This weekend summer officially arrived, so here’s your summer reading (at least for a few minutes) via this piece on a new surfing book I did for Ralph Lauren Magazine.
Above, an image that could only exist in the imagination of the Japanese: the “Surf Ivy” collection from the brand Beams Plus.
Tomorrow is the first day of summer, which means today is the last day of spring. Wish we could say you can scoop up these spring items at 1950 prices, but hey, at least there are sales going on right now at Brooks and Press. — CC
For the latest issue of The Rake I was asked to meditate on the concept of poolside elegance. My starting point was the work of Slim Aarons, while my ending note was James Bond. In between are stops in Palm Beach with a few notes on WASPdom. If anything, this piece should get you thinking about a summer getaway. — CC
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The Life Aquatic:
It’s one of lifes’s nagging paradoxes: the areas surrounding the world’s most spectacular swimming pools are sartorial stages that demand stylistic panache — but with lamentably few garments. So what does a man wear while whittling away the hours next to a large well of shimmering aquamarine?
By Christian Chensvold
The Rake, issue 34
Women’s apparel is widely considered more artistic and varied than men’s, and that’s before you consider the nearly endless coiffure and cosmetic possibilities at their disposal. But dressing in masculine garb offers its own singular rewards, namely the special clothes gentlemen have worn in enclaves from which women have been historically excluded. There’s the splendor of maharajahs, caliphs and sultans, the papal pomp of the church, centuries of military splendor, and even the motley rag-tag garb of pirates, bedecked in the jewels and colorful fabrics that were the spoils of their plunder. Men have also devised special clothing for endeavors such as hunting, sailing and flying (does anything signify panache more than a white scarf flapping in an open cockpit?). There are even velvet jackets and fez-like caps specifically for the gentle act of smoking.
For another gentle act, that of lounging poolside with cocktail in hand, women clearly have the fashion edge. Their swimwear can be as modest or as risqué as they like, they can accessorize with sexy heels or laid-back sandals, silk wraps and broad-rimmed hats, oversized sunglasses and sparkling jewelry. Despite being 75 percent nude (or perhaps even because of it), women dressed for sun and water can look just as chic as for any other occasion.
But stripped of his full regalia, his authority-oozing bespoke garb with boulevardier touches like boutonnieres and spectator shoes, how’s the peacock of the species to compete when nearly everything is taken away? “Clothes make the man,” as Mark Twain said. “Naked people have little or no influence on society.” (Continue)
I don’t know if Amazon is spying on my Internet activity along with Google, but this just landed in my inbox.
Happy shopping. Or not. — CC
I was photographed for the latest issue of Free & Easy, which has a big feature on Allen Edmonds. They shot my Kenwood and Walden loafers, and I posed for the camera in my neighborhood. The shooter liked the American flag on the house across the street, and with that penchant for formulas characteristic of the Japanese, I was asked to hold a bag. They’d already shot my satchel, so I suggested my new golf “Sunday bag,” the one I use when I just need a half-dozen clubs. It’s a deadstock Wilson I found on eBay for a song, apparently made in Scotland and probably dating from the ’60s. I tried to look like I was waiting to be picked up for some golf practice, but the result doesn’t exact smack of verismilitude. (Continue)