27 October 2008

Southwick Suit and Alden Tassel Loafers

This morning I met with a local chap to discuss the market. He makes infrequent appearances on CNBC. In the rare candid photo (above), I am wearing a two-button, undarted navy flannel chalk stripe suit from Southwick and a pair of black Alden tassel loafers.

22 October 2008

The Last Days of South Africa, With Pints of Bitter at Kavanagh's Afterwards

Following my career as a quasi-mercenary in South Africa in the late 1990s (about which I will write more later), I ended up back in London, where I obtained a one-bedroom flat on Queen's Gate in South Kensington. It was within crawling distance, I happily discovered, of Kavanagh's, a dark Irish pub under the hotel across the street.

In it worked a beautiful Mexican woman, Carmena, a graphic artist for a Mexican newspaper who was travelling around the world with her husband, who also worked in the pub. Carmena's aquiline nose, noble face, and long flowing black hair immediately attracted my notice. Every night, whilst I sipped my pints of bitter, I looked for her nose plowing through the cigarette smoke and crowd like a ship's bow. She made fun of the accents of the Spanish people working there.

Also working in the pub was Dermiod, an Irishman, a tall, thin, balding figure, with a crimson face the colour of the insoles of my Grenson brogues. He was 35 and claimed to have been born in Queens, but his family returned to Ireland when he was small. His sudden absence from the pub one day, he later confided to me, was due to his appearance in Portsmouth on charges of hitting a woman. He told us he was bisexual. He was caught drinking behind the bar. We never saw him again.

Another worker was a small Spanish girl with a slim, boyish figure and a freckled, upturned nose, not at all like the aristocratic Spanish, Mexican, and Brazilian women I had met. When I mentioned my interest in Franco, she mock spit on the floor in disgust. She told me she wanted to work in America. Her English professor at university in Spain told her she didn't have to know English to work in America, because the USA would soon be a Spanish-speaking country.

10 October 2008

Alden Tassel Loafer

09 October 2008

contre le monde moderne

Tassel Loafers: Shoes of the Counter-Revolution

"In France, the tasseled loafer makes its own peculiar political statement. John Vinocur, the executive editor of The International Herald Tribune, said that the shoes were worn, actually flaunted, by young rightists in the mid-1980's who wished to demonstrate their distaste for the Socialist Government...To them, the preppiness of the shoe represented American prosperity and free-market conservatism. Thus, it became part of the battle uniform of the young soldier of la contre-revolution."

The Politicization of Tassel Loafers, Neil A. Lewis, New York Times, 03/11/93

06 October 2008

Inner Emigration

"Whenever you experience mental vacillation, cast your mind back to the Greco-Roman mentality as it was before the second century."

Henry de Montherlant

03 October 2008

Platform Tennis Hall of Famers

01 October 2008

The Chronicles of Argyle

The day is late and the storm clouds gather, but it is imperative we persist in style. This is no time to lower standards.

In these cooler days, break out the corduroy, flannel, and tweed. The autumn clime begs for muted colours: brown, chestnut, red, orange, hunter green, burgundy. Tweed in a tan or chestnut hue is a favourite. Last week I attended a dinner with local investors, where the topic of conversation was the economy. I wore a Brooks Brothers brown herringbone tweed jacket in a 3/2 roll, medium grey flannels, and Alden chestnut tassel loafers. The subtle charm of my attire helped moderate the effects of my harsh prescriptions, I'm sure.

If the range of options seems dull or limited, one can always add a pinch of colour to one's choice of accessories. My favourite in this regard is argyle hosiery. In fact I recently took delivery of a package of argyle socks from Marcoliani in lime green, pink, lavender, and cherry. Argyle socks are a staple of prep, YF, and Ivy wardrobes and require minimal explanation here. Suffice to say they are a superb way to break up the visual monotony.

This autumn, fill the unforgiving gap between trouser cuff and brogue with several inches' worth of colourful argyle hosiery. Beneath the corduroy and tweed, there no doubt lurks the heart of a true rebel.

Austrian Nationalist Style

Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPO), which recently received over 18% of the vote in the Austrian elections. Note the corduroy jacket, white dress shirt, and crew-neck sweater. And beer.