Esquire Magazine published their legendary first issue in October 1933 featuring the likes of Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Ring Lardner Jr., Joseph Auslander and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Despite it’s lofty list of famous contributors, Esquire’s introductory edition was still quite lacking in comparison to it’s subsequent issues, because it was missing one crucial component: Esky. You could say that it wasn’t until Esquire’s second publication in January of 1934 that they found their spirit, or at least their spirit animal for that matter. Right there on the second cover, was Esky, a bug eyed figure, with an up-turned mustache, and slicked back hair, climbing into a martini glass wearing a full tux and tails. From that issue onward, Esky was embodiment of the Esquire attitude, he was well-dressed, jocular, and just sophisticated enough to forgive his indiscretions.
There’s this scene just over halfway through Borsalino, where Jean-Paul Belmondo’s character arrives at Alain Delon’s character’s newly acquired mansion and the two men reflect on their rapid rise from foot soliders to kingpins. As Belmondo stepped out of his open air coupe, wearing a double-breasted overcoat brown with this faint windowpane check and is greeted by Delon in a satin shawl collar belted robe, that he’s wearing as a jacket (complete with pocket square,) I couldn’t help but stop and think that Borsalino might be the best dressed movie that no one ever talks about. What strikes me though is that the film seems like it was specifically designed to be high scripture for the menswear community, right up there with Three Days of the Condor, Breathless and the Godfather Trilogy Borsalino plays out like an amalgam of all these films combined, it’s French Nouvelle Vague, meets gangster flick, all wrapped up in meticulously tailored outfits complete with a bevy of Borsalinos.
Patrick Grant By Richard Nicholson
There’s few people in menswear I trust like Brandon Capps. Before there was tumblr, there was Drinkin’ and Dronin’, one of the original free-scrolling image inspiration boards the could cover everything from turn of the century naval jackets, to cell-phone pics of beer cans, to Pitti street style, to multi-colored brogues, and everything in between. It was a grab bag of just about anything you could imagine, a fitting format for a guy who’s style is as inspirational and diverse as the photos he posted. While Drinkin’ and Dronin’ has subsequently made the jump to Tumblr, and Brandon has found a home as Billy Reid’s made-to-measure specialist, the blog lives on, and I still look forward to Brandon’s smattering of posts, as they’ve always lead me down some interesting paths.