Thursday, 28 April 2011

A Royal Occassion... Or Royal Desperation?

Only one more sleep until the biggest, most important day of a very lucky girl's life and possibly the most exciting event of the year (in the eyes of some). But does it truly warrant all this pomp and ceremony? Do we really need to know every detail right down to the tea (haha get it!) Many would rather watch paint dry than sit through an English Royal wedding. So, why do we care?

Many argue that the British Royal family is one gigantic joke, I'm hear to support them, show you they are more than just a symbol. For those of you who choose to believe we no longer should give into the royal family and all their grandeur I'm sure you see this event as one last desperate effort to prove to the world the royal family are still relevant. You see them with their regal airs, outdated manners and ridiculous ostentatious cavalry. They may hold onto past values and manners but this is what I believe matters.

Just like we may all hold our own family traditions at heart, British royalty do the same. Their traditions are just more extravagant and ancient. Class divide will always be around, so try to imagine a world outside your own. What would England be without them? Those who shun the royals believe England is better off without them but can't they see this is one of the very few things keeping them relevant? The world loves a rich and wacky family and without them they would be a country falling from Great heights. They did really, no longer Great Britain, no longer the alpha country. So they must hold on to what was the making of them. Nothing is wrong with keeping traditions or holding onto values which made them who they are today.

The modern couple is constantly talked of; the royal's hope to regain popularity, bringing themselves into the 21st Century 100 years too late. For me, I'm not all that fussed. Let Prince William and humble Catherine do as they choose, whatever is ahead is their choice, their doing but what I love is the show - we all know I can be rather superficial! But tomorrow brings a day of what should be pure happiness.

We all love to feel apart of something, so why is this any different? This may be the only royal wedding I ever get to watch. Just like Diana and Charles the majority of the world will gather round their tv screens in amazement with a hint of jealousy, a little laughter and possibly even a couple of tears.

Why can't we have a little royalty in our lives, why can't we have one day of fantasy and fairytale? Let those of us dream of our prince charming, let those of us just for a few hours relish in the delights of a world completely detached from our common lives. This is why we watch, this is why we care.

So try to see it in the eyes of a little girl with dreams of crowns, gowns and titles. This is a real-life happy ending - whether my skeptical side sees it as a bit of a lucky privileged woman successfully reeling in a very well known prince or my idealist side seeing it as a true love story it doesn't really matter. A wedding should always be a day of celebration no matter who the bride and groom are. Two souls finding one another - tell me not that this is farce, desperation, pomposity... this is felicity, this is story telling at it's greatest.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The Suit

The suit. It has to be the most timeless piece of clothing the fashion industry has graced the world with. Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know everything there is to know about suits. Actually, much the opposite, I know very little. But I think what is important is what I do know when it comes to this classic outfit. I have one, and only one important thing to stress:

A man in a suit is the best that he can be.

Throughout history the suit has pretty much always been around in some shape or form. It is my experience that whatever can last the test of time is obviously something worthwhile, something someone got right. It has often been said the famous dandy Beau Brummel influenced and established the modern day suit, understated elegance. An immaculately dressed man at all times throughout his life. It is often noted he spent hours in front of a mirror perfecting the tie of his cravat (not the most attractive feature, but respectful nonetheless). He influenced men around him to think twice about their appearance before they walked out the door, he gave society class and for that he is remembered.

A suit can transform the mediocre into the swoon worthy. It can take kilos off him and it can give him an air of confidence he would otherwise not have. The outfit places you amongst those who seem successful, educated and well off. Your appearance is the first thing someone (a woman in particular) observes. So why not make it a good one? In a crowded room a suited man is where our eyes travel. Although the men around him may be better men, they may be smarter, funnier, richer but that one well dressed man gets the hello despite how dickish he might turn out to be.

Here is the important bit: a suit cannot be just a suit. A $50 piece you pick up from Lowes is so grotesquely inferior to something that is made for you, a piece measured to your singular proportions, handmade with the finest of materials and cut with experienced hands.

While I’m at it I should mention garish and flamboyant suits should be left for the costume party and nothing else. A bright pink shirt should be worn for charity reasons only and for goodness sake brown and black can only be pulled off by the very very few, so as a rule just don’t try it. And, just in case, no themed ties please! So, part with your money and purchase that investment for it will last you a lifetime and grant you attention you never had before.

I could sit here all day rolling off fictional characters, famous stars and the like all who wear the suit with perfect precision. James Bond, Mr Darcy, Scott Schuman, Don Draper, Tom Ford, Barney (How I met your mother), Winston Churchill, Karl Lagerfeld, Cary Grant... These men we all remember, men who have a reputation, whether they be gentlemen, players, cheaters or all three. The reason we swoon, the reason why they are talked of is because of how they wear the suit. Many fashion houses build their foundations on this one male outfit: Armani, Hugo Boss, Zegna... so go on and tell me it is over rated or boring; I will just call you naive.

Australians should take a page out of the European play book. (I know, I seem like a kiss their asses everyday) but just one day in Italy can show you a world of style Brisbane does not have. A perfectly constructed suit is a rare sight in our city, walk one narrow lane in Italy and five men will grace your day with something outstanding. They don’t even know you can wear a shirt without a jacket and unkempt shoes belong nowhere but the trash. Now don’t go telling me our climate does not suite the suit (word play!). There are such things as summer suits just look it up!

So there it is, a suit can get you further than any other outfit, it is the go to for any man, it is the perfect dress. Yes, I may have a slight penchant for the odd hiking outdoor attire or (I’m scared to admit it) the odd wife beater singlet... but that fetish can be addressed another day. But if it came down to it, a pristinely cut suit, complete with a crisp ironed white shirt, silver cuff-links, a simple tie and a timeless pair of polished leather shoes would be my ultimate preference.

Uniforms.... well that is an entirely different kettle of fish.