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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back From The Doldrums - Oppenheimer Strikes Gold

This morning my trusty friend from the shadows, Carlos Oppenheimer, wrote in order to inform me of a luxury label by the name of Angelo Galasso that is making shirts in the vein of Agnelli by making a shirt cuff which allowed for the wrist watch to be worn on the exterior of the cuff. According to the blog Get Kempt, the Agnelli cuff which is so often pictured on blogs was incorrectly attributed to 'sprezaturra' when really the look was born out of necessity owing to the fact that the metal irritated Agnelli's skin. Below is the image of the that shirt cuff revisited by the designers at Galasso. 

Angelo Galasso' shirt cuff which allows for the metal wrist band to be on the outside rather than the inside, to avoid irritations on the skin.

Meanwhile, across the globe, the contributing writer to A Suitable WardrobeRéginald-Jérôme de Mans, was in the midst of writing his own piece on the misuse of the word 'sprezzatura' in current culture. It made for some good reading and I have posted an excerpt below:

" Thanks to a look at a recent American GQ while waiting for a haircut, I have discovered a previously undiagnosed affliction I can only refer to as Sprezzatourette’s, the near-constant utterance and misuse of the word “sprezzatura." Patient Zero was the writer of an article about Scott Schuman, otherwise known as The Sartorialist, Condé Nast’s pet photographer of people wearing colorful or shiny things. No Microsoft Word thesaurus can synonymize the concept of using a term from Baldessare Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier as an excuse to dress like a clown, so the contagion is well and truly upon us, both in word and in deed: self-styled journalists and dandies bandy about the word “sprezzatura” and deliberately dress garishly – yet somehow interchangeably -- under the guise of aspiring to sprezzatura. Fantasy life imitates fantasy art as Internet Gentlemen* ape selective photoreporting from the street.

*Working definition: anyone else on the Internet whose dress sense you disagree with. Try it out and see!

Sprezzatura, as described by Castiglione, and as used in art history, the only discipline where I’d encountered it prior to the Sprezzatourette’s outbreak, was an art of studied nonchalance. What this connoted was a delicate balance between giving the impression of both effortlessness and control in both dress and, particularly in painting, pose. This required art in the sense not only of taste and skill but of artifice, projecting this image of unself-conscious control despite the effort needed to achieve it and the actual mental, social and political health of the subject. Subjects could achieve nonchalance in question through a sort of artful disarray in details of their dressing. And, of course, in an ease in their pose, indicating their control of their surroundings. After all, someone who got every piece of his façade too perfect was clearly trying too hard and betraying his insecurity. "

The internet is a turgid wash of opinions on men's style - I will leave it to the reader to decide what 'sprezaturra' is rather than add my own two cents worth.

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