Showing posts with label eccentric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eccentric. Show all posts

Seersucker Summer with Dr. Churchwell

Dr. Andre Churchwell, NYC, May 2012

Phone rings

Me:  Hello...

Voice:  Hi Rose, it's Andre Churchwell....(insert niceties)...I'm coming to Manhattan for the weekend with the family, and it would be great to see you again!  I'll be wearing a really marvelous pink seersucker DB with a straw boater to the symphony on Saturday....

Me:  When and where?  I'm there!

This is the life of an exquisite gentleman...causing a stir in with the rarely-done-because-thoroughly-impractical double breasted seersucker.  Almost as impractical as the three piece seersucker worn by Natty Adams.

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Outside the Plaza Hotel...quite the classic Hollywood look.


Striking color combination on this Mogador tie Churchwell helped design with Anthony T. Kirby

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Then we snuck some photos inside near the gorgeous Palm Court...


First Look:
Hat: Brooks Brothers Italian straw boater
Suit: bespoke pink/white seersucker double breasted suit
Shirt: Steve Kempson NYC
Tie: Bruer
Shoes: Peal white leather wingtips
Socks: Paul Stuart

Second Look:
Hat:  Worth and Worth porkpie coconut hat with the wide linen band - "Frank Sinatra’s – Cavanaugh Hat model of the 1950’s"
Jacket:  Len Logsdail houndstooth jacket with leather covered buttons attached by a shank - "coat done in 1930’s sport coat model"
Shirt: David Mercer and Sons
Tie: Anthony T. Kirby
Trousers:  bespoke full cut cream garbardine trousers
Shoes:  Polo/Ralph Lauren two-tone spectators, white buck with brown leather cap toes
Bag:  Bergdorf Goodman :)

Dandy Portraits in Paris: Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola


The one and only Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola.  The lure of stories I heard about his style, his home, his grand life, brought me to Paris.   What an experience it was!

Italian born Massimiliano and his lovely American wife Sorrel gave a warm greeting, and I began to try to take in all the details.  Walking into his space I felt the Parisian architecture - the height of the ceiling, the strong sunlight filtering through tall narrow windows, the ornate molding.  They talked about how much they loved to throw parties, and I imagined what a fantastic place to come to at night and get lost.  One can feel distinctly that living is a fine art for this young couple, and dressing, above all, is the highest art for Massimiliano.


There is a whole room dedicated to Massimiliano's interest in dandyism.  As a historian and author he has fantastic collection of rare books and ephemera which share space with his collar pins, cologne, cufflinks, top hats, and at least one powdered wig.   I began making portraits, and once we were done with one suit Massimiliano would duck back into his dressing room - which is indeed a whole room filled with clothes - and come out with another more exquisite than the last.

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I asked him to show me his oldest book on dandyism: "Du Dandysme et de Georges Brummell" by J. Barbey D'Aurevilly, published in Paris 1879

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In the sitting room, a photo of actor Conrad Veidt peeks out from behind layers of assemblage, religious artifacts, feathers and bones.

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When Sorrel brought out a tray of coffee served in the most delicate little vintage set, I wished that time would stop so I could always live in that moment.


A gold signet ring bears his family's crest.

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Illustrations by Massimiliano hang along side portrait paintings by Sorrel and art collected from various friends.

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The Dandy of New York, Patrick McDonald

Patrick McDonald is larger than life - truly, fantastically.  His extravagant style is legendary, and has been recorded by many just as legendary photographers and artists (um...Bill Cunningham, Scavullo, Robert Richards!).  I knew from the beginning that The Dandy Portraits would not be complete without Patrick.  Of course when the rare opportunity came to finally meet him - at his home - I was more than a little nervous and insanely curious to find out what this man - who revels in being a dandy - is really like.

Over the phone Patrick, in his sweet urbane voice said, "my place, it's a bit bohemian", with a laugh.  I was charmed and even more intrigued.  So I headed over to his place with Mat Fox of Fine and Dandy Shop to investigate - or rather just to have some fun.  Matt just posted his interview here.

Beyond the top hats and eyebrows and blue velvet is a gentleman who understands the importance of good manners and character; he understands that the way one lives his life is an art, just as much dressing for each day is.  And in true dandy fashion, he cultivates a unique beauty in the most unlikely of environments.  With joy he quoted Bill Cunningham, who's documentary he appeared in, "He who seeks beauty will find it".

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Artists need their muse.
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Hats by Rod Keenan fill his kitchen
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