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Elvis Presley

The Elegance of Elvis

Sandra Lawrence: Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the very, very few figures worthy of that ghastly, overused, underachieved word: Icon. Like the Byzantine images from which the word derives, his style is gaudy, mosaic-bright, shimmering, unmistakable. A golden face glowing with golden perspiration, golden medallions chinking against golden flesh, golden cape, swept in supplication to devoted disciples at a Vegas sellout like the halo of an Orthodox saint. But just as no-one in their right mind would start dressing like an 8th century Madonna and Child, Elvis’s fashion choices are best left to the man himself. The Elvis Problem… Keep Reading

Emma Peel

Emma Peel

Sunday Swift: She has many names: Cointrelle, Quaintrelle, Dandizette, Lioness, Peahen, Chapette, Dandyess, or, simply, the female Dandy. Whatever you call her, the female Dandy often receives less attention than her male counterpart, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist. In a previous issue, I wrote about one of the most iconic male Dandies, Patrick Macnee, and his immaculate Dandyism in The Avengers. In this issue, however, I wish to turn our attention to Steed’s partner Emma Peel’s impeccable fashion sense. Steed’s controlled, sharp, traditional Edwardian-inspired Dandyism seems, in many ways, strikingly contrary to his fluid and lighter mod female… Keep Reading

Sebastian Horsley

The Exhibitionist Punctured by Arrows

The most beautiful word in the English language is “Sebastian”. Sebastian Flyte, Sebastian Dangerfield, Sebastian Venable; the title is divine – all gleaming with crimson. A name should unbalance one.  Indeed, some names haunt us and suggest ways of being and even aspects of behaviour. When I was crucified and was asked repeatedly why I had done it I replied: “Because I am called Sebastian, not Donald.” In the hooligan world of art this was understood. Sebastian, as an icon is attractive – even if only to faggots. Mr Wilde took Sebastian as his Christian name for his alias when… Keep Reading

Hollywood Cricket

Caught Frankenstein Bowled Sherlock

Steve Pittard: English actors were de riguer in American movies during the 1930s. The ‘Hollywood Raj’ formed their own cricket team, which boasted the likes of Leslie Howard, David Niven and Cary Grant. Starlets in the wings provided further glamour. Olivia De Haviland served cake and cucumber sandwiches while Elizabeth Taylor sold scorecards. Hollywood Cricket Club was the brainchild of Sir Charles Aubrey Smith, a redoubtable craggy actor given to wearing baggy plus-fours – with Old Carthusian tassels at the knee – and loud checked socks. His stock-in-trade was archetypal Englishmen, often crusty colonels or benign authority figures. Whether reining… Keep Reading


Steed Stands There

This summer we were saddened to learn that Patrick Macnee died at the age of 93. Sunday Swift recalls his iconic Dandy character John Steed in Swinging Sixties Spy-Fi series The Avengers. John Steed is one of the first images to spring to mind when one thinks of 1960s TV series The Avengers. He is the constant figure that links the noir style of the first series, the dream-like cartoon of the final series and everything in between. The Avengers created a surreal world where nothing was normal and aesthetics were paramount. It was a world where one goes in… Keep Reading

Bachelor Pad

Bachelor Pads

Tom Cutler: I think it was Samuel Goldwyn who said that a bachelor’s life is no life for a single man. This might be true; I wouldn’t know, not being a bachelor any more, but surely it has its good points, even for the unattached gentleman. You can get home when you like, you can smoke your pipe in bed, you can fry up hot dogs and unearthly chili concoctions till steam weeps down the walls, or eat crisps in front of The 39 Steps wearing the slippers nobody except you likes. In short you can please yourself. You don’t… Keep Reading


Lace up Your Pampooties

Liam Jefferies: As with the Breton Jumper in the previous issue, this article aims to provide a paradigm for the gent looking to source a pair of brogues suited to his taste, budget, and traditionalist loyalty. Let us begin, as ever, with a look on the attributes of the shoe. The brogue is a low-heeled boot or shoe, composed of a multiple-piece upper in sturdy leather with serrated edges and “broguing” perforations. There are five styles of standard brogues, based on the toe-cap styles which define such; these are full brogues, half-brogues, quarter-brogues, longwings, and the Ghillie brogue. The full… Keep Reading

Penny Loafers

Penny for the Chap

Liam Jefferies: As with the Aran Jumper in the previous issue, this article aims to provide a paradigm for the gent looking to source a pair of Penny Loafers suited to his taste, budget, and traditionalist loyalty. Let us begin, as ever, with a look on the attributes of the garment. Characteristically, the penny loafer is a lace-less, low-worn shoe, akin to the moccasin but for a separate sole and heel. Worn casually, the original intention being a “house-shoe” of sorts one could easily slip on and off. Though Bass undoubtedly innovated the design and added the “penny” to it,… Keep Reading


A Dandy of Great Importance

Nathaniel Adams: Oscar Wilde, writer, raconteur, gay icon, large of girth, lust and ego, bottom wobbling provocatively as he climbs the social ladder from the gutter to the stars, then falls back into the muck with a splash, is arguably the most famous dandy ever. In Oscar Wilde, dandyism found its apotheosis, and after his ignoble fall, dandyism’s reputation was tarnished with sin, decadence and evil. But Oscar Wilde had watered, nourished and tended the flower of dandyism until it achieved its brightest and finest bloom yet. “The future belongs to the dandy. It is the exquisites who are going… Keep Reading


Being Louche

Tom Cutler: I have a confession to make. That’s the thing with confessions, you have to make them; you can’t just take them off the shelf. But confession can be dangerous, resulting in severe injury to the owner-up and the recipient alike. Take the chap who, in a fit of bravado, admitted to his wife that he’d been to Brighton not for the ironmongery conference, as she’d thought, but for a dirty weekend with his secretary. She hit him on the head with some tomatoes and he died of a broken skull. They were in a tin, of course. No… Keep Reading

Arthur J. Raffles

To Catch a Thief

Steve Pittard: England slow bowler by day and gentleman thief by night, A.J. Raffles, is cricket’s most enduring fictional character. His exploits shocked late Victorian society, who found it unthinkable that a burglar might play cricket – a sport synonymous with ‘fair play’. A.J. resides in bachelor chambers at Albany (just off Piccadilly). He can often be found at his gentlemen’s club, partaking of a couple fingers of whisky and soda or blowing perfect smoke rings. Everything about Raffles oozes class, from his silver cigarette case and silk pyjamas to his vintage cricket-bag, which still has the remains of an… Keep Reading

Bronx Pipe Smokers Society

Dinner is Severed, Madam

Nathaniel Adams: You might be surprised by how well crickets pair with brie. Wrapped in a sushi roll, their carapaces’ pleasant crunch counterbalances the creamy squish of the cheese. I’m not a foodie – the only celebrity chef I admire is John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. Yet there I was, munching away on exoskeletal delicacies in a mansion in the Bronx, trying not to get grease on my black velvet smoking jacket. I may have an unsophisticated palate when it comes to food, but I consider myself a connoisseur in the matter of interesting people, and my host for… Keep Reading

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