Worth & Worth It

I've been wearing fedoras since ancient times, like before the Mudd Club opened, before Ronald Reagan, even. I think I felt that hats had been out long enough and that their general disappearance from men's kit was a cultural loss. In a hat I felt dressed. I found that a hat really tops off a good look and makes it feel complete. You can also tip your hat to a lady, or take it off in a show of gallantry, or pull the brim down over your eyes to avoid your enemies.

I wore my gray Worth & Worth felt fedora with suits or with my black leather Schott motorcycle jacket. And I've been wearing hats ever since. I'm still wearing lids from Worth & Worth, as well as from Christy's of London and Bates of Jermyn Street, and I have a fantastic violet Borsalino with brown-ribbon trim on the brim.

A few days ago the nice fall weather gave me a yen for a new hat, so I met up with my friend Kate Simon, who was going up to Worth & Worth's new shop at 45 West 57th Street to pick up a new hat from her pal Orlando, who runs the place.

Worth & Worth has been around since 1922, and has a complete selection of traditional handmade felt and straw hats, even stocking bowlers, homburgs, and top hats. But they're also totally on the tip fashion-wise, with modern touches and trims and fantastic colors. I picked up two new fedoras, one a rich chocolate brown, the other in a beautiful pale loden green. It never occurred to me to get a green hat but Orlando insisted that it was the hat for me.

The chocolate brown:


The pale green:


(These photos were taken by Kate, who's a professional photographer.)

They also have a beautiful yellow fedora. I don't have the complexion for it, but I could see my old pal August Darnell tipping it to the ladies with total success.

When I got it home I realized that the hat was totally working, bringing out the color of my eyes and giving me a very subtle look for March 17th. My new hats are totally luxurious, but also increasingly necessary. A man's got to have a hat.

A Few Final Images of Art Shenanigans in Miami

Perry Rubenstein looked more like a big-wave surfer than a gallerist when I saw him at Art Positions, a gathering of freight containers turned into mini-galleries on the beach. He was showing South African artist Robin Rhode's large homage to the all-time heavyweight champion of the world. Miami was where Cassius Clay changed his name to Muhammed Ali. Perry's in the striped trunks.


It is my opinion that it's difficult for an older man to carry off long hair, but this gentleman shows that, with a good tan and a good tailor, it is possible.


This look somehow works in Miami. Note the hairline.


Writers Linda Yablonski, the Liz Smith of Artforum, and Bill Powers, sometimes editor of Black Book. I love Bill's blazer. It resembles Thom Browne, but I suspect it was made by Bill's wife, the designer Cynthia Rowley.


Jack Pierson signed his new book at a party thrown by his gallery, Cheim & Read. They were pouring a nice wine, and I had a few. Jack may have too, inspiring the way he wore his hat. Of which I thought I heard him say, "Oh no, you can't take that away from me."


Artist/businessman Andy Spade, of the Kate/Jack Spade empire, with photographer Patrick McMullan and friend. This was taken at 2 A.M. at the Delano. After this, Patrick forced us to march to the Raleigh, where the bar was still open, and stay until it closed. And I don't remember anything that happened after that in Miami.


An Eye for Style: Art Basel Miami Beach


A young dealer with a perfectly discreet pocket square, in little peaks.


Terrence Charles works for Vanity Fair, and he's about as well dressed as it gets.


The waitresses went as school girls at the Shore Club's party for Sante D'Orazio's Katlick School book (published by teNeues).


Art lovers, artfully dressed to a tee.


Kelly and Calvin Klein with writer Billy Norwich, checking out the blue-chip art.


The art of the sport coat.


Following a dinner for the great designer Narcisco Rodriguez, Dita von Teese performed a sensational striptease act. That's a bucking machine transformed into a giant lipstick.


Steven Frailey is not only a great artist, he's also chairman of photography at the School of Visual Arts and one of America's leading beekeepers.


Glenn and Glenn. That's me and Glenn Albin, who used to edit my column at Interview, "Glenn O'Brien's BEAT." Today he's editor-in-chief of Ocean Drive.


Stylist Alexis Zipp and Ben Pundle of Morgan's Hotel Group at Narciso's dinner at the Delano.


Genius British hat designer Steven Jones in Warhol-flowers bespoke suit and Gene Pressman, who used to run Barneys and who's now advising other empires and writing books, like the forthcoming Chasing Cool.


That's Slava Mogutin, the wild Russian poet and artist, and his partner in art crime and life, Brian Kenny.


This cat checking out the NADA show looked cool in long shorts and two different argyle socks.


A highlight of NADA: snide performance art. She was reading from Glamorama.


I caught Tommy Selah, Creative Director of the Soho Grand, Natalie Joos, once my assistant and then Craig McDean's, Mandy Brooks, Assistant C.D. of the Soho Grand, and my wife in the lobby of the Raleigh.


A stainless-steel bus parked outside the beached cargo container mini-galleries of Art Positions.


A body painter on break outside Art.


Contrasting flaps and lapels are big.


This loop of tape never hit the ground. Is it art?


Nicola of Deitch Projects with another festive look.


Ray Azoulay, proprietor of the Obsolete Gallery in Venice, CA, a great connoisseur of oddities and objets d'art, not to mention trousers.


Richard Prince and that Style Guy person at the NetJets Party in R.P.'s honor at the Sagamore.


Cecilia Dean of Visionaire at the Ralph Lauren party.


Alex Galan of D.A.P. and Michael Mack of Steidl, in the newsboy cap, at the D.A.P. booth at the Convention Center.


An excellent example of the flowered shirt revival.

The Extremist Glamour of the Art World

Ah, if only Thorstein Veblen had lived to see this. It's the consummation of consumption, and the more I walked and the more I looked at people looking at art, the more I approved of it. Sure, it resembles a feeding frenzy among sharks when a big bucket of chum has been emptied overboard, but in the best way.

I'm sure many of the people here were buying art for the wrong reasons, but that's much better than doing lots of other things for the right reasons. And I liked the way they looked while doing it. Well-dressed couples wore lots of color and lots of adult bling. In a way they are doing for WASPs what the Masai do for the Third World.

My ancient mentor Wyndham Lewis said, "Lenin in a top hat is a far greater anomaly than a Zulu chieftain wearing the same costume."

I am bored with boring-looking people and, on the opening day of Art Basel Miami Beach, they were hardly noticeable for all the people making a pleasant spectacle of themselves. You almost felt they had dressed up for the art itself.

Here's one of the best-dressed dealers in New York, Jeffrey Deitch, with a Keith Haring that was only exhibited once, at Paradise Garage, the famous dance club.


On a similar note here's Rafael Jablonka, a distinguished dealer from Cologne, sitting in his booth. I asked him about the work on the wall behind him and he said, "That's the director of the gallery." I know what he means.


Now here's a good-looking civilian. He was wearing heavy linen trousers with buttoned belt loops and a big cargo pocket. Probably the most civilized cargo pants I've seen. He also had on very nice chocolate-brown suede Belgian shoes.


Here's Douglas Baxter, the dapper director of Pace-Wildenstein, standing in front of a sexy Oldenburg. Most men don't know how to wear a shirt collar outside the jacket or combine gray with brown. This is how.


Miami has always been a place where you see Hawaiian shirts—from the lower-end Margaritaville varieties to the real collectors items. Here's an excellent example:


Here are a few avant-gardians who are hardly spring chickens, but who demonstrate that mature men can wear original clothing with the best of them. This chap was wearing a patchwork Comme des Garçons shirt, and it worked.


Here are a couple of cool, calm collectors. Both very smart. Look at the perfect lapel on the more conservative blazered gent on the right. His friend was wearing an exquisite hat and jacket. I think the jacket is raw silk, over a rough linen shirt. The kind of jacket you want to feel.


Speaking of avant-garde seniority, here is the Pope of Pop himself. Mr. Rauschenberg is a little slower getting around, but he was gracious, chipper, and warm. He had works on display at about eight galleries, but not a lot compared to his old friend Andy. I think once somebody gets a Rauschenberg they want to hold onto it.


Oscar Wilde said wear a work of art or be one. There were some ambitious T-shirts in evidence.


One doesn't see a lot of ties in the art world, but John Goode of the Gagosian Gallery (center) is wearing an optically compelling pattern from Paul Smith and sort of flaunting the label. He's seen here with Judy Auchinchloss (in fabulous shades) and Sandy Parkerson, with frames that look an awful lot like genuine tortoise.


There's a time for pinstripes, and one of them is when you're selling minimal or abstract art like Friedrich Petzel of the Petzel Gallery.


As I mentioned before, most dealers tend to staff their galleries and booths with temptresses and super-vixens. Here's my colleague Mr. D'Orazio, the famed photographer, with Nicola Vassell of the Deitch Gallery. She could sell you a painting of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Next to her is Basquiat's portrait of himself with Andy Warhol. It sold.

Here is one of the most stylish dealers of all, Mr. Barry Friedman, a tastemaker for decades. Friedman sells extraordinary furniture, photography, and paintings. Where else will you find a Man Ray, a Boetti, or a Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair? I could be wrong, but I think he's had a hand in reviving, at various times, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Russian Avant Garde, and Art Deco. But he sure knows how to wear what Thelonious Monk called "hat and beard."


Alberto Mugrabi is one of the most important collectors on the scene. He's also one of the most fun. Alberto owns a really great Warhol Mao wearing a jacket exactly the same color pink as his shirt.


The Splendor of Artfulness

Sante D'Orazio and I strolled through Art Basel Miami Beach at the Convention Center yesterday. I was concentrating on male splendor and he on the distaff side, equally splendid, for Vogue Italia. The first day of an art fair is the big day, when the heavy hitters check in early to get first dibs on the historic offerings. We took hundreds of pictures, as there were a great many stylish individualists strolling through the art. Everyone we asked for a shot complied, with the exception of Keanu Reeves. If he wasn't a movie star you wouldn't have noticed him. The real stars of this firmament were the dealers and collectors.

When we spotted Tim Hunt, the dapper curator of the Andy Warhol Foundation and a spectacular practitioner of bespoke clothing, we wanted to get him in front of one of the boss's works. I figured at any given spot in the Convention Center there had to be a Warhol within 75 feet. I was right. Here's a nice, late painting at Gagosian.


Here's New York's most intriguing and amusing dealer, Mr. Gavin Brown, proprietor of Gavin Brown's Enterprise and Gavin Brown's Passerby, the only gallery with a bar in it. Gavin is the hirsute chap on the left, and he's with two wry friends. My Swiss-cheese-like memory bank lost their names, but not their charm. Today I'll be toting a pad. By the way, my theory is that the handsome Mr. Brown's beard and its effect on the ladies is substantially responsible for the vogue in untrammeled facial hair.


I don't know if the collectors dress so colorfully because they are aesthetes or because they are in Miami. I suspect a bit of both. Here are some fellows who caught my eye with their chromatic splendor.



The shirt, glasses, and crocodile shoes all match. These gents were together. Orange top. Orange bottom.


This young gent had a terrific pink shirt on and wonderful shoes. Should have had a close-up of them. He's laughing at something I said, not the Art Newspaper, despite the wit therein from writer Adrian Dannat.


No shrinking violet, this gentleman.


We can't all be gym rats, and there is something to be said for substance. This man proves my theory: If you've got it, flaunt it.


This nearly-metallic sport jacket looked even better in person.


And here are my friends Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour Brant. Peter is not only America's most feared polo player, he is also one of the most important collectors on the planet. He was a pal of Andy Warhol's, and my old boss at Interview Magazine, which he still owns. The Brants are standing in front of one of those Warhol self-portraits where his hair seems to be electrocuted. You know who Stephanie is. She doesn't do much supermodeling these days except for exceptional gigs. She's a busy mom and second-opinion on the art collection. More later!


This is the ART WORLD

It really is a world of its own, and it seems to be getting bigger all the time.

I don't think that's because people are suddenly more aesthetically inclined, although maybe they are, but it does have something to do with the rich getting richer. Art is the ultimate form of conspicuous consumption. It's highly visible, extraordinarily, expensive and fabulously useless. The collector class is growing fast, and as the rising value of art makes the stock market look dull, things are booming at almost a pre-bubble level.

That's not a put-down. Better art than frozen pork bellies or Krugerands. And it's good for a nice bunch of people—artists. I'm not going to get into why I like artists now, but I'd rather see them in the big bucks than Halliburton.

Last year at New York's Armory Show I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that it is actually the art world that consititutes the ultimate fashion consumer class. These are the high-fashion freaks, the couture clients and, yes, the most intrepid fashion victims. It's something observable at any art fair, and perhaps most spectacularly at Art Basel Miami Beach, the premiere American art fair. Most galleries have dapper directors and a bevy of attractive assistants from the handsome and dapper to, increasingly, the fetching and foxy. At the Armory show I noticed that many of the most successful galleries were staffed by very attractive young women, turned out in very fashionable clothes and consistently spectacular shoes.

I thought it would be fun to walk around Art Basel Miami Beach and take a look at the art world in full battle dress. So here's a gallery of dealers, collectors, and even a few artists, manifesting a broad and delightful spectrum of individual style.

Among the most dapper of dealers is Andrew Fabrikant of the Richard Gray Gallery. His personal turnout is as blue-chip as the art he represents.


Manuel Gonzales is Global Art Executive of JP Morgan Chase, but he doesn't dress like a banker. He's wearing black. He has visionary taste in art, which shows in the way he seems to be gazing into the future while talking on his mobile.


This young man was wearing a lavender button-down, unbuttoned, a rep tie of just the right width, and a good tweed cap.


Handsome hotelier Andre Balazs, wearing a stylish barong, was eyeing the art with the famously fun beauty Elizabeth Saltzman, the Fashion Director of Vanity Fair. Seconds later Elizabeth licked Mr. Balazs for the camera of my friend Sante D'Orazio, who is probably selling it to the National Enquirer as I write this. They are very old friends.


Per Skarstedt wore a classic natural-shoulder three-button suit the way you're supposed to, and his booth featured an all-star lineup: Condo, Kelley, Kippenberger, Koons, Kruger, Oehlen, Prince, Shermon, Trockel, and Wool. A great name for a law firm.


I don't know who these formidable gents are, but they looked great. The man on the left shows how to elegantly turn a disadvantage to advantage. His cravatier shows a Rauschenberg-like talent.


I don't use the word flair much, but this fellow has it.


David Lieber of Sperone Westwater, another advocate of classic American shoulder naturalism, stands in front of a painting combining Hello Kitty and Sant Ambroeus imagery by my amigo Tom Sachs. I saw Tom's $5,000 Prada limited-edition book at the fair. Christmas is coming, Tom.


We ran into the great Chuck Close, who was very sweet to the many fans who approached him, including us. I introduced myself saying, "I'm the other guy who eats lunch at Il Buco every day."


The gallery is Luhring Augustine, and they stand that way when they pose: Lawrence Luhring is on the left, and Roland Augustine on the right. They are standing in front of a rare collaboration between Christopher Wool and his rising-star former assistant Josh Smith. When I looked at this picture I realized that Roland looks like a very slim Tony Soprano.


More later. Time to hit the parties.

So Out It's In

I'm not jaded. I still have goals. To have a bestselling novel in the post-novelistic age, to break 80 for 18, to have grandchildren, and to be in Fantastic Man magazine. Because when you're in Fantastic Man, there is little doubt remaining that you are, indeed, a fantastic man.

Fantastic Man is the creation of Jop van Bennekom, a graphic designer and the creator of such revolutionary magazines as Butt and Re, and Gert Jonkers, a journalist, fashion editor, and co-creator of Butt. In some ways, Fantastic Man is the opposite of Butt. Both have a distinctly male flavor, but where the flavor of Butt is, say, wieners, buns, and relish, the flavor of Fantastic Man is of a more gourmet variety—it's a Bananas Foster of a periodical. Everything about it is subtle and elegant, from the design by Mr. van Bennekom to the really intelligent and tasteful fashion under the direction of Mr. Simon Foxton. After flipping through issue #4, fall/winter '06-'07, I developed a sudden yen for a velvet jacket from Filippa K and a pair of J.Lindeberg pleated wool trousers. These gents have an eye.


The articles are also quite informative and amusing. I loved seeing my friend Olivier Zahm, the editor and publisher of Purple Fashion, modeling briefs while smoking a cigar, and I was thoroughly amused by the charming profile that suggests that he is our Serge Gainsbourg. Amen to that! There are also interesting pieces on the suave auctioneer Simon DePury, the charmingly peculiar Mark E Smith of The Fall, and the cover man, Helmut Lang, shot by Bruce Weber, holding a cock, one of the barnyard residents of his grand spread in Montauk.

Fantastic Man gets more fantastic with each issue. I think it's really the most modern magazine. An editor I admire, Aaron Hicklin, formerly of Black Book, recently took over Out magazine and I suggested to him, only half facetiously, that perhaps his first order of business should be to rename the book "In." Times have changed, and there is much to be said for the virtues of subtlety, discernment, suggestion, discretion, understatement, wit, and je ne sais quoi. Not that Olivier in a banana hammock is subtle, but the whole approach of Fantastic Man is utterly fantastic—that is, born of fantasy. Mr. Zahm is a playboy who specializes in philosophy and womanizing. Mr. Lang is a country gentleman who lives with another country gentleman. Their fantasies are quite different, yet they are all fantastic, attractive, fascinating men. Like me. Fantasy is the technique we use to make our lives more interesting, and Fantastic Man captures its myriad manifestations in grand style.

The men in Fantastic Man are interesting. They may be gay, or they may be straight, or all or none of the above. This journal is above category. It's not what you say, as a TV game show once said, but what you don't say. And Fantastic Man has elevated that slogan to an art. It's a magazine that really makes you want to be fantastic.