Archives for category: beautiful people

Today I want to start a new series of illustrations: Ladies in Vogue, a series of portraits of the women who work for the various editions of the international fashion bible. Maybe not a strict men’s fashion subject as my topics normally are, but a great subject nonetheless.

And it was imperative I’d start with the woman I admire the most among those, a woman that signifies elegance with every cell of her body, who wears barely any make-up and rarely steps out in any colour but black, who doesn’t need crazy gowns to exude sheer class: Grace Coddington, creative director of American Vogue.

Some of you might think it’s an odd choice, as her boss and editor in chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, would have seemed a more logical choice to start this series. But whoever has seen The September Issue will agree with me that the real soul of Vogue is in fact Grace Coddington, the one that injects real elegance with her wonderful creative input and painfully beautiful photo shoots. The woman is elegance itself.

Today I’ve witnessed something I normally experience in person. There was a rather handsome young man on the tube who clearly had a clue about how to dress. A nice check shirt, a gorgeous cardie, nice pair of skinny chinos… and a perfect bow tie that (excuse the unintended pun) tied everything in for a perfect preppy look.

I’m known for wearing bow ties on a regular basis, although the summer weather wasn’t right for it and therefore I haven’t for a couple of months, but whenever I do I have to endure the most astounding stares from people in the street, ranging from plainly gobsmacked to fully disgusted, from sneeringly amused to downright outraged.


For heaven’s sake, it’s only a bow tie! Those looks should be saved for pedophiles, rapists or terrorists. I’m only wearing a bloody bow tie, people, get over it!

Isn’t it amazing how much people will repel any possible new fashion trend as something absolutely ridiculous/offensive/outrageous. Even though bow ties have been around for a number of decades, if not centuries, it’s been only recently that they came back in fashion (though I admit I already had a small collection in my second drawer). I remember when ¾ length trousers were first seen on the Prada catwalk in the early 2000’s, and then could be seen in the high street, although only in few, very brave outlets. I embraced the new look immediately and bought a pair as soon as my limited finances could afford me one. And then the piss-taking at work started. ‘Did your flat get flooded Massimo?’ ‘Aw, you’re wearing your little brother’s trousers? Sweet!’ ‘I think you forgot a bit in the wardrobe this morning’. And so on. And on. And on.

Fast forward a season later and every male employee in the company was wearing one. How unnerving. And of course as it often happens that made me go off them immediately: sorry for sounding snobbish, but I simply can’t wear something that everybody else is wearing. For me fashion is about making you look unique and individual, not about mixing in the flock. But of course that’s exactly what most people think or feel like. Should you see just a little bit more bow-ties in the street and in a matter of weeks you’d see even the outdoorsy-mountaineering-sporty guy in the office wearing one (possibly made out of fleece…).

So today the fetching guy in the tube looked blissfully unaware of the variety of bad stares around him (apart from mine, that is) as he kept his eyes on his book, although I’m pretty sure somebody so self-assured must have known what was going on around him and simply not giving a flying straw about it.

So in support, tomorrow I’ll be wearing one of mine. Question is, which one? The grey vintage Pierre Cardin one? The knitted blue one? The monochrome houndstooth one? The brown/blue paisley one? The…