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Barry Humphries' Style: SF opinion

Kentishman

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I think his son, Oscar is a much better example.
 

meister

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Barry has always dressed pretty Golden Era with more of a twist to the late Edwardian.



Cap'n Hastings on Poirot wears a similar jacket.
 

ecclespeccles

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Originally Posted by Kentishman
I think his son, Oscar is a much better example.

yeah wurd, had never heard of him



edit:

The suit (I think):
Dare to wear white
by Oscar Humphries
The Spectator (UK)
13.5.2006

When I was 13 my father took me to Venice. I remember canals and smelly water and pigeons and an organ by Guardi that - apparently - we were lucky to see.

I remember that my father and I painted the same view of a church on the other side of the Grand Canal from our hotel window.

His painting was better. I remember that we went to the Giorgio Armani shop and he bought himself a linen suit. It was double breasted and I was glad he bought it. I felt that peculiar sensation that a son experiences when his father dresses up. A heady combination of pride and, by association, vanity. I don't think he's worn that suit since.

It's too big for him now, and hangs as a reminder of a very masculine kind of selfindulgence and, I hope, as a reminder of our holiday. I've wanted a suit like that ever since. Except I want mine to fit.

A white linen suit signifies hope and promise. When it's resurrected from the gloom of a closet it's because we hope the weather will be nice enough to justify the garments web-like frailty. When you buy a linen suit you hope that you will be able to meet the huge dry-cleaning bills needed to remove grass stains, strawberry smears, and lipstick pecks accrued at garden parties, polo matches, and Domaines Ott-drenched lunches in Tuscany or Provence.

It is a fundamentally inappropriate garment - impractical and impossible to keep clean. It's the sort of thing Julian MaclarenRoss might have spent an advance on, believing that he had finally turned a corner, that things would get better, that he'd kick the booze, and that he had the suit to prove it. Maclaren-Ross would have ruined his suit within hours.

It is linen's vulnerability that makes it so recklessly special. White linen is for grownups.

Tom Wolfe wears white linen suits. On every dust jacket and in every press photo he is in his uniform - that of an American dandy. Louche characters in F Scott Fitzgerald novels wore white linen. Bertie Wooster would have owned a white linen suit but I'm not sure how comfortable he would have felt in it - Jeeves wouldn't have liked it and Aunt Agatha would have thought it ridiculous. When I think of white linen suits I think of summers and drinking and girls and wonderful memories of restaurants in the sun and picnics by rivers. I think of handsome playboys, of Gatsbys, of men who race cars and go effortlessly brown come July. A white linen suit says, in an Oliver Reed baritone, 'look at me'. Rakes wear white linen. Michael Palin can wear white linen stepping of a train somewhere exotic, so can Martin Bell, and so can Peter O'Toole - but not everyone can carry it off.

I also think of another type of man that wears white linen. The kind who is uncertain - as are we - about whether or not he should be wearing a suit quite this pristine.

He longs for something in flannel or tweed and wishes people would stop looking at him. He gets too hot when it's sunny. He sweats in his suit and turns red and scratches himself in all the wrong places. This man shouldn't wear a white linen suit. He's the Major posted somewhere humid in the 1950s when it was all going wrong - his is not a sartorial example to follow. Jack Straw is this kind of person - hot and bothered in some ghastly souk wishing he'd worn something else.

I turned 25 last week and am ready to buy a white suit. It's important to find the right one. Buy a suit that is too white, in a shade prescribed by Hollywood dentists, and the look instantly descends into Saturday Night Fever kitsch. Buy a suit that is cut wrong and you'll look like the best man at a wedding covered by Hello! magazine. Scrimp and go down market for this suit and you'll look more Philip Larkin than John Betjeman.

More Hull than Oxford.

Armani do a very good white linen suit. As does Joseph Homme. Wear it with pastel colours. A pale shirt and a woven silk tie in salmon or beige or Smythson blue. Ideally you should look like a very pretty moth. Halfmoth, half-butterfly. Ralph Lauren has improved on the English wardrobe - they have beautiful suits perfect for the Hamptons and reminiscent of tobacco plantations and the old South. In Brideshead Revisited Sebastian Flyte says that he should like to bury something precious in every place he'd been happy and then, when he was old and ugly and miserable, he could come back and dig it up and remember. I think that a linen suit should be like this - a souvenir of summer and of the happy times it brings.
 

Selvaggio

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He spoke at a charity dinner for the Australian Chamber Orchestra which I attended recently. In a room full of dinner suits he wore a cream double breasted linen suit and a flashy tie - which was kind of wrong but cool - if you know what I mean.
 

ecclespeccles

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Originally Posted by Selvaggio
He spoke at a charity dinner for the Australian Chamber Orchestra which I attended recently. In a room full of dinner suits he wore a cream double breasted linen suit and a flashy tie - which was kind of wrong but cool - if you know what I mean.

this wouldn't be it but perhaps in a similar vein, and with spectators!

 

Selvaggio

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If memory serves me, pretty close and yes to the spectators. A very particular take on black-tie.
 

ecclespeccles

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meister;3928376 said:
Barry has always dressed pretty Golden Era with more of a twist to the late Edwardian.

And I like. I've never read/heard him talking about his style but he also has an obsession with 30's music. If interested, he plays some great tracks and talks about the romance of the music from that era: http://abcscience.com.au/rn/musicsho...10/3083803.htm
 

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