30 June 2010

Preppy Chic

Yuppies: The State-of-the Art Manual

When I was at school, yuppie and preppy were pejorative terms. I can still recall being confronted as a small child by a gang of swarthy young foreign proles in the mean streets of New Canaan for wearing an "alligator" on my polo shirt. In fact I learned to fight in my Lacoste shirts and Sperry Topsiders. After school and university in the 1990s I started a banking career in New York City and then later moved back to London to work in investment management. The yuppies depicted in the image (at left) were still very much in evidence. I was not aware until just recently, however, that an actual handbook had been published on the species. (Likewise it was not until years later that I learned of the American guide to preppies). I never understood why wearing proper clothing, having a job, and sporting a side-parting should be targets for ridicule. Given the nature of those in the creative arts who wrote such handbooks, however, and that of the people who read them, maybe I should not be surprised. Perhaps there is a special name for these people. I certainly can think of a few. Can you?

28 June 2010

Lui Magazine

Club Tropicana (Wham!)

Madras Monday: J.Crew Style

26 June 2010


Crystal Japan (Bowie)

Fatal Strategies

"The energy of the public sphere, the energy that creates social myths and dogmas is gradually disappearing. The social arena turns obese and monstrous. It grows like a mammal and glandular corpse. Once it was illustrated by its heroes but today it refers to its handicapped, its weirdos, its degenerates, its asocial persons – and all of this in a gigantic effort of therapeutic maternity."

- Fatal Strategies, Jean Baudrillard

Pink Pirate Cocktail Bermudas

© EB

25 June 2010

Big Star


24 June 2010

Madame Motor Car

Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight

23 June 2010

Brooks Brothers: Country Jackets and Flannels

Ecru Alternative

Do you, ecru? I do. The word is derived from the French word for raw or unbleached and was once considered synonymous with beige. It resembles the colour of a hawk's feather and is often used for lingerie and wedding gowns. I have three shirts in the colour of ecru: one button-down number from Brooks Brothers, another from Brooks Brothers with a forward point collar, and the last a slim-fit Hemrajani model with spread collar. The ubiquitous bleached-white dress shirt seems to glow increasingly bright in the California summer sunshine and as such becomes a distraction not only to myself, but also to innocent passersby. Ecru provides a more serene, but no less handsome, alternative. Consider it for your next dress shirt acquisition.

21 June 2010

Old Hat

20 June 2010

Mountain Excursion Group: Ascending and Descending

Training hard in the foothills above my home. An aggressive assault on the peaks, and then a steady withdrawal through the valley of the winds. A trek to the top, I find, always clears my mind; getting away from Azania enables me to refresh my perspective and begin anew. We live in an increasingly dangerous, inverted world and it is imperative we rise above it. Civilised human values are most often reasserted either in solitude or in the company of loved ones and like-minded comrades. In these hills are mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, raptors, songbirds, and various reptile species. In the photo at bottom I am wearing a Thor Steinar shirt, khaki hiking shorts, and black New Balance trekking shoes.

18 June 2010


RIP 1962-2010

17 June 2010

Cleverley Loafers & Seersucker-in-Plaid

Work hard play hard, and one begins to undergo the consequences. A bit of blood in the undercarriage, the result I suspect of drinking large amounts of champagne and whiskey, has forced me to slow down and spend some time chez maison. I have therefore taken the opportunity to inspect the inventory and see what I have in stock for summer wear. In this exclusive archival photo you can see quite clearly a pair of Cleverley loafers cradled in the adoring embrace of a J.Press sport coat. I think they make a splendid trio. The shoes are popularly known as 'butterfly loafers,' for some reason, I have learned, but I certainly do not look or feel like a butterfly when I wear them. The sport coat is a plaid seersucker number with enough spilt G&Ts in the fabric that one could probably fashion a decent cocktail if one wrung hard enough. Better spilt gin, I suppose, than spilt blood. Per aspera ad astra.

16 June 2010

Bowie Prep

15 June 2010

The Last Tuesday Society

"Decadence comes from the latin word cadere--which means to fall. It is the beautiful way to fall. It’s a very slow movement which has lots of beauty. It can be a kind of self-killing in a beautiful way, a tragic way."

Viktor Wynd

14 June 2010

12 June 2010


"If you want to build a ship don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

The Wisdom of the Sands, Saint-Exupery

To Lose My Life (White Lies)

11 June 2010

Do Weejuns Dream of Designer Feet?

The life of a columnist is never still and in recent weeks, as you may have heard, my social calendar has filled up with cocktail receptions, book signings, and jaunty outings to local cafes.

I am a sociable enough fellow, both genial and striking-looking, as you have probably sussed by now, but the happy-chappiness is punctuated by regular bouts of melancholia for which the best cure is solitary refinement. And cocktails. Nothing personal mind you, but my tolerance for most other people, I have discovered over the years, is directly proportional to cocktail intake.

Last week I went drinking with some chums. After work we filled the bankers’ bar in Aurelius Heights before onset of the astral clouds. A vintage cream motomaton parked outside glinting in the starshine attracted a group of females in cocktail dresses and silk arm warmers. Inside: the din of hoary pyschonauts, frothing-at-the-mouth in chalk-striped suit and chisel-toed kickers and calling for more oysters and Veuve Clicquot.

In a black Versace dress of fine Italian wool a cherry-minded bint revealed to me the extent of her loneliness. She had spent three years here on assignment from the bank, she said, and had made zero significant friends. Tilting back her well-coifed head, she took another sip of champagne. “I’m moving back home to Georgia,” she continued, her eyes widening. “I want to be near my family.”

The mood changed. A troop of razor-toothed Planetarians and their Tongan allies in t-shirt and baggy denim entered the place, gathering in the corner like a roiling stormhead of angry black and sipping cheap lager. Across our view with a loping ape gait moved chunky hoodie seething with criminal intent.

Violence is always a possibility, then as now. Due to rising anti-Weejun sentiment I sometimes keep in my Tweed jacket pocket a Teutonic dagger, which I now unsheathed and held by my side at thigh level, hoping the droids would get the message before I was forced to cut the wires. Violence works—contrary to what you may have heard. An act of violence against the robots is an act of liberation. Do not tell yourself otherwise.

There is special beauty in decline. As disintegration occurs essence is gradually exposed like old bones in an eroded sandbank. The return of the time of the Weejun is almost upon us. For myself I ask only for consistent supply of codeine and wine and books and the means with which to buy every now and then a pair of Alden tassel loafers, Brooks Brothers OCBDs, and a Southwick suit. Am I asking too much?

The days pass in pleasant routine. I spend much of my time in the science library of the Technical College conducting research, leafing through back issues and revisiting articles that caused so much controversy when first published, but now look jarringly prescient in their reasoning. For people like us, there is no peace, ever; it is our fate to lurch after shadows across long field. But there are moments, I will concede, when the situation is not as it appears and further action is required.

10 June 2010

Dreamhome: Love is Our Resistance

09 June 2010

The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Afternoon viewing in the early 1980s.

08 June 2010

The Last Shore

The Modern World

06 June 2010

03 June 2010

On Stiffeners

Allow me a brief word on stiffeners. I am not referring to cocktails or Viagra, but to the slim metallic inserts in men's shirt collars. Collar stiffeners, or, as they are known in your country, collar stays. I mention them now because twice in the past fortnight I have been on the receiving end of puzzled inquiries into their use, if you can believe it. The first time a young banker asked me as we were riding the lift how I kept my shirt collars from curling. The query astounded me, but I was prepared as always with an authoritative-sounding explanation and referred him to the nearest men's shop for a pair of brass ones. Speaking of brass, recently over premium-strength cocktails a good chum expressed surprise at my use of brass stays, as his are plastic. I took them out for his inspection and they were passed around the group. Brass, I explained, is not the only option; collar stays are also available in sterling silver, gold, palladium, and titanium for the sporty set. Aristocratic bankers in Japan use razor-sharp bamboo stiffeners, whose fragility helps them maintain correct neck posture, avoiding sudden motions, when meeting with eminent clients. In the photo (above) you can see my pair of brass stiffeners lounging about in a box made of Russia calf recently acquired from Cleverley, along with a few trinkets for which I no longer have much use. In life as in love, it is important to keep not only a stiff upper lip, but a stiff collar as well.

01 June 2010

Tartan Tuesday

Hackett Suit

Reds Don't Surf !