Come one come all to the most stylishly perplexing month of all, the equally dreaded — what to wear when its too hot for winter outerwear yet too cold for summer attire ordeal — and lauded month of seasonal style transition: October.
And with October comes the official ushering in of autumn and its perennially definitive characteristics — holiday celebrations, brisk weather conditions, pumpkin everything — and, yes, a slew of fresh new styles, movies, and sounds to satisfy your every cultural desire.
So as personal habit dictates, I've taken it upon myself to once again scouring the cultural landscape with the desire of satiating my style inspiration wanderlust.
So without further or ado, here are my cultural style muses for October 2015…
With a sartorial pedigree that is (arguably) unrivalled by any other movie or film series (or character for that matter), the chances of the latest entry into the James Bond canon — Spectre — being both utterly stylish and an absolutely entertaining cinematic pleasure is most certainly a forgone conclusion.
For you see, 007 (with help from his equally stylish nefarious rivals and able cohorts) has single-handedly personified refined gentlemanly aesthetics since his cinematic debut with Dr. No back in 1962. There’s simply no denying that the debonair spy with the license to kill has become a timeless (modernly relevant) style God who is the orchestrated master of his own iconic signature style. From his bespoke suiting and black-tie formalwear to his sophisticated and luxurious tactical wear and casual essentials, his look is as definitively astute —continuously sported to perfection — as they come, being as guaranteed in success to sartorially please as is every last one of his impending missions themselves.
So, it is surely safe to state that Spectre stands upon a pedestal by itself this month, being an all-encompassing cultural inspiration and aesthetic pleasure that nary any other movie could steal its highly styled thunder from.
Consequently, Spectre is unlikely to falter in any which way. From its modern leading gentleman, to it's returning (SKYFALL) director (Sam Mendes), too its diverse settings and luxurious styling, it should be yet another artistically fulfilling testament to the lauded history that accompanies this iconic character and his truly tried and tested sartorial pedigree.
Now, I could wax on poetic for ages about the stylish tradition of 007 and the James Bond series as a whole, but that would require a whole feature unto itself (like this one). So in its steed, I will simply leave you with these two matters to consider: first a redacted plot synopsis; and second, the final trailer for this highly anticipated masterpiece in the making:
SPECTRE finds Bond investigating and battling the shadowy, titular organization that has seemingly plagued his career from the start…
If it were not for a certain soulful crooner who goes by the name of Sam Smith, then it would be one Mr. John Newman who you would be hearing smeared all over popular radio. Both were courted as being the answer to a male version of Adele a few years back, yet it was Smith who eventually won out.
But that does not mean that Newman was left out in the cold, so to speak, as the numerous #1 singles he has amassed since would certainly be a consolation prize most anybody would be more then happy to settle with.
Nevertheless, John — who is a multi-talented instrumentalist hailing from Yorkshire, England — has managed to acquire a certain proclivity for a hybridized musical genre that consists of the successful coalescence of soul, pop, and techno into one captivating ensemble. In nearly every song he has put out — this album included — you can hear his love and enthusiasm bursting out of the seems, fully complimenting the high-tempo grooves and the irresistible hooks he manages to craft for our pure enjoyment.
And in his latest venture, the just released Revolve, what you will find is more of the same — and from my vantage point that is a good thing (change for the sake of change is a fruitless endeavour).
But if you do, then you are in for a adrenaline boosting, easy listening treat, one that references plenty of established soul tenets — jazzy orchestrations (hand-clapping, backup singers), Motown guitar vibes, and the use of heavy brass (horns, trumpets) and drumming — backed by emotional vocals that, while emotionally driven, are not too sentimentally deep (a la Sam Smith and his lovely heart-string pulling ballads) nor heavy-handed.
Lyrically speaking, what you will find is an interesting mixture of catchy anecdotes, popular generalisms, and personal musings that echo of failed pursuits of love that are played to the tune of an uplifting rush of club-ready arrangements.
As a complete experience, what you will be privy to here is an album full of fun, catchy, (nearly all) dance worthy tracks (11 in the standard version) delivered with a sort of rakish and reckless pop abandon that is simple to digest without any further thought…and a great workout soundtrack on top of it all.
Sounds Like: An amped up Sam Smith solely set upon getting you to dance and to enjoy the moment shared
Purchase on iTunes today
Before your eyes can begin to roll, I'll be the first to profess that I'm most certainly not this drama's targeted audience or its idealized average viewer...nor that I should admit to enjoying the ( I must say unusually amusing) aristocratic adolescent angst that drives the overall narrative plot. But, I'd be damned if I said I was ashamed of getting lost in its intricate and refreshing take on the commonly (and definitive) slow-burning drawl of the historical drama genre.
In other words, it is not a guilty pleasure of any sorts.
Rather, it is mature in a way that these so-called teen dramas never are, owing to the fact that a hard-hitting tale (there is some seriously dark happenings going on at times) that is driven by royal decree and (adult) responsibility has been afforded the centre stage over the otherwise banal plotting tropes of fruitless adolescent love stories and the accompanying general fickle nature that have come to characterize just such similarly casted shows. Those trivialities are still undoubtedly present, but with a welcome more subtle, non-jarring effect.
To that tune, I’ve become quite enamoured with the dynastic Game of Thrones-esque story for royal crowns with Mary Queen of Scots, her husband King Francis (of France) and Queen Elizabeth of England leading the way. Its an old tale woven in stylishly resplendent wardrobing (I’ve always fancied some of those luxuriously laced shirts) accentuated by an unorthodox (to the genre), almost exclusively indie-pop soundtrack (that works almost too well) that is further cemented by a clever (and entertaining) revisionists take on real historical events and the Royal ego's that carried them forward.
And earning the standout performance award? That would be none other then the amusing Catherine Medici (played convincingly by Meagan Follows), Queen-Mother to the teenage King (Francis) of France, who instantly (and consistently) steals the spotlight whenever she graces the screen with her scheming and conniving (albeit loving) ways.
When all is said and done, what you are getting with Reign is not your usual CW network fanfare -- it stands quite markedly stark in contrast to its usual superhero/supernatural offerings — but rather a surprisingly charming and narratively captivating entry into an otherwise dark, depravity stricken genre that is so often teeming with little joy for its cast of characters. Reign has its own foreboding darkness, but it is also privy to the light, too the joys and celebrations that so often decorated these Royal tales.
So, from its surprising soundtrack and its inspiringly resplendent costumery, too its paired back, light (yet still heavily resonant) narrative, Reign is the perfect light alternative (although it too has also featured questionable events) to the beautifully dark narrative masterpiece found on HBO, Game of Thrones.
Reign is currently airing its third season on The CW network (Seasons 1 & 2 can be found on various streaming services for your binge viewing pleasure)
Sartorial finishing touches and effortless style, that is what Sprezzabox promises and delivers upon with its simple and affordable accessory subscription box platform.
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With each box you will receive a curated collection of 5-6 lifestyle products — ties, socks, pocket squares, watches, etc. — alongside (typically) one grooming essential that is conveniently delivered directly to your doorstep, hassle-free.
So, if your of the camp who finds shopping for accessories to be a time consuming — yet sartorially essential — activity that you simply don’t have time for, then Sprezzabox was tailored made with your express needs and desires in mind. It’s stylish clock-work in refined accoutrementation.
Check the service out today to see if it speaks to you on any level. And if it does, you are free to pick from plans that start at just $28 a month and cater to all, from 3, 6, or 12-month subscriptions for those not afraid to commit, too the convenient option of picking-and-choosing from individual boxes (past or future) as you please. And if you fancy just one particular item — a personal standout perhaps — then their e-store has your basic shopping needs covered as well.
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Ah tweed, there really is nothing I (stylishly) look forward to come autumn then sporting this most ruggedly refined of fabrications and the heirloom type pieces it is so often woven into.
As practically — and seasonally — timeless as any one staple item can get, an exquisite blazer (or sports coat) crafted out of tweed is warm, sporty, luxuriously casual, and nearly indestructible. It is an unfussy and streamlined seasonal essential that has been modernly adapted and updated (ie. much softer and wearable) to the effect that it is no longer the same itchy-monstrosity akin to those found in your grandfathers closet.
In saying that, a tweed blazer is the perfect transitional piece — one with a long-storied tradition and history — for the gent who would like to keep his winter jacket (and its unneeded additional warmth) at bay for as long as he naturally can. It is for the refined sartorialist and every-day man alike, eschewing its sporting aristocratic origins in order to cater to both the sensible styling desires of the modern day gentleman and the incremental weather conditions that he faces.
In the event that you decide give in to your inner huntsman — to becoming a member of the sporting tweed club — then I would suggest investing in one much alike this classic brown J-Crew Ludlow Herringbone blazer that is made out of worldly-renowned Harris Tweed (although there are many other top-quality tweeds as well…Donegal comes to mind) that features patched pockets (or flapped for more versatility) down low and a slit pocket (or welt if you are so inclined) on the chest. On the contrary, maybe you will fancy one of these instead, all in different colours and catering too varying budgets (in order from lowest to highest): ASOS (Charcoal, $125), Geoffrey Greene (Green, $129), English Laundry (Brown, $200) , Acne Studios (Charcoal Grey, $550), Ralph Lauren (Blue, $650).
And, if any further incentive is needed to convince you to adopt some tweed into your repertoire, well then it would be this:
It also makes you look ruggedly handsome and well put-together (casually dapper), whether you sport it on an autumn date walking through the park or even if you opt for wearing it on a late camping trip, an apple picking excursion, or on a (wonderful) drive through the countryside to enjoy the colours of the season, a tweed blazer truly has you covered — its stylishly conventional and utterly versatile.
What is inspiring your wardrobe choices and style this month? What's your favourite film series (past or present)? How about your go-to A/W transitional outwear piece? Feel free to share your opinions below!
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