Imperial holes. The brogue’s upper was originally drilled for “technical” reasons. Holes helped to keep the shoe dry in case of rain or, vice versa, cool in summer. Today there are completely different devices: leather is processed in order to become actually waterproof. However, that early device is now a distinctive and ornamental sign. The brogue, born three centuries ago, lost quickly its original purpose, utilitarian and sporty, becoming an iconic accessory. Legend has it that Edward VII – King of Great Britain, Ireland and Emperor of India (for only one year, in 1936) – was the first one, as a prince, to sanction the swallowtail lace up shoes, wearing them during a formal event. Custom-made brogues by Paul Smith Personal Service. 


This week’s picture, from the book Richard Avedon Performance (published by HNA), appeared on Harper’s Bazaar in 1962. This story was shot in Paris, between Chez Maxim’s and the Saint-Régis Hotel, and it was based on an idea of Avedon that, for its production, made himself directed by Mike Nichols (the director of The Graduate). The shooting would have been a homage/satire to the legendary and troubled love story between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. In this picture – which staged a false press conference – the american actress/model Suzy Parker wears a Yves Saint Laurent dress. The model that plays the role of Burton is obviously in pure Sixties mood too: black round-neck pullover, dark thin tie and white shirt whit mini-collar. Trousers and shoes also black. So I suggest a total black that refers to that decade, which was certainly – with the Fourties – a period of great elegance. Suzy Parker in a picture by Richard Avedon for Harper’s Bazaar (1962)


Men’s fashion changes direction. Fall/winter collections are sold since the first days of July, but I feel like ruling out that italian men have already cleaned out the stores, thinking about a new wardrobe. Why did I write a “new” wardrobe? It’s simple, because fashion – also men’s – has changed direction; the proof comes from last fashion shows in June that reaffirmed a drastic transformation (but it’s a matter of summer 2014, it’s too early to talk about). By now, anyway, the turning point is clear. The general trend exclude the sportswear in favour of a style with no midtones: very elegant or very fashionable. Or both together. To sum up: – Among classic shades, grey, blue and camelhair last but, in compensation, winter lights up with colours like yellow, red and light blue. – The fur is back, as a coat or as an embellishment on lapels of long coats: the three quarters jacket has, infact, almost vanished; it’s time of the calf-lenght coat or the waist-lenght jacket, there’s hardly anything in the middle. – Patterns on fabric (heavy wool and flanel mainly) goes from macro-tartan to glenchecks and houndstooth, and the double-breasted suit is in again. Michael Caine in 1966, wearing a double-breasted suit, one of the winter trends.