Yesterday, the preternaturally salt-and-peppered man of style, filmmaker, activist and Brad Pitt bromanceur—not to mention Kempt 100 inductee—the one and only George Clooney stopped by Reddit for an impromptu AMA. Naturally, he had plenty of bons mots and wisdom to dispense on everything from his newfound cobbling hobby to the nipples on his Batman suit (seriously).
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing a three-time MOTH and all-time Venice Film Festival legend in the making…
George Clooney, please take a bow.
Yes, we’ve already extolled the many virtues of a tuxedoed Cloons, but there’s something magical that happens when the fantastic silver fox lands in Venice. (We’d chalk it up to all those summers spent on Lake Como.) This week he was in town to open the festival with his sci-fi thriller, Gravity, and has already been spotted piloting one of those glamorous wooden speedboats in a T-shirt, waltzing into press shoots with open-collared nonchalance and finishing the night with his signature red-carpet-dominating notch-lapel tux. It’s swagger in its unabbreviated, originally intended form, and we wouldn’t mind seeing a few more encores.
Stylish men have always had a special relationship with beautiful cars.
Probably because, if you think about it, they’re kind of the perfect accessory. Big, shiny, powerful—a little automotive affirmation can go a long way to securing your position in the Court of Cool. (We’re sure the King would agree.) But it’s not only those men defined by their cars who drive cool ones. And we’ve got the photo evidence to prove it.
Fact: it takes quite the set of cojones to pull off wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
Also fact: most men don’t have ’em.
That being said, there are some real pros out there who do. And right now, we’d like to honor these brave souls who’ve unwaveringly taken up the charge. Through painstaking research—no scene left unexamined, no paparazzi shot ignored—we’ve uncovered the best and boldest examples of tropical-print artistry. A testament to confidence, these men are standards to aspire to. (At least when it comes to visually making a statement.)
Here’s your last reminder that Sunday is Mother’s Day, gentlemen.
And to kick off the weekend of maternal appreciation right, we turn to some of our favorite style icons for some dapper inspiration on how to get into the spirit of filial gratitude…
It’s a big day for basketball, with March Madness finally kicking off this morning.
And it’s been a big week for basketball here on Kempt, with our own bracket pitting icons of the sidelines against one another in our quest to name the most stylish NCAA basketball coach ever. You can catch up on the first-round action here, the second-round action here and yesterday’s Final Four here. But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the grand finale…
Tonight, President Obama’s State of the Union address is supposed to inspire progress and federal stimulation. But often, our focus tends to drift to the hapless sea of baggy, demure suiting filling the audience. It’s a sad sight, really—save for our one beacon of sartorial hope, Vice President Joe Biden. (We’re also giving Obama a pass here, since he’s never given us reason to fret in the past.)
If we were less civic-minded, we’d skip the whole thing and fire up a few episodes of House of Cards—if only to be reminded how a well-put-together politician actually looks (a lot like Kevin Spacey, incidentally). In fact, Hollywood seems to be the only place turning out politicians we’d actually want representing us. So, in hopes of moving a few congressmen to up their style game, we present:
Warren Beatty on the phone as he campaigns for Senator George McGovern’s Democratic presidential nomination.
Leading up to his 1972 presidential bid, Senator George McGovern, who died over the weekend at the age of 90, met with a group of Hollywood celebrities at the home of Shirley MacLaine. Since he was not well-known and had little support within the Democratic Party, it was decided that the entertainment industry could lend the McGovern campaign some much-needed credibility, charisma and cash.
And so a new generation of Hollywood liberal activists emerged, the first to do so since McCarthyite blacklists of the early ’50s had driven showbiz liberalism deep into the walk-in closets of Malibu and Mulholland Drive.
Warren Beatty, MacLaine’s brother, scheduled a series of high-profile concerts, fundraisers and East Hampton pickup baseball games, attended by the likes of Jack Nicholson, Burt Lancaster, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight and so on. “We got involved because we were people who cared,” Norman Lear told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday.
As such, we thought it a fitting tribute to the fallen senator to eulogize him in a pictorial we’re calling:
September is a big month in the print world of menswear. It sets the tone for the following season (and, effectively, the remainder of the year).
It also means the page counts are at their bulkiest—so many woolen things, so little time. And in our continued dedication to sussing it all out, we’ve thumbed through the 1,000-plus pages (we’ve thrown in the bonus round of Vanity Fair since they’ve weighed in on the year’s best-dressed men) just for you.
Sean Connery with stunt double Big John McLaughlin, Never Say Never Again, 1983
When the city of Fort Lauderdale recognized Big John McLaughlin, Shogun of the Sea, with a star on the Walk of Fame earlier this year, he responded, “Does one have to be alive to collect it?” It likely was not the first time Mr. McLaughlin asked some form of this question, having pioneered diving, stunt rigging and motion picture safety techniques in the late 1950s that are still in use to this day. Jaws simply wouldn’t have been a scary movie if it weren’t for Big John.
“I guess the craziest thing they ever asked me to do was bite a live tiger shark,” he reminisces. But his favorite was doubling 007 in eight Bond films, including Thunderball, in which he doubled 34 different people.
Allow us to join the city of Fort Lauderdale in raising a glass to Big John, the Shogun, and all the brave men who have kept our precious style icons safe over the years. To that end, we close the week with…
Ladies and gentlemen, George Clooney has been arrested.
This picture comes from a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy earlier today, when his grizzledness was taken into custody alongside his dad, two US congressmen and the president of the NAACP. They were protesting Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and the ongoing humanitarian crisis there—but even more impressive than the cause was the timing. Just two days ago, he was making the same case at Obama’s yearly state dinner.
Clearly, he’s hitting all the bases, but he’s also hitting them in the right order. It’s the first rule of society activism: save the arrest for after the gala.
In many ways, we were glad for the lightly humdrum proceedings last night because it gave us a chance to concentrate on what’s truly important: the tuxedos. The competition was fierce, between Plummer’s playful velvet and Clooney’s usual impeccable kit, but we were able to pick out five getups that rose above the crowd to make a statement. In case you missed it, here are the five takeaways…
The Oscars are just a few weeks out, and office pools are already filling up. Play it right, and you’ll come away with both a little extra cash and an excuse for watching War Horse. So to make sure you’ve got the edge, we’ve tracked down the house oddsmaker at the Wynn Las Vegas for a rundown of who’s favored. His name is Johnny Avello—and as it turns out, he’s quite the cinephile…
Awards season is here again, and with it, the reassuring sight of George Clooney in a tuxedo.
For us, seeing Clooney in a tux is one of the great seasonal pleasures, like the migration of the butterflies or the cherry blossoms of Kyoto. And in honor of this spectacularly consistent display of elegance, we’ve pulled together 21 pictures from the last few cycles, to give you an idea of what you can look forward to when he takes the stage for the Oscars next Sunday.
If at any point you feel overcome by the sheer volume of charisma on display, just look away from your computer and the feeling will pass.
It’s magazine time again.
January’s usually an off month for glossies, which explains why this month’s crop is featherlight. Details didn’t even weigh in—thanks to December’s double-issue—but there’s still plenty to piece through, like the wisdom of Oates, blogger blue’s close-up and the rise of Parisian style.
Christopher Hitchens with Ian McEwan (left) and Martin Amis in Uruguay via The Guardian
We spend a good deal of time here at Kempt headquarters discussing the gentleman’s style: his clothes, his facial hair, his accoutrements, etc. In addition, though, over the past year, we’ve attempted to broaden the definition of style to include his behavior as well: his adherence to a certain chivalric code, his etiquette, the words he uses, his manner of pursuing artistic and athletic endeavors, his morality, his aspirations and, inevitably, the periodic missteps that can and squander those aspirations.
While we hesitate to dip our toe into the murky, stale bathwater of year-end reviews (and while we have even greater hesitation to hurl ourselves, willy-nilly, into the business of doling out meaningless, award-less “awards”), we’re doing so anyway.
Maybe we’re slightly more nostalgic for 2011 than we’ve been in the past.
Or, more likely, maybe we’re finding the exercise of attaching superlatives to people and things and moments to be kind of fun.
Whatever the reason, we present for your perusal—in three parts over as many days—the 2011 Kempt Awards.
There were a lot of stylish men in 2011, and we did our best to wade through them all, week by week, and pick out the best ones.
Some were just good. Others were frighteningly great. And then, there were the five best—the five gentlemen who stood atop humanity in an impeccably cut tuxedo, basking in their own handsomeness and the potential for human achievement. Those are the five we bring to your attention today…
Much has been made of Obama’s graying hair this year. Seth Meyers likened the president to “Louis Gossett Senior.” Gawker hinted at a dye job cover-up. Even the first lady chimed in on the matter, admitting she finds Barack’s salt way sexier than his pepper.
Once again, we’re with Michelle: the natural evolution of a gentleman’s hair color is to be embraced at any age, regardless of profession—particularly given how disastrous failed attempts at masquerading the inevitable can be.
This note arrived in the Kempt inbox this morning, concerning the state of the black suit:
I was after some advice with a black suit. I want to wear it for numerous parties over Christmas period but I want it to be versatile to wear out and about. To be honest I can’t tell what makes a great black suit from a bad one.
This is a tricky one, as the black suit is the subject of much debate. Here’s our advice.
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