I'm such a bad blogger! I haven't posted at all since I've been in London... What with this and that I've been quite busy, and during the weekend I just wanted to relax and enjoy the Christmassy feeling of the city. Strolling around and, as John Lennon would say, getting a tan from standing in the English rain, I noticed something that, to be honest, I have already noticed a gazillion times before: British men are charming and chic. It's a fact, especially when you come over from Paris (all that urban myth about Parisian women being uber elegant does not apply to Parisian men- in fact, that urban myth is just that: a myth). Whilst men in Paris have a boring (to say the least) way of dressing (horrid stonewashed jeans, American Apparel hoodies and brownish leather jackets, they all look like clones) and couldn't dress up to save their lives (and I'm not even going to speak about Spanish men's sense of style, it's too creepy a subject to hold a place in this blog), British men are creative, modern and elegant. Many people would agree with me: Tom Ford, for instance.
I've realised I hardly ever speak about menswear or men's style in the blog, and there's actually a lot to be said about the subject, so here you have some style icons all men should carefully analyse before getting into their shapeless jumpers and insultingly huge Nike Airs. As actors, they were all ambassadors of the British chic and they are still the reference when it comes to elegance and allure. On the top of the list I would no doubt situate Cary Grant, who was so outrageously elegant he had a clause on his contract allowing him to choose his own outfits at all times. He would dress impeccably for any situation, even to be followed through a cornfield by an assassin plane.
Next on is Lawrence Olivier, who was classy ever since the first day he jumped up on a stage and until well into his 80's.
And how to forget Rex Harrison! Not only he played Professor Higgins like no one else would, he also represented magnificently British style at its peak.
But it was Leslie Howard who first crossed the ocean in order to export his style. He was a bit disappointed in Hollywood, but he contributed to set its (at the time) high elegance and manner standards.
David Niven had a very long career during which he played all sorts of characters and situations, but he is most remembered for his 60's films, his very Brit sense of humour and his irresitible and slightly aloof expression.
And since we are talking about comedy, I couldn't help but to mention the king of all comedians: behind this cup of tea stands Peter Sellers. Forget the very silly and unnerving Inspecteur Clouseau and you have a man (accessorily a genius) with a chic and original sense of style.
David Hemmings represents the "creme" of the Swinging London, and if his character in "Blow Up" is iconic, it is all due to his spontaneous and chaotic "chic fou".
At last, I really feel I have to mention Peter O'Toole. I know I know, he is Irish. That makes a big difference. Or does it? He has equally represented internationally the most refined chic from the Islands. His suave manners drove entire generations of girls (oh and boys) totally mad.
I think these images speak for themselves. All I have to say to the gentlemen are three things:
1. Being a man is not an excuse to dress as a scarecrow.
2. Being elegant does definitely not equal dressing like, say, Mr. David Beckham (there's an example of a totally non-chic Englishman).
3. Boys, stop having your wives and mothers buy all the clothes for you and get out there. You will find that, surprisingly, you can have fun with fashion and still remain straight!