The Armour of The Cultured Man
“In the morning, the day we were to leave, I had been dressed as finely as if I were to be photographed, I had been given a new hat and a velvet jacket,” writes Marcel Proust in In Search of Lost Time from the early 1900s.
In his work, velvet or corduroy becomes a noble textile.
Oscar Wilde, his contemporary, also had a weakness for the textile. Wilde wore fancy velvet in protest against the dominant dark garments, he declared.
Later, many other artists, intellectuals, and indeed those with aspirations to be something in the world of culture, were to be attracted to the textile.
Woody Allen uses the symbolic power of corduroy, when he dresses a leading man (and himself) in corduroy. Wes Anderson, who is an auteur like Woody Allen, is also a real velvet man. The textile, whether ribbed or with a plush finish, has become a stylistic signature for him.
As for the photo, I’m wearing slack jacket and trousers from heavy corduroy. On my feet a pair of bespoke Vienna shoes.