Sunday, December 13, 2009

Feel My Velvet

Here I am at the Casa while LFG is at Temple. Just called to say hello to my little monkey and her mom allowed that LFG stayed over last night with one of her top three best friends and they took her to Temple this morning. I love it. I love the fact that LFG’s circle includes Jews, Persians, African Americans, WASPs and of course, Redneck Druids like her daddy. I might have shared with you that back in the summer LFG out of the blue-most of the good stuff comes from out of the blue-said to me “Daddy, I want to be a Jew”. When I asked why-she shared with me her fun experiences at Hebrew School the previous day with same best friend who took her to Temple this morning.

Seems that LFG hit Hebrew school on a day characterized mostly by games and refreshments and not so much a deep dive into history-rote memorization or any of the rigor that accompanies the immersion into passing on lore-tradition and ritual. A friend of mine who survived the rigor of Hebrew School suggested that LFG endure perhaps a few more rigorous days of Hebrew School before deciding to convert. Jesus was a Jew. It’s all good. Shalom.

Now on to the issue of velvet. Tintin over at The Trad has done a stellar job this past week of showcasing incredible Holiday jackets and various rigs to consider for your Holiday parties. Velvet smoking jackets have obviously made the cut in several blog posts of late but you won’t see that here. The mainliest reason is that we don’t have one. I understand why smoking jackets became popular over the years. Gentlemen retired to the Library for cigars after dinner and donned said jackets as an alternative to smoking up their other clothes.

Some even wore a velvet smoking cap. I really like the cap but wouldn't be comfortable wearing one-even at home-alone. What if Jesus called me home and I was found-sitting in Casa Minimus with sweatpants-rubber flip flops and said cap on? Oy.

Seems to me that those Cymbal Banging monkeys always had on smoking caps. I could see myself wearing a cap and banging cymbals. I used to engage in similar antics just to piss off LFG's mom.

Come to think of it, one of my Vanity Fair watercolour caricatures has a monkey on a string avec smoking hat.

What we do have is a superb Flusser brown velvet jacket from a few years ago. When the boys at Flusser offered velvet fabric in dark blue-forest green-burgundy or brown, I immediately gravitated to one of the more dramatic colors…dark blue or burgundy. Damn-for once in my fuzzy diced life, better judgment prevailed. I settled on brown.

 Not only did I settle on brown-I decided to model it in a way that favored the more casual use of said jacket since the velvet smoking jacket scene ain’t where I frequent too much these days. Shut up. 

This is a slight variation from my “Flusser House Model” ….peak-open patch-three/two. I decided to remain faithful to the peak-three/two but tweaked the house model just a bit with patch pockets including a patch ticket. That’s where I keep my switchblade and Rolaids.

Contrived this rig with some other complementary touches including a pair of twenty year old Polo cords-Colony model-these bad boys are about to give up the ghost-not dissimilar to my Polo linens that you met over the summer. Linens that I still can’t stand to discard. Quiet please. Cordings cap-J. Crew Zipper Neck sweater-Flusser leg warmers and Shell Cordovan Tassels from the Brethren. Don’t touch me. I’ll pull the switchblade out and make you eat Rolaids.

The Brethren Shells began to lament the fact that I've worn the Ralph Shells exclusively over these last many weeks so I decided to spring them from the Shell Cordovan holding cell where they live amongst three other pairs of horse rump shoddings.

True Brethren devotees might know that Alden does a little treatment to the heel of said shell cordovans that identify them precisely as Brethren Exclusives. “Brethren Exclusives”…sounds like a Motown group that had something on the jukebox when I lived in the K.A. house.

I love the pocket square that I stole from Conor back in the summer but if the house was on fire-I'd be taking this one with me. Courtesy of Ralph.

So velvet works nicely for holiday-smoking-formal jackets but we think it passes muster over here just fine for casual contrivances.

I got a couple of emails asking me for better photos of the LFG Christmas tree. What do you think I’m running over here? Some kind of Architectural Digest layout service?

Seriously, taking pictures of a Christmas tree requires some kind of skill that I don’t posses but here you go.

If you don't have Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots on your tree then I just don't know what to think of your Yule efforts.

FunLand and the "Smallest House in Old Town" ornaments. Quiet please.

Tattered paper decoration courtesy of LFG's kindergarten days. Finally after thirty years they made a bicycle tag with my name on it. Traumatic as a child to not have one. I'm still not over it.

George Washington's Fan Chair from Mount Vernon.

Cashmere Cable Knit sweater ornament for J. Mclaughlin. The girl who gave me this a couple of Christmases ago won't talk to me anymore. Damn.

A visually neglected oil lives in a rarely viewed corner but it caught my lens when I was snapping these pictures.

This is an Adirondack chair not a whatever....Gibson Island chair like some of you silly girls have asserted.

We've got drums and clarinets over here-'cause that's what we play(ed)

Homemade ornaments are the best.

Hard to see this one but it's the Algonquin Roundtable gang. I spent Christmas Eve-Eve at the Algonquin two years ago. Took the train up to Gotham. Snagged requisite gifts for LFG from the American Girl Store on Fifth Avenue. Repaired to the Algonquin and had dinner at the bar that night. I can remember how superb it was to be in such a traditional old hotel albeit a bit worn these days-ice cold martinis and a rare rib eye while listening to the Algonquin bartender tell stories about the hotel. Home to DC on the Christmas Eve train-laden with American Girl gift boxes. Finally let me say that Patrick Star of Sponge Bob fame is placed next to the Algonquin ornament for a reason. I like to imagine Patrick as one of the Algonquin Roundtable. He would be a smash hit with that gang.

Ok folks-have a blessed Sunday. I’m off to Las Vegas tomorrow for my last billable gig this year. Las Vegas? The week before Christmas? Don’t ask.

Onward-In Velvet


LPC said...

Just too fantastic (in both senses of the word) of a post to call out anything particular. Except I think I have the same rug you do. Not rig. Rug. In case I didn't make myself clear, what a hell of a post.

Toad said...

Well done my friend. Mrs. T makes me put the kids ornaments on the back of the tree, so folks coming up the drive can see them. It ain't fair.

Watch out for Vegas,its tough this time of year.

Oler in Baltimore said...

I'm sitting here watching the Ravens beat-up on the Lions while reading your last post, when my first wife looks over and wants to know what's so funny that it's making me cry. It's hard to explain to her that I just got this mental picture of somebody I don't know at all; sitting in flip-flops, sweatpants (old school sweats and flips to boot)wearing a smoking cap - hoping that today Jesus would indeed not come calling. Geeze man - that was a funny post. Too bad you didn't have a good frind when you were married - 'cause a good friend would have told you that cymbals don't belong in the house. Please be safe in Vegas - next post certainly has promise.

LPC said...

Proof. Plus a flamingo. This time with link. My duh.

ADG said...

LPC...thanks-as always.

Toad...You HAVE to do what Mrs. T. says but you already know that. Vegas...I think the meeting I've been asked to speak at is a boondoggle.

Oler...But cymbals SHOULD be for the house.

Gail, in northern California said...

"Smallest House in Old Town" ornament...a delight. I'm sure each ornament carries a wonderful moment in time that both of you can recall in an instant when the box of ornaments is brought out of storage. When time permits....I don't suppose you remember where that ornament came from, what was the occasion, who decided to buy it.

Your tree is lovely. My favorite kind, filled with memories.

Summer is a Verb said...

Kudos to LFG for a gorgeous tree. An on a velvet note, trapsed around NYC all wknd in my velevt initial crested Belgians. They even made the trek to Babbo with my braggy self...XXOO

ADG said...

Allie...just addressed a Christmas card to your show off self and the man who puts up with you! Was that fat owner who wears orange Crocks at the eatery in Gotham last night?

Gail...just sent your card as well. The smallest house in Old Town is in our 'hood. LFG picks the ornaments. Often from the shop here in Old Town and when we are on vacay.

Brian said...

It's great that LFG is experiencing other religions. The Jacket is great, but the tree is the star of this post. The hommade ornaments are great, but so are the ones from your journeys with you daughter. Just seeing the Funland ornament brought a picture of that clown to my mind and the haunted house. I'm sure like every family you have fond memories of all of your ornaments.

ADG said...

Brian...thanks. Are you watching the game? Two average teams duking it out....sorry.

FunLand...the day they close it will be the last day we go to Rehoboth.

Brian said...

Since most of the in-laws are Giants fans the game is abit more exciting with all of the trash talk over the phone and online, Go Birds!!!

Memphis88 said...

My buddy just got a new switch blade. It cost him $425. Also, switchblades are illegal in Tennessee unless they fall into at least one of two categories. His falls into neither. My friend has too much money and not enough sense to know how to spend it. Great post, by the way. Your sartorial risk taking is certainly an inspiration.

Memphis88 said...

My buddy just got a new switch blade. It cost him $425. Also, switchblades are illegal in Tennessee unless they fall into at least one of two categories. His falls into neither. My friend has too much money and not enough sense to know how to spend it. Great post, by the way. Your sartorial risk taking is certainly an inspiration.

Kathie Truitt said...

I agree with LPC - fantastic post!! I'm not crazy about posts that talk about clothes - except yours! I'm a girly-girl, but I still wanna dress like you! With my funky haircut, too-much makeup and big bahonkers no one would ever mistake me for a man, so it'd probably work. I just need for you to be shorter. Oh, yeah, and have big boobs.

DAM said...

All around well done - the velvet is stellar. I donned my black velvet Ralph blazer with a vintage brooks tartan pants for a holiday party on saturday. Shoes were an issue - they need either black tassel, gucci or stubbs, none of which I own so we settled on cap toe. Worked fine to the unobservant.

Tell us more about that oil painting. Assuming it's you during your childhood there are plenty more stories that could be spun...

Pigtown-Design said...

With the inflatable hair and the velvet jacket, you'll be a chick magnet of the highest order! ;-)

Patsy said...

I agree with LPC - too fantastic!

I, too, wanted to be Jewish as a kid. Didn't happen.

Erica said...

The good think about Las Vegas is that you can always have fun. I've lived here seven years now, and although it can be tacky and tasteless and loud, if you are in the mood, it can be quite fun.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - Nothing in a hundred years worth of Architectural Digests could match LFG's fabulous Christmas tree.
Vegas? - Gulp.

Summer is a Verb said...

Unfortunately no, and neither was his good pal Gwynnie. Working on your request post pour hommes now..XXOO

ELS said...

Just love love love homemade decorations. Pop a velvet jacket on and sit on top of the tree for a few hours. That'll cure your filthy mood.

xx from the beach...

ADG said...

Memphis…that switchblade cost about the same as a pair of Alden Shell Cordovans.

Kathie...You are killin’ me…bahonkers. Oy.

DAM...Thanks. Black shoes are tough. That’s why I don’t wear ‘em. The oil painting-my late brother Stinky.



Erica ...I’m so not in a Vegas mood. 101 fever and a cold.

AnonEngFem...You are too kind. Vegas is a double gulp.

Allie…I wish he had been there. I’m thinking he’d be the only adult that you wouldn’t give a big ration of shit to for wearing Crocks. On the other hand-maybe you would.

ELS ...You are cruisin’ for a bruisin'. Hope you and your gang are having fun.

Rasputin said...

Damn! Love that brown velvet sportcoat! Glad good taste won out...speaking of which, I'm sure you've already noticed over at Mon Avis, Mes Amis the navy blue velvet model "The Colonel" is sporting in beautiful downtown Venice... need to ask how that went down. Last time I was there with my kids' school group, weather dictated that Belstaff Trialmaster was uniform of the day.
On a more economical note, Paul Frederick is offering some velvet jackets with a herringbone bpattern and a shawl collar tux jacket in velvet. At under 2 bills, definiteyly worth a look...

CeceliaMc said...

Well, I must tell you that the yellow zipper-neck sweater is THE choice.

Once you see it, nothing else will do.

The jacket is gorgeous, but even a minute mishaps could land you into being as dandified as the boy in your painting. However, the sweater settles you into suave territory.

The regalia reminds me of something worn by Charlton Heston in the Omega Man; a movie I saw just recently.

He'd wear it while driving that Mustang, masterfully protecting the remnants of civilization against mutant zombies.

Apropos for Vegas.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Cute Christmas tree. Tremendous tweed cap. Absolutely brill, that.

Jeremiah said...

My velvet jacket is deep purple (working buttonholes, natch) and I love it because it fits so well. It is a big hit with strange women when I'm out on the town. Not such a big hit with women who know me because, well, they know me.

If you want to see a great looking smoking cap elegantly deployed watch the movie "Mountains of the Moon." The movie is well worth seeing even without the cap. I have not found a source for a smoking cap so may have one made. A bald head and winter don't go together all that well.

The People's Business said...

Of course she wants to be Jewish! Isn't Ralph Lauren Jewish?

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Tom Ford wishes he could've made a coat as good looking as that. It will serve you well. Wear it to the Manse when you get here. I'll wear my smoking jacket. Only you'll be able to leave the house.

Funland: the airplane ride took all my tickets. And the skee ball.

And for some reason, I've been in the smallest house in Alexandria. Hmmm...

Merry Christmas. I'm off to a Christmas something with my son's class.

tintin said...


ADG said...

Rasputin…but it’s rare in my case the good taste wins out. Good buy on the Paul Fredrick but the collar points look a little wimpy to me!

CeceliaMc...Thanks. You are exactly right regarding my efforts to not have the velvet turn into a foppish rig.

Heavy tweed jacket...Thanks! Where are you going to be for the holidays?

Jeremiah...I understand all too well the “women who know me thing”.

The People's Business...Yes. Ralph is.

Eleganto...I’ll see you after the holidays.

tintin...zaf-nothin over here.

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

It looks like you have a great collection of spy prints!