Kingpin’s Hideaway Ladypin Pin Up for February – The Queenpin

Love should never be confined to just one day, or one month and Kingpin’s Ms. February is letting us know in our newest pin up tribute to Alberto Vargas . Kingpin’s Hideaway is proud to present the Ladypin pin up for January – The Queenpin!

Vargas Style Pin Up - Kingpin's Ladypins - February - What am I wearing? Let me paint you a picture...

What am I wearing? Let me paint you a picture…

The Queenpin now graces the Kingpin’s Hideaway Queen Street West window display. She is modeling a vintage pair of new old stock 1950s mauve stockings, cheetah skin open toe mules and a Western Electric Model 302 telephone.

Photograph by Jennifer Toole

Hair by Amber Fairlie

Make-up by Bronwen Weiderick

Kingpin Chic May Be Canada’s Sharpest Dressed Man

Sharp Magazine and The Bay are holding a contest for the sharpest man in Canada and our very own Kingpin is now in the running! If you agree and would like to support men dressing well everywhere, click through and vote for him!

Vote For Kingpin as Canada’s Sharpest Man!!!

Kingpin, Canada's Sharpest Man

Kingpin, Canada’s Sharpest Man

Sorry, Ryan Gosling is not in this contest, even though he, too is a sharp dressed man.

Ryan Gosling is a Sharp Dressed Man in a Blue Tuxedo

Ryan Gosling is a Sharp Dressed Man in a Blue Tuxedo

Fitzgerald, DiCaprio and Luhrmann – The Great Gatsby is Coming! (In 3D!!)

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Few film events excite the sartorially inclined for reasons solely of style and clothing. But when they do… Bammo!

The buzz about Baz Luhrmann‘s 3D film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby has been steadily growing among the dandy set since the project was announced and is expected to only grow until it’s release. Starring as the titular Gatsby is Leonardo DiCaprio, along side Carey MulliganIsla Fisher and Tobey Maguire among others.

American Dandy, Author and Poster Boy for the Lost Generation - F. Scott Fitzgerald

American Dandy, Author and Poster Boy for the Lost Generation – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald’s story is many things, and in Luhrmann’s lush, ocular hands, is expected to be the style experience of the season. The few photos from the production that have been released teasingly promise a treasure trove of well dressed gentlemen in fine dandy style.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby Looking Sharp as He Walks Past a Duesenberg

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby Looking Sharp as He Walks Past a Duesenberg

There is also a full length trailer that is even more alluring, much like the stories of Fitzgerald himself.

And keep in mind you’ll be able to experience all this gentlemen dress and style in 3D. I’m off to mix a batch of mint juleps in anticipation! I suspect the only thing that could make this movie even more amazing would be a surprise cameo by Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling as Imagined in a Surprise Cameo in The Great Gatsby

Ryan Gosling as Imagined in a Surprise Cameo in The Great Gatsby

Gentlemen’s Cravats – The Necktie: A Brief History

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The Classic Necktie

The Classic Necktie

The story of the necktie that has come to dominate gentleman’s neck wear begins with the popularity of the cravat in the 19th century. In the late Victorian period the industrial revolution came into full production. There was a great need for more practical neck wear than the evermore detailed ways of tying the untamed silks of the basic cravat. Enter the knot named the ‘four-in-hand’ that enabled the cravat to be tied quickly and securely so that it could remain in place and look good the entire work day. With the help of the British monarchy we can explore the necktie’s development.

King George V with Four-in-Hand Knotted Silk Tie

King George V with Four-in-Hand Knotted Silk Tie

This knot created a longer, more elegant shape that allowed the silk to dimple and emphasize the gloss of the fabric. This allowed the necktie to be used in a very formal outfit., as may be seen both in George V’s portrait above and his father, Edward VII below,

Colour autochrome photograph of King Edward VII in Scotland sporting a four-in-hand tied necktie

Colour autochrome photograph of King Edward VII in Scotland sporting a four-in-hand tied necktie

where he has a more casual outfit (most likely for grouse hunting). His grandson, Edward VIII took the four-in-hand to the fully casual outfit,

Edward VIII, as Prince of Wales,  casually wearing a necktie tied in a four-in-hand

Edward VIII, as Prince of Wales, casually wearing a necktie tied in a four-in-hand

and it became the standard in a gentleman’s outfit replacing the previous, looser-shaped cravats.

It was Edward’s grandfather, whose love of a fat four-in-hand knot, lead to the other popular necktie knot being developed, the Windsor. Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria, was a style icon in his own right. The extra wide manner of his necktie’s design in using thick fabric so that his four-in-hand knot would be quite wide at the collar, as this portrait from the time of his coronation shows,

Edward VII with his wide knotted necktie

Edward VII with his wide knotted necktie

Unable to afford bespoke ties, the gentlemen trying to emulate Edward VII’s style developed the Windsor knot, although the source for this name is not clear. What is clear is that his sartorial grandson, Edward VIII most likely never sported a Windsor knot, using the trusted four-in-hand to great effect to the ends of his days. But more on the different types of necktie knots (and what they say about the man wearing them) in a future post.

Edward VIII Sporting the Four-In-Hand with a Thick Necktie

Edward VIII Sporting the Four-In-Hand with a Thick Necktie

Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the necktie has become the dominant form of cravat.

Church & Co. (Church’s) and Gentlemens Shoes

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Very few products distinguish themselves as the ‘gold standard‘ of their market. Even among these, the brand is often purchased by another company, who trade on their item’s reputation, all the while shaving away its quality in the name of profit until he reputation itself is also ruined. In mens footwear, there is one company that I stand by without hesitation as the gold standard of their field – Church’s.

 Canvas & Leather Spectator Shoes by Church's

Canvas & Leather Oxford Spectator Shoes by Church’s

To own a pair of Church’s is to own more than an excellent pair of handmade leather shoes. You are part of a tradition in mens footwear that dates back to 1675, with the family of Thomas Church officially founding Church & Company with his sons in Northampton, England.

Black Leather Brogued Wingtip Derby's 'The Grafton' by Church's

Black Leather ‘Brogued’ Wingtip Derby ‘The Grafton’ by Church’s

It was Church’s that created the ‘left’ and ‘right’ shaped shoe in 1881 (for which they were awarded a Gold Medal at the 1884 International Exhibitions in the Crystal Palace, London) and established itself as the premier English shoemaker when Queen Elizabeth II awarded them the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports in the Award’s inaugural year – 1966.

Black Leather Wingtip Oxford Shoes by Church's

Black Leather Wingtip Oxford Shoes by Church’s, Ladder-laced

In case you think all this royal attention makes Church’s too stuffy, consider that they were the shoe of choice for James Bond in the films The World is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies (black leather Monk shoes – the Presley) and Golden Eye (brown leather brogues) and this was the most sartorial Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan. Not tough enough for you? Daniel Craig wore both a pair of Church’s chukka boots (in dark brown suede with a rubber sole) and Church’s Oxfords (in black leather with a half cap) in Quantum of Solace. So there.

James Bond, Church's Shoes and a Gorgeous Lady

James Bond, Church’s Shoes and a Gorgeous Lady

Close-up of James Bond Church's Shoes

Close-up of James Bond Church’s Shoes

And in case you were wondering, Church’s is able to refurbish Mr. Bond’s Oxford’s to almost new, as they did for the editor-in-chief of Wallpaper magazine. His Church’s brogues are over 20 years-old!