Mixing Four Patterns

rl aving now arrived at the summit of pattern pas riche. we have reached the point where inspiration trumps imitation Collectively, these next toffs probably violate every rule of pattern mixing in the book, lobbing a few of their own in tor good measure. This super secret worldwide Order of Dandies (a Tom Wolfe appellation) dress almost exclusively for themselves, undaunted by an outcome that might contravene convention or raise eyebrows They relish the challenge of a fine match. Is this art or simply vanity5

1 red Astaire (center right) once compared dressing well to putting on a show he had to rehearse in order to get it right. 1 lere are just a few of the fellows who have practiced long and hard, and have every thing to show for it.

Luciano Barbera (oppositepage) is one of those few con temporary men w hose personal taste and code of conduct set t he standard by w hich many in the business of menswear measure genuine elegance. Let's study one of the "maestro of mix's" own confections. Although he is swathed in four differently par rented garments—window pane jacket, striped oxford shirt, checked tie. and foulard pocket handkerchief—none of them calls attention to itself. Granted, in such hands, such derails of dress become elements of design. Barbera understands that in order to don four different patterns without appearing overly decored. the clothes must be worn w ith a slight disorder and looseness. Dressing at t his rarefied altitude pivots on something of a paradox: the more imagination and taste one puts into his appearance, the more subtle the results should be.

Although nor quite at the same level as these other three paragons of men's style, young Tyrone Power (lop) may hav e been the handsomest man to know how to wear clothes well. 1 lere he is. mantled in morii four of them, allied by their mutuality of scale and degree of contrast W hile he exudes "nothing but naturalness." the melange hangs together superbly:

Whereas the Duke of \\ ¡ndsor would knock about in combinations of garments that no other mortal could conceive of Fred Astaires (opposite center) innate sense of style endowed everything he wore w it h a grace and charm. I ew men could sport such a consortium of apparel and nor appear foolish. Shall we go out 011 a limb and speculate that a fifth pattern is probably gracing his ankles?

This exposition couldn't end without going to the well one last time with a favorite D-of-W snap (opposite bottom). Ev en though we all know rh.ir he had little else to amuse himself with besides his clothes, here's yet another inimitable concoction in the Dukes seemingly inexhaustible supply of sui generis, parrerned perspicacity This gu\ was a one man fashion institute.

The Prerogatives of Pattern

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