Monday, January 31, 2011


The American elite have bred an idiomatic aristocratic culture that has not ceased to fascinate me at every turn. Their iconic aesthetic and the symbols of their leisure remain in the wellspring of the American imagination and have inspired other cultures as disparate as the Japanese and the English.

The symbols of their privilege have filled our cultural and sartorial lexicons with fanciful images of New England homes, yachting, all white cotton outfits, tennis, Ralph Lauren, a love of all natural fabrics and preparatory schools besieged in winding ivy.

Here is a man whose privilege and stature personified American Prep, and whose rise to power fit snugly into the mold of the making of American Presidents.

circa 1946  John F. Kennedy and brother Edward M. Kennedy aboard "Victura", Kennedy's sailboat, at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

20th Century Men

W. Averell Harriman, center, with Winston Churchill and Vyacheslav Molotov. (Via The Second Pass)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Continuing on in my discussion of why Brits are on point, here is an online publication that I like very much: Platform. They have this great series they call I SAW YOU STANDING that is sort of under construction at moment. One of the people behind the style series is Nina Manandhar, whose street portraiture is reminiscent of Ed Templeton's.

Here are some of Nina's photos (via Platform)

material culture

From my latest viewing of British Style Genius: The Street Look, a BBC series on the history of British style, from the Street Look the the High Street, I'm reminded of why the British proletariat do it best.

In a country that was the first to behead their monarch but never actually get rid of monarchy, British society has always entertained a dichotomous relationship between an acute and entrenched class consciousness and a fervent spirit of rebellion against the symbols that represent their social and political oppression.

The transformations wrought by industrial capitalism and the trauma of the first and second world wars altered the British psyche. It seeded deep anxieties about the old world order that confronted them and their existence as wage labourers with small but growing disposable incomes granted them possibilities for change, and angst ridden desire for more.

This video reminds us that at least in Britain, fashion is nothing but the symbolic battles of the dispossessed. These battles have endowed the trajectory of British fashion with a symbolism and a profundity that professes to be the material record of the social and economic history of twentieth century Britain.


British Style Genius: The Street Look from Zalvar on Vimeo.

Friday, January 21, 2011

back in the day

I quite enjoyed this one. But, I'm a girl.

This is Kilian Martin in Man about Town

bad boys


quoted from


Taken between 1977 and 1983.