The Chap Olympiad 2017

Posted by 1 week ago

The groundsmen are still mopping up gin and Pimm’s from the grass after last year’s unsporting extravaganza; stray brogues are still being fished out of bushes, ladies’ parasols retrieved from trees – yet, even further behind the scenes, preparations are already being made for this year’s Chap Olympiad.

The 13th Chap Olympiad will take place on Saturday 15th July in its usual home of Bedford Square Gardens, London. This celebration of British sporting ineptitude will feature the usual programme of ridiculously unchallenging acts of buffoonery that can barely be described as sports: Tea Pursuit, Umbrella Jousting, Butler Baiting and Aunt Avoidance.

New challenges will be presented, to avoid any chance of contestants preparing for the event. Any form of training, working out, gymnasium attendance or the consideration of anything except the cut of one’s trousers and the perfect buttonhole is frowned upon by the judges, who simply know when someone is trying too hard.

The only qualities required by contestants are skulduggery, subterfuge, caddishness and guile. The only preparations they need to make are within the confines of their tailor’s fitting room. Ladies need not concern themselves with anything but choosing suitable hosiery for the climate and which particular cocktail they might take several of on Saturday 15th July.

Tickets are available from www.designmynight.com

The Albert Slippery Slope

Posted by 1 week ago

The Chap usually reports the adoption of a traditional garment in the world outside our stained-glass window favourably, for it often indicates a promising shift in contemporary fashion towards the values we hold dear.

However, when it is a member of Donald Trump’s cabinet showing sartorial élan, our loyalties are ripped asunder, especially as it is so unusual for anyone in Trump’s circle to display anything but tasteless vulgarity when it comes to clothes.

Secretary of State Wilbur Ross attended one of Trump’s speeches to Congress wearing a pair of Albert Slippers. There is nothing wrong with appearing in a public place in velvet slippers – in fact The Chap has always advocated them as an eccentric accessory to Black Tie dress. It’s just that Mr. Ross’s slippers were embroidered with the Commerce Department’s logo, rather than a pair of antlers or a personal monogram.

Mr. Ross has his slippers made by Stubbs & Wooton, an American company based in Palm Beach, Florida, where incidentally the president has an exclusive resort. To be fair, others in Mr. Ross’s collection bear more tasteful designs, such as top hats and, in this photo, some racy spiderwebs.

The Chap always welcomes celebrity endorsement of any item of gentlemanly clothing which may thus enter the sphere of street fashion, but in this case we can only conclude that Wilbur Ross has given the Albert Slipper a bad name.

Special Offer: Three Issues for £1.00 Each

Posted by 2 weeks ago

The Chap is pleased, if not downright barmy, to be offering a special bundle of recent editions for the absurdly low price of just one English pound each.

In preparation for the launch of our new format, The Chap is offering new, old, existing and non-existing readers the opportunity to purchase three recent copies of The Chap for the princely sum of £1.00 each. We guarantee that the issues you are sent will have been published in the last two years, which means you will be reading about such delights as Ed Harcourt, Neil Hannon, Emma Peel, Fenella Fielding and Jackie Onassis, along with features too numerous to mention here.

Simply follow the link below to our Back Issues page, where you will find full details of how to place your order our special offer. Then sit back, light your finest pipe and submerge yourself into the extremely pleasant and uplifting world of The Chap.

Back Issue Bundles

Marching Into March (Not Yet Swinging Into Spring, It’s Still Too Cold) With Pilsner’s Picks!

Posted by 4 weeks ago

The Donald The President (or is that The President The Donald?), hasn't found any reason to shut down Pilsner's Picks yet, so here's the March edition.

Notable this month, a real oddity in the enormous Duke Ellington discography: an early Ellington band record with an accordion as the featured instrument. I suspect that this is the only such record of the Duke's, and I've heard most of them from the 20's and 30's. Who did he think he was, anyway? Lawrence Welk?!

The identity of the accordion player is unknown, at least to me, but he's very good and he fits right in. If you've only got one shot at musical immortality, then you should, of course, take it!

http://pilsnerspicks.blogspot.com/

Domains for sale: stmpnk.com and steamhunks.com

Posted by 1 month ago

Hi folks! Since the Steampunk Roadster was sold to someone out of state I have given up my STMPNK Massachusetts license plates. In fact, the Mass Registry of Motor Vehicles website indicates that they may in deed be available again! To go along with these plates I had registered the domain stmpnk.com which I have decided […]

New Issue Rocks and Rolls off the Presses

Posted by 2 months ago

Our racy new issue features Slim Jim Phantom on the front cover, who brought a dash of L.A. rockabilly rebelliousness to this publication.

Mr. Phantom discussed his years as drummer with the Stray Cats, the terrifying experience of working with Jerry Lee Lewis, his years as a cocktail bar impresario on Sunset Strip and his peculiar fondness for Lady Diana memorabilia.

We also met some radical dandies from Kurdish Iraq, who are reacting to living in war-torn Erbil by dressing very nicely indeed. Then there is the tale of an Edwardian gentleman who walked around the world pushing a pram, wearing an iron mask, for a bet. Our history of politics includes the soapbox, the mace and the woolsack, while Tom Cutler presents some Chappish lateral thinking puzzles.

Further chronicles come from our Chap Behind Bars, an incarcerated dandy who is surviving the penal system by making flat caps for the other inmates. Our new book review section looks at Dead Man’s Shoes and Wake Up Sir, while our film reviewer gets his teeth into the re-release of GoodFellas. Laszlo Krass continues to try and save a priceless Caravaggio with the help of nine supermodels, and we take a look at the dress codes of the great British writers through the ages.

Sartorial matters covered include the Oxford Shoe, the Shetland Sweater and the Gentleman’s Underpant. Our resident butler advises on smoking jackets, tweed allergies and Chinese headwear.

Issue 91 of The Chap is out now. Find it at all branches of W.H. Smith or take out a subscription here

Carlos Gardel

Posted by 2 months ago

When I recently searched Dieselpunks.org for the name Carlos Gardel but found no mention of him I was flabbergasted. I decided to rectify this glaring oversight in a website championing interbellum Western pop culture.

If you have not heard of Senor Gardel, that is understandable for several reasons: First, he performed in the musical genre of tango which is not as popular as it was in the Teens, Twenties, and Thirties. Second, he died on June 24 1935, before Frank Sinatra began his public career in the autumn of that year. In fact, Gardel was killed in an airplane accident on a journey that was supposed to end with his arrival in Hollywood and the beginning of a career acting in American movies. Third, Gardel was born in France and grew up and performed mostly in Argentina singing and recording in Spanish.

Gardel was one of the best-selling recording artists of the Twentieth Century. He is credited with writing some of the best-known tango music, including Por Una Cabeza (“By A Head” in which a man compares his luck/ unluckiness in love to a horserace. If you have seen at least either the movie Schindler’s List or Scent Of A Woman you have heard Por Una Cabeza). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dStp5hq294Another of his trademark recordings was Silencio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO3ytWP9i78 (“Silence” in Spanish, inspired by the French version of the Sullivans’ incident). Thousands of mourners attended Senor Gardel’s funeral and interment, similar to that of Rudolf Valentino. There is a lifelike statue of Gardel on his tomb and to this day it is said that its palm always holds a lit cigarette.

Tango is Dieselpunk for various reasons. Tango experienced its Golden Age during the Dieselpunk era of the first half of the Twentieth Century. Tango was developed by immigrants from Southern Europe to the cities of Buenos Aires, Argentina and nearby Montevideo, Uruguay. Tango dealt with urban issues such as love, infidelity, jealousy, revenge, murder, and knife fighting. If German Expressionism and Film Noir are considered Dieselpunk (or at least dieselpulp) then the musical expression of the same ideas certainly is. Both tango and Dieselpunk are characterized by men in fedoras and women in fishnet stockings. Dieselpunks.org has an album of photos taken by Horacio Coppola in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a city at the time drunk on tango or as they’d say “emborracho de tango.”

Immediately before his death in a collision between two Ford Trimotor airliners in Medellin Colombia, Gardel had been living and recording in New York City for several months. He performed down the Eastern Seaboard and across the Caribbean. Appropriately I will conclude this article with Senor Gardel singing the song which is traditionally played at the end of a milonga, a tango party: La Cumparsita

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0LosvoEEy8


References:

Collier, Simon (1986). The Life, Music, and Times of Carlos Gardel. University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0822984989.

Victrola-Era Valentines – Or, The February Pilsner’s Picks!

Posted by 2 months ago

It's February, when a young man's fancy turns to... no, not the groundhog, forget that lousy groundhog! I mean romance, as in Valentine's Day. So, Mr. Romance himself, Pilsner Panther, will now wax romantic with the old wax.

http://pilsnerspicks.blogspot.com/


From JFK to Trump: A Degradation of Style

Posted by 2 months ago

As the sensible world settles down to four years of mayhem, madness and appalling outfits in the form of the new incumbent, an American colleague of The Chap looks at the sartorial elegance of John F. Kennedy, providing a detailed search through the former president’s immaculate wardrobe.

Use the link below to access the story. In the meantime, further shock revelations have come to light about how ill-prepared Mr. Trump is for office. A photograph has emerged which shows clearly that he is using Sellotape to fasten the back of his tie to the front.
This is presumably to allow the president to wear his necktie with the tip hanging some six or so inches below his waistband – an unprecedented length for any man, let alone a US president.

John F Kennedy never wore his tie so low over his waistband – not that anyone would have been able to measure it anyway, since, as is proper, Mr. Kennedy always kept at least one of his jacket buttons fastened.

Read in more detail about JFK’s clothing BAMFStyle.com

Dandies Unite Against Terrorism

Posted by 2 months ago

The capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Erbil, which has been at the frontline of the struggle against the Islamic State (IS) group, has seen the birth of a sartorial revolution.
A group of proto-Chaps is calling themselves Mr. Erbil and has been dubbed “Iraq’s first gentlemen’s fashion club”. Mr. Erbil’s first photo shoot gathered huge amounts of social media followers and sent ripples of approval among followers of this publication.

Mr. Erbil stress that what they are doing mixes “modernity and cultural heritage”, by harking back to the lifestyles of the Effendis, the traditional Kurdish landowning class. The Effendis would don their finest clothes to attend cultural salons and visit tea shops in the early part of the 20th century.

But this movement is not just about fashion. Mr. Erbil sees itself as representing young Iraqi Kurds who are looking for a better life and want to promote Kurdish culture to the world. And the focus is not exclusively on male fashion:
Mr. Erbil wants to effect social change and challenge traditional attitudes, particularly on women’s rights. The Mr. Erbil Instagram account posts about women’s issues in Kurdistan, Iraq and the world, as well as posting photos of bearded chaps larking about.

For example, in January Mr. Erbil posted about Dashni Morad, who gives workshops in leadership skills to women who survived the massacre and rape of members of northern Iraq’s Yazidi sect by IS militants. “The effort she puts in for humanity, love and peace is so impressive!” said Mr. Erbil. “Keep up the good work, you are making us proud.”

The Chap has already sent a reporter to Erbil to delve more deeply into this fascinating story, which chimes very well with the revolutionary zeal of our own followers, though with a lot more at stake than the opening a new Starbucks on their high street.

Follow Mr.Erbil on Instagram and Facebook