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Baroness on O'Farrell st as Occupy SF marches in background on Stockton st

Union Square Skating Rink and Xmas Tree

Mounted police horse sporting holiday cheer

Post street looking east

Mayor Ed Lee at the tree lighting

Coit Tower from Union Square with Berkeley in the far distance on the right.

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Borrelli Label

Luigi here has been through the ringer a few times already, “broken in” one could say, though I suppose life will have broken us all after that many spin cycles. But, at the very least, I promise to be a pleasant strolling companion for his twilight years. Maybe he’ll even trust me with a few words of his aged wisdom, perhaps something like “iron at low temperature” or “Viva Garibaldi” or some such cryptic remark. You never know with those old Italians.

Borrelli Shirt Button

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Baronial closets can be an imposing sight. Sometimes this is because a member of the domestic staff, or perhaps the Baron himself, is still in it. Possibly even more terrifying might be Ducal wardrobes – a particular Duke of Windsor comes to mind. The decibel of that Duke’s plaids are as yet unmatched even in our current cacophonous century (see below). Now allow me to provide a scare of a milder peerage, with two views of similar grisliness.


First up is the Baron de Redé’s shoe closet. Each one of these bespoke booties were made by esteemed cordwainer Anthony Cleverley, or his workroom descendants. The photo is borrowed from the Baron’s memoir Alexis: the Memoirs of the Baron de Rédé, published in 2005 by Dovecote Press. The Baron was an aesthete of the of old school: born in 1922 and educated in Switzerland, he settled in Paris after the war. He began a socialite’s storied life while living at the Hotel Lambert. His parties are the stuff of legend; he was an early champion of the young Yves Saint Laurent. The photo above attests to the fact that de Redé had a remarkable number of shoes for man who was chauffeured between posh and easy destinations. In addition to Cleverley, the Baron’s other stop when in London was the famous Portland cards club. It appears he was a bridge man.

Next up is a man who graces this post purely as inspiration in his role as king* of all sartorial pack-rats. Rather than attempt to rehash what other writers have already covered in depth, I’ll link to their handiwork and spare you my lack-of-fact checking and typos. Excellent photos of the Duke’s closet skeletons are blogged at Blackwatch, Style Salvage, and Habitually Chic, who includes a shot of his famous kilt collection, a collection that, if you’ll let me start a new internet rumor, re-coined the phrase “Royal Commando.”

Our last genteel example is that of your cheeky narrator. I present to you a slice of my tie collection. A more humble display when compared to our friends above, I’ll grant you that. What we’re looking at is a small part of the larger mass of congealed silk, wool, and cotton which I paw through daily. Strangely (or poetically), I still have trouble finding just the right tongue and blade for any given outfit. Not pictured are the other spokes of the color wheel; blues, greens, browns, and, of course, plaids.

Knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet.
-Lord Chesterfield

* note the presumptuous date on the coronation china would turn out to be that of his brother George VI.

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December Sunset

Some very low fog coming in from the ocean. It looked more like smoke as it slithered into the neighborhood.

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Always in Season


Those towering Saints George and Benedict watch over my happy hour(s).

It may seem late on the calendar to be pushing amber liquors in autumnal themed glassware, however, its brown all year round at my house (though I am an equal opportunity barman, so our clear friends are always welcome), also it’s been downright frigid around here lately and the cockles have needed warming.

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Recently I was lucky enough to shoot a selection of silk and jewels from Cravate Royale for their profile in the Robb Report. The online version is already up with a planned appearance in the summer print edition too.

Article here. Cravate Royale here.

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Another friend from Detroit. George here had retired to America’s Stamp shop in Berkley MI. He saw his chance and snuck home with us in the suitcase. He’s probably not accustomed to such cramped travel but bore it with a stoicism the English are known for. (more…)

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