1930s style

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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Revisiting Cary Grant: An interview with Richard Torregrossa

Although it’s been a few years since the publication of Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style by Richard Torregrossa, I thought it timely to revisit CG’s legacy. In particular, I had recently finished reading two memoirs of CG, one by his wife Dyan Cannon and another by his only child, Jennifer Grant. As I was …

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Style icon: Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011)

As far as I know, Mr. Fermor has never been nominated as a “style icon” although he has been described as “a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene.” But Fermor’s passing away makes clear, to me at any rate, why this superb, idiosyncratic writer of travels and journeys should rank highly in …

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A well-dressed past: Jil Sander on Hamburg

Designer Jil Sander on growing up in Hamburg: I was born in Hamburg, a trading city with a big port. It’s very English because it’s close to London. The saying is that when it’s raining in London, they put up their umbrellas in Hamburg. And so the men are very gentlemanly, with proper tailored clothes. …

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