If there’s one thing that helps me get dressed in the morning, it is my imagined persona. Embodying such a character helps streamline the task of picking things out of my wardrobe vast as the facets of my idiosyncratic personality. I’ve gone through quite a few in the past, most of them too shameful to reveal, but this one, I believe, will stick around for quite a while.
Beloved readers, meet The Dark Debonair.
He is gentlemanly, smart, and refreshingly proper---but at the same time elusive and intriguingly weird. Think young Sean Connery as the old James Bond in head-to-toe Comme des Garcons taking a private jet to the Maldives to do a performance art piece solely for his three wire-haired dachshunds.
Aramis had approached me to share my staples, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce you to The Dark Debonair. Suave yet relaxed, with a penchant for the charmingly odd, The Dark Debonair keeps ten things in his arsenal as he goes about his business and trots the globe.
The Dandy Project's Dark Debonair Staples: 1) Comme des Garcons black blazer, 2) vintage black lace-ups, 3) black-faced Rolex, 4) Thom Browne cashmere wool tie, 5) Number (N)ine sunglasses, 6) Hong Kong, 7) Erotic Poems by e.e. cummings, 8) Seth Price mix CD, 9) Goldwell hair gel, 10) Sabatino Tartufi truffle honey
Here they are in detail:
clothing: the Comme des Garcons Homme black blazer
The soft tailoring on this Comme des Garcons Homme blazer in subtly crinkled black wool makes it an easy versatile piece, and the luxe red silk lining makes putting in on a simply delicious experience.
footwear: vintage black cap-toe lace-ups from London
These shoes, scuffed beyond decency, have been with me through two re-solings and one painful breaking-in. The classic almond-shaped cap-toe is perfect, and the patina adds that touch of street-grit shiny new shoes just can’t give.
time: black-faced Rolex
I’ve had it since I was a child, and wore it to elementary school with its original bezel of pavé white diamonds, much to the puzzlement of my classmates. Ah, the beginnings of a grown-up eccentric...
neckwear: gray houndstooth Thom Browne cashmere wool tie
Handsome and understated, and the soft cashmere makes it such a pleasure to stroke.
eyewear: round tortoise sunglasses by Number (N)ine
There’s something about round glasses that connotes eccentricity: John Lennon, Willie Wonka, Freddie Aguilar… The tortoiseshell gives it a softness that makes it more versatile than black.
travel: Hong Kong
The glossy boutiques of Hong Kong may carry all the goodies that the dark debonair needs to fill his closet with joy, but it’s the noisy, smelly, neon-hazy streets of authentic Hong Kong that fill his nights with wonder. He meanders about Kowloon, possibly lost on the way home to his hotel, he makes eye contact with a stranger or two, and is convinced he is Chow Mo-Wan from In the Mood for Love.
literature: Erotic Poems by e. e. cummings
e. e. cummings’ love notes embody the way the dark debonair lives his life: passionate and irreverent. The best subway read.
music: Seth Price Fashion
New York-based conceptual artist Seth Price put together a mix of both smooth, danceable beats and hauntingly jarring sounds for his latest collaboration with Tim Hamilton on the designer’s Spring 2011 line. The CD, a limited-edition giveaway at the Tim Hamilton presentation, is a carefully orchestrated audio file featuring Severed Heads, Philippe Besombes, and Zsa Zsa Laboum.
grooming: Goldwell hair gel
How else does the dark debonair achieve his bulletproof slick-back but with the thickest, most high-tech hair gel available? Goldwell’s Lagoom Jam is thick to the consistency of jam, yet washes out cleanly with warm water.
entertaining: Sabatino Tartufi truffle honey
Generously bespeckled with black truffles, this honey is a jewel in the dark debonair’s kitchen: slathered on cheese and crackers, drizzled over buttered pasta---or even on ice cream.
Here I am channeling my alter-ego du jour in a bruise-inspired color palette of black and blue:
Comme des Garcons blazer, Eton of Sweden shirt, Margiela denim cummerbund, Uniqlo jeans, and vintage lace-ups
details: round collar on the Eton shirt and a vintage astronaut pin with a moonstone head
Fellow menswear bloggers Mat of Buckets and Spades and Pelayo of Kate Loves Me have also collaborated with Aramis on similar posts on their ideas of how to be a gentleman. Check out theirs and other bloggers’ posts here:
photographs and collage by Hudson Shively
blog post written in partnership with Aramis