Friday, August 31, 2018

Alan Flusser on Richard Merkin

My Richard Merkin self portrait hangs above me as I cobble together this little update. I sent Carrie Haddad payments on it for about six months before it rolled in to Casa Minimus. It's one of my treasures.
This Merkin portrait of Alan hangs in Flusser's Gotham office.
And of course his great friend Alan Flusser has original Merkin artwork preening in various strategic locations in his shop and office. 
I loved Merkin and am pleased to have been one of his lucky correspondents and telephone pals. I got to know him a bit too late I'm afraid. We never had that face-to-face fellowship that I so crave when I encounter special people. 
I wrote about Merkin from time to time but I couldn't be happier that Alan Flusser has now shared a story about his friendship with Richard. I'll offer you the first paragraph but then you must go over to Alan's Musings page and read its entirety. Here you go...

"Late in one afternoon in the fall of 1974 I was strolling up Madison Avenue when I spied a rather impressively dressed figure making his way towards me. Drawing closer, we both paused as to take each other in. I remember blurting out somewhat quizzically: “Richard Merkin?" To which he responded: “Alan Flusser?”  As if divinely arranged, our first encounter took place at the most sublime yet ironic of addresses, 346 Madison Avenue -- smack dab in front of Brooks Brothers...."  



Tuesday, August 28, 2018


She was nine years old when I wrote my first story. And I just spent some time reading through my earliest tales as well as the reader comments. I reveled in those times and I turned out stories with equal joy. More about LFG than the clothes. It’s an understatement for me to say that the last nine years have flown by. They have. At warp speed. Maybe that’s why my writing kinda trailed off.

It has and continues to be the zenith of my existence—being LFG’s father. I’ve always said that I’m not looking for any parenting accolades. I’ve just wanted to be present and conduct myself in a manner so that LFG will say that “my dad was always there for me when I needed him”.
And I sure hope that she remembers our antics and silly fun as much as I do. We had a blast. At least I think we did.
She’s not really Southern. I am. Her mother is. Sure she had summer jaunts to the Carolinas to see my mamma but Lily is a mid-Atlantic gal, if not a borderline Yankee. Bethesda will do that to the tender ones.

Yet when it came time to visit colleges my gal wouldn’t even glance at anything north of D.C. She applied to six schools—all of them south of the Mason-Dixon and every one of them accepted her. She’s been in Charleston for two weeks now and I’ve barely been able to get five minutes with her on the phone.

It’s been sorority rush and roommates and classes and everything else that goes with one’s freshman year. And I love her honesty and authenticity. She called home after a couple of rush functions to say that she would no longer be interested in her mother’s sorority. Something about the sisters being empty vessels and wearing excessive jewelry. She found a better fit elsewhere. My gal isn’t very pink and green and I couldn’t be happier.
So here’s to college. And strong, confident women. And to my hope that I’ve done ok as a daddy so far.



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Britches Bespoke D.C. This Week …Don’t Miss It!

 I recently shared the great news about Britches Bespoke, the Mark Rykken—Rick Hindin tasty collaboration. Well I’m happy to report that the Britches Bespoke inaugural trunk show in New York was an outstanding success. I’ll sprinkle in a bit of photo evidence from New York amidst this, my D.C. announcement.
The Britches Bespoke team will be duplicating their tasty purveyance this week here in D.C. If you are within a thousand miles of The Sofitel, then you need to roll in on the Britches Boys this week and witness the sartorial splendor.
And you absolutely don’t need an appointment. However if you want some focused time with Mark Rykken for a bespoke measure-up, then call him at 201-707-3000 or email him at rykken.mark@gmail .com.


Let me be crystal clear about the Britches Bespoke offerings.  If you’ve ever been reluctant to stop by such bespoke soirees for fear of two piece suiting four-thousand dollar starting price points I get it. Why go and gander at things you can’t have, right?
The Britches Bespoke experience is designed to be different. Surely you can still bespeak a four thousand dollar camel hair overcoat with Mark. I did. Years ago before I went bankrupt and LFG had the audacity to want a college education.
But there’s plenty of tasty offerings with MSRP stickers that won’t blanch you or your wallet.  And if you want clothing in lieu of outerwear or sportswear, the Britches Made-to-Measure clothing line starts at price points friendly for the masses yet still preening the fuzzy-diced “this was made just for me” bells and whistles.
The boys will be in a sartorially swathed Sofitel suite at 806 15th Street N.W.  This Wednesday the 11th, Thursday the 12th, and until 12:00 noon on Friday the 13th. Don’t wait until Friday to go.
And I can’t imagine why in the world you’d want to see me but if you’d like to have a coffee and let me spew Britches Bespoke superlatives at you in person, come by on Friday morning and have a coffee with me. I’ll show you the Britches Bespoke quilted jacket that I’m having Hindin and Rykken cook up for little old ADG.
I hope that the summer weather in your part of the world has been as sublime as ours these last few days. I found the mother lode of raw peanuts yesterday and have been boiling them my a_s off. I’ll have some waiting for you at the Sofitel if you want a little nibble of my favorite southern white trash staple. Shut up.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Britches Bespoke…Clothing for Life

There’s something tasty on the horizon and it’s about damn time!

One of the highlights of 2018 for me so far—other than the got my life back spine surgery—is my new acquaintance with Rick Hindin.  Rick is the co-creator of the inimitable Britches of Georgetowne and he’s as creative and thoughtful and wise as ever. I just want to hang out with him.
And you’ve probably read my tale about Britches of Georgetowne and Ralph’s monochromatic visit one evening. It’s probably my favorite Mark Rykken story. Britches will always rank high in the pantheon of sartorial light houses—leastways for the development of my fuzzy tendencies. I have two white pinpoint oxford dress shirts remaining from my Britches trove. The Astaire model. Longish point collar, ultimately pinnable with my stick thru silver collar pin. The shirts posses patina and the collars sport battle scars of countless joust throughs as I anchored the collar and heightened the visual interest of the tie knot. Shut up.

Britches Bespoke Donegal Country Tweed

Rick retrieved the Britches of Georgetowne brand some time ago and has incubated a really cool new version of Britches. And yes, I’m avoiding the reincarnation cliché. One of the things that I like about Rick is his wariness of too much sentiment. Certainly he’s bringing Britches of Georgetowne insight and panache to the evolving Britches iteration. But really it’s more about the future.
Then there’s my brother Rykken. Mark’s been swathing me for over twenty-five years—both in clothing and friendship. And now the Flusser protégé late of Paul Stuart is back with Hindin and his Britches roots.

Britches Bespoke Inaugural Gray Flannel Tastiness

BritchesBespoke is the Hindin-Rykken first chapter in the contemporary iteration of Britches. There’s more to come over time but Britches Bespoke is the foundational first step.

 This ain’t just a Rebranded Rykken Reboot!

Ok, so Rykken’s doing custom again. Mark’s stalwart D.C. and N.Y.C. customers will surely be pleased to know. Wherever Mark’s been plying his skills and wares over the last decade frankly made no difference. The taste level was always high and the bells, whistles, and for me; the fuzzy-dice options never disappointed. It's a safe bet that the same will hold true for Britches Bespoke. 
Customers have always been assured of getting the highest level of Mark’s talent regardless of the label inside the jacket. I know this firsthand because my closet attests it. And the goods last forever, assuming that you don't double in size. I've been wearing the suit in the above photo for twenty-three years. My closet rack is brimming with suits and jackets that don’t see nearly the wear as they did in years past. Don’t get me going about the slumming of America.

Britches Bespoke Outerwear Tastiness 

So even if you aren’t in the market for a suit or sport jacket, don’t miss the upcoming Britches Bespoke trunk shows. Why? Because the Rykken-Hindin magic only begins with custom clothing. I'm all-in if for no other reason than bespoking a quilted toggle-closure winter coat in my never available midgety a_s size.

The Britches Bespoke and Special Order Shoddings...Solely Worth a Visit

I've spent enough dough with George Cleverley et al and they're not likely to get another dime. And it isn't an understatement for me to say that the Rykken-Hindin footwear lineup means you'll never have to wait on your London cobbler to roll back into the States for your next fitting. 

It’s the other Britches Bespoke offerings that have me most excited.

Donegal and Quilted...Indeed

What's different is that Rick and Mark are offering tasty outerwear, belts, sportswear, bespoke shoes and other goodies that will make Britches Bespoke and their inaugural trunk shows attractive to everyone. 

Knee Level Tweediness

Pop Your Collar in Yellow or Not

When was the last time you saw a knee length car coat that was this tasty? Hell, the tasty meter ain't robust enough to even measure the fuzziness of this Britches Bespoke concoction.

Outerwear Your Way...Customize it until your fuzzy heart's content!

So you need to come and see it for yourself. The promises are big but so are the tasty deliverables!

Regimentals Bold and Beautiful

New York

June 27th -29th 9:00am-6:00pm
The Royalton Hotel
44 West 44th Street

Washington D.C.
July 11th-13th 9:00am-6:00pm
806 15th Street N.W.

Reach out to Mark and let him know you are coming. I’ll be there and you should too.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

He Wrote Me Back...R.I.P. Tom Wolfe

I'd just missed him at Alan Flusser's atelier one afternoon. And a few years before that I fingered one of his white jackets on a hangar at Vincent Nicolosi's flourescently intimidating workshop.

I wrote him a letter many years ago. And he wrote me back. If the house was on fire, my Wolfe letter would be one of the first things I'd grab.

His radioactive lexicon suited the hell out of me and I absolutely loved what his words made my imagination do. He'd almost put my mind's eye out sometimes.

And he was Southern. And reviled by Norman Mailer.

R.I.P. Tom Wolfe