Yesterday, the affable French actor Gérard Depardieu donned a traditional Russian folk tunic and an even goofier grin, and officially became a Russian citizen. (He then grabbed dinner with Vladimir Putin—we hope Gérard offered to cover the bill.)
If you hadn’t been following Depardieu-gate, it was an incredibly European affair involving tax evasion, a country scorned and the Frenchman with a nose only a country like France could love. Basically, the millionaire was tired of paying taxes in France and so renounced his citizenship and moved to a small town in Russia called Saransk. (We hear it’s lovely this time of year.)
It’s a bold move for a man decorated and beloved by the French public—and, for a time, America. He once commanded such a high international celebrity that he was able to make a movie in France whose plot centered around a torridly inappropriate father-daughter relationship—and then to turn around and make the same exact movie in English and to similarly great success in the US three years later. (Coincidentally, launching the career of a 14-year-old up-and-comer by the name of Katherine Heigl.) It’s the stuff Kempt Icons are made of. Sadly, fleeing the country that made you rich to avoid paying your fair share of taxes is not.
We’ve always got time for French movies about sex.
And as it happens, one of our favorites is arriving on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow. It’s called The Rules of the Game, and it’s a regular on Sight & Sound’s “10 Best Movies of All Time” list—but the movie is more accessible than the parade of gushing film critics might suggest.
At its core, The Rules of the Game is just an unusually sharp, exceedingly well-dressed sex farce—all canoodling and careless wealth circa 1939. There are hunting parties, a few illicit tumbles in the servants’ quarters and at least one murder, most of which should sound familiar to anyone who’s flipped through Gatsby recently.
It’s easy to end up with a fall wardrobe full of grays and browns, so we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate the singular charm of a red sweater underneath a tweed jacket.
This particular snap comes from the French label Ami, who recently unveiled their fall/winter plans, but it’s about as universal as it gets. The classic version of the sweater is J.Press’s Shaggy Dog, which offers anything from Kelly green to teal, but all you really need to do is look out for something thick and bright.
And if you’re going for the full Camelot trifecta, make sure your collar’s buttoned down.
There’s been a lot of insidery talk about Brioni getting bought up, but it’s not quite as complex as all the finance-speak suggests.
They’re moving up to the big leagues. And depending on how you feel about regional Italian style, it might not be a good thing.
The bid is coming from the French conglomerate PPR, for over 300 million Euro. It’s the same firm that took control of Gucci in 2004, which should give you a pretty good idea of where Brioni’s headed. They’ve always been one of the Italy’s tonier brands, but if this goes through you can expect a full-scale relaunch of the brand. When they emerge, they’ll be less Italian and more international, like Prada, Louis Vuitton or, well, Gucci.
If you still want your suit to feel like it was made 100 miles from Naples, it might not be cause for celebration. But they’ve already got a head start on the rakish globe-trotter look.
After disappearing late last week without a peep, our intrepid editorial director Randy Goldberg finally resurfaced—telling stories of the Riviera and a close encounter with Sir Robert DeNiro. Of what really went on there, we have only this record… When our friends at Stella Artois asked if I had a couple of days to drop by Cannes, bunk down at Chez Jacques at the near-perfect Carlton Hotel, help close out the Festival and generally use the word Riviera as a verb, I obliged. I brought a tuxedo, a pair of trunks and an appetite for le destruction. As for what I found there, all the rumors are true: yachts made of solid gold, an endless fountain of truly mesmerizing creatures, gala-side dealmaking, Chanel breezes, 30-euro cocktails, le Palm D’Or, flashbulb sunburns, method acting during hotel lobby brawls (that would be Mr. Gosling), enough rose to drown a desperate housewife, and, of course, the gracious hospitality of Jacques D’Azur.
If you’re on the shortlist for best guitarist of all time, you’re more or less guaranteed a few style devotees. But in the case of a certain clotheshorse gypsy jazz guitarist, that’s actually good news. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Django Reinhardt…
The wool tie has been trending for quite a while now, but somehow we keep running across better and better specimens.
This one from Dolbeau lands somewhere between repp and knit ties on the tweediness spectrum (a pretty versatile place to be) and the 2¾” width is right on the sweet spot. And while you can pick up a similar piece from J.Crew for $60 less, it won’t have this kind of French wool and won’t catch the light nearly as well as this speckle.
You’re about to learn everything you ever wanted to know about French linen. This 15-minute film from Benoit Millot follows a single crop of flax from the fields of Normandy, through harvest, spinning, knitting and tailoring. The finished product is as good as the European luxury industry gets—and food for thought the next time you’re wondering where the fabric in your suit comes from.
Some people were born for the biopic treatment. In particular, we’re thinking of Serge Gainsbourg, the dirty old man of French pop. He spent most of the 60s and 70s creating the French pop star cliché: a sentimental crooner with impeccable suits, a heart-breakingly beautiful woman on his arm (Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin among others) and a protective cloud of cigarette smoke surrounding him at all times.
Unsurprisingly, he’s getting the lavish biopic treatment with the European flick Gainsbourg, but on the off chance you can’t make it to a Parisian movie theater any time soon, we thought we’d fill you in on some of the juicier details.
The industry’s full of iconic logos, but you rarely hear where they came from. To that end, we’re taking a look at the stories behind three of our favorite logos. Later in the week, you’ll hear a little more about Rolls Royce and Brooks Brothers—but first, the story of the René Lacoste and the crocodile.
They’re the same models you’ll see on any number of Parisian city workers, stitched together from rugged moleskin twill that’s held up through a few decades of wear. If you don’t mind a few paint splatters, you can pick one up at a $50 discount, but we recommend keeping yours as pristine as possible. And just like the American equivalent, they’re both lightweight and stiff enough to repel any autumn gusting, making them perfect for October.
Takashi Murakami may finally have found the perfect venue: Versailles. The first crop of pictures from the royal exhibition are finally up for perusal, and the nightmare disney vibe works better than just about anything that’s shown there. Everything’s brightly colored and just slightly beyond belief. It turns out Mr. Superflat and Louis XIV share more than just a taste for the opulent.
Last season, the French accessories brand Flouzen collaborated with Kitsuné to bring us the Foxtail Tie—a crisp, color-blocked tribute to the fictional fox in "Fables de la Fontaine." This season’s soon-to-arrive collaboration embraces the Ivy League epidemic with five styles inspired by Ivy League color palettes as a French iteration of the J. Press modus operandi. (Apparently Dartmouth, Cornell and Brown didn't make the cut.)
However, their brazen admiration of preppy roots isn’t the only thing that caught our attention—the ties are made of delicate, handknit cashmere. While the cashmere tie venture is certainly a rare occurrence, we think it’s worthy of significant consideration. It’s the ideal fall accessory—the happy neckwear medium between the cashmere scarf and nothingness. Hopefully this fall will continue to bring more versatility to luxe knits.
We’d like to take every opportunity to indulge our collars.