The Sartorialist X

The Sartorialist X 
Scott Schuman’s latest book, The Sartorialist: X, is interesting, and diverse, and a welcome departure from the usual, too fashion-conscious street style photography that is becoming more and more brand-cluttered and, frankly, less and less inspiring. The photographer takes on the streets of the world, triggers your imagination and prompts you to think outside the box.

Schuman says at some point that he is surprised by the reaction he often gets when he publishies a photograph of someone from a humble background on the blog, such as “this person is worried about their next meal, not what colour shoes to wear”. I find that kind of comment besides the point, and ignorant. To put it bluntly, it is quite stupid to report everything else in the world to the western culture, lifestyle, fashion, and, yes, often shallow values. I was watching a reportage a while back (I think it was on BBC) featuring, among others, this woman, from a developing country from Africa, who sold clothes for a living and she would travel by foot to near-by and further-off villages in order to do that. And the women in those villages, who you could say that they strived for living from one day to the next, were anxiously expecting her every visit. Even though the conditions were harsh, they still cared for how they dressed, and found immeasurable joy in the act of purchasing a new piece of clothing with the little they had afforded to save. As The Sartorialist rightfully points out (and his book beautifully portrays), “much of the world is poor, but that does not prohibit people from enjoying life, music, food, art, and, yes, even fashion.”

photo by me

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The Pea Coat: Who Has Worn It Best

Robert Redford pea coat With popped collar, worn over a button-down denim shirt and paired with jeans and tracking boots, the pea coat outfitted by Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor has become a symbol of style. He may be the one who has worn it best – despite his undeniable good looks, Redford has never been interested in appearances. That’s where real style is.

The beauty of the pea coat is that you feel well dressed, both literally and figuratively, in it. Isn’t this what a perfect coat is all about? I feel like myself in a pea coat. Isn’t this what any wardrobe item should entail?

A great cut and even greater practicality. It’s what makes a garment an item of style, and a classic. And, what is most important in the cold, a dependable piece of outerwear. It’s not only timeless in style and easy to wear, but the cosseting detailing – heavy wool fabric and double-breasted fastening for warmth, extra-tall collar and broad lapels to protect against wind – makes the pea coat ideal for fending off the bitter cold (after all, it’s a jacket with heritage, originally worn by sailors). A style staple for men and women alike. Here are a few true tastemakers who have worn it best. As always, men make the cut much easier than women. It’s them we should thank for transforming the pea coat into a cult item.
James Dean peacoatJames Dean only favoured the most practical, minimalist clothing. The pea coat was one of them, along with the blue jeans, white t-shirt and windbreaker jacket – he gave an identity to an entire generation, his influence still looming large on popular culture.
Bob Dylan peacoatEmbodying the countercultural rebel, Bob Dylan looks moody in his coat sported with beaten stonewashed jeans.
Giorgio Armani peacoatMr. Giorgio Armani knows best that simplicity goes a long way. Here, in a navy (of course) pea coat redefined (no lapeled collar), but featuring traditional anchor-stamped buttons, looking as comfortable in it as in one of his signature, indispensable, plain t-shirts.
Ali MacGraw peacoat Love StoryContrasts are a key element to timeless style. The classic, masculine pea coat is the perfect match for a feminine piece. Ali MacGraw is the best example in Love Story.
Emmanuelle Alt peacoat Emmanuelle Akt has proven over and over again that she knows best how to give classic a modern spin.
photos: 1-screen still, Three Days of the Condor (Wildwood Enterprises) / 2-Dennis Stock, 1955 / 3-via / 4-The Sartorialist / 5-screen still, Love Story ( Paramount Pictures) / 6-A Love Is Blind (I think)

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The Assassin

The Assassin 2015 
Visually ravishing. The first eight minutes are filmed in striking black and white (and shot on 35 mm) and the rest of the movie is in colour, but the outcome is just as striking. Such compositional elegance is something very rare. Each frame, each costume, each colour, everything is perfect to the last detail. It takes great talent to create something this beautiful. The Assassin won the Best Director award – Hou Hsiao-Hsien – at Cannes this year. And deservedly so. You don’t feel the camera moving (Mark Lee Ping Bing was the cinematographer). Not even, or especially in the martial arts fight sequences – so artistically, artfully and silently done. It’s that silence that builds tension. The female protagonist rarely uses words, too. Shu Qui is riveting in her role as Nie Yinniang, who was kidnapped when she was only ten by Jiaxin (Sheu Fang-hi), a nun who trained her to become an assassin, “matchless in her skill”, whose targets were corrupt government officials in ninth-century China during a time of unrest. A film that moves you as pure cinema making, where actions and body language speak more than words. But I found it amazing how words kept your interest up as well when the characters recounted their stories directly, which made the narrative flow even more seamlessly.

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JORD Wood Watch: The Cora Maple & Silver

We are in the heart of autumn. The mornings are crisp, the mist is hovering a little longer than those early hours, the golden afternoons fly by in what seems like mere minutes, you start to reach for the comfort of an extra layer and take full advantage of the fall style I, for one, long for the entire year, and look to cosy up at home a little earlier every evening. It’s about the best time to embrace all things simple, feel-good, real and authentic. And welcome new ones that promise to become mainstays, and even story tellers, in your life. My Cora Maple & Silver JORD wood watch is one of them.
JORD wood watch - Classiq
I am more than pleased to have been invited to join the JORD wood watches team. I have an ongoing love story with watches, but trying to pin down my fascination with timepieces is not exactly easy. It just is. I know I like the history behind, the functionality, the dynamism they engage, the nod to menswear style. But I like them as stand-alone accessories, too. The kind that have become part of my everyday look – and now, that my schedule revolves around a baby for the time being, it’s less about telling the time and more about appreciating the moments…, and being my little (much-needed) daily luxury.

That said, when I was asked to choose a luxury watch from the JORD collection, I knew what I was looking for – simplicity, elegance, high standard, timelessness. But when my watch arrived, from St. Louis, Missouri, I was surprised with much more – craftsmanship, attention to details, quality mechanical engineering, character. And a new experience.

JORD is the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian word for earth. There is something about my new watch that commands authenticity and purposefulness.

More wood watch-Cora Maple and Silver-Classiq
What finally made me settle for the Cora Maple & Silver model (a next to impossible task when I have to choose a watch) was the classic and clean design and the natural wooden, nude-tinged hue, which make it very versatile to wear. What has made me love it even more once I started wearing it is that it is is even more understated than I had anticipated, it’s incredibly light, it is automatic (those seconds I steal every morning to wind it truly feel like a luxury, too, and a much sought for me-moment) and it has an open case back revealing the mechanism beneath (that only adds to the sense of craftsmanship and beautiful design). The watch is hand-finished and made of natural maple wood, it features a sapphire crystal glass and Swarovski crystal markers. And last, but not least, the packaging was beautiful, too. I give importance to well thought packaging, just as I do to a beautiful book cover. The watch came in a wooden box, secured inside around a herringbone fabric (another nice touch) cushion. Every little detail was inviting me to remember to savour the journey I was about to start with my new timepiece. I know I will.


This blog post is in partnership JORD wood watches. Wooden Watch Review
Opinions and thoughts, entirely my own. Photos: by me and exclusively for Classiq.

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