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Category Archives: Fashion

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Has ever a sport done so much for fashion as golf? Being the preserve of the bourgeoisie and steeped in tradition and etiquette golf demanded smart but serviceable attire. Whereas the earliest pros would be decked out as if they were going grouse shooting on the inhospitable Scottish moors, by the middle of the 20th century golf was developing a sartorial code of it’s own.
Top line:Here we see Henry Cotton sporting an Argyle sweater and plus fours.Sam Snead has a very rakish American style, the F. Scott Fitzgerald of the sportsworld, whereas debonair Max Faulkner looks as though he’s just popped out of the office.
Kathy Whitworth shows the move into more chic and daring styles for lady golfers in the swinging sixties. Middle line: Ben Hogan- the master of casual; four unknown gents in the thirties displaying a remarkable example of fairway dandyism; Moe Norman, a true genius of the game- this is the era when sportswear became distinct from the generic casual look- where else could a grown man wear those pants other than on the golf course? Bottom line: Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) and James Bond (Sean Connery) illustrate the contrast between the old and the new. Kathy Whitworth again- modern prints, slim waist, suntan; Kel Nagle, the Australian penchant for hats reached into the present day thanks to Greg Norman; Gary Player typifies the slim clean cut look of the sixties- the first mod- golfer.
In the next few weeks we’ll see the US open and The British Open- there will probably be some remarkable outfits on display, but I doubt that any will match the elegance of the bygone days of tweed and hickory shafts.

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Well, here in the northern hemisphere summer is well and truly upon us. João is brushing down his summer wardrobe ready for the pleasures of the months ahead…

I’ll hopefully get enough time away from my desk to catch some rays poolside with Mrs K.

The only problem with these snappy shorts- where do you keep your pipe? And what’s the appeal of the poolboy?

Seriously though, It would be nice to see a return to the age of elegance in swimwear.


Is Wisconsin the flattest state in the Union?

In the colonial era when DR Congo was known as Zaire , Kinhasa as Leopoldville, a surprising youth culture emerged. There was racial segregation in the city, and most of the Africans were denied a decent education or any opportunity of improving their lot. In the late 1950’s cinemas became very popular in the African quarter. Youths were inspired by Westerns, Buffalo Bill in particular because of his similarity to hunter heroes of Congolese tradition, and Charlton Heston especially for his portrayal of Bill in Pony Express.
The Bills, as they came to be known, were gangs of youths who adopted Western style dress and gave their patches names with a Western flavour, such as Santa Fe or Texas.
The photographs are by Jean Depara(1928-1997), an Angolan who cronichled many aspects of life in Zaire.


Role model: Howard Vernon

Joao Kartoshka has been wearing glasses since the age of 16. At first he didn’t like it. Regardless of the large numbers of people that he saw on the street everyday wearing glasses, and of all the people in the movies, on TV, it just didn’t feel right.

Role Model: Joop van Daele

He loves his glasses now. They are like a prop. For example, if you want to feign reflectiveness, you just pop them off and place the sidearm in your mouth like the stem of a pipe.
I remember at the age of four some white coated person coming to our school to test our eyes- we had to line up and sit on a wooden chair in the middle of the hall. The chart was hung on a board, not on the wall itself, but on this free standing board well away from the wall. I remember being conscious of the fact that my eyelashes were brushing the palm of the lady’s hand as she covered my eye.
Apparently I couldn’t see a thing out of my left eye. Nothing. They were astonished, and sometime shortly afterwards Ma Kartoshka had to march me up the incredibly steep hill to the hospital where they shone all sorts of little torches into my eye in a darkened room that smelled of stainless steel.
The eye was perfect.
For quite some time Ma Kartoshka went on about this unnecessary journey to the hospital- which she described as traipsing. I had enjoyed it; it reminded me of the pre school utopia, being out in the streets when other people were either at work or in school.
I don’t remember, but apparently I confessed that my left eye blindness was caused by boredom. Reading the set of letters twice? No thank you…
A similar situation arose when I was fifteen. This time the procedure was more clinical, more efficient, and apparently my eyesight was now genuinely defective. The person conducting the test couldn’t believe that I didn’t wear glasses already. I read the letter confirming this on the way home. I showed it to Pa Kartoshka.
You don’t want glasses, do you?
Erm…No
That was the end of that- I survived another year or so in the claustrophobic grey blur of myopia before finally yielding.

Here in the northern hemisphere winter is creeping up on us. When I feel that chill in the air and notice that it’s still dark when the old alarm clock rings there is one thing that consoles me. I know that Mrs Kartoshka will soon be reaching for her kniting needles…

I’m not going to post any holiday snaps here, but just take a look at this elegant gentleman:


Joao Kartoshka wishes that he could say that he had cut such a figure as he dragged himself sweatily through airports and railway stations.
If wishes were horses we would all be riders, my friends…

More than 50% of adults in the USA wear glasses. Apparently in some countries the % is higher- South Korea= 80%! Joao Kartoshka wears glasses. the only time this bothers him is during the summer, when the sunglasses come out.

The problem with contact lenses is that you just can’t sleep whenever you want to, and there’s nothing as good as falling asleep in the afternoon. So Joao sticks with the spectacles. Of course, the best bet is to get light sensitive lenses- otherwise the only option is prescription sunglasses and you have to carry a pair of plan spectacles as well, for when you go indoors (unless you want to look like Roy Orbison).

In fantasy world Joao would have 20:20 vision and just pop on a pair of sun glasses whenever the fancy took him.Look at this Ray Ban ad from 1979- they reckon everybody needs six differebnt types of ‘sunglass’… well, they would, wouldn’t they?

Remember Richard Davalos in Cool Hand Luke? Loved those glasses.

Joao Kartoshka likes a hat.
You know that business about JFK killing off hat wearing? It’s an urban myth. JFK’s hatlessness merely reflected a trend– and he did wear the traditional topper to his inauguration.
But look at this ad:

Joao Kartoshka is intrigued by the notion of shaping one’s hat to fit one’s mood! Imagine giving your old fellow a wide berth just because you notice where the creases are in his hat? What about sufferers of affective disorders? Surely their Dobb’s Double Life would wear out in no time!