Style Icon: George Clooney?

Style Icon: George Clooney?

The fact that the actor George Clooney is widely regarded as one of the best-dressed men in the world is preposterous. There are a variety of reasons why Clooney isn’t well dressed: he invariably wears utterly boring dark ready-to-wear clothes, his suits are usually made from overly-shiny fabrics with little visual interest, he wears black shirts (always a mistake) and tends to wear charmless snow-white ones the rest of the time, he never wears a tie and compounds this by wearing shirts with collars that collapse under his jacket, his dinner jackets have satin lapels, the jackets are often ill-fitting, and he doesn’t bother to get his trousers or sleeves tailored to the correct length. (more…)

Style Icon: Baron Alexis de Redé

Style Icon: Baron Alexis de Redé

The famous London shoemaker GJ Cleverley offers a beautiful slip-on shoe named after the legendary man of style Baron Alexis de Redé (1922 – 2004). The Baron, a banker and a minor Austrian aristocrat, lead one of the most stylish lives of the second half of the twentieth century, based in a majestic apartment in the Hotel Lambert on Paris’s Ile Saint Louis. He was also such a prolific customer of GJ Cleverley that the company’s managing director, George Glasgow, remembers being told by its late founder, George Cleverley, that he simply couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t making shoes for the Baron. (more…)

Style Icon: Gary Cooper

Style Icon: Gary Cooper

Some men dress up well (Cary Grant), and some men dress down well (Steve McQueen), but Gary Cooper dressed well all of the time. Kitted out in a plaid shirt and faded jeans he was every inch the rugged outdoorsman, and yet he was able to look just as natural in a dinner jacket, or even white tie. As well as being a fine actor Cooper was a real man, and enjoyed skiing, hunting, sailing and fast cars. In Enduring Style, G Bruce Boyer’s excellent book about Cooper’s clothes, the actor is photographed at the wheel of an impressive convertible Duesenberg, with a finely wrought dimple in his tie. (more…)

Style Icon: Jean Gabin

Style Icon: Jean Gabin

What would it take to capture the heart of one of the most famous and beautiful women of the Twentieth century, the actress Marlene Dietrich? Incomparable wealth, or matinee-idol looks? The French actor Jean Gabin had neither, but he did have what tailoring expert Michael Alden has called “nuclear levels of presence”. Like Fred Astaire, who’s clothes seem to exude the charm he’s said to have possessed, so Gabin’s incomparable suits seem to be a manifestation of his charisma. (more…)

Style Icon: Fred Astaire

Style Icon: Fred Astaire

An apocryphal story about the legendary actor and dancer Fred Astaire has it that after a disappointing screen test a studio executive gave him the following report: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.” To which we might add, Can dress. Astaire had neither a face nor a body that inspired desire or jealousy, but as studio boss David O Selznick had it, “I feel in spite of his enormous ears and bad chin line, that his charm is so tremendous that it comes through.” His wardrobe, and the way he wore it, seems to have been a physical manifestation of that charm. (more…)

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