People tend to forget that well into the ’50s and ’60s, before rock and roll really took hold, jazz musicians were still the epitome of subculture cool—and they’d gotten even cooler since the raucous ’20s of ragtime in speakeasies.
So when Charlie Parker hit the West Coast for a string of gigs in 1951 and chose an up-and-comer by the name of Chet Baker to play with him, a new subculture star was born. He may never get the biopic treatment like Ray or Cash, but his story runs about the same—just swap in a trumpet and Baker’s magnificent head of hair.
Chet spent his formative years in the Army and was still sporting the preppy civilian style he’d picked up on base during his rise to stardom. And you can see documents of the style continue in his wardrobe as his life visibly unraveled—succumbing to the same vices that plagued most of the greats at the time (which, sadly, he would never fully get over). He was a jazz legend, a stylish dude and an all-around badass...
Out of all the Hollywood heavies stalking the red carpet at the 14th Annual SAG Awards the other night, bearded Canuck Ryan Gosling stood out for his superlative sartoriality.
Gosling, a Chet Baker fan and accomplished jazz guitarist in his own right, sported one of those signature Tom Ford single-breasted, peak-lapel three-piece suits we've been musing on lately, in a new incarnation. His was a steel-hued silk and linen herringbone number with oversized patch pockets, worn with a white-collared tan and gray checked shirt and black leather shoes also from Ford's closet. Adorning his lapel was a special tribute to unfortunate pal Heath Ledger in the form of a black ribbon designed by his sister Mandi, Gosling's date for the evening.