As 2010 draws to a close, we feel a solemn duty to break from our weekly MOTHing and name the single best-dressed man of the year. It was a good year for lots of gentlemen of style—Mr. Ronson, Mr. Almodóvar, even Kanye had his moments—but we’re giving the crown to someone a bit less widely known…
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Peter, a retired chef in Berlin with a badass walking stick and a penchant for purple trainers.
He popped onto our radar thanks to Stil in Berlin (one of our favorite finds of 2010, not coincidentally), and he manages to cram nearly half a dozen unorthodox moves into one outfit. It’s the kind of exuberant dandyism that makes us happy about the whole enterprise of style—and all the more so since he’s hardly the type you’re likely to see on a runway.
Shine on, sir.
This snap captures the chunky sweater in its natural habitat, a brisk day spent inside. This one’s ever-so-slightly sized up, giving it a touch of the housecoat and a generally lazy air. Think of it as the polar opposite of the power suit.
Khakis usually make for unusually bad biking pants—the pant cuff tends to find its way into the bike gears, except on the slimmest of the slim fit—but Dockers gave their pants a run for its money in one of the toughest gigs in the biking world: Berlin’s World Bike Polo Championship.
These scruffy gents are from the American team, bankrolled and (more importantly) outfitted by Dockers. The slim tapered pair on the left seems to have escaped any chain-related chewing, which speaks for the experiment pretty well—although we’d like to see those pant legs rolled up a little more. Still, count it as one more reason to avoid anything that describes itself as “relaxed fit.”
A well-made neon sign is a thing of beauty, even if they rarely make it into museums. But Berlin’s Buchstaben Museum corrects the injustice, to the delight of font nerds everywhere. The name translates to “Museum of Letters,” which is more or less what you’ll find inside: a glorious clutter of vintage signs, sourced from across Europe. Feast your eyes.
This week’s MOTH finds us digging deep into the internet—a German street style blog, to be specific—to find a punk-inflected Berliner named Felix (note the piercings) who has managed to masquerade a respectable member of square society with the help of a modified vintage Burberry trench. As it happens, that’s one of the top brands on eBay and in the vintage hunt in general, and this is a pretty good explanation of why.
Underneath it all, he’s sporting the same gray t-shirt as all the other 21-year-olds in town, but a well-chosen piece of outerwear is enough to elevate the whole thing. And no, that popped collar isn’t fooling anyone.
Here’s a new idea for saving print: Frisbees. Hypebeast just turned us on to Berlin’s own Freestyle Magazine, who just released their second issue. It’s distinguished by two remarkable feats. First, they continue their commitment to shipping every issue with a Frisbee—in this case, a Paul Smith-designed disc with the slogan “Take Pleasure Seriously.” Second, they managed to convince Sir Smith himself to indulge in silver face paint, presumably by appealing to his inner Bowie. Read it while listening to Kraftwerk.
Street art has always been a bit too politically prickly to fit in with the web 2.0 crowd…but that’s no reason to stop trying. After all, populism is populism, and if street artists managed to make nice with auction houses, who’s to say they can’t fit a few iPhones into their repertoire?
*Photographed by our fearless lensman, Patrick McMullan.*
When it first came out in 1973, Lou Reed’s tragic rock opera *Berlin*disappointed fans who’d been expecting an upbeat follow-up to his glam opus *Transformer*. Left to gather dust, it took twenty years for critical opinion to come around and finally dub it a masterwork.
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