Stylish Non-Clothing Things

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Perhaps we fixate too much on what we wear to meaningfully approach what we wear.

    In this thread, I'd like to take a different angle and talk about stylish non-clothing things that we own, use, desire or admire. Yes, it's a very broad field. It can be a personal accessory more germane to this forum, such as a pen or pair of cufflinks or card case. But it can also be a tool or gadget--a calculator, a camera, or a chef's knife. It can even be a piece of machinery, an artwork, or a building. Even food counts. Anything goes, so long as: (1) it isn't clothing, and (2) you can discuss what makes it stylish. Extra credit if you can relate the item to how you dress.

    Let's start. I recently posted this in another sub-forum, but it's relevant here and inspired this thread:

    [​IMG]

    It's a Leica MP rangefinder camera, in a bespoke calfskin half case and attached to a braided strap (both by the same Korean craftsman). How many megapixels? Zero, infinite, or approximately 18 are all equally defensible answers. It shoots 35mm film. No wires, no plugs, no batteries (well, not really). It was a special order from Leica intended for my 30th birthday, though I just received it a couple of days ago.

    I've admired this camera since I was in high school. Sure, the surface aesthetics are pleasing on their own, but it's the artful synthesis of function and form that make it special. I say "artful" because the design transcends the service of pure utility without distracting from it. A fine and rare balance. A tool can be bare and industrial, capable of perfectly executing its assigned task, yet inspire no admiration of its appearance, feel, or utility. It can also be decorated and encumbered with so much flourish that its function is obscured--either by impression or, even worse, by substance. The Leica M is spartan, but elegant. It's straightforward, but charming. It works well and inspires the user to work with it.

    But I have to admit, there is also a distinctly personal and sentimental attraction for me. My dad loved cameras and photography when he was younger. This camera, with its 60-year-old design and potential for multi-generational use, makes me feel a little more connected to him. He bought this OM-1 for himself when he was about my age, back in 1972:

    [​IMG]

    They look like they could be contemporaries, not cameras separated by 40 years in age. If style is about personality, it stands to reason that the person endeavoring to be stylish should embrace the things that are personal to him.

    I love the half case and strap, too.
     
  2. Zeemon

    Zeemon Senior member

    Messages:
    1,000
    Likes Received:
    515
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    By the way, LabelKing, this thread is made for you.
     
  4. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    36,023
    Likes Received:
    35,117
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    LuxeSwap
  5. UncleCozy

    UncleCozy Senior member

    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    34
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Location:
    Sweden
    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately, my father owns the R107 which isn't as photogenic as the Pagoda, but it's a beaut too, in a special way..
     
  6. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    277
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
  7. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    A recent car commercial featured various very serious-looking men earnestly rhapsodizing about their fetishized possessions, A v-neck-sweatered man describes with delicate gestures his pen’s warthog tusk barrel and solid titanium trim. Another fellow poses by his tube amplifier and states smugly, “It reproduces frequencies only dogs can hear.” And so on. While (prior to looking it up in order to write this) I had forgotten what the commercial actually was for, it absolutely nailed the mannerisms of a particular male demographic that collects and obsesses over the minutiae of the overdesigned.

    Thanks to Internet message boards and forums, the obsessed now know they are not alone. Both a sounding board and an echo chamber, these communities encourage members in their mania, spread a creed of received ideas and insulate them from skepticism – but not from rationalization. Insulated though we are, those of us obsessively focused on acquiring the rarest, best performing or most prestigious widget are still only slightly less obsessed with coming up with ways to justify our possessions. (I understand some members of the audiophile forums got their thousand-dollar power cables in a bunch over tube amp man.) I come to my thesis: We become ridiculous when we try to justify luxury. I henceforth adopt the following working definition of luxury: that done well which does not need to be done at all (Commenters, feel free to quibble below, but parsing that is a subject for another article). And with this piece I open my cabinet of curiosities, little luxuries that may be interesting or entertaining to the casual internet punter. These are things that are different, amusing, that at one time or another made me happy. Stop me if I start trying to intellectualize them.


    - Réginald-Jérôme de Mans
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  8. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    36,023
    Likes Received:
    35,117
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Location:
    LuxeSwap
  9. Galix

    Galix Senior member

    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    26
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    

    Lovely.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    RJman is the best at intellectualizing not intellectualizing things as if he doesn't intellectualize them.

    Vox, if you doom this thread to Dumb Threads like my Ambrosi thread, I swear to god . . .
     
  11. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    

    Are you looking at all the photographs people are posting of cars that they don't own?
     
  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Porsche at its best, in my opinion:

    [​IMG]
    1973 911S
     
  13. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    277
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    

    glickenhaus is a good dude and p4/5 is stunning.


    ahem...
     
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,797
    Likes Received:
    2,028
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Ha--well, I can believe Quadcammer owns a 993. The Glickenhaus Enzo-P4/5 on the other hand . . .

    Still, I did say you don't have to own the thing you post. What's missing is the reflective commentary.
     
  15. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    1,153
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    

    That requires literacy.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by