Monday, December 21, 2009

Window Pain

Geometrically perfect fuzzy diceyness. Yep, that’s it. That’s how I would define my appetite for windowpane. I’ve said it time and time again-If the Flusser interventionists didn’t reign me in I’d be beyond tacky with my sartorial choices. Windowpane patterns are no exception.
I love windowpane beyond good judgement and usually jump on it like a rat on a freakin’ Cheeto when I see it manifest in a swatch pile. If it's good enough for the overstudied Menjou then I'm good with it. It’s primal-visceral…probably something to do with a childhood deficiency. Mothers didn’t breastfeed as much when I was a baby. Hold me please-swaddled in windowpane.
The one is NOT in my closet. But it was worthy of the post in that there's obviously someone who has an even greater affinity for right angles conjoined.

I can’t recall my first article of windowpane clothing. Not sure what my initial swathing motivation was other than the fact that it’s different. It’s unconventional and to some; a bit unsettling. Reasons enough right there for me to be a consistent arbiter of said geometric conflagration. Be careful-it’ll burn you. I can tell you unequivocally that it's not a seasonal thang.
We wear it year 'round. In evidence here are a few summer versions.
The Duke certainly wore it with aplomb. One of the keys I think, to the Duke’s sartorial success was that he didn’t care too much about his clothes. Check out the D-Ring belt. The Duke Ring.
He bought incredibly eccentric kit that he wore forever and I suppose one could argue that windowpane could be Exhibit One in the evidentiary discovery process for his Sartorial Eccentricity Trial. 
Gus Peterson sure pulled it off well. No? You don’t know Gosta Petersen? Do you know who Laurence Fellows and Leslie Saalburg were? Fellows and Saalburg were the illustrators of all the iconic Esquire and Apparel Arts images that you know and love. You know-the pre photography days. Gus Petersen represented the next generation. A fashion photographer who worked for all of the great print magazines-he was also a dapper and debonair man in his own right. Did I know Gus? Nope. But my friend Alan Flusser did and he told me so-therefore it’s the truth. Shut up. Even if you don’t believe me you must agree that Petersen still had it-sartorially speaking-in windowpane-even as a “mature man”.
Leave it to the eccentric Brits to do windowpane better than any of us. I’ll look similar to this in my dotage. Butcept I’ll be about three feet tall and drunk and pudgy and ornery and opinionated and maudlin and frisky. Damn-I think I need to tell myself to shut up. Somebody come and spank me. Girls only need respond.
Vanity Fair is always replete with windowpaned plonkers.
This oil painting of George Grossmith sporting windowpane jodhpurs watches over me while I sleep. Mostly fitful sleep unless I am primed with an Ambien awash with four gallons of Drambuie sipped through a swizzle stick. Just kidding. I  help folks market medicine-I don’t actually use any (much) of it.  Shut up.
 Jeremy Hackett is another entrepreneurial success story. His first London shop dealt in vintage goods in addition to his own contrivances. One of his standard contrivances is his “house windowpane” I think known as…“Horse and Hound”. 
I passed on a Horse and Hound windowpane sportcoat at the Hackett Shop found inside All England in Paris. Wish that I’d bought it when I was there but that woman….remember that woman whom I accompanied to Paris? I wrote about her over at Blushing. She suggested that I wait on said coat and being the compliant self actualized man that I am I agreed. If I hadn’t agreed she might have withheld favours and that would have been devastating for us both.
Windowpane is fine but let me tell you-new Hackett Horse and Hound windowpane coat or not-celibacy in Paris is a bad concept. Let’s deconstruct this one for a moment. I go to Paris and seek out Anglo stuff at a quintessentially Anglo shop doing business in Paris since the mid 1860’s? Yep-that’s me to a proverbial T.
Merkin contrived Tom Wolfe in windowpane...even though I've never seen Wolfe in anything but white or seersucker. I'll post later about having to decline dinner three weekends ago with my idol Wolfe and his friend Flusser-at a Richard Merking tribute in Providence.
Sad to know that Merkin's windowpane overcoat will see it's first winter without adorning the shoulders of his master.
I suppose that this cropped picture attests to several things. One is that LFG had no hair for the first two years of her life. Another is that this coat remains one of the most stellar items in my closet after all these years so it pays to buy quality things.
 I saw Flusser himself in this coat-he had it made in a double breasted contrivance-and I simply said “I’ll have what he’s having”. One hundred percent cashmere. Delicate like me.

We also have a navy blue version. Same "ADG House Model" Peak single breasted three-two but with pleated patch pockets. Stole this pocket square from a guy at Clemson. Easy picking.

Here’s Clark Gable. Late of “Frankly my dear-I don’t give a damn” fame. Sporting a windowpane Norfolk Jacket-notice the shoulder-back pleats on this unit. Slick. Slicker than snot on a doorknob.
David Niven is seen here-knockin’ him some windowpane out the proverbial ball park. Hell, this windowpane “at bat” sailed beyond the bleachers and into the neighborhood. Are you kidding me? Look at the dorsal fin lapels on this double breasted bombast. I bet he had to pay property tax on the excess fin width. I’d wear this in a heartbeat but you already knowed that. Turned back sleeve cuff. I can do that-you better not.
UPDATE....AnonEngFem just shared with me the windowpaned visage of George Melly-another crazy ass Brit. This time in a tightly configured aggregation of right angles. Thanks S.P.
Windowpane wasn't lost on the Brethren back in the day. Today is not unfortunately-their day.
And this windowpane contrivance has yet to roll in from Italy. Trust me when I tell you that it’s gonna be stronger than nine rows of spring onions. So much so that I’m certain that the animal control boys at Customs will quarantine it for a few days-with the other animals rolling in just as hot from Europe. Flat front-narrower leg. That’s all I’m sayin’ right now. You’ll be contriving the same rig based on my aplomb. Cept only it will be a year later. Whisper-But only if you must.
My navy windowpane standard. I had this on when I asked my former father-in-law for permission to marry his daughter. I had it on yet again when I signed my final divorce papers. I’m not making this up. People said I looked funny with the suit trousers on over adult diapers at Family Court. Depends I’d say. Depends on where you are in the divorce mélange. It’s all good now.
Thurston Gut Ends are essential when asking for a woman’s hand in marriage. Same goes for dressing in preparation for the gut wrenching signature ceremony necessary to extricate one from marriage. Marital extrication-kind of the anti-banns of matrimony. Butcept it’s a tad pricier.
So if ya’ll see anything windowpane-ish that upon which you think I need to pounce, please let me know. Until then, you absolutely have to read Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed. Richard Anderson’s story is a page turner. So much so for me that I read it cover to cover on the flight out to that place. That place where I spent a few days last week. Sans windowpane.
Onward. In delightful preparation for a chubby little guy in a red velvet suit.



Brian said...

I have a few sports jackets with the "winder pain", but never tried a suit in it. Still a fan of the fuzzy dice!

Pigtown-Design said...

Our CEO at work, who's quite chic, had a beautiful windowpane jacket on the other day. Dark blue with barely lighter dark blue panes. Even today, dressed down b/c of the weather, he looked great.

Anonymous said...

You've really outdone yourself here. Windowpane is simultaneously classic and traditional, and yet so very modern- all of those right angles. I'm convinced that my great attraction for this pattern still has something to do with all the calculus homework I did on graph paper.
I'm glad to see that you've recognized that our good friend Ralph does this pattern exceptionally well.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - Great post. Makes me think of George Melly, the English jazz singer and art crtic. One of his obituaries opens with the words: "The worst thing you might say about George Melly is that he was respectable." Same could be said of some of his suits.

Kathie Truitt said...

I, too, love windowpane. I've never gotten around to it but I've always wanted a pair of windowpane jodhpurs for myself. I don't show or hunt anymore but I'd wear them anyway. I don't care. Horse Country Life in Warrenton carries them and I'm thinking I might have to make a trip over there in the New Year.

Anonymous said...

Is that a present in your breastpocket or are you just happy to....ummm, oh, 'scuse me, that's a Christmas pocket square.
It's fabulous - that one in your first (brown pane) pocket shot.

Wish all guys would undo the stitching in the pocket of a new suit and learn the art..........

Toad said...

Please promise that the purple number is not yours, and if it is to only wear it at home, alone, in the dark.

You've put me in a funk my friend. I need to go shopping. Time to get pants for many of my jackets.
Fat man be darned.

CeceliaMc said...

Your camel and cream jacket is just yummy. The fabric, surely, but there's wonderful lapels and pockets too.

However, the eye candy that completely does me in, is the picture of Gus Petersen. I wasn't familiar with him, but what a dapper turn out.

And so intriguing! I might have matched Gus' trousers with his jacket, but never the tie. I would have though it too light in color for the shirt and too light in weight for everything else.

But there that splendid tie is, taking Gus out of the English countryside and into jaunty Manhattan.

Just "brill" someone said.

I enjoyed your piece about your former lady friend in your link to the Blushing Hostess blogsite. Your prose was wonderful, but body language and pictures really do speak reams.

It made me remember the time I once talked my husband out of going to a costume party dressed as Janet Reno, only to see someone else take a prize for that same get-up.

I don't think he (my husband) was really serious about going through with it, but it makes one wonder just how many wild roses you've pissed on.

Anonymous said...

The silver tie and blue shirt look great as well. Not sure what kind of knot that is, but it proves my contention that you don't need huge knots with cutaway collars (which is what I assume you're wearing). And LFG looks cute as ever (as if you'd ever get tired of hearing that).

NCJack said...

Just got my first Bookster tweed, the Awe, sort of windowpanish, and am now browsing their cloth page for my second. May go full WP this time

ADG said...

Brian…Man up and do the windowpane suit. I’ll throw in the fuzzy dice.

Megtown...He ain’t as sheeeek as me!

Anonymous...Calculus…it scared/es me!

Anonymous English Female...Thanks to you I added Mellyboy.

Kathie...Go buy the togs NOW! The economy needs it. And you need them.

Anonymous...I can’t leave home without a pocket square.

Toad...No it isn’t and I added a disclaimer to the post this morning. Now go fix that funk with a trip to the haberdasher for some more moleskins.

CeceliaMc...You can’t learn to dress like Gus Petersen. You gotta be born with that stuff. As for Wild Rose Pissing…

Anonymous...Thanks for the kind words regarding LFG…I’ll never tire of hearing that. Large knots look stupid-in most instances.

NCJack...Are you REALLY Jack Purcell’s grandson? How is the Bookster quality? Let’s do a post about your Bookster experience.

NCJack said...

Papa Max.,

A different Jack Purcell, not the shoe one.

The Bookster is terrific. "Medium" weight, the AWE plaid, nice and thick. I figure their heavies could stop a slug up to .38 cal. Canvassed as advertised, all stitching etc. looks first rate. Darted, so no full pattern matching on pocket flaps.

Two caveats: the "standard" sleeve buttons are faux surgeon, and I got them a bit long just in case. This may cause some problems if I get them shortened, but it's not enough for me to stress over. You can barely see the "buttonholes"

And when they say that they normally cut with waist suppression they mean it. Double check waist measurements when specifying "+2" or such. Just a smidgeon snug, and I plan to take myself in, rather than let the coat out...., no, really

The fabric is a bit darker than it appears on the site, again not enough to make a dif. to me, but anyone who's really picky should order a swatch. I sort of factored this in based on my own experiences trying to shoot indoors for the web.

Delivery was twelve weeks, and they're not real quick on answering emails, so anyone on a schedule should probably utilize their ordering email system to check. I ordered Sept. 17, so holiday gift buying was probably already clogging the pipes.

Basically, I feel like I got an $800 (or more) item for less than half price, and I just pulled the trigger on a Glen tweed, with their newly advertised "blazer style" patch pockets