Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by earthdragon, Nov 18, 2008.
My green knit tie always gets comments from the ladies at work.
i just spent 3 hours widening the waist on these pair of wool pants by an inch. not the best but not bad for my first try
Women love touching knit ties. Can't help themselves.
Spoiler: Warning: Spoiler!
Cheap plug for guys wanting a pair of Dark Brown espresso calf cap toe oxfords. I've got a pair of Church's Consul US 9D on sale on ebay.
That, and cufflinks. And shiny things in general.
Someone in Queensland is selling almost-new C&J Cliffords for $450 on ebay.
THE sudden death of Collins Street shoe-shine man Neill Martin, has devastated the owners of Harrolds, Theo and John Poulakis.
The brothers took Martin, an alcohol and drug addict, under their wing five years ago and helped him set up a business outside their store called Shiny Shoes Shoeshine. Martin, 49, was found dead at home on Friday.
An emotional Theo said: ''It's a tragedy. Neill was inspirational. He has to be remembered as somebody who struggled with dependency and came out bouncing, wanting to live life again away from drugs and alcohol.''
Martin appeared in Melbourne Life last October, recalling his struggles but was excited about the future and opening more shoe-shine outlets. Theo has received calls from people wanting to help Martin's children and may establish a fund
THE AGE OCT 2010
IN NEILL Martin's old life, he was a homeless alcoholic and drug addict who lived on the streets and was in and out of jail. As a youngster, he was sent to a boys' home and was made to polish shoes as punishment, earning the nickname ''Shiny Shoes''.
In Martin's new life, he's still on the street but running his own business, Shiny Shoes Shoeshine, outside salubrious menswear store Harrolds at 101 Collins Street.
Martin's transformation is part self-help and part divine intervention by Harrolds' benevolent owners, John and Theo Poulakis. In this tale of rags and riches, he wore the rags and the Poulakis brothers had the riches in both dollars and spirit.
Five years ago, John went to his Bourke Street Mall restaurant, Ca de Vin, and spotted Martin having a coffee. His hair was below his waist, his beard was down to his stomach and he needed a good scrub. Martin had been shining shoes around the city with his box and cardboard sign.
John approached him and asked what he wanted to do with his life. After Martin mentioned owning a shoeshine business, John said: ''Follow me, I'll take you where it will work.''
The same day, his brother Theo also happened to be in Collins Street and coincidentally saw Martin and approached him offering to buy him lunch. Martin snapped back: ''I don't want charity.'' Undaunted, Theo went to buy him some pasta but when he returned, Martin was gone.
Theo then went into Harrolds and saw Martin sitting on a chair. Theo was gobsmacked and asked what he was doing there. John explained while Martin ate his pasta and his future began to look more shiny when the brothers proposed a plan to help him realise his business dream.
With the help of private donors, the brothers spent $5000 setting up Martin on the footpath with a glass enclosure and chairs. Melbourne City Council came through with the permit.
Martin grew up in Western Australia and had a drinking problem when he was 10. He progressed to smoking dope, injecting heroin and stealing. Not that he calls it that. ''It was borrowing booze with no money,'' he says. He later moved to Serpentine, near Bendigo, and the pattern of self-destruction continued.
At 23, he met a ''beautiful woman'' and fell in love, but she died when she was five months pregnant. Martin gets teary when telling the story. His nomadic life continued and he fathered five children with three women.
A Salvation Army newsletter, quoting Martin's school report, said: ''This kid won't make it to 40.'' But now he's 48 and has progressed from wearing rags to occasionally donning one of Harrolds' Pal Zileri suits worth $2500. Martin gave up the booze more than eight years ago. ''It's been 3037 days,'' he declares. ''I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and being in the police station.'' The turning point was meeting a Salvation Army officer and getting cleaned up at the Flagstaff Crisis Accommodation Centre in West Melbourne. He also credits Brian Cox, founder of the Melbourne Alcohol Recovery Centre Inc. ''He told me to get off my arse and stop feeling sorry for myself,'' Martin said.
Martin's other saviours are John, 52, and Theo, 48. Born in Greece, they emigrated with their parents in 1965 and brought with them a strong work ethic. They opened their first Harrolds store in the Rialto in 1985 and moved to 101 Collins in 1993. They moved two doors down to the flagship store in 2005, recently refitting the ground floor with luxury brands including Balmain and Yves Saint Laurent.
The brothers are reluctant to speak about their philanthropy, but go about helping street kids quietly. Theo said: ''We try to do our little bit.'' The brothers know that hard work equals reward and they are instilling those values in Martin. Or trying. Martin has a problem managing money and can be hardheaded. John said: ''There are issues every day - he has been told to get his act together.''
Martin, like a scolded schoolboy, admits he's not great with money. John said: ''Write this: he chewed up $25,000 held in trust by the Salvos.''
Despite the challenges, the brothers haven't given up. They're chuffed to see him reverse ''the losing battle'' and report for work, sometimes with his 16-year-old son Josh, who wants to be a builder.
Theo said: ''It's been challenging but lovely to see.'' John stressed that their help was not ''free'' and turned to Martin, saying: ''There is a ledger. We need you to make sure you earn money.''
Martin is trying. He normally charges $7 for shoes, but on ''Shoeday Tuesday'', the first of the month, it's $5. He rents a house in Geelong and commutes by train, shining passengers' shoes along the way.
In Collins Street, he has met the well-heeled. Jerry Lewis strolled past with Mick Gatto in June and Martin cleaned Jerry's blue suede shoes.
Martin's ambition is to open more shoeshine outlets, but it's one step at a time. In perfectly shined shoes.
That's really sad, I just said Hi to him as I walked past Thursday.
No derbies with suits?! Crap...
Here I am today, wearing these (Carminas from The Armoury)
With this P Johnson gray PoW suit and blue and brown cashmere Drakes tie
^^ Nah. Derby with suits in general are fine. Derby with navy DB not so fine.
Agree that is sad. I had a brief chat to him only last week too, the day before the Harrold store sale.
That is very sad.
My deepest condolences to his children.
I know, I know; just horsing around.
Know the rules, but like to break 'em whenever I feel like it. That... and I enjoy wearing my Carminas.
Besides, this is Oz; most people out there have no idea about closed lacing vs open lacing, so no one's going to give a toss either way.
Puts the heated arguments that rage on this site about "whether to wear this necktie with that jacket" etc. into perspective. That's real life.
Separate names with a comma.