29 August 2013

A Hot Sundress

You don't see the sundress much...Like it's simple partner, the shirt dress, it has a way of perking up a hot & humid sidewalk in Manhattan. I certainly get perked up when I see one. Understated and cheap. But elegant ...especially with pearls and a hat.

They met at the Old Spanish Fort on a Friday afternoon in August. Her hot pink Papagallos matched her strap belt and her sundress looked like a Bonwit Teller shopping bag. He sweated in the thermal inversion of the fort's swampy court yard but she was cool... white... and crisp.

It went without either saying where they were headed after lunch.  To a hotel room - with air conditioning.  But for now... they just drank in what they were going to do to each other.  


A great old magazine. Anyone know the title?

I love my readers...except you Rafael.  George?

21 August 2013

Elmore Leonard 11 Oct 1925 - 20 Aug 2013

"I wrote a scene about a detective who quits to become a photographer. He borrows a wheel chair from a friend who stole it at the airport and sits outside a terminal taking pictures of people arriving in Miami. Guy comes over and says, "Nice camera. Mind if I check it out?" Fella hands him the camera and the guy walks off with it. The fella gets outta the wheel chair, knocks the guy down and beats his head against the curb.

I thought it was okay, but the scene stews with me for a couple weeks and I changed it. Guy takes the camera, walks a few steps, turns back to the fella in the wheel chair and says, 'Can you walk?' Fella in the wheel chair nods. Guy walks back and gently puts the camera back on the fella's lap."  Elmore Leonard

 From, "A Hot & Humid Night with Elmore Leonard" on The Trad, 25 January 2013

18 August 2013



Use of a light tone in the higher registers

Agile technique capable of dispatching ornate embellishments

Ability to execute fast & accurate divisions

A pleasing, well-focused timbre

A clean attack

Graceful phrasing rooted in a complete mastery of control

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. 

12 August 2013

The Photo Shoot

Topcon Super RE with TMax 400

04 August 2013

Seasonal Ranger

Castillo de San Marcos Ranger Log Book Summer 1982

Castillo de San Marcos Ranger Log Book Summer 1983

You had to work as as 'Seasonal' ranger in order to get a full time position. These were usually at parks where visitation was heavy during Summer. I did three seasons during college at the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine. After the Army, it was the only job I had where time off was spent with the people I worked with. Odd that the two lowest paying jobs were the happiest jobs -- The soundtrack of that Summer of 1983 didn't hurt.