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Friday, February 20, 2015

Anthony3073 - Meeting Anthony James - An Aesthetic New Yorker

I have always said that the wonderful aspect of social media is it allows you to get a portal into so many other people's lives and appreciate life from their perspective. Over the years I have stumbled over so many of them but few capture your attention and hold it. Vox Saroria was one of the first to really make an interesting narrative, if only in pictures. As opposed to say a menswear blogger like Will Boehlke or Simon Crompton, the narrative of Vox Sartoria's owner was merely "here are things that I like and influence me and an odd shot of what I am wearing". This then evolved into bloggers like The Snob Report who had one blog for "here are the things that I like" and then an instagram account for "what I am wearing today, which gallery I visited and what I ate for lunch".

There is, to my knowledge only a handful of these men worldwide of this latter calibre and one of them is Anthony3073 from New York. His blog is www.beautyisgenius73.blogspot.com and his instagram account is www.instagram.com/Anthony3073 . He's not necessarily as snappy a dresser as Dr Andre Churchwell nor does he know how to tie a knot like The Snob Report but he has a unique ability to bring food, clothing and girls together in a tasteful pastiche that's never boring and always romantic. So, I thought that you readers might like to know more about him. Here is Anthony James.
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 Anthony, I understand you are a native New Yorker, can you tell us about your experience of growing up around menswear in New York and the kinds of menswear experiences that have influenced you in the development of your own personal style?

My sartorial influences and inspirations have been varied. My earliest memories of style come from my grandfather, James, who was a tailor and presser at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. He was always smartly dressed. Many years later, when I graduated from high school, my parents brought me an Armani suit, from Saks, for a graduation present. Additionally, it was the first time, I had a quality suit and experienced working with a tailor. So, I guess, the circle of style was completed in a way. It was around the age of 16, when I become more interested in fashion and style. It was the early 1990s and Armani and Versace were at the peak of their powers. So, I definitely took a strong interest. I had always liked Armani’s style but Versace’s creativity and style was so bold. I just loved it. I first saw Sylvester Stallone dressed in a Versace suit, but, at time, didn’t who designed it. I later found out it was Versace suit and began to follow his work. Around 1999, I started to become interested in the art of bespoke tailoring when I saw Pierce Brosnan’s remake of the Steve McQueen classic, “The Thomas Crown Affair.” I really liked his suits, who I later found out, were made by Milanese tailor Gianni Campagna. At that point in time, bespoke suits and tailoring were also getting a lot of press in magazines, especially Departures and The Robb Report. So, from this point, my knowledge of bespoke tailoring has evolved to where it is today. Also, there are many great tailors in the greater New York area.

Anthony's grandfather James who was a tailor and presser at Saks Fifth Avenue
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 I noticed recently you posted a red box check suit for Valentine’s and an accompanying red tie with a Vargas pin-up silhouette. Can you tell our readers a little about this ensemble and how you came to acquire each piece which made up the whole?      

The sartorial inspiration for this outfit actually came from Dr. Andre Churchwell, who I consider to be one of the best-dressed men in the world. I had seen a photo of him wearing a red windowpane blazer with an ascot. I thought it was very bold yet chic. So, I found a similar pattern and had a local tailor create the jacket. I actually first wore the jacket for Christmas and now for Valentine’s Day. The blazer is a silk/wool blend, notch lapel, and double-vented. The shirt is a ready-to-wear pink gingham cotton shirt from Hawes and Curtis, which I had recut for a better fit. The silk tie is from Jack Simpson’s “Just Jack” tie collection. I have been an admirer of Mr. Simpson’s work for years and have purchased many pieces from his collections. He has become a friend and is a true gentleman tailor and designer. The vintage handmade lapel pin is also from Jack Simpson Couture. The silk “Jack The Ripper” pocketsquare is from Kevin Seah Bespoke, whom I discovered in Rake Magazine.  Finally, I like this outfit because it hints at my love of art, particularly, in this case, the work of Warhol.

Anthony's Valentine's Day ensemble was originally inspired by a jacket he saw on Dr. Andre Churchwell
The vintage Vargas pin up girl poses that have been translated into silk by tailor Jack Simpson.
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In terms of wool bunches – are you a snob of sorts and favour certain brands/weaves/countries of make for your suiting or are you someone who goes merely by your hand and eye? Can you tell us a little about how you go about selecting your wools?  

Personally, I like wool that can be used in all seasons or a wool/silk blend for warmer weather. Some of my favourite wools are from Holland and Sherry, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico, Fox Brothers, and Scabal. My favourite fabric patterns include pinstripes, windowpanes, houndtooths, and Prince-of-Wales glen plaids.


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I notice you have a love for beautiful ladies on your Instagram feed but you never post pornography. Often men who mix suits with ladies are accused of being male chauvinists but in your case I think you are very respectful of women and admire above all the beauty of the female form. Do you think that society in its pursuit of political correctness is too critical of men who enjoy the beauty of the female form?

Yes, I feel this can sometimes be the case. On my blog or Instagram feed, I only feature or post photos which truly celebrate the beauty of women, their style and sensuality.

There is never a day on Anthony's instagram account when he does not unearth some beauty from yesteryear.
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I had a New Yorker stay with me recently and he knew and took so much more time to know the culinary offerings of his native city and could name signature dishes from each restaurant and knew each chef by name attached to the respective restaurants. I notice you are also a New Yorker who loves food - can you tell me what some of your favourite dishes are and which chef cooks them?

As a New Yorker and an Italian, I, of course, love fine dining. One of my favourite restaurants is Vito Gnazzo’s Il Gattopardo (13-15 W54th Street). I love their Paccheri pasta with “Genovese” sauce. Some other favorite Italian restaurants include Lidia Bastianich’s Becco (355 W46th Street), where pretty much any pasta dish is good and the ricotta cheesecake is fantastic, Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato’s Serafina (various locations throughout New York), and Sant Ambroeus (various chefs and locations). There is also   Alessandro Caporale’s Casa Lever (390 Park Avenue), where you can dine with a wall full of Warhols. Rue 57 (60 W57th Street) is also good for French bistro food.  


 
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I recently reiterated a comment of G. Bruce Boyer’s that personal style is very much about knowing yourself. Would you agree with this statement and on the basis that you do, can you tell us what you think you might have learned about yourself as you’ve developed your sense of style and taste?

I do agree with Mr. Boyer’s statement. By reading books by the likes of Mr. Boyer and Alan Flusser, you slowly learn what you like and what you look good in. Mr. Flusser’s is a big proponent of dressing in accordance with your colouring and skin tone. I agree with that belief. I also believe the juxtaposition of pattern, texture, and fabric is the true definition of style. I have also learned a lot from artists and their use of color. For me, my favourite style of dress is the three-piece suit. I believe it is an elegant and versatile addition to any men’s wardrobe. Also, I have learned a lot by working with various tailors, watching movies, reading books, the illustrations of the great Laurence Fellows, and conversations with great men of style, like Jack Simpson and Domenico Spano.




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 If you could have a pair of bespoke shoes made for yourself at any price point can you please tell us where you would go and what shoes you would want to make for yourself?

I would commission a pair of crocodile loafers from either George Cleverly, John Lobb, or the House of Bijan. These shoemakers/designers have a fantastic level of craftsmanship and quality.

GJ Cleverley Bespoke Crocodile Leather Shoes
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I received a couple of years ago a Christmas card from Dormeuil which romanticised a fictional cartoon character of a sartorially dressed man in a long coat walking his Dalmatian dog through Central Park in the snow. It was beautiful but it seemed out of tune with the world we live in today.  Do you think elegance in menswear, whilst having an internet revival, is merely just that, an internet revival? Are we doomed to eventually all end up looking like Mark Zuckerberg? Is there a true place for elegant menswear in the 21st Century?

I do understand the point of your question. Many men have little or no interest in true style. However, there are pockets throughout the world, mostly in major cities, where you will find men of great style and great tailors/stores. In addition to a variety of tailors, my favourite stores, here in New York, are Bergdorf Goodman Men, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys NY, Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, and Domenico Vacca. In these stores, you will find a mixture of the avant garde and the classic. Additionally, many of today’s best-dressed men meld a variety of classic and modern styles. They include Lapo Elkann, Alexander Kraft, Luca Rubinacci, Rafael de Medina, Giancarlo Giammetti, Churchwell brothers, and Matteo Marzotto. I believe a mixture of influences leads to true style. This is what I try to do with my style of dress each day.  Hopefully, more will follow!


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Social Media Contacts:

My style blog:  beautyisgenius73.blogspot.com
Instagram: Anthony3073

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