27 Nov 2013

A young man with style

During my recent visit to London I popped by the National Portrait Gallery in St Martin's Place off Trafalgar Square. I stumbled over this lovely 1895 portrait of Aubrey Beardsley; a young man with style (at least in this painting).

Aubrey Beardsley

This painting fascinated me with it's display of both a natural style and a tad of decadence. I was immediately "re-visiting Brideshead"... 
I do not know of many men that young displaying such style.

The accompanying text

Mr Beardsley is famous for his illustrations of Oscar Wilde's Salome.

A brilliant Japanese inspired style. Aubrey also influenced the development of the Art Noveau style. Much achieved in a short life.

Oscar Wilde in his study - Beardsley was not popular disclosing the work methods of Wilde. Love the bow tie.. 

It was my first visit to the gallery but it was a most enjoyable adventure. Portraits gives me a more intensive experience than paintings of landscapes, shapes and colours etc.
A recommendable and free experience...

The entrance of the National Portrait Gallery

23 Nov 2013

Sneak peek of Christmas present

My wife and I agreed this year to each find the present ourselves the other party should give one on Christmas Eve. I received mine by Royal Mail only yesterday from Savvy Row; a 1930s Cambridge College (Fitzwilliam House) navy sports Jacket. An absolute corker! A quick sneak peek prior to storing it away for Christmas...

The sports blazer matched with a Gant Rugger shirt, a cricket sweater, and a dotted silk cravat.  

19 Nov 2013

Preparations and anticipation

A salesman I have encountered briefly a few times over the last couple of years asked me today prior to a meeting at the office whether it was a new suit I was wearing.
My answer was that it is not quite new as it's age is 81 years. I explained to him that I most often know who made the clothings I am wearing and when.

We had a small conversation on the subject of suits and at one point he suddenly exclaimed: "..but then you also need to know what you will be wearing tomorrow?!".

Yes I know what I will be wearing tomorrow :-) I also know what I wore yesterday and what I will be wearing the day after tomorrow; most likely attire for the coming weekend etc.

I have to think ahead, matching shoes with suits, considering days of rest for shoes and suits. I need to prepare for combinations of shirts and accesories, also bearing in mind what I wore last time, what the occasion is, what's the weather like etc.

And you can hear the salesman and colleagues laughing briefly as they displayed faraway looks.
But I quite enjoy the preparations and anticipation. The maintenance of shoes and suits. 

The attire of today: my 1932 bespoke suit from Eton, England. A double cuffed white shirt from The Vintage Shirt Company (Darcy Clothing) with a detachable double-round collar. A RL untipped tie in vintage silk. A wool pocket square from Reiss, London. Worn with a pair of mahogany brogues from Cheaney & sons.

The attire of tomorrow: my 1955 bespoke suit from Meyer & Mortimer, Sackville Street, London, a blue double cuffed shirt from Swedish Stenström's, a burgundy knitted silk tie from Italian Rubinacci (bought at Drake's London) and a wool pocket square from Reiss, London. Worn with a pair of dark leaf Oxfords from Cheaney & sons.
Pardon the female mannequin - belongs to my wife.

16 Nov 2013

Jeeves and Wooster play in London

Last Saturday night during our stay in London my wife and I experienced the Jeeves and Wooster play at the Duke of York's Theatre in St. Martin's Lane.

The play at the Duke of York's Theatre
My expectations were very high prior to the show as I have enjoyed many fine hours in company with P.G. Wodehouse's many funny characters in books and in the nineteennineties ITV TV series. And we were taken by surprise; the setup was brilliantly intimate and creative. And immensely funny. We laughed most parts of two hours! Well played by the three men who played also the roles of e.g. Aunt Dahlia and the lovely miss Madeline Bassett! And very refreshing to see a Mr. Wooster taking the lead. I thought Stephen Mangan really made the play. Well done, I say!
If you have any experience with the world of Wodehouse and specifically Jeeves & Wooster I highly recommend that you get theatre tickets and go to London - the sooner the better!

Matthew Macfadyen as Jeeves and Stephen Mangan as Bertie Wooster
Here is a shortcut to the official trailer on Youtube. It is difficult to see in the trailer, but audience is really an intimate part of the show.

On the way to Totleigh Towers and the Bassetts
I was in my 1955 Dinner Suit, shirt with stiffened front, black barathea bow tie and patent leather shoes.

Photo from the archives
oh, by the way I must make a remark on Mr. Mangan's choise of stockings in the play: he wore socks that only covered half the calves on stage! impeccably wearing white tie and then NOT over-the-calf socks!

12 Nov 2013

Weekend in London

This (extended) weekend my wife and I spent in wonderful London. I visited three different vintage stores during our stay: Victory Vintage in Bayswater, Hornets of Kensington and The Vintage Showroom in Covent Garden. Victory Vintage proved to be the most interesting store of the three even though only having a few jackets and suits in my size. I bought a nice pair of fully lined mid-heavy weight flannel trousers at a mere £20. The locations of the Hornets proved really small and narrow fully occupied with only a few customers.. but idyllically placed in a narrow passage in Kensington behind St. Mary Abbotts Church. The Vintage Showroom was a bit over-prized when taking into account the number of items in a not very good condition. In my opinion.

Visiting the Victory Vintage shop in Whiteleys, Bayswater. Wearing a poppy flower in support of the Royal British Legion. My galoshes are in the small black bag in my hand - we had quite some rain that morning. The Movember moustache still sprouting...

Walking pass Kensington Palace. Wearing galoshes and being well protected by my Il Marchesato umbrella.

Covent Garden 

Visiting Primrose Hill in the beautiful sun. The view over London is absolutely magnificent!