Dandy Wellington: “Hats are the ultimate form of self-expression”

Dandy Wellington: “Hats are the ultimate form of self-expression”

My private fashion signifier put on a dressy hat, whether or not classic or fashionable however at all times handmade and punctiliously crafted. I’ve over 50 dressy hats – from fedoras to cowboy hats to straw boater hats. They’re the final word type of self-expression. The primary prime hat I purchased was an early 20’s form, and I nonetheless put on it – it goes nice with a white tie and 30’s ponytails. I’ve a couple of too- ones from a tremendous younger Australian producer referred to as Blakesby Hats, in addition to Stetson in the USA, who revolutionized the cowboy hat.

Wellington removable collars from RJW Shirts © Timothy O’Connell

The very last thing I purchased and favored was a removable collar sequence from RJW Shirts in Australia. They’ve a wide range of historic designs which might be each inflexible and very snug – even when it seems like a contradiction – and washable. As an artist and somebody who attends a whole lot of occasions, having washable collars is essential. rjwshirts.net

Once I must really feel impressed, I hearken to Fat Waller, the nice American pianist and songwriter, who co-wrote lots of of songs however was well-known for his spirited piano enjoying and humorous repartee. So my band takes a leaf out of their ebook relating to really feel and sound. Additionally The Boswell Sisters, one of many final feminine vocal teams of the 20s and 30s. There’s a lot to listen to of their songs.

His vintage New York taxi replica
His classic New York taxi duplicate © Timothy O’Connell

The place meaning so much to me is England. My mom is from Jamaica, so I grew up listening to a lot about this place, and I keep in mind being in love with London the primary time I went there. I had the pleasure of enjoying the Roundhouse and attending Goodwood clockwhich is the convergence of my childhood love for Britain with my appreciation of classic tradition and historical past.

Red Carpet Treatment, by Joe Boatner's Inkblots
Purple carpet remedy, by Joe Boatner’s inkblots © Timothy O’Connell

And the most effective reminiscence I introduced residence is The Ink Spots on vinyl, from a thrift retailer in Chilly Spring, up the Hudson from New York. They have been a part of a vocal legacy in early music and jazz, all through the 20s, 30s and 40s; bands which have taken the gospel and black church custom and introduced it right into a extra secular setting. They’re lesser recognized than among the different bands of the period, however they’ve some actual gems. I am a little bit of a document collector, primarily 78s and some 45s.

The podcast I hearken to is The best erawhich is a star trek podcast. Though I am obsessive about music, trend, and artwork, I am additionally very drawn to the magical nerdery of sci-fi. There’s nonetheless a lot to study it; the journey by no means ends. I really like a psychological trip – and it is a good way to understand one thing you already love.

Fred Astaire in the 1935 film Top Hat

Fred Astaire within the 1935 movie Prime Hat © Ullstein Bild through Getty Photographs

My fashion icons are Fred Astaire, the quintessential music and dance man of his time, who launched so many commonplace songs into the jazz canon; and Duke Ellington. The place Astaire carried out, Ellington created symphonies that basically encapsulated the black American expertise. They usually each had such sharpness, effortlessly style. The Thirties are broadly thought-about the golden age of menswear, and for me that is actually the place I dwell: the width of lapels and pants, the match of jackets, the fashion of hats… Every thing is so good. And Astaire and Ellington have been at their peak within the Thirties.

His Lyon and Healy c1930 cornet and his Shure Super 55 microphone

His Lyon and Healy c1930 cornet and his Shure Tremendous 55 microphone © Timothy O’Connell

I not too long ago rediscovered The reluctant dragon. I went by means of the Disney+ vault and got here throughout this quick movie that I liked to observe as a child.

The portrait of Louis Armstrong offered to Wellington

The portrait of Louis Armstrong provided to Wellington © Timothy O’Connell

The very best reward I’ve acquired is a portray by Louis Armstrong, given to me by the grandson of pianist Marty Napoleon, who performed with him. It isn’t a promotional picture, however him enjoying the trumpet, sweat operating down his face. It is so stunning, from the person who gave us our sense of rhythm and the brilliance of Jazz.

Its collection of modern and vintage vermouths

His assortment of recent and classic vermouths © Timothy O’Connell

In my fridge you’ll at all times discover a variety of cheeses – one thing easy like Wisconsin cheddar or goat cheese – and an assortment of jams and jellies from locations like Fortnum & Mason. As a baby, my mom and I at all times had afternoon tea collectively a couple of instances per week – normally tea, crackers, cheese and jam. You must also at all times have vermouth within the fridge, for those who actually wish to make cocktails. My go-tos are Manhattans, Negronis or, my favourite, an Outdated Pal, which is Campari, rye and vermouth.

Wellington loves vintage culture and history
Wellington loves classic tradition and historical past © Timothy O’Connell

An object that I might by no means half with It is my Thirties white tie and tailcoat swimsuit. I discovered it at Cobblestones Classic within the East Village and it is in good situation. It is navy blue wool, with panels right down to the calf and really excessive pants. I put on it to play or for a particular dinner.

The final music I downloaded was an incredible little music referred to as “Opus One” by The Mills Brothers. It was composed in 1943 and there is not a lot to it, but it surely’s an instance of their greatness. The lyrics are very a lot within the vein of what you hear in 70s hip-hop, that are principally references [to other artists].

Her collection of bow ties

His assortment of bow ties © Timothy O’Connell

I’ve a group of ties and bow ties – I not too long ago had to purchase a second rack to put in all of them. I’ve a mixture of classic and new, normally from Ralph Lauren, Paul Stuart and Kent & Curwen. It does not matter what fashion stage you are at or whether or not you are constructing a wardrobe – you may costume up any outfit with the suitable equipment. They usually’re typically essentially the most inexpensive issues to purchase, as a result of you will get a whole lot of mileage on a tie.

Wellington cross calico cat and trench coat

Wellington calico cat and double-breasted trench coat © Timothy O’Connell

An indulgence I will by no means quit are digestive biscuits, normally the darkish chocolate ones from McVities, which I take with tea. I additionally love Tim Tams – the person behind Blakesby Hats despatched me a stash with my newest buy, a tremendous large western hat from Australia.

The one artist whose work I might gather if I might is Archibald Motley. When you’ve ever wished to know what a celebration primarily based on a portray was like, that is your man. We hear so much in regards to the previous by means of historic narratives and so they typically come from the mouths of the institution, or regardless of the ruling class is. However, for African People, a whole lot of our historical past is verbal, so to have an artist like Archibald Motley paint their historical past, their actuality, is a extremely highly effective factor. I’ve a sense of get faith on my wall.

His white Cole Haan shoes
His white Cole Haan buck footwear © Timothy O’Connell

The final merchandise of clothes I added to my wardrobe is a pair of cream suede footwear by Cole Haan. I walked into Slone Classic in LA, and there they have been, in attractive situation, and so they match like a glove. I truly received fairly a couple of issues from the identical go to – a black double-breasted trench coat, which is a bit movie noir, and a pair of Forties navy pleated pants with an ombre overcheck.

The important magnificence that I by no means half with is the Juniper Sling perfume from Penhaligon’s. I began working with them in 2020, but it surely was an organization I wished to have on my dressing desk for a very long time. They’ve a panoramic aesthetic and heritage. The scent may be very near gin – it is candy, musky and light-weight sufficient to put on even on a sizzling day.

His collection of straw boaters hangs on the wall

His straw boater assortment hangs on the wall © Timothy O’Connell

Blakesby Hats Personalized Western Hat
Blakesby Hats customized western hat © Timothy O’Connell

Items of artwork that modified all the things for me are MGM musicals like Sing within the rain or the RKO musicals Fly to Rio and The homosexual divorcee. They gave me an entire sense of efficiency. There’s typically an unrecognized connection between musical theater and early jazz, which is actually early pop music. So it was an ideal studying floor – like jazz college.

My Grooming Guru is Michael Haar, proprietor of Haar & Co Barbershop within the West Village. Born and raised in New York, Queens, he understands hospitality and a spotlight to element. Her store is heat and welcoming, a house away from residence. My hair is not a tough factor to do – I principally shave my head – so if I’ve to do it wherever, I will do it as a part of a pleasant expertise.

The very best recommendation I’ve ever acquired was from showbiz pal Murray Hill, who mentioned, “When you do not see your self represented, symbolize your self.” I’ve at all times thought it was a robust factor to go on to others who do not at all times really feel snug strolling right into a room or citing a subject that is not but talked about. It might suck, there could also be this symbolism, however it’s a must to do it.

The very best reward I’ve given is a sequence of 4 carousel-related framed patent illustrations that I gave to my associate. We’re an entire workforce obsessive about carousels, whether or not it is mechanics, design, development, story, or music.

Dandy Wellington in his living room
Dandy Wellington in his lounge © Timothy O’Connell

My favourite room in my home is the lounge – it is the place tons of household capabilities happen, the place the Christmas tree goes, but it surely’s additionally a quiet place. You possibly can sit on one of many chairs and go to sleep with a ebook. And there is a piano, so there’s been a whole lot of gigs too.

Assortment of Framed Prints, Posters and Postcards from the Wellington Collection

Assortment of framed prints, posters and postcards from the Wellington Assortment © Timothy O’Connell

In one other life I might have been an architect. Once I was younger I liked enjoying with Lego – I used to be at all times constructing stuff and excited about development and design. And rising up in Harlem, surrounded by all these stunning brownstones and buildings, I do not know how one can’t respect the structure.

My favourite constructing is Sylvan Terrace in Harlem. It’s a avenue that’s simply off St Nicholas Avenue and goes as much as the Morris-Jumel mansion. It is one of the vital distinctive streets in New York, with stunning cobblestones and tall picket homes, most of which have been inbuilt 1882. It is a tremendous little landmark.

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