Man About Town: Clothes, Books & International Relations
Long before men's wear media was consumed electronically, G. Bruce Boyer was writing thoughtful prose on sartorial topics. The former men's wear editor for Town & Country and author of numerous books has just released "True Style: The History And Principles Of Classic Menswear," a collection of articles and essays that not only helps make men better dressers, but also loads them up with fascinating historical trivia to display at cocktail parties.
Boyer's book launch party was held on Sept. 17 at the recently opened New York branch of The Armoury. For those unfamiliar with the company, The Armoury is based in Hong Kong and is held in the highest esteem by men's wear aficionados for its impeccable taste, which is on display not only in its retail stores but its social media accounts. The shop's style blends the best of Italian and English influences and is timely without being trendy. The Armoury doesn't carry brands, it carries "artisans," including Carmina, Ring Jacket, Ambrosi and Drake's. If you haven't heard of those artisans, it's because they're very small and very expensive.
There is one American element to The Armoury's mix, but it comes from an unlikely place. The New York store has just added Tailor Caid, a Tokyo-based line founded by Yuhei Yamamoto based on fastidious recreations of late 1950s Madison Avenue style, or the urban (rather than campus) side of what was then called the Ivy League Look. If Yamamoto had been the costume designer for "Mad Men," the show's fashion influence would have been even greater. Yamamoto offers full bespoke tailoring services, and The Armoury carries a selection of ready-to-wear items, including tweed sportcoats priced at $2,800 and topcoats at $4,000.
Japan's fascination with American fashion will finally be given the full book treatment in W. David Marx's upcoming "Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style." Marx is a Harvard alum fluent in Japanese and based in Tokyo, and has already done pioneering work on "ametora," or "American trad," the Japanese name for classic American style from blue jeans to button-down oxfords. Marx's book will be excerpted in The New Yorker and published on December 1.
Christian Chensvold is a New York-based Apparel contributing writer.