Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spectator Season: Partially Open

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 RatapoilHonorĂ© 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.

I’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 Melvin Purvis. 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?



K.S. Anthony said...

The socks are top notch: they look like silk springs lined up and ready to leap into summer puns, er, fun.

Shun the sta-prest, stay with J. Press. etc. etc. etc.

Purvis adds an insouciant air to that boater and J.E.H. never looked so dry.

(repeating to myself Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors statuary, nor his hosiery, nor his shoes...)

Toad said...

A lot to absorb in one evening. I have a love hate with specs. I like 'em on others, hate them on me. Such is life.

Anonymous said...

Okra pickles? Hallie

heavy tweed jacket said...

When you post late like this, I can actually get in early. Thanks. It is definitely loafer season. But as Toad recently wrote, we've been having "biblical rains" all week, so it's only been the muck about brogues for me. Nothing spring-like, and certainly no Speck-Taters on my plate. Nice pic of Hepburn, btw.

Suburban Princess said...

Ooops! I've got my loafers back into circulation a few weeks ago. As soon as the snow melted I couldn't wait to wear them again!

You will find any way possible to slip a crotch shot in wont you!?

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Nice. The photos of your striped socks and spectators at the end jolted me awake. I'm up now.

RHW said...

Ahhh, the pickled okra... I've been snacking on these little gems, both in and out of Bloddy Mary's, for years. A staple in my Deep South home. As is G&G. Not bad ADG, not bad at all.

Will said...

Huzzah! Spectator season is in view. I absolutely love the damn things. Actually, two-tones in general, as I'm rather fond of saddles as well. Only problem is finding a place to wear them. Have a pair of Allan Edmonds that I've only worn once. My AE saddles make it out more often. Just about as GTH as I'm liable to get. (can't get into madras....but will wear hawaiian in a heartbeat. Go figure)

Turling said...

I find it difficult to justify the time and place for spectators. Well, I guess the place as you're going to tell me the time, apparently. Right now, they're relegated to weekend strolls through some local gardens. Not too bad, I guess.

Pigtown-Design said...

i thought you bought a new camera! Let's see some evidence, please.

VogueOntheRange said...

Oh hey, two of my favorites: Okra pickles and Garden & Gun ... the rest of the post was lost on me for the adoration of those two things...

Anonymous said...

25 year old water stained spectator loafers hold court in my closet and are a shrine/tribute to quintessential summer good times, wistful, priceless and untouchable - A result of being stranded (oh-so-happily) during Hurricane Bob, Newport, Summer '91.
Will NEVER clean those gems, perish the thought of that splattered collection of memories be washed down the drain.....

JDB said...

The NASCAR collection concerns me.

Summer said...

Your socks have this Pippi Longstocking/Wicked Witch of the East thing going on. I do like them.

Forget the Memorial Day rule--May 1st is a good time for spectators; white bucks; sockless anything to come out to play. Here in Florida we don't play by the rules. If it's warm we treat it like summer up north and anything goes.

Garden and Gun had a great article about the late Walker Percy several years ago. Have been interested in the magazine ever since I read that article.

James said...

I'm like Toad, I like them on others, but can't make them work on me.I remember a photo of Tom Selleck in a pair and of course he made it work to perfection.

JMW said...

Yeah, I'd have to say the only time this gal has worn spectators is on the golf course (white and tan, thank you.) Glad to see a copy of G&G on your table - the article about the art forgers had me glued to the pages. Total crazies!

Preppy 101 said...

Green and white striped remind me of the beach - love them. And the AH hub cap reminds me of an SOB I dated who drove one. It's okay that he was an SOB cause that's the only reason I dated him. His car was the only thing he had going for him. Healey Blue Metallic. xoxo

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - As you know I own a selection of co-respondent brogues/spectators from the likes of Crockett&Jones and Church's - bought back in the day when everything was made in their own Northampton factory. So tell me, what's wrong with being a gal being a gender independent theatric gangster - at any time of the year ??

Scott said...

Lord have mercy, I do love pickled okra. Spectators, not so much.

I get my two-toned kicks from my white and brown Walkover saddles. Matter of fact, I'd put 'em on right now if it wasn't 48 degrees and raining.


ilovelimegreen said...

I had two pairs of spectators - one, hot pink suede which I wore to death and the other, traditional two-tone black and white. Those made me feel likea gangster and I barely wore them. But I do miss those hot pink spectators!

Anonymous said...

It seems that your accoutrements are not limited to the wardrobe. Casa Minimus appears to be quite a sophisticated, eclectic lair. I like the matting technique on the V-F Dumont poster.

Jeremiah said...

"Shut up" jumped a shark. All of the sharks, actually.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

I'm glad it's just spectator season that's partially open and not your fly in the crotch shot.

ADG said...

K.S….Man you are full of puns today!

Toad...I hear you. I have a limited affinity for them and wouldn’t expand my inventory at all. I probably wear them a dozen times a season.

AnonymousHallie... Okra pickles? Of course.

heavy tweed jacket man…I write posts and then automatically schedule them to hit after midnight. I’m in Boston and its 44 degrees outside…not speck weather here either.

Suburban Princess...They aren’t “crotch” shots. It’s art.

Laguna Beach TradMan...Glad I was able to roust your lazy carcass out of bed.

Nice. The photos of your striped socks and spectators at the end jolted me awake. I'm up now.

RHW ...Thanks. I’m kinda partial to both of them as well.

Will...Hard to figure your appetite for Hawaiian shirts but a no-go on madras.
Megtown...That’s just flat out not nice. But I love you and forgive you.

Turling...I’m with you. That’s why I waited and bought mine for half price.

VogueRanger...Yep…I love ‘em too.

AnonymousNewportStained….just a great visual…thanks.

JDB...The NASCAR collection concerns the hell out of me too. We got problems over here.

Summer...That’s an interesting take. I still like the Dr. Suess-ish take on it.

James...Yep. Me and Selleck.

JMW...G&G is good. I worry though about its long term viability.

Preppy 101...An AH SOB…in Blue. Interesting.

AnonEngFem...You have permission to be a gender independent theatrical gangster gal. Others do not.

Scott...It’s ok. We can’t all love spectators but we should all love pickled okra.
Ilovelimegreengal...only you.

Anonymous...CasaMinimus is a mess.

Jeremiah...It is jumped “the” shark. Not jumped “a” shark. If you are going to use urban vernacular or pop culture slang, get it right. Shut up.

Laguna Beach TradMan...I’m not an open fly kind of guy.

Memphis88 said...

Got the Del Toros in. They fit pretty true to size despite the fact that they tell you to order up a half size or so. I am definitely going with an 8. They sent me a pair of green ones that nearly made me reconsider my choice of navy. Beautiful looking shoes in my opinion, but I'm gonna stick with navy for my first pair. I can't even imagine the looks that I'm gonna get in these things.

Will said...

If it helps any, I've actually started looking at madras & thinking "well........"

In my defense, I tend to prefer the less garish variety of aloha shirts.

Don't know how I missed the road bike the first time through. Must be slipping. Which model? Go bespoke, go Waterford.

Anonymous said...

Great post, ADG,

Did you hear Petey Cothran died?
lost your email address in a recent compudisaster.
rcf in Cola town.