Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Et voici! As would behoove a self-respecting global men’s fashion power blog, BDMOTP presents to you the man who inspired Oscar Wilde to write Portrait of Dorian Gray  who may very well have inspired Michael Jackson to become the gloved one AND have a squeaky little voice, who inspired Karl Lagerfeld to take Choupette as his most beloved icon pet, who was an example for the reveries of Marcel Proust in the persona of Baron de Charlus in A la Recherche du Temps Perdu and who most notoriously was the hidden subject–if not indeed the exact copy and model – of Karl Joris Huysmans’ deliciously poisonous and forbidden book A Rebours (Against the Grain) in which an improbable character called Des Esseintes is immortalized as the prototype godfather of all dandies for all time, a particular and eccentric man who celebrates an extravagant lifestyle of pleasure and beauty in complete solitude yet surrounded by the most outrageous & extraordinary home furnishings, decorations, and accessories.

But not yet many know that this gentleman was not fiction but actually existed, and that his name was Marie Joseph Robert Anatole de Montesquiou–Fézensac, better known as the Marquis Robert de Montesquiou, and that, perhaps mysteriously, two famous portraits of the man himself are still hanging in museums today one in New York (the Frick) and one in Paris (Quai d’Orsay) so as to silently witness and attest to his continuous private importance to the world of style for men even in our information age 125 years later.

Thus the following BDMOTP interview is a fictionalized version of a meeting with one very real vampire of men’s style and fashion – and an icon for the ages.

portrait of Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac by Whistler

portrait of Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac by Whistler

BDMOTP:  Hello Robert, thank you for granting us this special occasion for a brief interview. First off, are you the best dressed man on the planet?

Robert de M. (squeaks a little and twitches and takes off one white glove laying it across his knee while folding his legs gently, then tips his moustache and giggles, but never answers the question and sighs deeply): Umm..

BDMOTP:  If you had lived today Robert, would we be able to find you on Facebook?

Robert (giggles a little more and then taps his cane on the floor):  I always enjoy my pleasures privately, and I have few friends– also I do not like to share, I rather like to keep things for myself and treasure them and admire them alone.  Thus, as a proven butterfly, I need not many friends, because I have flowers, many beautiful things and flowers – and their colors and shapes inspire me to flutter on, and on, and move from one to the next.  If you can find them, flowers are always there for all to see, so there is absolutely no need to put them on Facebook.  Ah, the smell, I love the smell of roses, I close my eyes and they are there …

BDMOTP:  The French bourgeoisie in your lifetime had quickly condemned you as ‘un esthète au goût souvent discutable’ (an aesthete of frequently questionable taste) but the English speaking public of today really loves your style and your manners. What is your message to our readers?

Robert de M. (pouts and touches his moustache):  That every good conversation starts with a pose. And that in order to strike a proper pose, one always needs a personal style as well as particular manners.

The art of how to strike a proper pose, undoubtedly inspiring Oscar Wilde

The art of how to strike a proper pose, undoubtedly inspiring Oscar Wilde

BDMOTP:  What is it with the white gloves?

Robert de M.:  You don’t like them?  They are my favorites. Chamois – leather. Antelope. So soft!

BDMOTP:  We love your Persian cat Robert.  Today we have a fashion icon with a very famous Persian cat whose name is Choupette (the cat of Karl Lagerfeld). How do you feel about it that 100 years later people – famous people in the world of style even – are still copying your ideas and your manners?

Robert de M. (cackles and giggles and crosses his legs carefully and sits up straight):  I love my cat! She is my darling. She is NOT an accessory!

Robert holding his Persian cat, inspiring Karl Lagerfeld one century later

Robert holding his Persian cat, inspiring Karl Lagerfeld one century later

BDMOTP: But Robert the ugly rumor is that you once had a pet tortoise at your private residence and that you painted its shell gold and then it died (according to the account of French author Mallarmé who visited your house). But we did some research and we don’t believe you ever did what Huysmans wrote about Des Esseintes that he had gemstones encrusted in a turtle’s shell. You would not do this kind of thing would you now?  In today’s world this does not go off very well–to say the least. A tortoise is not an accessory.

Robert de M. (starts to cry and sniff a little): I am sorry, I am sorry I should have never painted the shell of my tortoise in gold – it is true–but I swear I never encrusted my tortoise with gemstones–this is pure fiction.  My notoriety must have gotten ahead of my reputation.

BDMOTP:  Robert, you talk about your notoriety as if it is a good thing?

Robert de M. (twitches his head and tips his hat up a little bit, then puts his cane between his legs, and looks indignantly ahead and purses his lips): Excuse me! I used to be a successful stockbroker, with an excellent reputation, and now that I have become a well-known esthete and dandy, and a legend, I cannot discuss my own notoriety? And just because I now know how to strike a proper pose whenever and wherever it does not suit society at large, I have become ‘notorious’? Does this frighten you? I tell you that a good notoriety and a little scandal here and there has always been the spice of life in style and fashion, in the same way as taking risks and speculations have always been the key to success in business and finance. If a man is no longer willing or able to risk his reputation every day the moment when he wakes up, then he will never go again in style! And people will forget him. Dixit.

Robert de M. suddenly gets up quickly and angrily holding up his head up and slightly backward without looking or saying goodbye stodgily taps twice with his cane on the floor and leaves the room carefully closing the door behind him. We have no time to thank him and are left wondering about many things, with a large list of questions left unanswered and a feeling of uneasiness.

Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Comte Robert de Montesquiou leaving the room as in a contemporary artist rendering by Delius

Posted by Sandro Joo.

If you’ve ever watched an actor promoting a movie on a news program, chances are the set was designed by Lenny Lubrano. He works with Full Tilt Productions owner and designer Anthony Macchio in creating all kinds of eye-catching sets for the major studios in Hollywood. Over the past 15 years, they have worked with nearly every major star and director – and many of them have complimented Lenny on his wardrobe – which is as distinctive as his designs.

Lenny Lubrano.

Lenny Lubrano.

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield caught up with Lubrano on the interview sets for the new film, Heaven is For Real, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Lubrano starts off by explaining to BDMOTP that, “just recently on the Need for Speed interviews, Aaron Paul clapped me on the back and said ‘I like the whole deal man,’ referring to my outfit. I complimented him on a very cool brown leather jacket he had on.” Once we heard that, we knew we needed to hear more about Lubrano’s style!

I’ve always admired your sense of style. How would you describe your fashion philosophy?
My personal philosophy is to be bold and stand out, it’s made me the man I am today and opened many doors for me. I also believe in a hi/low eclectic mix of layering designer apparel with lower cost clothing, even thrift shop items that I’ve collected over the years. I’m known for mixing patterns in my wardrobe, stripes with plaid, chevron with polka dots etc to create a bit of drama on set while making it seem effortless. In fact, I think closely about the patterns I mix and always choose one color that ties the various patterns together. Without doing that, it would never work.

How do you use your fashion to keep it interesting on the job?
I sometimes wear outfits that evoke a style of the movie we’re promoting, but not always. For American Hustle, I wore red/blue patterned bell bottoms, platform shoes and gold accessories-and it was a blast!

Lenny Lubrano in his American Hustle outfit.

Lenny Lubrano in his American Hustle outfit.

I know you’re on the road a lot. What are your must-pack items?
I live out of a suitcase roughly 60 days a year. I always pack a basic fitted black blazer and skinny black trousers that can carry me from day to night, where ever I am. I always pack several different patterned socks, scarves, ties and hats so I can change up my look without over packing.

I know you share my love of London – where do you shop when you’re there?
I’m always inspired by London fashion and style. From prep to punk, they really nail it. Christopher Bailey of Burberry and the late Alexander McQueen are two of my all time favorite designers. I love to shop at TopShop London — the US store doesn’t have the same inventory. I always visit the Camden Market for unique finds.

What’s your advice to the readers of BDMOTP?
Have fun with your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to look unique. Obviously, no one wants to look clownish but just adding one bold item to your daily attire will make you stand out.

Post and photos by Steve Oldfield.

It’s an ironic reality on most Hollywood sets: some of the least stylish, most disheveled people are the ones responsible for keeping the stars looking their best: the makeup and hair people.

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One notable exception is Tyson Fountaine, a successful makeup artist who would make anyone’s best dressed list in tinsel town.

Tyson has worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Johnny Depp, Brooke Shields to Betty White. Tyson’s currently the head makeup artist for “The Middle,” starring Patricia Heaton on ABC-TV and Tyson has been nominated for two Primetime Emmys. Tyson also helped to create a sensation at the Playboy Mansion, the body-painted Playmates – but that’s a story for another time and place. Tyson is married to a fellow makeup artist. He and wife Michelle Daurio live in Valley Village near Los Angeles. He sat down to share some thoughts and tips with another one his clients, BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield.

So how did you get started doing makeup? I was an art major at the junior college in Santa Rosa.

A friend of mine suggested that I try a theater makeup class. This I thought was a crazy idea. But I ended up loving it! It was amazing. Now I could create art on a three dimensional living surface and get paid for it! I could prove to my dad that I could survive as an artist.

So other than the steady (and good) paycheck, what do you love about the work?

It’s very self gratifying to make someone look their best. To change them into a character is a great creative outlet and a passion of mine.

You’ve traveled all over working on movie sets and shows – what do you like about your current gig on “The Middle?”

I like working on a reoccurring show for the job security. It’s nice going to work every day. “The Middle” is one of the MOST underrated and overlooked shows out there. The writing is so good, the cast and crew are amazing. We are in our 5th season and I am the department head makeup artist. Supervising is a lot of responsibility – It can be fun if you have a good crew. You must respect your team.

So what advice to you have for men when it comes to their face? 

I think men should wear some sort of sun block. And always use moisturizer. I think it’s important to keep your sideburns and the back of your neck trimmed.

If a man is going to have an important photo taken, should he use any powder or concealer? Any “do’s” and “don’ts?”

Men should use an anti-shine for photos. This will keep them less shiny. I also think concealer under eyes and on blemishes is a must for photos. Tinted moisturizer is a nice way to give the over all complexion a healthy glow. A no-shine lip balm is nice to keep the lips looking healthy and not dry. Don’t use shiny lip balms; don’t wear too much makeup. If your lashes are light you can tint them or use a very light coat of mascara, preferably brown or brown black. Some men have sparse eyebrows on the ends or spots missing they should be filled in with a matching color (I prefer a graphite pencil the grey works with most colors).

A lot of times, makeup, hair and crew people look like they just climbed out of bed and threw on something from their dirty clothes pile. But I’ve always thought you look stylish – Can you talk about your personal philosophy on dressing for work? 

I agree a lot of crew people do look like they rolled out of bed. I understand some crew are doing work that requires getting dirty and I too would wear clothes that I didn’t care too much about , but some departments that should look presentable do look very sloppy. I see it more times than I think anybody should. We’re often referred to as the ‘glam squad’ we should look professional not disheveled. It instills confidence in the talent.

So today on the job, you’re wearing Michael Kors pants, a great Paul Smith sweater and a scarf from The Gap – I love how it all comes together!

I’m definitely eclectic when it comes to fashion. My fashion advice is to wear a scarf – it’s the modern day tie. I think the way to rock a scarf is all in the way you wear and tie it. I don’t believe it has to match the outfit perfectly and cost does not matter. I have $8.00 to $100 scarves and you would be surprised how many times the cheaper ones score compliments!

What’s your advice for readers who’d love to be a makeup or hair person in Hollywood or fashion?

Dress professional, be yourself, and don’t get caught up in all of the gossip and drama, it’s a small world and people talk.

Interview by Steve Oldfield

Meet Kevin Van Delsen.

Meet Kevin Van Delsen.

BDMOTP is in Holland, the home of G-Star Raw, and we are doing an interview with Kevin Van Delsen, male model extraordinaire, in Amsterdam opposite the ‘Bloemenmarkt’ on the Singel, the most inner concentric canal, meeting at a small and hip health food restaurant, called Homemade. The meeting is at noon and Kevin is waiting outside and despite the cold and the North Sea wind after it has rained all night, we decide to have a coffee outside on the terrace. A faint sun shows behind the rain-soaked clouds, and it is the very same day that the Euro MTV awards are being held in town, and all hotels downtown are overbooked with anyone who has a name in music – a fashion interview when all of the global music industry is in town.

But the very reason why exactly we had to drive 550 kilometers by car for a single fashion interview becomes evident almost immediately when Kevin shows us his first tattoos: Because Kevin is a tattoo model in Holland. He is hair model (L’Oreal, Wella, Sebastian) on the runway. He is a commercial fashion film model (Cosmopolitan). And he is a creative fashion photo & film promotions director. But most impressive of all, — and when I notice his first tattoo I know the reason why I drove so far for one man for one interview-he started out as a designer! A designer with the tattoos on his arm to prove it and his first creative productions form the beginning of a veritable TATTOO – TIMELINE with which his body is decorated. Decorations like the life-story of a Maori warrior. We ask him if he is a Maori and Kevin pleads no contest.

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The tattoos start on his arm when he is 16 when he has his first T-shirt line. It’s impressive! He produced and sold his own T-shirt line of 500 pieces put & sown together by following his own ways, whims, and inventions while in high school. There everyone calls him KINK – because of his creative whims – and this is where he has to focus on visual and creative things, and not on words and books, because he has dyslexia. So he tattoos his first brand name of his first clothing line on his arm at that time; it’s aptly called KINK-LESS, KINK for Kevin the Creative in high school, and Less for Les, his buddy with whom together he makes the first line of merchandise. He still dreads the many dire hours spent working up in the attic in Rotterdam and swears never to go back there. And he shakes his head and affirms when we ask him, “so you are no Coco Chanel?”

Kinkless
But there is still a following and second tattoo on his arm, only the second part of his body-timeline; and it is the second line in self-designed clothes, this time a type of jeans, done no more than two years later. Miraculously the tattoo shows a pair of jeans visibly stuck under a grey sewing machine testimony, witness and evidence to his second line of merchandise and clothing design, just two years later when he turns 18. We would like to know more about his forays in design, but for now the designer tattoos body time-line ends in the here and the now, at least for the time being.

JeansKevin
Kevin clearly has so many talents that he does not want to work and sweat away in attics and become the next Dutch Viktor as in Rolf, as would be Kink & Less, but before leaving the topic of design behind in the interview, BDMOTP finds out that unlike in American high school where dress and fashion are usually part of a code to which group you belong and with which you can distinguish yourself, that in Holland fashion trends are actually set & made in high school by creative students and teenage fashionistas. Thus, in the same way as the latest in pop and music style often finds its creative roots in American high schools, we find out that in Holland creative ideas and fashion trends are made in Dutch high schools, maybe if not in concept, then definitely in trend, style, and even in design as evidenced by Kevin’s first creations as a teenager

BDMOTP asks Kevin about how such a well-branded commercial city & multi-verse as Amsterdam (in the small walk from the hotel to the meeting place with Kevin there are so many high-end brand name concept stores that one has the idea one is in Amsterdam for the reason only of shopping in a luxury factory outlet village) can still produce new ideas and new concepts or designs and new trends. “Holland is small,” he says and, “very American” in its consumer culture so that nothing original remains, so for us to find original styles and trend setters we will have to visit Scandinavia, because a real trend in fashion is “so very Stockholm”. Holland has become a mall, a destiny of sorts for tourists who have come to expect all major brands, a large mall in fact, a gentrified and sanitized place surrounded by beautiful canals and old merchant houses, indeed resembling a factory outlet of sorts. This is what people visiting have come to expect and no original style or trend survives – except in high school apparently.

But then where does Kevin’s creativity & style come from in that case!? The summarized answer is intriguing: Because of the Raggedy Ann patchwork of commercialism in Holland new creative works and ideas flow from the kaleidoscopic mosaic of crass branding commercialism of concept and design stores. While old merchant houses from the 17th century lining the canals inspire tourists to come, at the same time, all the new concept stores & high-end brand “houses” lining the canals of the old commercial city, today inspire creativity in the way primary colors and black or grey straight lines used to inspire Mondrian to come up with new creative patchworks of art, of design, of fashion!? New ideas flow from the variety of forms and colors of the grand commercial patchwork. Is not Holland after all the venue of the world’s the first stock market, the world’s first myriad of companies? Crass commercialism comes to mean creativity and thus Kevin finds inspiration in marketing and selling himself: ‘I am a little marketing thing’, he says.

KevinTurban
And then, right in the middle of our search for where lies the source for creativity in fashion and in style in contemporary Holland, the conversation takes an unexpected and enlightening turn: Because Kevin says that it is the love–connection, oops, no, sorry, the love attraction, that really matters to him as the most important source for creative inspiration. After all we are in Amsterdam and it is all about good vibes as we are having lunch in front of the flower market –the “bloemen markt”. The conversation is open now, and yes, the notorious Amsterdam tolerance toward drugs can be an inspiration for creative design & concepts, but what leaves the lasting and important impression to BDMOTP for this article, is Kevin’s full embrace of what he calls the love attaction, the good vibe, also called the love frequency, which, Kevin says we can even find and listen to on the radio at 52HZ (I suppose that is AM as there must be cracks in the line!?). Trying to follow his “vibe’”in my mind’s ear I now hear the Mamas & the Papas singing the California Dreamin: Creativity, love, fashion, concept, design, style, commercialism, patchworks, aye, colors – it’s all coming together all of a sudden during this “experience” on the innermost of the old Amsterdam canals – I kid you not, while eating health food and sipping homemade lemon ice tea.

Kevin is now on a roll and continues about how important it is in his profession to “radiate, open up and expose yourself”. And his latest endeavor, a grand “exposé” – a new exposure – will be the next part of Kevin’s timeline, a tattoo which will cover his entire back. And so today BDMOTP can reveal – you heard it here first – the next grand tattoo of Kevin van Delsen, Dutch fashion model extraordinaire: On his back will feature a back-size tattoo of a spine, cartledge, and bones, opened up by a zipper from the bottom to the top so that intestines will show: A horrifying open back, a powerful symbol indeed. It is Kevin’s new product, his new concept, his new design: Show yourself, open yourself up, expose yourself until your insides are coming out, go naked, be filmed, be shown, be photographed, don’t be afraid and most of all follow the love attraction. You are beautiful, you have style, give yourself up and your inside will reveal your guts and your beauty, and you will radiate & shine! Do it on the runway, with your hairstyle, on your body as a tattoo, and of course do it in the way you dress, the way you smile, the way you walk, the way you talk. Kevin indeed is an inspiration to all men in this way, as probably these are the things that traditionally are easier for women than for men, but maybe I am wrong.

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We close the interview and pay for the tab, and of course ask Kevin the signature question: who he thinks is the best dressed man on the planet. Rather matter-of-factly but unassumingly he answers quite naturally that he is the best dressed man on the planet, and he leaves us with a memorable quote:
“If you are the best dressed man on the planet you cannot just BUY (style, brands, clothes, etc.)”.
“You must DARE …”

Ladies & gentlemen, BDMOTP has the honor to present to you Kevin Van Delsen, fashion model extraordinaire from Amsterdam, who DARES to expose himself as the Best Dressed Man on the Planet (or at least one of them!). 

KVD

Interview by Sandro Joo.

Manny De La Rosa (aka Manny the Movie Guy) brightens up the days of viewers from Palm Springs and Las Vegas to Fort Myers, Florida – not to mention ANC, the 24-hour news on the Filipino Channel and Balitang America.  Born in the Philippines, Manny incorporates his native-country’s strong use of bright colors into his wardrobe. He met his partner, Kevin, at college at Purdue University and they’ve been together for 20 years.

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield sat down with the three-time Emmy winner to talk about his colorful fashion sense and his sunny approach to life.

Manny de la Rosa looks fabulous in his bright colors!

Manny de la Rosa loves wearing bright colors!

How would you describe your sense of style?  I want to call it Target-chic with designer sensibilities!  At the end of the day, it’s not who you wear but how you wear it!  I scour everything!  I love going to Kohl’s and Target for cheaper socks and underwear, I also enjoy visiting Uniqlo when I’m in New York because they have fun sensibilities!  And then I go to Macy’s for cologne and great deals.  Let me tell ‘ya, their one day sale rocks!  And if I’m feeling rich, I visit the Shops on El Paseo in Palm Desert for some designer deals.  And then lastly, I also love going to resale shops because I’m a child of the ’80s and I grew up idolizing the cheap but fun iconic fashions that Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Boy George used to wear that they bought in resale shops.  I still have that in me.   You can buy your clothes cheaply, but it’s all about the attitude…honey – HA!

I love how you often wear bright colors – Have you ever had your colors done? Are you a “summer?” (ha ha)  Thanks!  And yes, I’m definitely a summer.  I want to think that I have a colorful personality and so I dress appropriately to match my mood.  It just so happens that I’m always in a bright, cheery mood, hence, the colorful outfits!

I know sometimes, you create your own fashions… Oh my gosh, the stars normally compliment me on my outfits when I specifically wear T-shirts designed for the movie that I made myself using iron-ons!  For example, when I interviewed the “Puss in Boots” cast, everyone from Antonio Banderas to Zach Galifianakis had a laugh because I made a shirt that has “I love pussy” on it (or “I love cats” if you’re not dirty-minded).  When I talked to the cast of “Les Miserables,” I wore a shirt that I designed myself and Anne Hathaway told me,  “I don’t know what award you’re going to get, but you will get one tonight” because of my outfit.  And of course, I told her, I know what award you’re going to get and it’s for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.  And she won.

Where do you take your cues on fashion?  I really don’t follow trends via celebrities and stylists.  I love marching to the beat of my own drum.  When it comes to choosing outfits, I follow my heart more than my mind.  I’ve always subscribed to that ideology.

How tall are you and what is your advice for those of us who aren’t exactly built for the runway?

Oh my gosh, I’m a Hobbit!  I’m 5’5″, and so I like wearing tapered jeans or pants (hurrah for skinny jeans) to accentuate my legs, and longer jackets and coats to give me that slimmer, taller look.

Who do you think are the best dressed men in Hollywood?  I admire my fellow Filipino, Bruno Mars, for his fun outfits.  You know who also makes me look is Daniel Radcliffe.  He can wear a Simon Spurr three-piece with a black-on-black ensemble and then, gleefully wear sneakers!  I love that!  Ryan Gosling also rocks it, and if we’re going back in time, I would love to emulate Marlon Brando circa “The Wild One.”  If Ellen DeGeneres is a man I would include her here because I love the way she wears her suit and yep, sneakers!

Who are your favorite designers?  The movie buff in me would love to say Alexander McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and Tom Ford (“A Single Man”) because not only are they accomplished designers, they’re also taking Hollywood by storm with their award-worthy films.  But I love Alexander Wang for,his fun sensibilities, and John Varvatos for his contemporary chic.

Tell me about your bracelets:  Oh, thanks for noticing them.  I am a very superstitious being so I love wearing lucky bracelets — one’s for career, the other’s for love, and some are for protection against negative people.  But I’m also a Catholic boy at heart so I wear a rosary bracelet.  I buy them from all over the place.  There’s a novelty store in Idyllwild, CA that sells my fun bracelets.  There’s also a psychic store in Palm Springs called Crystal Enlightenment Center that I visit every now and then.

The stars seem to really love you – who are some of your favorites? I’ve noticed that the bigger of a star they are, the better!  I admire George Clooney for his relaxed and jovial attitude; Cate Blanchett for her willingness to truly listen; and Sandra Bullock for her fun repartee.  But I also love Josh Brolin and Sam Worthington for their willingness to play and banter with little old me.  Oh, and just recently, I had a great time talking to Harrison Ford about gay rights, and Emma Thompson (who’s marvelous in “Saving Mr. Banks”) about her passion!

Where do you get all of your energy?  Coffee and positive thinking!  I always believe that you get from the universe the amount of energy you put out there.  So every morning, I drink lots of coffee and then I have a little talk with the universe.  Oh, and walking on the tread mill helps too!

Any other insights you want to share? I’m truly honored to be a part of your successful Best Dressed Men on the Planet list, even though I don’t specifically look at myself as somebody fashion-worthy.  I dress to have fun and conquer the world, one smile and bright color at a time!

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Manny’s bracelets aren’t just stylish-they’re for luck too!

Interview by Steve Oldfield

George Pennacchio: InVESTed In His Reporting

GeorgePennacchio1(original)BySteveOldfield

George Pennacchio is one of America’s best-loved critics and entertainment reporters – not to mention one of the most dapper dressers. The three-time Emmy winner has worked for KABC-TV in Los Angeles for nearly two decades and he is seen around the world on ABC’s syndicated Oscar “pre” and “post” shows. He also has covered Dancing With the Stars (U.S. Edition) since the beginning.

Every time George is working, he wears a different vest, all made by his designer wife, Erin (Pennacchio), who designs custom clothes for women. George is her only male client. Erin’s made him more than 300 vests and everyone from Sandra Bullock to Russell Crowe has complimented George on the look.

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When they’re not attending a major premiere or traveling around the world, George and Erin help to rescue Greyhound dogs.

George talked with long-time friend and colleague, BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield, about his vests and his keen sense of fashion.

How did you get started wearing vests?
“One day, some 20+ years ago, my soon-to-be wife decided to make me a vest. She thought it might look nice on television. No one was wearing them at the time so it quickly became a look. My then boss decided he wanted me to look more casual on the newsroom set so he asked me to take off the suit coat! I did. The vests then became even more noticeable. I’ve worn them ever since.
I’ve bought fabric from our travels all over the world–from Milan to Vietnam. Friends and fans have also gifted me with fabrics that Erin has turned into vests. My collection also includes vests made just for the Oscars celebrating the nominated pictures.”

Erin, the mastermind (and George's wife!) behind George's fantastic vest collection!

Erin, the mastermind (and George’s wife!) behind George’s fantastic vest collection!

I know Erin is very clever –Can you share some of the family’s fashion secrets?
“You need a varied wardrobe when you’re on television every day so I find myself buying a lot of ties. As styles have changed and more mixed patterns are being used, Erin has been taking old ties and turning them into new pocket squares! Also, when nothing seems to work to put in the suit pocket, she has me drop my pants and then she just scissors off the bottom of the shirt enough to pin into my suit pocket. The look is suddenly complete! She also pins all of my pocket squares into my suit so they never disappear from view. Another trick, to make an inexpensive look more expensive: Change the buttons! Most men’s suits–whether they’re $100 or $1,000–have the same cheap buttons. I’ve walked into interviews with major movie and television stars who’ve said to me, “Great suit!” I just say, “Thank you.” I know the buttons have improved the look of a suit I paid $120 for on sale!”

What’s your advice to men about fashion – and rocking the perfect vest?
“When it comes to fashion, own your look. I’ve worn vests when they’re “in” and when they’re “out” and I’ve always felt at home in them. Whatever you rock, roll with it!”

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I have always respected your work covering “Dancing With the Stars.” What do you love about the cast/crew?
“I’ve covered “Dancing With The Stars” since the first week. Now, in Season 17, it’s still a lot of fun and a lot of work! I like covering it because the stars and their partners really work very hard and they’re excited when they do well, sad when they don’t, irritated when they think they unfairly scored, exuberant when they do something special, heartbroken when they’re eliminated. The teams almost always become very close and it’s emotional every week as people are sent packing. It is nice to see these friendships bond with- sometimes–the unlikeliest of people. I feel like a part of the furniture now.”

A very well-dressed part of the furniture – with a VEST of course!

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You can Follow George on Twitter @abc7george

Posted by Steve Oldfield

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield sits down with celeb Eric Bana in NYC and they chat about fashion, cars, and more!

 

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield chats with Eric Bana from BDMOTP on Vimeo.

Shawn Edwards is a popular personality in Kansas City, where he is featured on the local Fox station. Shawn is a founding member of the African American Film Critics Association and served as its first president. He has written for Vibe, The Source and XXL magazines and Shawn currently working on a book about contemporary black movies entitled Little Black Sambo’s Revenge: The Best of Black Film.

We caught up with Shawn inside the Waldorf Astoria, where he had just interviewed Eric Bana for his new film, “Closed Circuit.”

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1.  What’s your must-carry item when you’re on the road to feel stylish?
Gotta rock a dope bag. I got stuff.

2. Where did you learn your sense of style?
My grandfather who lived in Princeton, New Jersey was the most stylish man I’ve ever known. Dude was always sharp and had mad wisdom.

3. What do you love about the store that supplies your clothes to wear on-air?
They put things together in creative and unexpected ways!

4.  Who do you think are the most put-together, stylish actors you’ve interviewed?
Justin Timberlake stays fresh. A lot of classic and traditional stuff but always clean. Terrence Howard is sophisticated but daring. A true fashion risk taker. Lilly Collins is a young gun but her fashion game is money. She’s very versatile but always fly.

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Shawn is wearing a Moods of Norwary Jacket, an Imaginary Foundation T-Shirt,  Ben Sherman Pants and J. Crew Boots.

Interview by Steve Oldfield

Chris is a radio and television personality in Cleveland. The Canadian-born talent was named Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Bachelor of the Year for 2011 and donated the $10,000 prize money to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. He was recently awarded the “Personality of the Year” honor from the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. We caught up with Chris at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC where he traveled to interview the stars of “The World’s End” and “Closed Circuit.”

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1) What’s your must-carry item when you’re on the road to feel stylish?
If I’m traveling for work, a suit is an absolute must-have for me. And great shoes too. When I’m conducting an interview, I firmly believe in the idea of dressing in a manner that shows that you respect the person you are speaking with. I feel like it’s very easy to under dress for a situation, but you can’t overdress.

2) Where did you learn your sense of style?
I would stay my personal style is a real mash up from a lot of different places. Being a big movie fan, I take note of what an actor is wearing both on the screen and on the red carpet. I also love checking out new styles in magazines like GQ or Esquire and picking up ideas from there. I do little things with each outfit to try to make what I’m wearing stand out, even just slightly. Whether it’s a different colored button hole on the sleeve of my suit, or adding a tie bar or a pocket square. I also love socks. Even if no one else sees them, I love knowing that I have crazy socks on.

3) Who do you think are the most put-together, stylish actors you’ve interviewed?
Hugh Jackman is not only one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, his style is always on point whether he’s dressed up or dressed down, same thing with Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum and Will Smith just to name a few. Being a huge professional wrestling fan since I was a kid, I think The Miz (who just so happens to be from Cleveland) always has great style with great suits both in the ring and the many times I’ve interviewed him.

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Interview by Steve Oldfield

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield catches up with Godfrey Gao, considered to be the ” First Asian Supermodel” in Los Angeles.  Gao, starring in a new movie,  “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”, speaks about his must-have items and gives style advice.

godfreyGao BDMOTP from Alton Barber on Vimeo.

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