The Easter-Memorial Day vetting sieve through which you’ve tethered your seasonal clothing decisions is forever kaput. I’ll tell you when you can wear what and to that end, White Bucks will be released later in the week. I declare spectator shoe season partially open. Loafers only…brogues…wingtips…a few more weeks abeyance please.
So I test drove mine the other day. My old Brethren Peale babies that given the limited season for appropriate use and my general lack of interest in them, should last me forever.
Paul over at Sorrento Lens is an artist and a car buff. I love old cars but artistic endeavours with a camera…not so much. I’m not even close to viewing anything through an artistic lens. Heck, I do well to come off with snaps that aren’t blurry. This old Austin Healy Sprite offered me trace elements of an artistic view after I caught my spectators in the chrome hubcap.
Spectators are kind of tricky. Probably unfairly maligned by the likes of Al Capone, Clyde Barrow and of course, J. Edgar Hoover. I’m thinking that if Robert Macaire and Ratapoil…Honoré Daumier’s metaphorical archetypes had lived in the era of spectator shoes they’d both have donned them.
Crafty guys those two…gaming the system while sometimes representing the system and always…looking out for themselves. Certainly I’ve over-thought and overwrought this correlation. Shut up.
We’ve got Macaire and Ratapoil in residence at Casa Minimus. Macaire lives on a poster relegated to a corner of the kitchen-accompanying a Trek road bike just above the Vanity Fair print of Alberto Santos Dumont…in the shadow of pots and pans from above. Yes, I can cook. I'll be doing a post on Dumont and his Charvet collars at some point.
Ratapoil lives adjacent to a row of NASCAR models that front a row of books loosely categorized as domestic social nonfiction laced with some Southern fiction and anchored by Tom Wolfe and Dominick Dunne. And no, I never did finish painting the built in book shelves. Shut up.
You too can have a Daumier sculpture of Ratapoil. Christies has one in an upcoming auction and the estimate is $40,000.00-$60,000.00. If this Alexis Rudier version goes for less than 60k it will be a steal. Mine? I’m hanging on to it till I have to pay lawyers again, send LFG to graduate school or buy shell cordovan futures.
Ok, let’s get back to shoes ‘cause I know I’m losing you. Spectators aren’t just for fellas but I’d say that the correspondent look is perhaps trickier for gals to pull off…just my opinion. Come to think of it…lace-up spectators have a gender independent theatric energy-a campy tone and one that I can’t begin to actualize. Hepburn did it on the golf course with aplomb but that’s where lace up spectators seem to belong-on the links. Hepburn did a lot of things with aplomb including gray flannel trousers.
I’d never consider spectator brogues a nautical thing but this WASPy gal certainly made it work. This photo and the one of Hepburn on the links are from A Privileged Life…one of those books interested me but not one to buy till I found it for a couple of bucks. We need a lot of things over here but one of them isn’t another coffee table/picture book.
Ok, so wear your loafers but not your brogues. I’ll give you the go-ahead on those babies in a few weeks-if I want to. Till then, here’s my Speck Tater installment from last season.
Ps…Evidence that I do occasionally wear black shoes and that I eat something other than Hungry Man Turkey Dinners.
Speck...TatersI’m not one for the two toned, seasonal spectator or co-respondent brogues. They look tres gangsterish to me. Besides, that freak show known as J. Edgar Hoover wore them and that’s reason enough right there to never sport a pair.Here’s J. Edgar with famous fellow G-Man . Purvis was the Chicago SAC when Dillinger was shot at the Biograph Theatre on Lincoln Avenue. Purvis lit his cigar when Dillinger walked by, signaling the boys to close in. Little Mel Purvis was done wrong by Hoover…further alienating any allegiance I might’ve had for spectator shoes. You see, Melvin Purvis was one of my heroes when I was a kid. I used to literally shake with nerves when I delivered the morning paper to the steps of the Purvis Mansion. I’d peer inside and see the landing where Purvis had lain dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound. I’ll blog about dapper Mel Purvis later.
So, I do have a pair of Peale spectator loafers from the Brothers Brooks but they are rather tame. Medium brown with khaki drill cloth for contrast.I propped them up against what I thought would be suitable trousers. The striped pair is Flusser…dupioni silk with a back buckle in lieu of side tabs. These trousers are stronger than battery acid. If you ever happen to see me in them, don’t touch-you might get hurt…by the trousers…certainly not by me. Girls, you can touch but please, let me guide you. It would break my heart to know that there was collateral damage in tandem with your delight. Ok, I woke up. The other pair…Polo Ralph linen windowpane. Colony model. Rather drapy, high waisted, side tabs.I think the Tater Pealers hooked up nicely with my new J.Press horizontal striped socks. Whaddya'll think?