Tag Archives: style

Take your Fedoras off to Jean-Paul Belmondo

1 Nov


This is another update of the setting trends posts. However in the other posts I set out to highlight movies that 6-12 months down the lines the masses will get their style tips from. This post is an ode to a classic and a style that is timeless,urbane and seemingly effortless. The film that set the 1960’s alight was Jean Luc Goddard’s Breathless, the actor that made the movie even cooler was Jean-Paul Belmondo. Breathless was really the start of the influential French New Wave with it’s characteristic techniques such as long takes,jump cuts, ad-lip and on-location shooting. This little movie gave a glimpse of how life in the sixties was in Paris and I’m sure boosted American tourists in France ten fold.


The plot is simple Jean-Paul Belmondo’s character Michel shoots a police officer in Marseille and then is on the run. He arrives in Paris to try and persuade his current love interest Jean Seberg, as the American Patricia, to elope with him to Italy. We are shown Paris through beautiful shots in cars, on the boulevards and the night spots. All of this to the backdrop of a great jazz soundtrack. As an experimental film Breathless is a complete success the whole movie was shot on a hand held camera and the use of real locations with no permits obtained, so improvisation was the key.


However what I want to discuss is Jean-Paul Belmondo’s sartorial genius. For me Belmondo is up there with Steve McQueen on the lists of all time style icons. Goddard put no restraints or pressures on his actor’s wardrobes and let them have free reign. This paved the way for Belmondo’s brilliance. Breathless  was obviously shot in the summer but Belmondo dismisses the conformity of summer wear and opts for heavy tweed jackets, wool ties and trousers and capped with his iconic fedora. His relaxed, I don’t care look is merely a ploy as his outfits are meticulously chosen and assembled.


Belmondo was a trend setter and his debonair style is totally back in at the moment. With a nod back to 60’s and 70’s patterns and tweed in full swing this Autumn and Winter. Belmondo’s vintage wardrobe would be completely apt right now. His use of matching Tweed caps with knit ties and beautiful herringbone jackets. Even in some fashion lines high waist trousers are making a comeback, check out the COS men’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. However the only part of Belmondo’s wardrobe that I think will stay in the anons of style history are his beautiful fedora with himself and his inspiration Humphrey Bogart but I’d be pleased to be proved wrong.

     Jean Paul Belmondo Breathless

Also Belmondo’s movement in this movie is extremely elegant and delicate which always comes as a surprise when I watch his movies. He draws the viewer in and leads you off again, he has a natural grace about him. I recently read that he trained as a boxer and this is obviously where his natural deftness derives from. In his scenes with Jean Seberg this is most evident and we can see her being drawn to him and then repelled by his language and views which is the great contrast in the film.


Jean Seberg also has to be discussed here in relation the fashion and trend setting. With her use of bold sailor stripes, black skinny pants, ballet shoes, cat liner and cat-eye sunglasses to boot. She has a pixie haircut that was fast becoming the must have hair style for fashionable and sexy women of the 1960’s. She looks effortlessly gorgeous throughout the movie whether she is selling the New York Herald Tribune on the Champs Elysees or dashing of to interview a famous novelist. Also Seberg looks extremely sexy in Belmondo’s grandad shirt and Fedora sporting the boyfriend look before many of her contemporaries. Seberg’s style is also back in at the moment and has been many times since Breathless’s release. She has been payed homage many times for her style being cited in many fashion magazines throughout the years.


Both Seberg and Belmondo’s fantastic style owes heavily to the eventual success of Breathless in my view, giving it a timeless feel. If this was Goddard’s initial intention, I can’t be sure but either way it makes for great viewing. It strange how Belmondo was never really taken to in America as he surely had the charm and the refinement. Anyway in my view he was a true style icon and I take my fedora of to the one and only Jean-Paul Belmondo.




Does anybody else want monk-straps?

30 Sep
Ok so does anybody else have a slight shoe obsession? Well I for one do however I seem to always lust after a pair that are just out of my price range. Anything over a weeks wages is just not agreeable with me to fork out for footwear, no matter how gorgeous they would go with all my wardrobe. But sometimes you come across a shoe that makes you feel like it’s an exception to the rule. This in my case happens to be the most elegant of all mens formal shoes, double monk-straps. These shoes have a strap that closes with a buckle and comes in a single or double strap variety. They’re more formal than a loafer but a little bit jazzier than an oxford lace-up.

Yes from the moment I came across these on Tumblr, I’ve imagined them with every outfit I put on. So I have kept an eye on for something that fits the bill at a decent price. But to no avail have I even stumbled upon anything that has style,finesse and quality for under €500. This has been driving me crazy because when it comes to clothes I can always find something that I desire and is bespoke and crafted with care within my means. So I was at my wit’s end when it came to acquiring a pair of double monk-straps at a reasonable price.

Then I found a website called http://www.dsw.com, it has affordable Italian leather monk-straps. Yes Genuine leather in black,tarnished tan and cognac all for $159,shipped worldwide. So I’ve read a lot of the comments on the site and the majority of them were really positive about the fit,look and overall elegance of Mercanti Fiorentini’s double monk-straps. So I will definitely will be purchasing these shoes and if they look as good on my feet as they seem on the web,I’ll be chuffed with a great find. So I’ll post a picture whenever I get around to buying these beauties, but If anyone has bought these before or used DSW.com I would love to hear from you.


Mercanti Fiorentini Double monk-straps.


“Fashions fade, style is eternal”-Yves Saint Laurent

11 Sep

Spring two years ago I can distinctly remember I went into town wearing a pair of my new red chinos. This is not a bold of daring move by any means,red suits me and I’ve always loved chinos. However I can remember getting the odd look and murmur walking past groups of, lets say best described as street youths. This didn’t bother me then nor does it now, I’m writing this not for sympathy or an attack on small minded individuals. I’m writing this because since X-Factor and Simon Cowell have gave birth to One Direction the fashion of the high street has been pretty much dictated by their style ever since.

Yes boy bands and music icons of every era have dictated fashion with the people emulating their idols,so whats different here. Well for starters Ireland,where I’m from, has always been very conservative in most respects but men’s fashion especially.A normal Saturday night for most Irish men is a night out on the town, few scoops and try to pull a bird. Key to success apart from that enchanting Irish charm, shirt and shoes. Not your fitted Italian jeans and suede monk-straps now but generally a pair of bootcut jeans with a loafer style shoe with a considerable sole. I’m not attacking Irish men’s style here that’s their own prerogative but I’m trying to highlight the polar shift since last Christmas to the fashion in this country.

So post X-factor 2011 One Direction are in the limelight looking fresh with colour coordinated chinos,slim fit blazers, dickie bows and pocket squares. The high street are loving this with the likes of Topman, H&M and River Island to name a few churning out chinos in every colour and everything else that One Direction seem to sport. Never have I seen the nation on a whole go crazy for trend setting with bars and nightclubs on the weekends all over Ireland giving an injection of much needed colour. It hasn’t faltered either with Spring/Summer colours of red, orange and bright blues moving over for Autumn/Winter colours of burgundy, green and mustard. The fashion world has always had key colours for seasons but never before has the high street taken to following key colours with such aplomb.

I for one think it’s great that Irish men are starting to become a little braver with their attires. It does bemuse me however that it took till 2012 and the catalyst was the manufactured boy band One Direction. It’s possible it has a lot to do with Irish ladies softening their views about men’s fashion and that just because it’s bright it’s camp. Therefore the evolutionary process has forced Irish men to change their wardrobes to find a mate on those magical Saturday nights. One thing I will take away from my observations is the famous words from French designer Yves Saint Laurent “Fashions fade, style is eternal”.