14 August 2013

Air King

Elizabeth Taylor's former residence for a showroom  

Peter Kaplan instructing Antonio Ciongoli on the finer points of manhood 

Coated slub cotton/linen raincoat - $875 

Railroad stitching borrowed from the covert coat.  Inset polo coat pockets and tied waist from an M65  field jacket conjure up a meeting somewhere in East Germany -  sometime in 1957.

Cotton/linen/silk shawl dinner jacket $995

A journalist rolls up the sleeves of his shawl collar dinner jacket and heads over to the Special Forces Playboy Club in Nha Trang to interview an A Team captain.  OD green jungle fatigue pants and black NVA canvas boots with  boonie hat complete the 1967 ensemble.

Pigment dyed Marigold slub canvas chino - $175

It's 1969, and he stands outside the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria selling the LA Free Times on the corner.  Bright yellow pants, a Fu Manchu moustache and a Liberty shirt grab the attention of middle aged middle class carrying home Flokati rugs and Marimekko prints.

Napoli Blue/marigold wool guncheck jacket - $1095

1993 - Gubbio in Umbria.  Outside a bakery waiting to be picked up by a college pal who stole a farm house for $15,000 in the early eighties well before anyone knew anything other than Tuscany.  The smell of bread baking has him wondering if he should give up Lazard Freres and start the Peter Kump baking school.

French faced, navy raw silk chalkstripe suit - $1295

Blue/white slub cotton/linen dress shirt $175, orange linen knit tie - $155 

Early morning middle finger in texture to London's wool chalk stripes.  Mind the gap at Bank Street tube stop, French Press coffee and granola in the Captain's Room and two flights up the escalator to the 210 Non-Marine syndicate.  He's the only one on his team who reads the Independent because he isn't really a financial guy.  It's only rate times value.

Napoli blue belted double breasted hopsack house jacket $895 

She only bought it for him because she didn't want him to wear anything underneath it.

Linen one piece collar woven polo $350  Most expensive shirt in the collection due to quality of linen 

He had money. He just didn't want to look like he had money.

Pigment dyed orange slub canvas chino - $175

After the Gators beat the Bulldogs in Jacksonville, they all drove down to St Augustine and hooked up with a bunch of girls from the private college in a tavern on St George Street.  That night he had sex on the beach for the first time with a tall blonde in Lily P from New Jersey.  The water was too cold. She didn't think all that  much of him the next morning.

Summer Blackwatch Double breasted dinner jacket with slub linen/silk lapel facing - $1050, pink end on end formal shirt with pique bib - $225

He escaped Berlin in '38 for London but not before returning his WWI Iron Cross to the Fuhrer and telling him where to put it.  He made a living playing cards.  In the best private clubs.  Drinking the best champagne.  Bridge was his game.  He'd sit the next war out -- In this double breasted shawl lapel dinner jacket in an almost black Blackwatch.  If he got tired, there was always the Benzedrine inhaler in his left pocket.

Antonio Ciongoli is never loud.  If most menswear designers are GMTs and Submariners -- Antonio is the understated and elegant Air King.  And while the Air King is an entry level watch for Rolex -- So, Antonio's new line, Eidos Napoli,  is for Isaia.  Few things in life are elegant and entry points.  When discovered, they're well worth celebrating.  Eidos is able to cut out the middle man by making use of Isaia's manufacturing facilities so a fully canvased suit can be had for $1,200 and most sport jackets at $895.

It's hard not to see history in this line while admiring  how tastefully it's applied.  I think that comes with an honest appreciation and not just tweaking something historic to make it your own.  There's been more than enough of that.  And if you make a living playing cards...then the  Blackwatch dinner jacket was made for you. 


M.Lane said...

A new genre...clothesporn. What amazing stuff! I would kill for that dinner jacket and pretend I played cards for a living. Love the suits too. Love all of it.

Great text too. "she didn't think that much of him in the morning". Probably because he was a Gator.


Rob Moore said...


SekretPolice said...

Tintin, you have once again captured the essence of things in eloquent and compelling prose. This time -- most gratifyingly -- my spectacular brother and his preternatural sense of style. While I may be partisan here, I think Tonio has really hit it out of the park, and it's nice to see that validated by someone else whose taste I think is impeccable.

Makaga said...

Missed your posts. Glad to read this fun and evocative one.

Smitty said...

The Blackwatch jacket is truly off the hook!!

Mason said...

Some of the brightest spots in the whole menswear muck have you and Mr. Ciongoli in common. Great work on your end, I can't wait to be able to afford his.