Last night’s J. Press was one of my favorite menswear events in some time, the kind of night where you feel exhausted from conversation. The event was packed, with nearly a hundred RSVPs, virtually all of which seemed to show up at some point.
With moderation by Zachary Weiss, G. Bruce Boyer and Richard Press shared thoughts on the Ivy League Look mixed in with the usual variety of colorful personal anecdotes. We found out at the last moment that it was indeed filmed, and I’ll share the link or file as soon as I have it. These party photos were taken by Andrew Schoomaker for J. Press, and I’ll run an encore post tomorrow with photos from another shooter at the event, with whom I had a long and interesting chat.
In top photo, the raconteur ponders his next tale (check out Richard’s latest column for JP, on madras, right here). Below, Boyer signing copies of “True Style“:
Boyer outfit closeup:
Nearly everyone had to have a word with this fellow, thinking he had just come from a Broadway play and hadn’t had time to change. No, he is a genuine Regency-era retro-eccentric. And not the California costumers I first encountered in San Francisco nearly 25 years ago. Zachary Pinsent is from Brighton, England, and dresses this way every day. He’s taught himself how to make 19th-century garments, and was visiting New York meeting with clients. I guessed his outfit at 1820 and wasn’t far off: it’s 1818, to be precise.
I had a similar disposition when I was 24, too, and I encouraged Mr. Pinsent not to lose his love of the past as the pressures of making one’s way in the world rise to the forefront. Although I was miserable in those first few years out of college, trying to launch a career and find kindred spirits, it was also the most intellectually and aesthetically fertile time of my life, and I’d constructed a fin-de-siecle garden in my soul that I nurtured assiduously. I’m still tryint to recapture that lost inner Arcadia.
As for my attire, it consisted of custom J. Press blazer by Jay Walter (whose 90th birthday it was the day before; more on that next week), JP tie, Kamakura shirt, Brooks flannels, crown-motif socks, and custom bit loafers from Carmina.
I talk to this fellow every event and of course can never remember his name, which he can now reproach me for next time we meet. We’ll call him Al’s Friend. He informed me that The Trad, aka John Tinseth, recently confessed on Instagram that he’d had a heart attack. Best wishes to Tintin and, to paraphrase his motto, may he become better than he was.
J. Press crew members:
Including “Squeeze” Squillaro:
A very midcentury outfit: knit tie, buttondown, and scarlet cardigan:
Partygoers, some of whom you’ve seen here before:
Handsome Dan in the infamous patch-dot scarf:
Thanks to J. Press for another great evening. — CC
Top photo b&w? RP’s beef-rolls appear to be black, and with black? socks, too. I like it! Now I’m noticing a lot of black threads, some of which I assume are navy blue. One photo, of the gentleman wearing a 3/2 herringbone tweed…is it brown or grey? Everything in that photo looks brown to me.
– Al’s Friend
Wow! Mr Pinsent dress very classic.
It would be great if there were more events like this in NYC..
Boyer wins the award for best outfit of the evening. Highly sophisticated, but it seems natural.
The last 2 comments that I’ve seen (Ashanti and Oh just me), are so non-sequitur as to be outlandishly obtuse.
That aside, this looks to have been yet another wonderful event and opportunity (at least for the Easties) to meet up and socialize.
If only there were any such event to pull together the straggling line of the West Coast group, what there is of us.
By the way; Dear J. Press,
why so coldly indifferent to the West Coast? No trunk shows, no pop ups, no events, no store fronts, nothing! It’s as if we didn’t exist. Thoroughly disappointing and disheartening! Even my tailor makes visits annually to take new orders!
It’s really a pretty nice showing of clothes. I’m a Boyer fan but, to be fair, his look here is (as he would freely admit, I’m sure) a bit more tasteful Italian than American.
My vote would go to Mr. Pinsent, as much as I hate Beau Brummel.
Yellow OCBD, madras bow tie, Nantucket Reds, and a navy blazer… Mr. Press was easily the best-dressed of the bunch. Mr. Squillaro looks good, but unfortunately his tie is just a little too short. It can happen to the best of us.
I see Beau Brummell mentioned in the comments re: Mr. Pinsent, but of course he breaks Brummell’s cardinal rule, as recounted by George Frazier: ‘“If John Bull turns to look after you,” the Beau once observed, “you are not well-dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.”’ If Brummell was somehow still alive today, he certainly wouldn’t be wearing what he wore in the 19th century. That said, while I’m not sure what Mr. Pinsent was doing at J. Press in the first place, variety is the spice of life, and if he wants to look like an extra from a Jane Austen adaptation, more power to him.
Boyer’s jacket looks to be the work of Stephen Hitchcock. I am partial to CC’s look myself. I love the bar stripe tie and have been reaching more for navy jackets with gray trousers rather than suits.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Richard wear black.
Now that I’ve seen it written, I think I can remember it.
There’s nothing Brummell about Mr. Pinsent, but even I called him that when I walked in, looked up, saw the hat and navy coat and was introduced. When we chatted, I asked if his inspiration was the Count d’Orsay, Brummell’s flamboyant successor. But if his outfit is 1818, then he’s pre-d’Orsay. Frankly he looks to me like what in the work of Dickens (1840s-1860s) was known as a “gent.”
Christian – I’m not as up on my Dickens as I used to be, but a quick trip to the secondary literature tells me a “gent” in Dickens is a young man “at the very bottom of the respectable class… a second-hand, shop-worn imitation of the dandy” or “bastard theatrical dandyism.” In other words, as Juliet John writes, “The dandyism of the gent is… for effect, to draw attention to himself.” John also notes that “[t]his ‘bastard theatrical dandyism’ is significantly different from the ‘pure’ form of dandyism, that passionless elegance personified by Beau Brummell…. The gent’s passion for flamboyant dress is thus motivated more by ‘a naïve, almost childlike pleasure in dressing up’ than by a serious belief that he can appear… a gentleman.” In all this, I would say you are correct in drawing the parallel between Mr. Pinsent and the Dickensian gent, even if that parallel is bit more double-edge than you were perhaps intending it to be. This isn’t to say that all this is completely pejorative, though – to use E.L. Bulwer’s phrase, Mr. Pinsent would seem to be “the Dandy Harmless.” However, I wonder what the split is between “playful” and “earnest” (to continue with Butler’s terminology) in Mr. Pinsent’s clothing choices. I fear it’s a bit too far on the side of “earnest.”
A quick note – “bastard theatrical dandyism” is Dickens’ own phrase.
Aside and aside, should anyone care to extend hearty good wishes to Tintin, here is the link to his Instagram announcement/account: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwIYQwMB1rF/
@ Boop McSnoot
Very interesting observations regarding 19th century ‘gents’. This possibly adds a whole new dimension to FNB’s identification of igents. Somebody should persue this.
Look forward to seeing the video.
At first glance I thought Mr. Weiss was sporting the Canadian Maple ? on his Belgians, but no!
CC and Richard Press look great. The latter has (accidentally and effortlessly, to be sure) acquired the (in)famous “Old Money” look. Actually—and this is high praise, indeed—it’s more “Lost Money.” Well done.
The seersucker jacket—ugh. Pointy shoulders.
Boyer, as usual, aims for that Italian influenced Francophile vibe. The slightest touch of English, but it’s more Paris Cafe than afternoon (low) tea.
I don’t know about natural shoulders, there are certainly a lot of wimpy shoulders on display. If the width of your head is equal to or greater than half the width of your shoulders you are doing something wrong….
“Lost Money Look” also known as “Dressed Up Hobo.” Great.
Such a contrast with the current sartorial vibe(s)—overly polished, creased, and just-purchased-new.
Delightfully heartwarming to see so many well-dressed men (of various ages) in one place at the same time! Looking forward to the film footage.
My question is this: what does Mr. Pinset wear when he goes to the gym to work out? ?
“Delightfully heartwarming” indeed. A rare occurence.
Also, fourth photo from bottom: man in the leather jacket and scally cap. That is an INCREDIBLE outfit on him.
That’s Enrique from Fine & Dandy shop.
In spite of that inappropriate outfit he wore that evening, Enrique does know how to dress properly: