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jerez
The Chap Travels

Jerez de La Frontera

“Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service.” Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now My mission was not to find a colonel in the Vietnamese jungle who had gone mad and to kill him, but to catch up with an old friend who had not been seen in Soho since the death of our own Colonel Kurtz, Sebastian Horsley. Shortly after the great dandy’s funeral in June 2010, Paul Lawford disappeared from Soho in a wisp of cigar smoke. His flat on Meard Street had… Keep Reading

marilyn-monroe
Features

Marilyn Monroe

One of the biggest challenges in writing about someone like Marilyn Monroe is that people have been writing obsessively about her for almost a century. Books on her famous lovers, confirmed or rumoured, are generally the first thing one comes across. Another focus is her impact on fashion. There’s rather a lot on her reputation for being difficult on set, her tragic life and conspiracy theories about her death. The first problem with writing on such a complicated person is having to leave so much out – Marilyn’s work in the Civil Rights Movement; how she pressured one of Hollywood’s… Keep Reading

spearpoint-collar
Features

Spearpoint Collars

The man’s shirt collar has been shrinking over the years. Not only shrinking, but also it’s been running away from the knot of your tie. You can see it clear as day; those collar points are spreading farther and farther apart. I believe part of this is caused by the erroneous notion that the “fashion elite” like to press on the public, that there are certain collars that work best with certain face shapes, and they have a ritualistic standard that is all you should follow. Now I’m not completely disputing that there is some balance between face shape and… Keep Reading

ava-gardner
Features

Ava Gardner

Ava Gardner loved drinking, staying up all night, sex, jazz, four-letter words, dogs, driving fast and Frank Sinatra. Her luminescent white skin, jet black hair, emerald green eyes, feline grace and dancer’s elegance was known to have stopped even the most hardened casting couch-abusing Hollywood producer dead in his tracks. She was thoroughly unimpressed with the movie business, considered acting not only silly but an embarrassing torment tolerated only to fund her extravagant lifestyle, was the prototype jet setting hedonist who, pursued by paparazzi, was constantly in the headlines for fighting and drinking and staying up all night. I’d say… Keep Reading

Features

Trubshawe!

Michael Trubshawe’s entrance into the life of David Niven was as sensational as any of Niven’s stage or film entrances. Niven was stationed in Malta with the Highland Light Infantry between 1929 and 1931 as a very young officer. His reception by the other officers had been rather frosty – one refusing to speak to him all the way to Malta from Tilbury Docks. Once he’d acquitted himself on the cricket ground, things got slightly better, until one day: “Suddenly, an ear-splitting belch rent the air. I spun around and perceived a truly amazing sight. Trubshawe was approaching. Six feet… Keep Reading

kind-hearts-and-coronets
Features/Reviews

Kind Hearts and Coronets

“It is so difficult to make a neat job of killing people with whom one is not on friendly terms.” Such is the laconic lament uttered by Dennis Price in his guise as Louis Mazzini in Kind Hearts & Coronets, the Ealing Comedy Classic. Louis is the peerless peer (oft by his own hand) who methodically bumps off a variety of relatives (all played by Sir Alec Guinness) to secure a dukedom. In light of the 70th Anniversary re-release by StudioCanal, The Chap felt that a review of the film itself was in order. I have personally been enamoured with… Keep Reading

Cafe_La_Palette_paris

Bohemian Paris

I still find the Eurostar really rather wonderful. You get on a train at St. Pancras and alight some two hours later at Le Gare Du Nord into a different world, where the attitudes, tastes, smells, people and culture are as different from London as sand is to salt. Undeniably, it is quite an anomalous experience – one that usually only a plane journey can really prepare us for – stepping off a train into this alien environment that’s both Paris and, due to French colonisation, Gambian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Sudanese and Algerian. It’s in all respects downright foreign. I have… Keep Reading

gotham-riddler
Fashion/Features

Chap To The Future

Wherever you look in pop culture, you will see signs of our beloved Chap Fashion. Whether you are looking into a far-flung cyberpunk future or back to the romanticised past of fantasy worlds, there are clues and signposts all over the place to the classic influences that brought us here. Why have a few very specific time periods had such a large influence on our huge entertainment industry? Take my hand, oh dapper one, and let us go on a journey of discovery through the history of pop culture to find out. As a young person, I’m pretty sure that… Keep Reading

richard-burton-bridge
The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

From the eleventh floor balcony of a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the horizon flashing with lightning, brassy wisps of Mariachi music wafting up from somewhere through the heat of the night, was the sense that we were definitely in Mexico. It had taken nearly 20 hours to reach this moment of Mexican awareness, though our sense of time had been hurled out of the window on the journey; it was either tomorrow or yesterday in England, the confusion of jetlag and 6-hour time difference loosening the mind from the shackles of the clock. Puerto Vallarta is a sprawling series… Keep Reading

flaneur
Features

The Flâneur

“The crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird or the sea of the fish. His passion and his creed is to wed the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it’s an immense pleasure to take up residence in multiplicity, in whatever is seething, moving, evanescent and infinite.” Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life Charles Baudelaire may not have been the first man or woman to wander the streets of his city with no particular destination, and no purpose other than to absorb his surroundings, muse on whatever took his fancy and… Keep Reading

disposophobia
Features

Sartorial Disposophobia

“Disposophobics can’t, don’t or won’t make fast value judgments about their ‘stuff’,” says Ron Alford of Disaster Masters, Inc. ‒ a New York-based ‘crisis management’ service specializing in solving anomalous mess. “So their solution for their dilemma is to keep everything. If you put a $5 note, a magazine, a diamond ring and two dozen plastic Chinese food containers on a table and ask a disposophobic to trash two of them, their response would be, ‘I want all of them. It’s really a disease. It starts in the head of the people and manifests by filling their dwelling units to… Keep Reading

india-chap
The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Rajasthan, India

On a recent trip to Rajasthan, I discovered that not only does India possess its famous wealth of history and architecture, but it is also one of the most natural habitats for the travelling Chap. My journey took me first to Delhi, only nine hours away by plane but, as soon as you land, the noise, bustle, phantasmagorical arrays of spices, colourful fabrics and around 18 million people, all jostling for space, make it seem like another planet. I took a quick look around before heading out to the land of the kings, Rajasthan. It’s quite a drive to Rajasthan… Keep Reading

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