Dept.’s Of Tweed & Offending Trad

— Sat, 9th January 2010 —

Holiday travel always allows for a little extracurricular reading, and, this season, some of the better work we encountered at 30,000 feet dealt specifically with men’s wear and styles. In Vanity Fair, there was A.A. Gill’s love letter to Scottish tweed — “the great warm coat and the corollary hair shirt of Scotland, the most beautiful and durable and flatter­­ing of cloth” — which also happens to be mixed up in an American boycott of all things Scottish following the release of the Lockerbie bomber to Libya this summer. In The New Yorker, meanwhile, we were treated to Lizzie Widdicombe’s snapshot of Rusto Algaba, one of the world’s most respected matador tailors, in which we learned that, astronauts aside, bullfighters spend more on their wardrobes than perhaps any professional. Indeed, according to Widdicombe, “A good matador will order between six and ten suits a year, for around three thousand euros (about $4,300) each.” In the same Jan. 4 issue of the The New Yorker, Widdicombe’s profile of Brooklyn-based band Vampire Weekend — which, for better or worse, embodies Prep’s abiding ability to offend — is a must read. (Alas, sub required.)

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