The site will be quiet this week while I take my first road trip since moving to New York. I’m renting a car — let’s hope I remember how to operate it — and driving up to Cambridge on assignment for The Rake to profile The Andover Shop and its legendary founder, Charlie Davidson.
In previous chats on the phone, I’d asked Charlie about George Frazier, author of the spectacular 1960 Esquire essay “The Art of Wearing Clothes,” and have previously pitched my Rake editor the idea of doing a piece on Frazier.
So I finally got around to ordering a copy of the Frazier biography “Another Man’s Poison,” and right there on page two is a mention of Charlie, referred to as Frazier’s best friend in the last decade of his life.
Charlie is notoriously press shy. Will I come home with a story about him, Frazier, or something else entirely? I’ll find out soon enough, and the most exciting assignments are always the ones where the material dictates the story.
I think I first heard about Frazier in the late ’80s in Richard Merkin’s GQ column. There was someone who said the height of elegance (at least in summer) was a tan cotton suit, pink oxford shirt and black knit tie. I could swear it was Merkin talking about Frazier.
Here’s a great quote by Frazier in “Another Man’s Poison”:
What the hell ever happened to the sense of style of the campus, to undergraduates with taste?
Frazier died in 1974. Charlie Davidson has been around to witness ever further decline.
While in Cambridge I’ll also be checking in with Denis Black at J. Press and hope for a follow-up to my previous interview with him.
In addition to meeting with these old-school gents, I’ll also have a look at a certain old school founded in 1636, meet with Ivy Style contributor Zachary DeLuca and Giuseppe of An Affordable Wardrobe, and stock up on pipe tobacco at Leavit & Peirce.
Stay tuned for photos and reports, and in the meantime follow the antics on Twitter. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD