A store for men of contrast and character
www.nomanwalksalone.com

Great work by @yukimatsud on the Monitaly outerwear this season.   Beautiful and well thought out pieces, like this waxed cotton mountain parka.    (at www.nomanwalksalone.com)

Great work by @yukimatsud on the Monitaly outerwear this season. Beautiful and well thought out pieces, like this waxed cotton mountain parka. (at www.nomanwalksalone.com)

Comments

A CONTINUOUS REVOLUTION

by David Isle

Revolutionaries often imagine themselves at the end of history, and only when they are overthrown in turn do they realize they were only in the middle of it. The history of the textile industry in Huddersfield, England, is a continuity of upheavals that has kept the town at the top of the international market for fabrics. 

Huddersfield represented the front lines of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Newly built factories housed machines that could spin yarn and weave fabric faster than any human could by hand. This of course, meant fewer humans were needed as workers. Those who lost their jobs as a result gathered into an army of economic discontent known as the Luddite movement and attacked their mechanized oppressors. 

Read More

Comments
Join us for our second Styleforum trunk show in NYC on Nov 7 & 8 at 320 Studios, 320 W 37th St, from 11am-7pm
A great opportunity to try on beautiful clothes, meet us in person, grab a drink (or two) and just generally have a good time!
Among a few special events, we will host a special Eidos Napoli trunk show where you can be measured by Antonio and Quinton for an MTM suit or jacket.
Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Join us for our second Styleforum trunk show in NYC on Nov 7 & 8 at 320 Studios, 320 W 37th St, from 11am-7pm

A great opportunity to try on beautiful clothes, meet us in person, grab a drink (or two) and just generally have a good time!

Among a few special events, we will host a special Eidos Napoli trunk show where you can be measured by Antonio and Quinton for an MTM suit or jacket.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Comments
CORDUROY: THE KING OF WALES
by Alan Cornett
Long associated with college campuses, the English countryside, and teddy bears in overalls, corduroy is a quintessential autumn fabric. Normally made of cotton, corduroy has ridges, or wales, running vertically down the cloth giving it great textural interest.
By popular account, the fabric’s origin is traced to the servants’ livery of the king of France called corde du roi, the cloth of the king. Some etymologists doubt this story, but regardless of its true roots, by the 19th century corduroy had become a firmly English fabric, and not one for the royal court.

Corduroy was instead worn by poor children and the lower class. Charles Dickens wrote of a schoolroom having the odor of “mildewed corduroys” in David Copperfield. Fabian Sidney Webb wrote, “corduroy has been relegated to the use of navvies and tramps.” It was poor man’s velvet, useful because it was durable and insulating.

Corduroy’s reputation rallied at the turn of the century, and was adopted by the horsey set as a hard-wearing country cloth. It won the approval of both Apparel Arts and the Duke of Windsor, which is one Cary Grant away from an interbellum menswear hat trick. By the Second World War, corduroy was a fashion staple of agrarians and academics both. 

There have been some dark moments since. Every thrift shop has corduroy suits that look like something Ron Burgundy would be proud to wear. The Wes Anderson connection looms. But the misuse and abuse of corduroy should not obscure its charms. 

Corduroy is most frequently employed as a trouser cloth. Wide, thick wales give an informal, country look with a tweed coat or a Shetland sweater. Sand is the most common color, but don’t shun cords in bolder colors like red, maize, moss, or royal. 

Thinner wales, usually called pinwale, lessen corduroy’s coarseness and dress up the fabric. Pinwale cord allows for a trimmer cut, and can be soft enough for jeans-cut cords or even pinwale cord shirts. Both provide an excellent fall alternative to denim or broadcloth. 

Like its tonier cousin velvet, corduroy is also used as a collar cloth on outerwear. Not only does corduroy offer visual and textural contrast, but the wales on a collar provide readymade courses to pull water away from the body, which is why Mackintosh raincoats often have this feature. 

Although International Corduroy Appreciation Day may never come again, you need no more excuse than cold weather to wear your favorite corduroy pieces.

CORDUROY: THE KING OF WALES

by Alan Cornett

Long associated with college campuses, the English countryside, and teddy bears in overalls, corduroy is a quintessential autumn fabric. Normally made of cotton, corduroy has ridges, or wales, running vertically down the cloth giving it great textural interest.

By popular account, the fabric’s origin is traced to the servants’ livery of the king of France called corde du roi, the cloth of the king. Some etymologists doubt this story, but regardless of its true roots, by the 19th century corduroy had become a firmly English fabric, and not one for the royal court.

Read More

Comments
Regram from one of our great customers.  Wearing Gray Bart black sweater and Vass Alt Wien derbies, awesomely.  🔥🔥🙏

Regram from one of our great customers. Wearing Gray Bart black sweater and Vass Alt Wien derbies, awesomely. 🔥🔥🙏

Comments
Melton wool A1 bomber with a knit shawl collar?  Yes.  🚬✌️😎👍

Melton wool A1 bomber with a knit shawl collar? Yes. 🚬✌️😎👍

Comments
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. I particularly enjoyed the costumes, so much so that I decided to write designer Linda Cho, who also won a 2014 Tony for her work on this show. To my joy and amazement, she responded with a willingness to do this interview, which should be of interest to anyone who enjoys clothing and believes in its power to communicate. 

How does someone get into costume design? How did you?

I don’t think there is a prescribed way of getting into what I do. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology from McGill University in Canada. But I took a class in costume construction, and found a wonderful world of crazy, misfit people, after being a teenager growing up in a tiger mom household and being expected to be a doctor. 

When I graduated, I was trying to figure out what to do, and surprisingly, it was my mother who suggested costumes. I applied and was accepted at the Yale MFA program, and after I finished, came to New York. 

How do you decide how much of the audience’s attention the costumes should occupy?

It depends on the production. For an opera like The Magic Flute, a lot of the storytelling is visual. So you need that vocabulary to tell the story. Also, the kind of audience member that comes to The Magic Flute will often be getting their first introduction to opera, so it should be accessible and visually appealing to that kind of audience. Whereas if you’re doing a contemporary play that’s more about the relationships between the characters and what they say to each other, like an August: Osage County, there’s no need expect that the costumes tell the audience who these people are. A cool shirt or a quirky jacket can sometimes get in the way and distract the audience. 

Does the need to project to an entire audience make dressing an actor different from dressing someone for everyday life?

Absolutely. One of the things we consider right from the get-go is the size of the venue. I remember seeing a costume on display in the lobby of the Montreal opera. From a distance, it looked like this amazing rich and encrusted papal robe. But when you came close, there were macaroni and Barbie dolls spray-painted gold and attached to the costume. But on stage, it looked beautiful. 

How do you get the costumes? Are they all made specifically for the production or do you find some ready-made?

That is show-dependent as well. A regional show would have its own in-house costume shop, their own craft and dye room. New York has workshops all over the city. So for Gentleman’s Guide, we used 14 shops.

We had to build the vast majority. Even if we could find vintage pieces, first of all it would be a hundred years old and therefore very fragile, and second of all, people were smaller back then. Our actors would be giants by comparison.
 
But also in my design, I stepped away from pure Edwardian and looked more at high fashion and steampunk, and you can’t buy that. 

What were the ways that you deviated from the Edwardian style and why?

It all started with Jefferson Mays, who plays the many D’Ysquiths. Jefferson brought to the early workshops his own props for each character. He already had very specific visual ideas about how to express each of those characters. So I met with him before putting pencil to paper to find out what he needed for each character. He described one character as having a mustache, a safari hat, and a monocle, which sounded a lot like steampunk, which I thought was great. I carried that out in the costumes throughout the show.

The show, and musical theater in general, has a certain amount of whimsy. Carrying out full Edwardian dress throughout the entire show becomes limiting. So when you find a way to inject something like high fashion or steam punk, it helps in loosening up the atmosphere. 

I noticed in particular a remarkable green suede jacket in the show.

That’s a Norfolk jacket, that would have been appropriate for an Edwardian country squire, but they would have made it in tweed. I wanted it to be a little more bad ass, so I did it in suede, and in a color I like. 

What are the differences in designing costumes for men versus women?

Menswear, for the last 120 years or so, has been fairly uniform. It’s a very subtle vocabulary. It’s exciting to speak in that more nuanced way. The changes in womenswear are far more radical. So it’s kind of apples and oranges.

Do you think the average audience member at a Broadway show understands that subtle language of menswear?

I think people have personal experiences and have seen photographs and films enough to feel what is right or wrong about a costume, even if they can’t articulate it. Of course there will be different levels of sophistication and knowledge in the audience, and you have to speak to all those levels. 

What kind of resources do you use to do research on period costumes?

Now with the Internet, everything is at your fingertips. You can order obscure books from all over the world that have been out of print for years. But also museums and paintings. For instance you can call the costume institute at the Met and ask if they have an example of the kind of piece you’re trying to recreate, and if they do, you can see it. You just have to wear cotton gloves and can’t take flash photography. Living in New York there are many great resources, but there are also costume institutes all over the country.

Do you find that some garments are more expressive than others in defining an outfit?

I think it’s the whole head to toe story. Every detail has to make sense for that character. Even how the costume is worn - is it sloppy, is it always done up, is their tie askew. It all contributes to characterization.

What are you designing now?

I’ve been traveling to LA working on a production of The Ghosts of Versailles. The librettists and composer are actually still living, which is rare for opera. Marie Antoinette and her beheaded aristocratic friends are in purgatory. The singers will all be in black 18th century gowns from the neck down and then white bloody necks where they’ve been beheaded. Each will have a dancer counterpart in the same dress, but in white with a black bag over their head. There’s also a Turkish embassy scene, some dirty peasants of the French Revolution, and an opera-within-the-opera production of The Marriage of Figaro, so this is a big project with four very distinct groups of costumes.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. I particularly enjoyed the costumes, so much so that I decided to write designer Linda Cho, who also won a 2014 Tony for her work on this show. To my joy and amazement, she responded with a willingness to do this interview, which should be of interest to anyone who enjoys clothing and believes in its power to communicate. 

How does someone get into costume design? How did you?

I don’t think there is a prescribed way of getting into what I do. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology from McGill University in Canada. But I took a class in costume construction, and found a wonderful world of crazy, misfit people, after being a teenager growing up in a tiger mom household and being expected to be a doctor. 

When I graduated, I was trying to figure out what to do, and surprisingly, it was my mother who suggested costumes. I applied and was accepted at the Yale MFA program, and after I finished, came to New York. 

How do you decide how much of the audience’s attention the costumes should occupy?

It depends on the production. For an opera like The Magic Flute, a lot of the storytelling is visual. So you need that vocabulary to tell the story. Also, the kind of audience member that comes to The Magic Flute will often be getting their first introduction to opera, so it should be accessible and visually appealing to that kind of audience. Whereas if you’re doing a contemporary play that’s more about the relationships between the characters and what they say to each other, like an August: Osage County, there’s no need expect that the costumes tell the audience who these people are. A cool shirt or a quirky jacket can sometimes get in the way and distract the audience. 

Read More

Comments

SARTORIA FORMOSA • Bespoke Trunk Show

OCTOBER 29-30th, 2014
New York City

We are once again proud to host one of the most prestigious tailoring houses in Naples, Sartoria Formosa, for a bespoke trunk show in New York. 

Appointments and fittings are available from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.  
(Each appointment is a 1 hour slot, starting at the top of every hour)

info@nomanwalksalone.com for appointments or additional information.

Comments
Sartoria Formosa suit in a re-edition of legendary Minnis 0656 houndstooth flannel, exclusive for No Man Walks Alone
Drakes tie and square

Sartoria Formosa suit in a re-edition of legendary Minnis 0656 houndstooth flannel, exclusive for No Man Walks Alone

Drakes tie and square

Comments
THE MOST WOMANLY WOMAN
by David Isle

Though male interest in clothing has increased over the past few years, female fashion continues to receive more media attention, and rightly so, as women spend nearly twice as much per year on clothes as men do. Yet throughout history, as Anne Hollander reminds us in her book Sex and Suits, female fashion has innovated largely by borrowing from menswear. This progression usually occurs in slow enough motion that we barely realize it is happening. True cross-dressing is a rarer and more inspired phenomenon.

Marlene Dietrich famously wore male suits in service of an androgynous look, avoiding femininity more than exploring it. But she was predated, and perhaps inspired, by the 19th century French writer George Sand, nee’ Aurore Dupin (Dietrich was offered the role of Sand in the 1945 film A Song to Remember, but declined). 
[[MORE]]
Sand wore men’s clothes in the 1830s, at a time when fervors both dandified and revolutionary were sweeping through Paris. Unlike Dietrich, who wore draped, masculine-looking suits, Sand’s adoption of male dress was not an attempt to look more manly. She claimed, as most people who shock with their clothes claim, to wear male dress as a matter of convenience. But let us not be so easily fooled. Hollander writes that she “became an erotic icon because she looked even more feminine in her tailored jacket and trousers, not masculine - that is, she looked more sexy.” Listen to Balzac describe her smoking an after-dinner cigar by the fire: “She had some pretty little slippers on, ornamented with fringe, some fancy stockings and red trousers. So much for the moral side.” You can almost hear his Catholic scruples loosening.

Sand’s writing, too, represented an expanded and empowered womanhood. Alfred de Musset called her “the most womanly woman,” and I think both sides considered this a complement. Germaine de Stael, the previous generation’s most prominent woman of letters, represents her foil in this arena. Madame de Stael judged success mostly on the terms of her male peers - she entered into a loveless marriage in order to gain social standing and left no record of regretting it. By contrast, Sand’s most quoted words are, “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” Rene Doumric writes in his Sand biography that “In order to be pitied by Madame de Stael, it was absolutely necessary to be a woman of genius. For a woman to be defended by George Sand, it was only necessary that she should not love her husband, and this was a much more general thing.”


It is a pity, then, that Sand is mostly remembered for her relationship with a man, the composer Frederic Chopin, with perhaps an oblique reference to her affair with the actress Marie Dorval. What’s more memorable is her insistence on owning her sexuality without being defined by it. She demanded to stand on her own two trousered legs, rather than hiding them away under that oversized fig leaf, the skirt. It would be many years after her death before any woman filled out a pair of trousers nearly so well.   

THE MOST WOMANLY WOMAN

by David Isle

Though male interest in clothing has increased over the past few years, female fashion continues to receive more media attention, and rightly so, as women spend nearly twice as much per year on clothes as men do. Yet throughout history, as Anne Hollander reminds us in her book Sex and Suits, female fashion has innovated largely by borrowing from menswear. This progression usually occurs in slow enough motion that we barely realize it is happening. True cross-dressing is a rarer and more inspired phenomenon.

Marlene Dietrich famously wore male suits in service of an androgynous look, avoiding femininity more than exploring it. But she was predated, and perhaps inspired, by the 19th century French writer George Sand, nee’ Aurore Dupin (Dietrich was offered the role of Sand in the 1945 film A Song to Remember, but declined). 

Read More

Comments
Eidos field jacket in Molloy & Sons donegal tweedScott & Charters 6-plys cashmere sweater

Eidos field jacket in Molloy & Sons donegal tweed
Scott & Charters 6-plys cashmere sweater

Comments

CLOTHES BEYOND BEDSHEETS: AN INTERVIEW WITH GHOSTFACE

by Jasper L

It’s rare to find someone who blends styles, silhouettes and designers with as much whimsy and as much ease as Styleforum’s ghostface. He has an incredible eye both for texture and for color - and he’s perhaps unsurprisingly erudite, which comes across in his responses to interview questions as well as in the way he dresses. 

What drew you to clothing? Did you have a long gestation period, or did you roll out of bed one day and think, “You know what, I need a change”?

I’ve always been drawn to beautiful natural materials, weird textures, clean lines, and organic shapes. The earliest manifestations of that attraction drew me to alpine mountain environments and, when back in civilization, to amateur interior design. In both cases I was seeking and finding a certain kind of aesthetic experience, a sense of harmony that included elements of risk and imperfection. It was only natural for this interest to spread eventually to clothing, since choosing what to put on our bodies is just a more intimate, direct version of shaping our personal environments. But I only made that transition in a deliberate way five or so years ago. I suppose that does make it a long gestation period.  

Read More

Comments

COUNTY DONEGAL AND ITS TWEED

by David Isle

County Donegal is a remote territory of an island country, which in turn has been subject to the meddling of its more powerful island neighbor for their entire shared history. It is this combination of self-sufficient Irish survivalism and collateral impact of British development efforts that resulted in County Donegal’s greatest export, Donegal tweed. 

Read More

Comments
The truth is that men have never abandoned fashion at all, but have simply participated in a different scheme. Men’s tailored clothes have been amazingly variable and expressive since 1800, fully as fluid and imaginative as women’s modes; but they have consistently appeared in opposition to the feminine method, which has effectively put them in the shade….the elegant masculine mixture has moreover been endlessly enriched from inelegant sources. Men’s gear may have looked like non-fashion, but that is a complete illusion; its commitment to risk and irony is just as deep as that of the feminine mode, and its representational character just as strong….women have increasingly used bits of male garb for every common purpose, often adopting outmoded elements that men have currently abandoned, but that still lie within the modern canon and still visually satisfy. Women’s fashion, so noticeable, so “Fashionable,” has often been used to show how interesting male fashion really is.
- Anne Hollander, Sex and Suits
Comments

It’s wool ties season again!

Calabrese 1924
Made in Naples

Comments