Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A New York Peacock—with a Twist

Todd is a New York peacock with an immaculate sense of style, and a keen eye for detail. Whether he’s taking the subway (6 Train) to work, or at a soirée with friends—he’s always impeccably dressed from head to toe!

Above: Todd is wearing a two button single vent sport coat in billiard green raw silk; lavender point collar, barrel cuff shirt; trousers in espresso tropical wool; olive green made-to-order shoes; tie in brown and bronze striped silk; pocket square in brown, bronze and orange paisley silk. Photographs of Todd by TOBY WORTHINGTON.

His charming and witty blog, Stirred, Straight Up, with a Twist, is permanently set at 1962 (give or take a decade), with an appreciative nod to the past—and yet always in the present with style, glamour and a sense of humor. It's like stumbling upon a chic little nightclub in Manhattan. You know the kind, no sign and an unmarked door—but when you enter through the door a whole world of style and glamour appears...and of course cocktails, amazing music, entertainment, hotties and some naughtiness!

Todd also exquisitely crafts a weekly playlist for his blog. This eclectic and sophisticated soundtrack sublimely segues from Frances Faye, to Pizzicato Five, to Mel Tormé, and then to Tavares—always creating a desired mood and tone. Todd uses the same refined taste and sophistication in creating his, seemingly effortless, gentleman style.

Mr. Peacock: How would you describe your style?
Todd: The description "classic, with a twist" seems awfully clichéd, but I suppose it will have to do until I think of something better! I don't dress to shock, or to be outrageous, or to be noticed—I dress to please myself, to suit the occasion, and to feel and look good. For me, that means good tailoring, good fabrics, unexpected use of color, and comfort.

MP: How old were you when you consciously realized you were a peacock?
Todd: I don't remember when I wasn't. My favorite thing to do, when I was very, very little, and had a day off from school, would be to "dress up" in my grey flannel trousers, pink oxford shirt, navy school blazer; dab my father's Polo cologne on; and watch old movies on television with a "highball" glass filled with ice cubes and "scotch" (ginger ale).

Above: Impeccable and chic—two button single vent sport coat in billiard green raw silk; lavender point collar, barrel cuff shirt; trousers in espresso tropical wool; tie in brown and bronze striped silk; pocket square in brown, bronze and orange paisley silk.

MP: Where did you grow up?
Todd: In the suburbs of Connecticut. When I was growing up, I couldn't wait to get out! Now, as I get older, I find myself re-embracing the past a bit more.

MP: Who's your style icon?
Todd: Cary Grant is an easy answer, of course. I think Fred Astaire is woefully underrated as a men's style icon—always dapper, always elegant, always correct. And he made it (like his dancing) seem absolutely effortless and part of his natural grace.

MP: Who has influenced your style?
Todd: I honestly can't recall ever consciously copying or studying someone else's specific look or style; although, I'm sure I was heavily influenced by the classic movies I grew up on. It's all been trial and error; and believe me, I've made more than my share of errors over the years! But I'm constantly honing and refining what works best for me. I think you have to be ruthless in your appraisal of yourself and your style, and in this economy, who can afford to make too many mistakes?

Above left to right: Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, in 1953, on the set of "The Band Wagon"; looking sharp with a boutonnière, circa late 1940's.

MP: Do you have a favorite menswear designer or brand?
Todd: This is a touchy question for me, as I don't really think that labels or brands should necessarily factor into someone's style, per se. Let's just say that certain designers work better for me than others, and quality often doesn't come inexpensively. Having said that, spending all of your hard-earned money on a luxe, high-end designer wardrobe still won't guarantee you chic or elegance or style unless you're choosing wisely and eliminating ruthlessly.

MP: What's your favorite item in your entire wardrobe?
Todd: A pale, robin's egg blue silk mohair sport coat.

MP: Have you had any sartorial disasters that you can share?
Todd: Oh, God. Short denim cut off's and combat boots. If there's Fashion Purgatory, I'm headed there solely for that disaster.

MP: Are there any menswear trends you abhor? adore?
Todd: I abhor trends. I love individuality.

MP: Any item you are looking forward to wearing this spring?
Todd: I'm looking forward to buying a snappy boater from Rod Keenan this season.

MP: Tote, satchel, or briefcase?
Todd: Overnight bag for travel, briefcase for work—any other time: pare it down, gentlemen, to where you don't need a purse.

MP: Do you wear vintage clothes, or only "new" clothes?
Todd: I love my vintage watches (see above); I have three from the 1920's and 1930’s, which I cherish. I wish I had the patience to search out beautiful vintage clothing, because I love the idea of having something completely unique and with a history; but, alas, I don't.

MP: What's you favorite time-period for menswear, and why?
Todd: I love the early 1960's for its breezy, Continental feel; and also the 1920's and 1930's for the sheer elegance of the period.

MP: What's been the biggest change in your personal style over the years?
Todd: My style itself, although it's definitely been refined over time, hasn't really changed all that much. But what has changed is my becoming more attuned to color and its possibilities; I look at it as a challenge. For instance, how do I take a pair of olive green made-to-order shoes and make them a seamless part of my style, rather than,
Hey, look, he's wearing green shoes!”

Above left to right: It's all in the details! Trousers in beige tropical wool, maple handmade shoes, socks in beige and yellow argyle print; trousers in espresso tropical wool, olive green made-to-order shoes.

MP: What's been the biggest style lesson you've learned?
Todd: I've become much, much more concerned with quality and fit as I get older and wiser; I've become more cognizant of buying things to last—timeless fashion, as opposed to fleeting fads. There are designer, fashion-y things I bought in my 20's, which I wish to God I could take back and exchange for something that would be a part of my permanent wardrobe! Also, never, ever wear anything strictly for the sake of effect or affectation.

Mr. Peacock admires gentlemen, like Todd, who have found their own style (even though they may continually refine it) and boldly wear what they like and what suits them, regardless of what the popular opinion is. Todd has a great sense of humor, and clearly appreciates the finer things in life: good music, quality clothing, and custom made shoes. Be sure to stop by Stirred, Straight Up, with a Twist for some inspiration, eye-candy and wit. As Todd states on his blog, “...the problems of the real world can be solved with a touch of glamour and a dash of style.” Mr. Peacock sure hopes so! Thank you Todd!

9 comments:

jason said...

Yeay!!!!!!!!!

I aspire to be half as dashing one day...ok, maybe one fourth. :)

TJB said...

Thank you, Mr. Peacock. 'tis indeed an honor!

ilduce said...

Congrats Todd, and kudus to you Mr. Peacock for "your" own good taste in honoring TJB!

ayem8y said...

Isn’t he the cutest? I often invite TJB and Mr. Peacock into my closet when deciding what to wear. What would TJB think? or What would Mr. Peacock do? You gentlemen have saved me numerous times from making some serious fashion fox paws!

MJ said...

TJB is the cat’s pyjamas.

Don’t you love his description of life as a young peacock?

As for his fashion disaster…

”Short denim cut off's and combat boots. If there's Fashion Purgatory, I'm headed there solely for that disaster.”


All will be forgiven, TJB, if you publish a photo of that train wreck.

ilduce said...

Ditto,

I'd like to see that photo!

Christina - WhatsInYourManPurse.com said...

Don't need a purse? What?! :)

Great interview, despite the blasphemy! J/K...

thombeau said...

Todd is fabulosity incarnate!

Paul Pincus said...

wow! thank you, mr. peacock! loved this.