Friday, November 16, 2012

Noel Coward exhibition

Very few individuals are multi-generationally stylish. These are individuals who remain firmly on center stage over time and continue to maintain a stylistic influence across decades and continents.

Entertainer Noel Coward is one of those rare individuals who achieved this in the first half of the 20th century. I recently attended the Noel Coward exhibition in NYC this past summer and have included photos of some of the exhibits below.

Noel Coward dressing gown
Noel Coward dressing gown (bought from DeFree's, New York)
Douglas Hayward dinner jacket for Noel Coward
Coward's dark brown polyester dinner jacket (made by Douglas Hayward)
Douglas Hayward dinner jacket for Noel Coward
Shoulder line of Douglas Hayward dinner jacket
Noel Coward & Douglas Fairbanks Jr
Noel Coward (left, in DB suit) and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr
Cole Lesley
Cole Lesley, Coward's business manager, in morning dress

Thursday, November 08, 2012

The ubiquitous trenchcoat and the ultimate hold-all

Casablanca is probably the first film that comes to mind when one thinks of trenchcoats, in particular the final scene with Bogart and Bergman. But Le Cercle Rouge (Red Circle) beats it in terms of the sheer number of appearances the trenchcoat makes in a film. In no other film that I'm aware of does the trench coat seem so “entrenched”, as it were. In nearly every outdoors scene and a good percentage of the interior scenes, the lead protagonists and their counterparts often wear a trenchcoat, or occasionally a dark Chesterfield overcoat.

Also, unusually for a film, luggage plays a leading role. In this case, the luggage to watch for are two enormous Louis Vuitton steamer trunks and two beautiful chestnut finish leather hold-alls. The former belongs to a washed up cop who teams up with Alain Delon and his cronies in a jewelry heist. The latter is where the pilfered jewelry makes it home. The hold-alls feature straps at the ends that attach to the handle.



Forward to 1:39 in the above Youtube clip of the film and you'll catch an initial close-up of one of the hold-alls. The rest of the clip shows the ending of the film in which the hold-alls go along for a punishing run in a soggy field where the holders of the hold-alls meet their slippery demise.

A call to readers - I have tried to research the maker of those hold-all bags but to no avail. If you know anything about their make or manufacture, please share.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bonfanti's shuttle looms

Below is a short clip of Bonfanti's Omita shuttle loom which are nearly 50 years old.



Keep in mind many looms these days are shuttleless which are designed for much faster production (and hence lower cost).