Boardwalk Empire is an American TV series set in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the Prohibition era. The series has received widespread critical acclaim particularly for its visual style.
Recently Michael Pitt who plays the role of James “Jimmy” Darmody modeled in Prada Men’s Spring/Summer2012 ad campaign. The Italian fashion house has also released a behind the scenes video of the campaign shoot.
Playing the guitar, boxing a little bit, Michael plays a Hollywood Golden Boy wearing serious Prada threads.
I think Pitt was asked to be the face of the S/S12 Prada Menswear ad campaign is because of his role in Boardwalk Empire. If you have ever watched this show you will know everything is tailor made, so it fits perfectly and everyone looks seriously styling.
Lush tweed and wool suits are worn along with brightly colored ties with elegant collar pins to hold them up. Fedoras and newsboy caps were a necessity and not a prop.
Back then, the finishing of cloth was not as refined as it is today and most fabrics were considerably heavier, and consequently draped nicely.The cut of the clothes is certainly different. Suits were fitted snugly around shoulder, and had little to no padding. The trousers were much slimmer than in the 1930’s and did not have pleats. Unlike today though they had a high raise and were of course worn with suspenders.
The fashion is pure American gangster. The way these men dressed showed power and they took such care to perfect their looks, you got to respect that. The blue coat above blows my mind, with wide lapels and the black collar.
By taking a few elements from this era as inspiration you can add this mafioso swag to your modern day look:
Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson
Played by Steve Buscemi, is part politician/ part gangster and All style.
He rules Atlantic City in a range of tailored three piece suits with his signature red carnation pinned in the button hole. The red carnation serves as a perfect accessory to all his looks, giving them a stylish pop of color. These days wearing a red carnation everyday may not as fashionable but with accessories such as bowties, pocket squares or shoes you can definitely add to the elegance of your outfit as Nucky’s red carnation did for his.
Csquared Brogues R899, Csquared Wayfarers R699, Csquared Checked Bow tie R175, Csquared blue with white polka dots Pocket square R175.
Played by Michael Pitt is the former protege of Nucky, which is evident in his style. Soldier turned gangster Jimmy sported a more casual look in earlier episodes but as his status rises so does his sharp style.
The above blue and grey check 3-piece suit is by far one of my favorite looks from the show. Simple, elegant and sharp. A great modern twist on this would be:
Csquared shirt R595, Csquared waistcost R599, Csquared tie R175
Albert “Chalky” White
Played by Michael Kenneth Williams, is a racketeer and unofficial leader of the African-American community in Atlantic City.
I loveChalky’s style! His flamboyant tailoring with lots of check patterns and he’s not afraid to wear a bow tie! This is a man after my very own Csquared heart. The Csquared Winter Collection 2012 is bursting with checks and bright, bold bowties and ties which makes achieving Chalky’s look easy.
This show deserves every award it wins. It is an amazingly true depiction of life and fashion in the 1920’s but then again no one does the 1920s gangster era quite like Martin Scorsese.
The bow tie..the current must-have accessory but how do you tie one? In most instances you can buy one already tied but if that isn’t the case Csquared is here to help and if you can master tying a bow tie then you can pretty much do anything.
1. Adjust the tie’s length so it fits your neck; they are usually easily adjustable. Sizes are usually marked.
2. Lift up your shirt collar and put the tie around your neck so the ends hang down at the front. One end should hang 3.5-5cm (1.5 to 2 inches) lower than the other.
3. Bring the longer end across, behind and over the short end to form a simple knot. Pull snugly around the neck.
4. Fold the shorter end of the bow tie at the widest point where the hourglass shape begins to narrow, to form a bow shape. The bow shape should be in front. Hold the bow in a horizontal position at your neck.
5. Bring the longer end of the bow tie over and in front of the shorter end.
6. Fold the longer end at the widest point to form a second bow and then bring this bow under the first bow.
7. There’s a finger sized hole behind pull the second bow through this gap.
8. Adjust and tighten the bow by pulling the opposite ends until happy with the shape. If you are not happy start again.
SkattieTV is the work of the ingenious minds of Malibongwe Tyilo of Skattie, what are you wearing? and Sandiso Ngubane of Trends beyond Threads . Mali explains the idea behind SkattieTV on his blog “I have always felt that Fashion Week does not get enough attention on our tv screens, and when it gets on the interviwers often focus on tv celebrities at the expense of getting strong opinions from the people who work this industry day in day out, you hardly ever hear the opinions of these people who are really passionate about fashion. SkattieTV is an attempt to in a small online way correct that.”
After the #CsquaredRed MBFWJ Fashion Show Mali and Sandiso went around the tents to find out what the critics thought of the show. And the result of that is below:
In case you missed any of the commentary, we at Csquared were kind enough to spend a few minutes transcribing the video for you.
Sandiso Ngubane (SN): (sic) The Csquared Show and I’m gonna ask a couple of people what they thought of the menswear, come.
Arthur Malan (AM): No, no, I thought it was really good.
AP: (sic) hats.
AM: The hats were great, the brogues were brilliant. As usual really good cut, fit was fantastic, playing with new luxe jackets this season and obviously the sequins, the panelling of that in the vests is great, yeah colour popping was really good and the braces.
SN: Do you think the other men in South Africa are brave enough to wear those sequined jackets and vests?
AM: I think Csquared is synonymous with event dressing. Really like ..events like J & B Met. Also I feel like Fashion Week in a platform is not necessarily what you do in a range that’s gonna be in store. It’s a platform as to what a designer can do and its an event and what you feel like expressing and its not about necessarily whats gonna be (sic).
Mary Corrigall (MC): It’s the Russian Revolution that never took off. Yeah after the flags all we saw was conventional menswear with shirts and jeans and trousers.
SN: And bowties
MC: Yes the bowties exactly had absolutely no Russian flavour at all. I mean we’ve seen quite a lot of bowties, I think the smarties vibes has really hit the runways, the fashion cycle has come full cycle so uhhh…
SN: Did you see Fabiani?
MC: I did see Fabiani, which was also exaggerated bowties but I think Fabiani had a bit more of an attitude than Csquared.
MC: Yeah Csquared yeah but maybe that’s something to do with uhhhmm menswear. There are very few designers that are actually ummm advancing a particular ummm attitude style or aesthetic in menswear that is identifiable as belonging to that particular designer (sic).
SN: Yeah, wanted to ask you about the sequined jackets, do you remember those?
MC: Yes I do, or the sequined vests.
SN: The vests and jackets, they also had jackets.
MC: I don’t remember the jackets, I remember the sequined vests, I didn’t mind them so much.
SN: No I would love some of those pieces.
MC: Really. Well ok see I’m not a guy.
SN: But then the difference is I am probably more adventurous than other guys, I don’t know.
MC: I mean it was a bit womenswear. I mean everybody is doing sequins this season. I suppose they wanted to …
SN: This is Chu and Bee and they going to tell us what they thought.
Bee Diamonhead (BDH): Chu is actually wearing Csquared. Chu was actually dressed by Csquared.
SN: Okay, lets look at Chu’s look and a Missibaba I see, lovely. What did you guys think of Csquared?
BDH: I think umm, they had good intentions execution may not have been so great.
SN: Thanks, Chu?
Chu Suwannapha (CS): I love the velvet jacket you know, I think, they had (sic) this is South Africa ummm. They just bringing some interesting detail like the tassels uhhh the elbow patches, the velvet. I think thats more outstanding for me from the show.
SN: The luxe jacket, what did you guys think of that and the sequin vests?
BDH: The sequined jackets! I would love a sequined jacket in my wardrobe.
SN: Are men brave enough to wear them?
BDH: I don’t think South Africa is ready (sic)
CS: It’s not ready.
SN: Chu is, Chu is ready to wear one.
CS: (sic) i love the sequined jacket! I love it! I know I can pull it off but am not sure about those real straight men but I don’t know you know (sic)
SN: We love it though, I mean I will definitely get me one if I can afford it.
BDH: (sic) You know what am saying, can we afford it?
SN: mmmm that’s a (sic)
BDH: That is a question we need to ask!
Do you agree with what was said…share your thoughts?
Csquared Menswear is South Africa’s most cutting-edge formal wear brand, and they proudly showcased their latest collection at this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Joburg on evening of 9th March 2012. The show and after party also marked Csquared’s 10 year anniversary by celebrating the decade of style, elegance and attitude that the brand has brought to menswear in South Africa.
The Csquared winter collection 2011/12 show exhibited luxury and kingsmanship tailoring, while evoking the charm of nostalgia by paying homage to the artistic construction of the royal uniform.
The collection’s theme was “Russian Revolution” and was inspired by the history and stylized opulence of the Royal Russian family. The collection focused on suiting in rich and moody jewel-toned colors made in an array of high-quality luxe and wearable fabrics. There were quirky checked shirts, statement herringbone pieces with a modern edge and structured jackets with detailed epaulettes. Luxurious fabrics are seen in each & every item, from neutral & classic grey to rich plum & emerald jackets
The Cut & Silhouette: Csquared’s A/W 2012 collection focused on sharply cut double-breasted jackets and low-buttoning 2-button suits, with strong shoulder lines balanced with fluid pant shapes.
Styling: Fine 100% cotton shirts and woven tailored pants provided casually styled pieces, while monotone shirts paired with contrasting color bow ties display the trend of “Neutral Blocking”. Outerwear has a laidback smart-casual feel with the fit of Csquared traditional tailoring being the shining star. Non-traditional pattern pairings of herringbone waistcoat and checked shirts brings a chic quirky look together. Our burnished leather trimmed blazer jacket with high sheen leather collar-lapel and elbow patch provides our clients with one of the hottest must have items this winter.
Color: Jewel-bright teals and petrol blues teamed with deep bottle green, violet and vivid sapphire blues contrasted with warm tobacco browns, espresso and camel, black and charcoal grey.
Fabric & Knit: This collection uses luxe wools with fluid suiting material. Bold checks and plaids were tailored with matching or contrasting inner pieces for a play on pattern on pattern. Leather, satin, and Melton were used to give the range a beautiful, warm and rich winter feel.
Print & Pattern:
Micro paisleys, stripes and checks.
This year’s Csquared men’s footwear features multi colored brogues, suede lace-ups paired in grey-patterned socks and neutral or tan brogues paired with bright socks to give every step of your day a flash of color below your turn-up’s.
Accessories: Bow ties, bow ties & more bow ties! Scarves, suspenders, vintage metal badges, leather bags, hats, hard belts to complete a #Topswag Stylin’ yet masculine winter look.
The One Must-Have Item from the Csquared Collection?
Our burnished leather trimmed blazer jacket with high sheen leather collar-lapel and elbow patch, provides our clients with one of the hottest must have items this winter and sound investment piece to wear throughout the seasons.
House of Monatic Head of Brands; Mark Gooding when interviewed after the show said “I am lucky to have such talented creative people around us, thanks especially to Jan Malan & Wayne Govender who helped make this vision come true. Csquared shows have always been heavily stylized and I think the Russian Revolution fitted the theme perfectly. We explored a few new elements to our collection which we are looking forward to seeing in stores for A/W 2012 season”. The turnout of the #CsquaredRed show showed the fashion critics that customers’ love for menswear is as strong as ever in South Africa; #TOPSWAG entrants, celebs, fans of Csquared’s social media attended the show proudly and packed the show venue to its brim.
Csquared designer Wayne Govender (L), Head of Brands Mark Gooding (R)
Wayne Govender is the newly appointed Csquared designer and #CsquaredRed was his first show! “I am honored and exhilarated to be working for the Csquared brand, renowned for its deep tradition in tailoring. Csquared’s winter collection experimented with new cuts, colors and embellishment.” When asked what his favorite piece from the collection was Wayne exclaimed “The Coat! We designed the coat in different shapes and in various proportions so that, it is a versatile item that could go easily from day to night. By far the most important accessory this season is the bow tie, which we are dubbing as the new “tie”. The already popular Csquared velvet bow ties have names like the “Mont Carlo”, and the “Frank Sinatra”… how is one to resist the urge to accumulate a few throughout the season!”
However the #CsquaredRed Fashion Show was only the beginning of the night with the official after party held at the trendy Taboo Nightclub in Sandton. After 2 intense months of campaigning and a whirlwind trip to Cape Town, Csquared Menswear crowned its 1st social media campaign Csquared TOPSWAG Style Icon Search refreshed by Peroni Winner Mvelo Ncube. Mvelo walked away with instant fashion fame, R30 000 in Csquared designer-wear and the ultimate VIP experience in 2012.
Csquared #TOPSWAG Style Icon Winner Mvelo Ncube walking in #CsquaredRed MBFWJ Show A/W 2012.
SocialWOO social media and PR also made sure that the #CsquaredRed show and Csquared’s #TOPSWAG social media campaign conclusion ended on a highly-buzzed note that will only bring bigger, better and more exciting things for Csquared and the menswear industry in 2012.
FOR MORE INFO ON MVELO NCUBE, PRESS QUERIES, INTERVIEWS, PRODUCT REQUESTS OR DETAILED RAMP LOOK DESCRIPTIONS PLEASE CONTACT:
End of January saw the stylish set gathering at Kenilworth Race Course for the 35th J&B Met. This years theme was “Made Different” which challenged attendees to break the traditional rules of fashion by wearing what should not really be worn and however you wear it make sure you do it differently.
We were particularly impressed with the use of colour. A lot of men shy away from colour and we love that Csquared Menswear is not afraid of colour. The bowties and shoes worn by the models are a definitely on trend and bring a little added glamour to some already seriously #TOPSWAG outfits!