Hollywood

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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1920s style: Sartorial lessons from The Broadway Melody

The Broadway Musical (1929) was the first talking musical for MGM as well as for Hollywood. The men’s suits were almost assuredly bespoke and you will see superb examples of formalwear (below, Charles King and Anita Page) and “lounge suits” (i.e. business suits in modern nomenclature) across a variety of physiques. Take double-breasted suits for …

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Fred Astaire: A sartorial icon for whom?

This almost needs no introduction – almost. Astaire’s Puttin’ on the Ritz song and dance routine in Blue Skies (1946) looks deceptively easy and effortless but it took five weeks of painstaking preparation and rehearsal according to the dancer in his autobiography. Astaire was known for his total dedication to dancing and his dance partners …

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Giacomo Trabalza and Hollywood tailors

Giacomo Trabalza, a tailoring fixture in Los Angeles, passed away last week. I was traveling last week and learned about it in this Styleforum thread. This leaves only a handful of old school bench tailors who can legitimately be called “Hollywood” tailors. I am not sure whether his shop will continue on in some form. …

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