motorcycle team from 1936 until 1977, and they were the official motorcycle police jacket in 14 different countries.

The Barbour story begins with John Barbour who was born in 1849 and raised on a farm in Galloway in West Scotland, the second son of a family whose links through history can be traced back to the 14th century.

At the age of 20 he left the farm to try his luck across the border in the north east of England where in 1870 he started business as a traveling draper.  A year later, he married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret Haining who bore him 11 children and gave him the encouragement and belief to start J Barbour & Sons in 1894 in 5 Market Place, South Shields. 

The shop sold all manner of products loosely described as drapery including outerwear, boiler suits, painter’s jackets through to underwear, and, in the flourishing town of South Shields the shop which became known as ‘Barbour’s,’ thrived successfully.  Almost from the first, Barbour derived an important part of its income from the ship-owners, ship builders and seamen of the port, supplying Beacon brand oilskin coats designed to protect the growing community of sailors, fishermen, river, dock and shipyard workers from the worst of the weather.  Now over 100 years old, Barbour is a 4th generation family owned company who have developed a unique understanding of clothing that is truly fit for the country lifestyle.

Stated simply- Barbour is an authentic British brand providing a wardrobe of clothes for country pursuits, country living and for those who simply love the country, while still maintaining the core values of its heritage, durability, fitness for purpose and attention to detail.

A Barbour is more than a jacket, it’s a family heirloom to be passed down from father to son.

Link to The Official Barbour website

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TARTAN Romancing the Plaid by Jeffrey Banks & Doria De La Chapelle

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Tartan makes me feel like no other fabric.  I can’t say it any better than the book, a must read- “Whenever the word tartan is mentioned, scores of exuberant images abound.  Like a flag, tartan evokes the Scottish nation and its colorful kilted clans.  It resonates with the wail of bagpipes.  It snaps to attention with its smart, symmetrical design.

But tartan is more than a design, it is a sign; and while it signifies kinship (real or imagined), country, and celebration of the Scots, its subtext is dignity, distinctiveness. and a sense of belonging- qualities that possess universal appeal. That is perhaps the reason why tartan, a textile indigenous to the Highlands, has evolved into one of the world’s most popular fabrics, beloved by just about everyone. Scot or not.”

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The impeccable Jeffrey Banks

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Knowing Jeffrey Banks, I can tell you that writing this book was a passionate labor of love for him.  An avid collector of all things tartan, particularly Black Watch, Jeffrey is the tartan authority and owns some of the greatest pieces I’ve seen– apparel, accessories, home furnishings, tartanware– you name it.  Jeffrey- I want that Black Watch toggle coat when you die!  No hurry, chap.

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Jeffrey Banks’ personal collection of tartanware. Photo by Thom Gilbert.

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Jeffrey Banks is one of those guys that seems to have been born with impeccable style.  As a high-schooler working at the legendary shop Britches, he was tapped by Ralph to come work for him.  Ralph became very fond of Jeffrey– he even lent him his own personal tuxedo and pumps for his Senior Prom.  Polo was a small company back then, so he worked directly with Ralph as his design assistant, and they are still close today.

Jeffrey, passionate about design, made the decision to leave Polo and finish his studies at Pratt Institute and Parsons.  Jeffrey later designed for Calvin, and Merona Sportswear, among others.  He launched his own menswear collection in 1977 to much acclaim, and is among the “who’s who” of fashion.  Jeffrey is one of the most dapper guys going, and a two-time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critics award.

I have a great story for you about Jeffrey in a kilt- but that’s for another time.

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Rugby

Rugby, University Place NYC

The NYC Rugby staff rockin' the tartan.

Ralph Lauren is the hands-down American master of creating lifestyle fashion brands and awe-inspiring retail environments.  I love the Rugby product and stores.  The brand is very young & preppy with a witty, sexy, irreverent slant.  Sometimes the staff is a little “too cool for school”… but please,  you would too if you looked that good.

More from The New York Times by Alex Kuczynski – (more…)

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