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Bleu royal (2) : The waistcoat was once an important component of menswear in the 18th century. It was worn under a long jacket (justaucorps), which was often left open. This fashionable decorative piece for men has mainly survived in traditional costumes in Bavaria and Austria, as well as in the gentleman’s outfit in England. Typical for Bavaria is the long row of metal buttons (Hammerschmid model). It can be found in Munich in great varieties and in different colours. The frilled shirt is intended to emphasise the festive character of the attire, which in itself, is relatively simple. The cotton ladies’ trousers with rococo pattern (Japanese), evoke the fabrics of the Marché Saint-Pierre in Paris. The dark-blue velvet sash unifies the trousers (ladies), the shirt, and the waistcoat. The blue velvet ribbon on the ponytail (not visible), adds the finishing touch. Photo shot at : Schloss Jegenstorf, Park.
Monseigneur (3) : A noble velvet jacket (ladies, Gaisberger) that should really belong on a menswear rack. The masculinization in ladies’ fashion allows us to find this kind of wear in the wrong spot. The original buttons were replaced with antique, gilded buttons because the Gaisberger ones are totally unpractical. This top half requires an appropriate pair of trousers. I found these in the Galeries Lafayette (Paris). These dark-green ladies’ trousers with Japanese blossoms and gold appliqués are a luxury model. Only a gold sash is suited to this. The simple white stand-up collar shirt suggests pure simplicity. The Dolce-Gabbana shoes, on the other hand, provide some more frivolity : a pattern with crowns and bees, embroidered with diamonds. In the 18th century, real diamonds would have been used for this. The inevitable accessory : the black velvet ribbon tied around the ponytail. Dressed in this outfit (in full feather), I calmly set foot on any floor.
Maysore (4) : India once consisted of many local kingdoms. What is left of those today, is looking for new activities. The former Queen of Maysore is a fashion designer and owns a sewing atelier in the palace of Bangalor (Bangalor). The tightly fitted black velvet trousers (ladies) move away from any reference to a uniform, and so do the pumps and the gold sash. The ideal outfit for visiting exhibitions, castles, gardens, etc.
Ecossais (6) : A ladies’ coat from Vero Moda in shades of green. A model made from a material that inclines to Scottish fabrics, but not quite. It requires cotton trousers with a matt surface, as well as a waistcoat in a matching colour. To my entire surprise, this coat is particularly well received, and considered elegant. That is certainly due to the cut, which distinguishes the ladies’ wear from the men’s wear. In men’s fashion, there is a tendency to evoke “strength”, but strength should only be displayed by the person and not by the clothes they are wearing.
Desigual (7) : The Spanish producer Desigual (since 1984) has enriched the world of fashion over the last 15 years with successful and sometimes very colourful creations This ladies’ jacket is a mixture of bold and classical elements. At most, it can be completed with a gold sash, but the trousers should be neutral. These tightly fitted velvet trousers can be found in the ladies’ stockings department, but they too were originally an item of men’s fashion : during the Middle Ages, i.e. at the Burgundy Court, such tightfitting (and definitely colourful) leggings were worn by courtiers and princes.
Mystery (8) : There are many small ateliers in Paris, which often create and produce clothes as unique pieces for just a limited period. The present dark-coloured gown comes from a boutique in the Quartier du Marais (Paris) and the name of the couturière was unknown to me. The effect of the black is slightly reduced by the red velvet sash. This creation, which evokes characters from “Lord of the Rings”, is not at all intended for an official event. Highly fitting for a décor of a medieval city, a historic market or a festivity in a similar setting. The shoes from HARR are modelled on an 18th century example. Photo shot at : Schloss Schadau, Hotel Restaurant, Thun.
Broderie (9) : Parisian Haute Couture traditionally uses embroideries. These are very often intricate applications, involving small parts of glass or metal and other materials, which are sewn onto the garment piece by piece. This often requires several hundreds of hours of work. This traditional handcraft is still cultivated at the highest level in Paris 14. The example here comes from the ladies’ wear and is not of such great value. However, the effect is very similar to the one described above. To go with this, a classic pair of trousers in white and a blue velvet sash. To preserve the nonchalance of the whole, I chose to wear pump-like shoes.
Photo shot at : Schloss Jegenstorf.
Monochrome1 (11) : The woollen brocade jacket (Zara, ladies), the floral print trousers, and the velvet sash constitute a unity in blue (with a dark-blue ribbon in the ponytail, Karin Eugster, Tausendschön, Zofingen). Sometimes, one must compromise : for this model, I have exceptionally resorted to trousers in a jeans-like design. The sash is meant to hide this flaw. This artistically successful pair of trousers (fabric) is a good example to illustrate that one really does not need the 501 model : no pockets and a closure on the side would make this pair of trousers in this fabric much more attractive !
Baron (12) : Austrian fashion houses, such as Habsburg, Gaisberger and Motwurf, make FASHION that is rich in tradition but also slightly modernised. The present coat (ladies, Motwurf) is a particularly elegant model. It is combined with a greyish sash and brown suede boots. The ribbon is kept in yellow decorated with (fake) gold threads. Brown or brownish is not really my favourite colour, but here it appears to be the right choice.
Monochrome2 (13) : A jacket (ladies, Z. Silvano), decorated in a floral art nouveau pattern. Combined with dark-red velvet trousers and a sash in the same colour. Split sleeves always create lightness and elegance. The jacket is worn open, just like the justaucorps. The ribbon is made of red velvet (Tausendschön, Zofingen). This creation can only be completed with light shoes, such as pumps or something similar. The outfit is ideal for an artful environment (gallery, museum, concert, …). Photo shot at : Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG, exhibition A129, Bern.
Oiseaux (14) : This is another example (see Broderie (9)) of a creation with embroidery. A ladies’ coat with a bird pattern (Anja Roch), combined with plain white cotton trousers, a white neutral shirt, a sash, and velvet ribbon in blue. An elegant ensemble, fit for entering any salon. An example that demonstrates what is aesthetically possible without bells and whistles. The price of this ensemble is far beneath the price of a top quality men’s suit with matching shoes.
Grande parure (15) : Vienna yearly hosts an innumerable amount of dances, where Viennese people show up in suitable attire. With us, we are more reserved, but an opportunity presents itself from time to time. This outfit, essentially a velvet coat, comes from a theatre-sale (Bern). To highlight the festive impression, we added a collar made from an old leopard skin and two antique gilded buttons at the back. It is worn with a sash, equally made out of leopard skin. In this case, the shirt can be embellished a little. The velvet Dolce & Gabbana shoes (house slippers) complete the outfit. The ribbon for the ponytail is made of black velvet. This outfit, which I wear to New Year’s Eve dances, frequently incites admiration from women, and especially from men. Photo shot at : Schloss Jegenstorf.
Azure (16) : A turquoise velvet coat from Les Boutiques Donna (Zurich). A true item of HauteCouture, worn with white cotton trousers (Zara, women), a white frilled shirt, and completed with a wide belt with gold buckle and black pumps. Depending on the weather, a grey felt hat is added. The coat is light as a feather and very soft. It has a strong colour, without hurting the eyes. It is almost as if one was going out in a luxury bathrobe. I can perfectly understand that some men would say, “I couldn’t do that.” It is all a matter of trying out under the right circumstances. You can be assured that you will reap many positive comments, especially when you are in a mixed company. Of course, this is not suitable for a board meeting or such like !
Maharadscha (17) : India is an entirely different world of fashion. There, men traditionally wear richly decorated clothes for festive occasions and especially for their own wedding ceremony. If a man gets married in India, it is as if everyone becomes a maharaja for a few days. This coat with rich (fake) gold decoration is really a key piece. The Indians wear lofty pantaloons with it, but I prefer not to. Is there really ever an occasion to wear those in our part of the world ? Good question. We do not have the right setting for this, and so I have only worn this coat so far in my own private circle, or in luxury hotels, which is a pity, really. Because it is truly beautiful !
Léopard (18) : This is a bit of a minefield : the relation to fur has changed dramatically over the last 70 years. At one time, fur was synonymous with winter coats, as the materials of our modern times (padded and light) were not yet available. Depending on money or status, people wore sheepskin, Persian lamb coat or mink, and later, particularly furs from feline predators (leopard, ocelot, a rare cheetah or jaguar) because of the coats worn by film stars. At first, these furs were not considered valuable and therefore supplemented with really expensive furs, such as beaver. With the anti-fur campaigns and the CITES agreement in Washington, (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – in force since 1975), feline predator fur was rightly eliminated from legitimate production. Since these fur coats were tremendously expensive in the days of the divas (10.000 euros or more), they have at least been well preserved, even if they have not been worn for a long time. And it is, therefore, possible to find perfectly preserved specimens today. But what do you do with them ? The official instructions, issued by the Swiss Veterinary Office
(section Protection of species) are : wearing old fur clothes is legitimate. Anyone who wants to is perfectly allowed to wear these old coats. It would be of no use to anyone if we let these once so valuable pieces go to waste. It would mean “killing” the animal a second time. If anyone takes offence, one can explain the situation, and more specifically, point out that the coat is vintage. For that reason, I always carry notes with relevant information, to reassure people if necessary. Isn’t it beautiful ? I love (living !) feline predators : wearing leopard skin gives me a very special feeling.
Haute Couture (19) : Although the fashion trade has lost a lot of its former charm, some small studios are still working according to the traditions set by Chanel, Dior, and others. This red and black jacket (ladies) was shown during a fashion show from Stettler & Co (Bern, Grandhotel Bellevue), and it immediately caught my eye. In combination with several elements described manifold times earlier, it becomes a composition du genre grande parure. Photo shot at : Kunstmuseum Bern.
Garde (20) : Les Galeries Lafayette (Paris) are always a treasure trove. This jacket is hardly fit for a lady : the cut and decorative features are definitely masculine. In order to soften the 19th century military character, it is combined with leopard print trousers. The epaulettes on the shoulders have been removed. I always remove epaulettes from jackets or coats. Since the fabric contains a lot of wool, the jacket can be worn without a coat in the winter season, if only because the collar is tight and closed high up. I have strolled for hours through Paris in this outfit
Ornat (21, fashion doll) : A red velvet coat (cloak) combined with a brocade-like fabric. The dress comes from a boutique for ladies’ plus sizes (Paris). Exceptionally, this model needs a dresser to adjust everything. An outfit for a very special occasion : a fashion show, a cultural event. During a visit to the exhibition (Munich 2016) of Jean Paul Gaultier, someone said to me that I should take place on one of the pedestals. It was astonishing to note that Gaultier had created only a few and also rather modest gentlemen’s outfits for this fantastic presentation.
Homme (23) : The red ladies’ coat made of sheepskin (inside), was slightly modified after we bought it, to get rid of the most feminine items. The jacket is one of my favourite garments and comes from H & M’s ladies department. The shoes are embellished with decorative metal buckles. In winter, I combine this with an ocelot hat (old !) and long leather ladies’ gloves. Why ladies’ wear again ? Quite simply because today’s men’s gloves are cut so short that the most sensitive part (the transition from hand to arm) remains in the cold ! Long gloves for gentlemen are not new either, by the way. Take fencing gloves : the Three Musketeers. This outfit invariably elicits enthusiastic reactions. The coat alone was the reason that a man said to me on the street : “I do so like your coat ! But I would never dare walking around in red like that.” Picture taken at Schloss Schadau, Hotel Restaurant, Thun.
Willy (24) : This suede coat is a variation on Homme (23) and comes from the studio of Trudi Jost (Lederboutique Solothurn). It is combined with the same jacket as for Homme (23), red velvet trousers, and shoes from HARR. The coat once belonged to the rock musician Willy Deville, who wore it on stage. An exquisitely chic ensemble. Rock musicians claim that Mrs. Jost is the Jimmy Hendrix of the sewing machine !
Eté (25) : A white frilled shirt (men) and versatile cotton trousers (ladies), together with a matching sash result in a light summer outfit. It was typical for men in the Middle Ages to wear a shirt or a cowl, which reached over the trousers and was held together with a belt or a sash.
Fleures (26) : An exquisite ladies’ jacket (Monte Cervino), which looks even better in combination with black trousers from a light fabric and a silver-grey velvet sash. If you think, this must surely come from an expensive boutique, you are wrong : an example that you can buy an exquisite outfit for a mere 70 euros.
Justaucorps (27, fashion doll) : A new kind of justaucorps, the typical French courtly coat from the 18th century. It needs a frilled shirt and velvet trousers. The outfit is deliberately not historically correct or complete. It is not my intention to look like a member of a costume club. The mere aim is to use design elements from aesthetically time-tested models.
Beauté1 (28) : A ladies’ coat produced by Love Beauty, decorated with flowers on the front and the back. This model could well have been worn by a man in the first third of the 19th century, just before all-black clothing became popular. You will inspire nothing but admiration in this outfit. I found this jacket at a flea market (Aarberg).
Beauté2 (29) : Compared to Beauté1 (28) , this is an even more elaborate item (NOANOA) as far as the all-round flower decoration is concerned. Although decorated with embellishments of the past, this long coat looks modernistic because of its straight fit. This model will defy the omnipresent monotony, although most onlookers will insist on qualifying this outfit as “historical,” or reserved for a special occasion. It is therefore quite difficult to argue in public, that the only goal is to appear well dressed and to fit into an environment that once needed this sort of clothes. This outfit is ideal for a stroll around the Petit Trianon. The model is a fresh interpretation of the outfit of the statesman Antoine François, Comte de Nantes (see above).
Gucci (30, fashion doll) : My only really expensive men’s jacket (Gucci). This can only be combined with completely neutral clothes. The attention should be focused on the flowery jacket. Gucci presented this model in combination with similar trousers. In my opinion a total no go : I would rather not look like Papageno, the bird-seller.
Oré (32) : An open velvet ladies’ jacket (The Kooples) I often wear. It is richly decorated with “gold embellishments.” If worn with red or black velvet trousers and matching sash, it easily becomes a real gem, though it is very basic. Ideal for wearing at home.
Milano (33) : A silk ladies’ jacket that is light as a feather. Here combined with black velvet trousers and a wide belt with gold buckle, and fine shoes. The shirt with an open collar is an Italian touch. An outfit to wear when strolling along the Via Napoleone, keeping an eye on the numerous ladies’ boutiques to see if they offer anything you might like. Or : something completely different for the business world ! Picture taken at : Schloss Schadau, Hotel Restaurant, Thun.
Ocelot (35) : We have already thoroughly discussed and defused the matter of vintage fur (see model Léopard (18)). An example of an ocelot coat, embellished with plucked beaver fur and combined with a hat in similar material and long leather gloves. The idealoutfit to enjoy winter days nobly, at least, if you are willing to carry the heavy weight of the coat.
Bourgogne (36) : A velvet pullover, produced by an amateur tailor (Bern), worn here with similar trousers, light shoes, and a velveteen hat. An outfit for a prince, as it was once worn at the Royal Court of Burgundy. Gold jewellery is an essential extra. Picture taken at : Schloss Schadau, Hotel Restaurant, Thun.
Verdure (37) : Ladies’ coat (Pennyblack) with wool, suitable for the autumn. The plant pattern, called verdure, evokes the Aubusson tapestries. A very special garment, which proves that a simple woollen coat need not be dull. Best combined with a velvet vest and black or red velvet trousers. The black hat is in flamenco style and the orange-red bag gives it a touch of colour. The thing that new men’s fashion needs most is a complete departure from all the attributes of the business and sports looks. Picture taken at : Schloss Schadau, Hotel Restaurant, Thun.
Marais (39) : A ladies’ velvet jacket, very comfortable and elegant, a unique item made by a couturière previously unknown to me (Marais, Paris). Appliqués are also sewn on the back of the garment. So you can be dressed suitably for a number of occasions. To give it a really special touch, you can combine this with a frilled shirt and the HARR shoes with red heels, as well as with a gold sash in a special fabric (Florence).
Chic (40) : A modernistic ladies’ jacket (Zara Basic) without buttons. This model might well have its place on the men’s rack. In order to maintain the New Look, the other elements of the outfit will have to provide a special touch. The bold belt separates it from mainstream men’s wear. The shoes are very important: they have to support the lightness of the whole (Repetto). I can well imagine that some men can easily accept this jacket as an introduction to the New Look. This
model is especially suited for the business world. How would your counterparts react if you suddenly showed up in this outfit ? It’s worth a try. In any case, the surprise-effect will make sure that the attention will initially be entirely focused on you. This will be a tactical advantage for the further course of the meeting.
Perroquet (41) : A men’s velvet jacket (Italo style) with parrots and climbing plants. Italian products always surprise by their frivolity & colourfulness. In combination with the black velvet trousers, the stand-up collar shirt and the pumps (without sash or ribbon) it becomes the anticipated masculine outfit, without turning into a typical suit, because of the trousers & the shoes. Why not try this in a business environment ! Picture : we are in the Casaluci shop in Bern, where I once bought the jacket. Casaluci is always a good place to find the exceptional, as you can see, also in ladies’ wear.
Fleures jaunes (43) : A woollen ladies’ jacket with floral appliqué (also on the back). Combined with white trousers and blue sash in springtime and with black trousers and a red sash in the autumn. An outfit that always goes down well. That is probably because the beholders do not quite know where to categorise it : is it a traditional costume, is it Haute Couture ? They are puzzled and just find it attractive. Photo shot at : Restaurant Äusserer Stand, Bern.
Indien (45, fashion doll) : A men’s jacket (Hyderabad), worn in India, typically by men at wedding ceremonies. Instead of the customary Turkish pants, I have chosen to wear plain white cotton trousers. An exceptionally beautiful velvet jacket with floral print, with which you will unintentionally discard any possible kind of dress code.
Habit (46, fashion doll) : A men’s jacket, for once (Pat Maseda collection), which was later embellished with brocade. Its shape is that of a shortened (English) tailcoat. Here combined with black velvet trousers, a plain white shirt with a stand-up collar, a colourful sash, and patentleather shoes from Repetto. With only very little grande parure is achieved. Because of the elaborate embellishment, you have to consider carefully where to wear it. I first wore the jacket for a supper in the neo-rococo style room in a grand hotel in Paris and some guests spontaneously gave some positive comments. When I collected my room key, the porter said :
“You look just like an Académicien.” As it is, the members of the Académie française really did wear this sort of jacket.
Rouge2 (47) : Red ladies’ jacket (Desigual) with floral print at the bottom fringe. Combined with white cotton trousers or black velvet trousers, without a sash, and with black shoes, it becomes a simple mid-season outfit. The strong colour effect on the jacket is typical for Desigual.
Velours (49) : A kind of ladies’ doublet (The Kooples) in black velvet with appliqués. A doublet is a typical men’s jacket worn from the 14th till the 16th century. Matching this is a frilled shirt and velvet trousers (red of black), together with a wide belt with gold buckle. As you can see, I am wearing a (ladies’) pullover (Liu Jo) with flower print for once, which adds the necessary colour to the whole. An outfit fit for many occasions. Alas, here too, people often see this only within a historical context. The modernistic pullover and the belt should divert attention from this. Photo shot at : Schloss Jegenstorf.
Sylvestre (50) : Festive men’s jacket (ready-to-wear) in a ruby-coloured, velvety fabric. The original black buttons are gold-painted, and the imitation pocket is decorated with golden bands. The fur collar made from a vintage ocelot shawl transcends the jacket to another world. This outfit can be worn with black trousers (skinny) and light patent-leather shoes. Whether you want to or not, this will easily make you the best-dressed man on the New Year’s Eve’s dance floor.
Chasse (51) : Men’s hunting jacket (fox hunting) from Pikeur, worn with black velvet trousers and shoes from Repetto. Depending on the time of year, a hat can be added. Because of its cut, this jacket can exceptionally only be worn buttoned up. Here, the jacket’s buttoning causes no creases or folds. This is in contrast with normal suits, which often look tight, totally distorted due to a single button. Picture taken with dog Nino shot at : Schloss Schadau, Hotel Restaurant, Thun.
Qualité (52) : An Haute Couture jacket from Les Boutiques Donna (Zürich), for one occasion combined with cotton trousers with floral pattern (Zara Woman), and a lilac sash as well as a black ribbon. In this outfit, you will amaze any fashion designer, including those who do not just work in the mainstream menswear. It is the ideal outfit for visiting a fashion show, a fashion trade fair, or any such event, where people want to stand out. Of course, you can only do that if you have gathered enough experience with your New Look and are one hundred percent sure you feel totally relaxed. Photo shot at : Schloss Jegenstorf.