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Posthumous MOTH: Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees

  • Najib Benouar

We usually don’t make exceptions. But when we stumbled upon The Telegraph’s obituary of Count Robin de la Lanne-Mirrlees, we felt obligated to honor him as Kempt Man of the Hour—even if it is a week past his ability to collect on it.

Mirrlees’s life story is the kind you couldn’t make up if you tried--so fantastically “Ruritanian,” in fact, that Ian Fleming leaned on their friendship for inspiration when writing the Bond novels. The obit is worth a read, and lends some insight into the sort of well-lived life a gentleman should strive for. (You’ll want to start by logging a few hundred more hours in your tuxedo.) In just a sampling of the article, things go from reading like your typical social diary (“he embarked upon a rococo career”), to verging on the absurd monologue of an arch villain who spent summers in Rangoon (he “claimed descent from an ancient Basque family, whose members were said to be born without earlobes”), to near-mythical moments of iconoclasm (as legend has it, he coined the Bond family motto, “The world is not enough”).

It’s how we all should want to be remembered one day.

The Man Behind the Curtain


It’s never good to see a MOTH go.

Managers tend to get a pretty bad shake in punk history, particularly string-pulling, half-brilliant ones like Malcolm McLaren, but now that the dust has settled, it’s remarkable how many great ideas he’s had a hand in. The Sex Pistols are the big one, of course, but there are all sorts of minor creations in the years after, not the least of which is his son’s Agent Provocateur line. It’s a less interesting scene without him.

The music business will always be full of hustlers, but it’ll be a while until one as dapper as Mr. McLaren comes along again.

If you’re not convinced, we’ve got some pictures to show you»

Drive Safe

jamesdean_crop.jpgvia NotCot

This crossroads was the site of the car crash that killed James Dean in 1955. The photograph is thanks to the British lensman Dean Rogers, and it’s snapped in the precise position of the car before impact, at the same date and time as the original crash. Other snaps in the series include Marc Bolan, Jackson Pollock, and Albert Camus.