Legend has it that Tom Ford dismissed out of hand one of his team’s designers due to his suggestion to include a short-sleeved shirt in the s/s collection. Actually, it’s not a really loved garment. Because it mustn’t be worn under the blazer (the cuff must always appear from the jacket’s sleeves), and it requires, in theory, tapered arms, that only a few have. But in the 40s and 50s it was in fashion, among style icons too. Well, this year the short-sleeved shirt is back: with floral/tropical prints, made of silk and viscose or cotton and linen. In the first case, it’s soft and fluid, suitable for an eccentric, young and self-confident man; in the second case, more “rigid”, suitable for both young and adults. Frank Sinatra at Lewisohn Stadium in NY, in 1943.


Alfie (and the pleasures of Bacchus). Alcoholic drinks’ adv pictures are charming; the subject is often a man wearing clothes so elegant to be the envy of Alfie (you can choose the first Alfie interpreted by Michael Caine or the remake one by Jude Law). The man in question is self-confident, serious, calm, done up. Spirits manufacturers clearly “represent” the alcohol addicteds before the bender: flawless appearance, persuasive and resolute gaze. No references to crushing effects on metabolism, organs and psyche. The popular adage “A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away” is unfounded, while the fact that alcohol hurts everything is demonstrated. I dare an advice: alcohol campaigns should be accompanied by the same phrase that we read on packs of cigarettes: “dangerous for the health, consult your doctor”. On the right, the artist Geoffrey Holder in a vodka adv campaign (1958).


The classiest ones are the Parisians (fashion was born in France after all), followed by the English. Parisians are naturally elegant, it’s perceivable from a distance… a part from the odd habit of wearing socks with little hearts or Mickey Mouse’s face printed on them. English men fall into these two categories: the classic-conservative and the trendy, The trendy ones are often confused about fashion and they end up overdoing it. Italians have a good reputation abroad, they say we are the most elegant. It’s not true, it’s only due to the fact we’ve got the greatest designers , the best tailors, the most beautiful fabrics, besides italian textile industies are top manufacturing companies.That’s all. What about Americans? They are not on the list. On the right John Steven in 1957, one of the most influential figures within the British menswear industry of the 60s and inventor of Carnaby Street, picture from the volume “Sharp Suits” by Eric Musgrave – Edizioni Pavillion.


Perhaps, there aren’t anymore stars like there used to be, or maybe the seductive power of a time worn face is more likely to be reassuring than a young man one.To be honest I’m afraid the reason could be that the show business keeps churning out artist who are becoming famous overnight, often without deserving it. In fact, it’s easy to realize it by having a look at the latest fashion magazines that older man are the new icons. One example is Willem Dafoe, who has been modelling for Prada and is now on the cover of Another Magazine, portrayed by Venderperre (on the right) in a Louis Vuitton outfit. Also over 40 model Andre Van Noord, is very popular at the moment and he’s also Trussardi’s new face, photographed by Albert Watson. Such strong personalities and expressive faces really help empower the brand communication , because they are credible whatever they may wear. This kind of men evidently have the intensity that most are missing. As long as they wont wear a plaid shawl instead of a coat.



It’s James Bond’s 50th anniversary. There is nothing left to add to his proverbial elegance as a lot has already been written in the past fifty years, I could run the risk of repeating someone else’s comment. Although everyone likes the character and despite all Daniel Craig’s efforts to emulate James Bond’s famous aplomb, the truth is that through all of those years Agent 007 has always been devoted to conformism -he’s a proper english after all- from Sean Connery to Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton. Even George Lazenby in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” had to wear the same old tuxedo a part from that one scene where he’s wearing a kilt. Nothing to object to: black saves everyone, and so does a tuxedo. However, having followed the saga, I have always found more interesting the “bad guys” looks. The most stylish ones have been Christopher Walken (A View to a Kill, 1985) and Mads Mikkelsenche in Casino Royale (2006) which made his appearance clad in a reassuring, yet original monochrome ton sur ton brown suit. I’m obviously expecting a lot from the next James Bond’s enemy: Javier Barden. We shall see.