We should emphasize, Kempt does not endorse criminal activity. A few parking tickets aside, we have spent our lives well within the social contract and abiding the due prescriptions of the law.
But sometimes, The Man just has it coming.
So for a time, it was nice having icons of freewheeling criminality like Jesse James and Pretty Boy Floyd roaming the country. They were icons of the same genial American chaos that gave us the Western—and they’re iconic enough to deserve a little dusting off...
The Death and Rebirth of a Dolce & Gabbana Suit: There is a dry cleaner in Arizona who can clean any suit—even one that’s been smeared with Turkish probiotic yogurt. Good to have in your rolodex. [Put This On]
Stealing Granddad’s Pearls: Attention, virile men traveling through Zimbabwe: you may be kidnapped for your sperm. [The Telegraph]
In Search: The story of Google, from search pioneer to info-swallowing monolith. [Gizmodo]
There Are More Than You Think: And just because it’s there, a ranked list of songs with “Jane” in the title. [The Awl]
The Sydney Police department just let loose a cache of 20s-era mug shots, showing off a surprising quantity of three-piece suits and grenadine ties. Aussie criminals are pretty snappy dressers, it turns out.
This gent in particular caught our eye for his shoulder-to-shoulder lapels and reckless use of pomade. We like to think he got sent up for some kind of globe-spanning real estate scheme…
Two of these mustaches are perfectly respectable Schwartzman-esque lip coverings, happy to live out Movember with respect for their coworkers and deference to the state.
The third one (that’s him on the left) has turned the corner of the lips and is making a break for the border of the chin, where he will buy a motorcycle and make a living selling opium to tourists. And when the month of mustache ends, he might just decide to stick around.
Erotic Brooklyn: The Times catches up with the creative pair behind Jacques. [NYTimes]
The Citizen Kane of Hockey: Hockey has some really interesting backstory, it turns out, including this tale of hazing, false identities and murder. The Mighty Ducks was just scratching the surface. [Deadspin]
The Pajamas of the Past: A gentleman’s guide to stylish sleepwear, by way of Mad Men. [Vulture]
Night at the Museum: An Italian site has posted billion-pixel renditions of some of the great Renaissance frescoes. [Boing Boing]
Unless you’re a connoisseur of French rap—and if you are, congratulations—you’ve probably never heard the name Jacques Mesrine. We’ll make it short and sweet: He’s the most notorious criminal in France’s recent history and he’s getting the sprawling biopic treatment this month with Mesrine. If the trailer's any indication, we should be in for quite a ride.
We’re not thrilled about graphic ties to begin with, but when you swap out the usual polo horse for a gentleman flasher, as in this Colette x Band of Outsiders collab, you may be in trouble. There's a fine line between showing cheek and manufacturing novelty ties, and this one's right on the fence.
In other words, it's a handsome specimen—but we’re pretty sure he’s not wearing a tie under there.
Movies about brooding assassins have a surprisingly good track record (for a quick refresher, we suggest this, this, and even this), and Clooney’s not doing so bad these days either, so we’re tentatively excited for The American. So far, the plot seems to involve George jetting around Europe and encountering a wide variety of beautiful Italian women with ulterior motives—which seems a lot closer to the man’s actual life than Up in the Air. We’re hoping he gets to drive a rocket car at some point, but it’s noticeably absent from the trailer.
We’ve seen this guy’s face before—adding some authentic menace to dozens of otherwise dull action movies—but after this interview, we’re ready to call him our favorite person in Hollywood.
His name’s Danny Trejo, and over the course of a few pages he drops the following fascinating tidbits: 1) He got into the acting business as a combination boxing coach/drug counselor/armed robbery consultant. 2) Before that, he was the lightweight and welterweight champion of San Quentin. 3) Before that he robbed grocery stores for a living. Also, apparently he really liked Up in the Air.
It’s the kind of out-of-nowhere story Old Hollywood used to specialize in, but it’s good to see it can still happen in the modern age—especially when it means reminding audiences what a genuine badass looks like. Better yet, he’s about to get his first starring role in the Grindhouse-spinoff Machete, and, judging from the trailer, it should be the craziest thing in theaters all year.
Hard times in London may have brought back the criminal world’s most dapper pastime: the jewel heist. Last week, a pair of well-tailored gentlemen relieved a Bond St shop of more than $65 million in jewelry before escaping in a blue BMW, which was subsequently traded for a silver Mercedes. And that’s only the most recent in a string of thefts that’s plagued London’s jewelry district for months, which suggests the days of the gentleman jewel thief may be returning.
Of course, we at Kempt do not endorse criminal pursuits. But as criminal pursuits go, we definitely prefer the ones that involve luxury cars, daring getaways and expensive suits. If we ever have to resort to extralegal activity, we hope we’ll do it with this much panache.
Nobody does brooding crime dramas quite like the brits. And while the best of the lot is already a bonafide masterpiece and a touchstone for modern style…there’s plenty more where that came from.
For instance, Stephen Frears’ The Hit was just rescued from obscurity by way of a Criterion release. The plot’s pretty simple—Tim Roth and an unusually Astley-esque John Hurt chauffeur mob informer Terrence Stamp across Spain to an all-but-certain death in Paris—but the real draw is the casual bleakness, flights of existential fancy, and practical lessons in how hired killers dress for the desert.
As any number of trend pieces will tell you, times is hard, and any number of previously whimsical professions are becoming all to real. Apparently art thieves are next in line.
This past Friday, a group of armed robbers made off with two paintings from a Dutch museum, including a Dalí work called “Adolescence.” Of course, we’ve seen our share of glamorous heist movies—in fact, we’ve probably seen more about thieves than pirates—but knocking off an undefended museum is hardly what Hollywood led us to expect. And we feel safe in saying Cary Grant would disapprove.