Part two of our friend Ray Frensham's second annual list of stylish men:
In this instalment I’ll look at my chums in Europe and beyond whom (I think) will be making waves in 2012 and to see how they are dressing for the imminent recession and the inevitable collapse of the Euro monetary system and general destruction of the world economy! Here goes:
Czech Republic: Matej Fouma
Don’t jazz musicians have The most Cool publicity photos? (and most of them are still smoking – even today). Take Matej from Brno, barely 20 and already he plays piano, accordion, violin, bass, banjo, sax, clarinet and even trumpet. His youtube channel is recommended. More than good.
France: Aswad Al Masrahi
Steampunk, while huge in the USA, never really took off in Britain to the extent it did across parts of the Continent/ Alex is sort-of steampunk with an exotic Persian twist.
Germany: Henry de Winter (and Bobby)
“Henry de Winter? Oh, he’s a real Berlin character and he has an adorable dog called Bobby” – so said a realtor friend of mine in Germany. My Most Stylish Man of 2010 has continued onwards and upwards this past year. (Go to youtube, put in Henry’sname + Herr Ober ...and just enjoy).
I spent a couple of weeks in his presence during 2011 (especially the now-legendary New Year’s Eve celebrations at Boheme Sauvage – see us here in sober mood before the revels).
Henry started this year by hosting and performing at the Berlin premiere of The Artist movie and March sees him in Hong Kong (a fundraiser for the HK Cancer Fund), along with his regular domestic bookings. He just needs a proper Manager to take him to the next level (global).
The Netherlands: Mark Davids
Regular readers of the FineAndDandyShopBlog are probably familiar with Amsterdam’s Mark – when he posts a picture on the Formal Friday thread, you have to realise that EVERY day is a formal day for Mark. One of his big triumphs in 2011 was to return all his home plugs, sockets and light switches to Bakelite originals.
I met him twice in Amsterdam (I must’ve been a terrible disappointment to him) and we reunited in Berlin for the –now legendary – New Year’s Eve (see above). We clicked immediately and are now firm chums. Here he is on home ground in Amsterdam with his companion Barbara Balak.
Sweden: Mikael Sjolund
I’ve known Mikael (from just outside Stockholm) for a good few years and have seen him grow from a teenager onto a young adult who, with growing confidence, is expressing his fierce individualism fearlessly. And like a number of our new generation of Dandies, is attending textiles and tailoring classes and now making their own clothes. (He’s up for a possible internship with Karl Lagerfeld in Paris and I’m sure his love of stiff collars won’t go against him). Hands up! – it was me who introduced him to Brooks Brothers’ tie-back and French-back boxers (he’s now a convert and there’s no going back after you bond over boxers). Definitely a name to watch out for in the future. (Have you finished my leopard-skin spats yet, Mikael?). Enjoy his blog.
Finland: Lassi Patokorpi
There must be something in the Scandinavian water... here’s another student (of English) making his own clothes and living the retro life. Living in Tampere (just google-map it) he also runs a vintage clothing website and blog that’s always worth a visit. And he’s barely 22.
Sharing the same head-size, I sent him one of my(surplus!) Bowler hats / Derby and he sent me some vintage stiff collars and we’ve been firm friends ever since.
Spain: Jose Fernandez-Pacheco
A few years ago I showed a young Jose around London during Fashion Week. He was a fledgling journalist then, wondering whether he should take his first presenting job offer on a Fashion TV programme in Madrid . He did.
So fast-forward a few years and we have... "Josie" (as he is now known), one of Spain’s premiere fashion stylists working in print, tv and movies and on peoples’ houses. I still remember the New & Lingwood shirts we bought – I remember it well.
Portugal: Ayres Goncalvo
It’s been a busy year for my tailor that I predicted great things for in last year’s blog. Moving from Savile Row to New York and then on to his home town of Oporto, he started his own label, Ayres Bespoke - and that means Proper Bespoke - with loads of good publicity and by suiting-up several members of the Portuguese Parliament. At least those guys will be able to tackle the financial maelstroms ahead looking good.
Apparently, both Ayres and I will be featured in a book by Portuguese photo-journalist Ze Cabral due out in 2012.
Italy: Luca Pavan Bresciano
...and before you mention it: no, it’s not Hercule Poirot. My friend Luca from Imperia in Northern Italy looks like that (and always has done). He and I have endless discussions about everything from bow ties to moustache care, stiff collars to spats, monocles to tussie-mussies (look it up) . The man is a joy. He is also the man who introduced me to Gammarelli (the Pope’s outfitters in Rome – more about them in a later blog).
Singapore: Kevin Seah
A recent chum, I am learning more about him by the day. Not only one of the pre-eminent tailors in Singapore, Kevin is also the Far East distributor for Gammarelli (see above) – their socks are to die for. Stop Press news: it’s just been announced he will be making clothes for Courvoisier (no other details yet). A good year ahead? I think so.
Japan: Hironori Miyawaki
You would think this elegant chap had walked out of some Imperial Palace in 1920. Wrong - this is Kobe (near Osaka), 2012. Another surprise is, he’s just about to start up in business as a Building Contractor. If he designs and builds as stylishly as he dresses, the ‘new look’ Japan is in safe hands.
My 2 Final Left-field Choices:USA: George J Durham Jr.
Why do I choose George?: (i) his taste and style and (ii) his profession. He’s a funeral director, from North Carolina. I look at George and I think “this is the guy I want to have bury me, and do it in style, with taste (and me looking sharp in my coffin)...and with a celebration, not misery.
UK: Alex Mendham
Another cool young musician, this time from the London-ish area. Barely 22, and already he’s formed his own 1920s/30s style dance Orchestra. How crazy is that? They are already getting strong word-of-mouth so check ’em out: AlexMendham.com It restores your faith in the youth of today!
And two Honorary mentions:
Diane Naegel (R.I.P)
We lost this lady to breast cancer, late 2011, and she was barely into her thirties. A leading light of the New York retro scene, she was also a noted accessories designer and ran the nighterie ClubWitsend. Not only did a light go out, the wind in our sails dropped when we heard the news. But her legacy lives on in the magazine she founded a few years ago: Zelda, Zeldamag.com (Buy all five back-issues and subscribe for the next lot).
Any reader of this blog who does Not know who Rose Callahan is, leave the room now. A New York-based photographer, her on-going Dandy Portraits project has been snapping us all – making me look palatable and all of us look great - and is due to reach print (yeah, I mean, a Real Proper book) sometime in 2012. - Bless you, Rose. We all owe you.