The more formal side of casual: what should I wear at a Sicilian wedding?

Early in 2022 I had the unexpected pleasure of receiving an invitation to a Sicilian wedding in mid-June. I accepted, and, needless to say, it was a marvelous experience. Since this was my first time attending a wedding in Sicily (or Italy for that matter), I was very curious about the state of wedding attire. …

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Sicilian costume design

Sicilian dressmaking: Christina Esposito’s Mode School

Last fall I had the great pleasure of meeting Christina Esposito who teaches fashion, costume design and pattern making in Palermo at her school called Mode School – Scuola di Taglio e Cucito. Claudio Italiano kindly introduced me to Christina during one of my visits. Anyone who loves sewing or fashion will resonate with Christina’s …

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Freddy Vandecasteele. Photo credit: Juhn Maing.

An afternoon with shirtmaker Freddy Vandecasteele

Last month I had the great pleasure of reconnecting with shirtmaker Freddy Vandecasteele who recently retired from a 40+ year career as a shirtmaker in Los Angeles. We met in Brussels where he is enjoying his retirement. When I was living in LA about a decade ago, Freddy made the bulk of my dress shirts …

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The decline and fall of hat wearing

The English historian Edward Gibbon attributed the decline and fall of the once ubiquitous Roman Empire to the gradual, enervating loss of martial dedication and civic discipline among its citizenry. In a way, the Romans did not keep up the appearances required of an enduring civilization. Put simply, the slipping of standards led to the …

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