Sea Island Dreaming

The history and tradition of this spectacular resort fulfill a golf-lover’s fantasy.

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

I’m sitting on the waterfront veranda of The Lodge, one of two luxury hotels at Sea Island Golf Resort. (The Lodge, adjacent to three golf courses on St. Simons Island, feels like an old English manor; The Cloisters, built on Sea Island in 1928 but reintroduced in 2006 after a three-year renovation, blends the history and aesthetics of Mediterranean revival style.) I’m sipping a Jack Daniels, taking in a brilliant sunset, and listening to the soulful sounds of a solitary bagpiper who’s been strolling the shoreline for the past hour. Enchanted by the music, the scenery, the wildlife, the canopy of oak trees and the genteel and gracious hospitality throughout the resort, I’m more relaxed than I’ve been in ages. (I had intended to go for a massage at Sea Island’s famous spa, but after only a few hours at the resort I no longer need one…)

Truth be told: I’m not a golfer but since I’m married to one, I looked forward to a mini-vacation at this renowned Forbes Five-Star resort, home to one of the top-rated golf schools in the country. Little did I know how much the property has to offer above and beyond golf! James Gibson, Sea Island’s VP of operations, lists a hunting lodge, a shooting school, a yacht club featuring fishing, sailing and kayaking, a pristine beach, numerous swimming pools, an award-winning 65,000-square-foot spa, an indoor atrium, many fabulous restaurants (including the five-star Georgian room and my favorite, Colt & Alison) and numerous bars (I loved the Oak Room!) among the resort’s amenities. “Our demographic is multi-generational,” he explains as we sip tea in the historic Trophy Room. “Guests come with their children and grandchildren, couples come for romantic getaways, groups come for golf outings, and of course many PGA golf pros have chosen to make this their home.” Asked to articulate the essence of Sea Island, what makes it truly special,Gibson talks about the employees. “At least 80 of our people have worked here more than 25 years, which is unheard of in our business,” he explains. “Robert, who works in our men’s locker room, has been with us 50 years. Ask him how he’s doing and he’ll always respond ‘Mighty Fine’ which is what we now call him. Our repeat customers always make it a point to visit with Mighty Fine…”

Brannen Veal, Sea Island’s director of golf, grew up playing golf in Macon, Georgia but turned to baseball at Auburn University (his dad had been a professional ball player with the Detroit Tigers). “After college, I went back to golf, starting out as a golf cart attendant as many of us do. I’m a good golfer (Editor’s Note: He’s being modest; he’s actually a scratch golfer.) and I’ve taught in Golf Digest top schools, but my passion is the service aspect: I love helping people enjoy the game.”

Discussing Sea Island’s celebrated state-ofthe- art Golf Performance Center (featuring 3D capture, 13 top-rated instructors, three fitters, two fitness experts and its own psychologist), Veal talks about an individualized approach tailored to personal goals and skill levels. Focusing on five core competencies (long game, short game, fitness, club fitting and mental game), Veal notes that each competency has its own instructors. “Our goal at this Performance Center was to create the ultimate golf experience: the best courses, luxury accommodations, fine dining, top fitness programs, exceptional instructors (who currently work with Davis Love, Matt Kuchar, Harris English, Zach Johnson and other pros) and our own sports psychologist, Dr. Morris “Mo” Pickens.

Veal points out that while many professionals frequent the Performance Center, it’s not just for five-handicappers. “I’d say the average handicap is mid teens, and of course we also welcome beginners. And that’s one of the paradoxes we struggle with: because we have so many pros and so many top-50 teachers, people sometimes assume they’re not good enough to be here. So we’re trying to make the experience less intimidating. It’s essential for us to grow the game and not be so focused on professionals and top amateur players. Sure they’re great, sure we want them here, but it’s just as important to get those beginner golfers who’ve never held a club, to make them feel comfortable so they want to be part of the game.” Delving a bit further into the mental game, Veal jokes that “it’s the one place where I could destroy Dr. Mo: if he knew what was really going on in my head, he might never recover…” More seriously, he explains the process: usually a 30-minute initial assessment followed by Dr. Mo accompanying the golfer on nine holes and then coming up with suggestions. “It’s not earth-shattering stuff: it’s generally about how you compartmentalize, prioritize, focus and then let go. I know that’s oversimplified, but it works. And it’s as applicable to business, and to life, as it is to golf…”

The Fashion Forum

NEVER TOO LATE FOR A CHANGE

We’ve seen a complete changing of the guard in the late-night talk show world, with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, Seth Myers, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah among the funnymen now sitting in the interviewers’ chairs. But if the faces have changed, the uniform has remained mostly the same: dark suit, white or blue shirt, boring tie. While these guys certainly look dapper, one can’t help but feel they could push the sartorial envelope a bit more. Corden is one of the faces of Burberry, so where are the cutting-edge designs and pops of plaid? Fallon recently signed a deal with G-III for licensed athletic wear, so perhaps he’s saving all his creative juices for that collaboration. And would it kill Myers to borrow something more casual and creative from Stefon, his former flame from Saturday Night Live? The time is ripe to start a trend. —Brian Scott Lipton

DURABLE DENIM

Looking at the current high-fashion uses for denim, from three-piece suits to stylish coats, it can be hard to imagine just how utilitarian the cotton fabric was in its earlier days, when it was worn during the California Gold Rush and used to make early 20th-century prison uniforms. That latter usage surprised even fashion historian Emma McClendon, author of the new book Denim: Fashion’s Frontier and curator of the exhibition of the same name at New York City’s Museum at FIT. Still, McClendon admits that denim’s constant permutations really shouldn’t be shocking. “It’s the rare fabric that’s relatively inexpensive to produce, extremely durable, and easy to care for,” she says. —Brian Scott Lipton

THE MAN, THE MYTH

Italians are known to be superstitious, none more so than the Neapolitans.

In addition to the distinctive touch Isaia’s red coral pin adds to the brand’s garments, they believe it also brings luck to the wearer. “We still keep the original piece of Isaia red coral, given to me by a friend, in our Milan flagship store,” says Gianluca Isaia. “And every jacket we make comes with a red coral lapel pin to bring good luck to he who wears it.” The coral motif can also be spotted elsewhere throughout the collection, on buttons, under collars and in stitching.

As Isaia recounts from ancient mythology, Perseus slayed Medusa and delivered her head as a gift to the king of Seriphos, who was to wed his mother. During his travels home, Perseus fell in love with Andromeda, whom he found chained to a rock about to be eaten by the evil sea-monster Cetus. To prove his love and save her life, Perseus killed the terrible beast. As he sat to wash his hands in the sea, Perseus laid down the sack that contained Medusa’s head. Her blood dripped into the water and instantly hardened into the form we recognize today as red coral.

Just as the head of Medusa brought luck to Perseus in his battle with Cetus, red coral brings luck to the distinguished man who chooses an Isaia
garment. —Jillian LaRochelle

FASHIONABLE FRIDA

Is there anything more to know about Frida Kahlo? The great Mexican artist has been given the filmic treatment by Julie Taymor (and played by Salma Hayek), and her work has been displayed everywhere from LACMA to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the New York Botanical Garden. But another side of this groundbreaking woman is explored in Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being(Assouline, $195), a new book by journalist Susana Martinez Vidal that was inspired by an exhibition of Kahlo’s own clothing at her home, La Casa Azul. As Vidal deftly illustrates, Kahlo’s fashion aesthetic is something neither time nor death can diminish. —Brian Scott Lipton

STREET SMART

Amsterdam’s Tassenmuseum gives the term “bag lady” a whole new (chic) meaning.  Inside a beautiful canal-side building, you can view hundreds of purses in various shapes, sizes and designs, spanning from the 1500s to the modern-day. This spring, the museum’s Street Coutureexhibition (through June 5) offers an enlightening perspective on these accessories as it showcases colorful, playful and inventive bags by such top fashionnames as Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior, sometimes pairing them with international fashion ranging from Japanese “Lolita” clothing to American hip-hop outfits to illustrate how one influences the other. It’s definitely worth crossing the Atlantic to witness these crossovers! —Brian Scott Lipton

 

 

Spring ’15 Forecast

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

Sabine Le Chatelier of Premiere Vision

We interviewed Sabine Le Chatelier, of Premiere Vision (the world’s leading fabric trade show) for her take on men’s spring fashion. Here’s what to expect when the weather warms up:

“According to the top fabric mills, suiting fabrics will have a more casual feel for spring ’15, a trend that will influence all categories of menswear. Fabrics will feature more synthetics in the blend, creating a somewhat lustrous finish: not exactly shiny but technical inspired in a contemporary way.

“Lighter colors are taking hold in suits and sportcoats: cool tones like pale grays and shades of blue. There’s also a strong linen trend in suits, but very sophisticated, a clear departure from the soft crinkled linens of yesterday. The new linens are blended with cotton or wool for a fresh modern look with a rustic touch.

“In ties, expect more non-silk styles that reinforce the casual message. In sportswear, you’ll see new sophisticated knit tops in luxury yarns, fashioned into slim T-shirts and polos that work under a suit or sportcoat. And don’t be afraid to wear prints, even florals: these are what will separate the men from the boys…”

Pitti Party

STORY AND IMAGES BY WILLIAM BUCKLEY

Twice a year, the Tuscan city of Florence, Italy welcomes 1,050 exhibitors and more than 30,000 national and international fashion industry insiders to Pitti Uomo, a trade show like no other. Staged in a 16th-century fortress, Pitti is a place to see and be seen: a promenade affectionately known as Peacock Avenue is packed with men dressed to the nines, fervently followed by an equally impressive number of photographers from magazines and websites worldwide. Espresso is sipped in equal measure to bottles of Italian beer and the quintessential cocktail, an Aperol Spritz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the most recent Pitti showcasing spring ’15 fashion, the world-renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli kicked the show off with an exclusive one-night performance with the Cameristi del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino that included an emotive rendition of Schubert’s Ave Maria. The next morning the Prime Minister of Italy officially opened the show, followed by a whirlwind of fashion shows and festas. These included a Gucci museum cocktail party, a Z Zegna performance replete with acrobats and models, an Eton garden party at the Grand Hotel Villa Medici, a Brunello Cucinelli dinner at Il Giardino Torrigiani and an Ermanno Scervino presentation at the Forte Belvedere (where Kim Kardashian and Kanye West held their nuptials) with guests including… Kanye West!

Should you ever find yourself in Florence during this celebration of style, soak it all in. It’s one of the sartorial wonders of the world.

Honoring Arlington

A salute to the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery.

BY CALLY JAMIS VENNARE

U.S. Army veteran Richard Pittsinger served as a distinguished Tomb Guard at Arlington National Cemetery in the 1950s.

Arlington National Cemetery has a rich legacy as one of our national treasures. It serves as the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members, veterans and their families from all branches of the military. “Although not officially a cemetery until 1864, we have veterans from every one of America’s conflicts, beginning with the American Revolution,” says command historian Dr. Stephen Carney. Arlington is still an active cemetery, conducting nearly 7,000 services per year.

If you listen closely, the unmistakable sound of Taps might guide you from the evocative eternal flame, marking the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy, to the majestic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded day and night by the distinguished Tomb Guard sentinel, or Old Guard. Considered to be the very best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving our nation since 1784.

Sunglasses gleaming, shoes shining, uniform pressed and fitted to perfection, each guard marches 21 steps behind the Tomb, pausing for 21 seconds before turning and repeating the process. Back and forth, stoic and proud. Footsteps always clicking in sync with the number 21, symbolic of the highest honor that can be bestowed upon the American soldier “Known But to God”: the 21-gun salute.

Beyond the Tomb, more sights and sounds remain to be seen, including the open-air Memorial Amphitheatre, where crowds gather to hear performances and dedications, and wreath-laying ceremonies that pay respect to our nation’s fallen heroes. It’s no wonder that Arlington National Cemetery hosts over three million visitors each year, including dignitaries from around the world. After 150 years, its significance and legacy remain stronger than ever.

A MUSICAL TRIBUTE: Scott Eyerly’s Arlington Sons illuminates a universal experience—the changing of the guard between generations—in a uniquely American context. The 12-minute duet by bass-baritone David Pittsinger and his son Richard honors David’s late father, a U.S. Army veteran who served as a distinguished Tomb Guard at Arlington National Cemetery in the 1950s. It is believed to be the first-ever musical work written for a real-life father and son.

Following premiere performances with the West Point Band and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a release on iTunes earlier this year, Arlington Sons was praised by D.C. radio station Classical WETA: “Through this lyrical and intimate musical work, a family’s moment on a sunny hilltop becomes a loving lesson in honor, sacrifice and patriotism.”

Reinventing the Suit

Brunello Cucinelli is changing the way men look, and feel, in a suit.

BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN

Throughout the ages, men’s clothing designers have tried to create suits that convey both power and comfort, yet too often it’s a trade-off. Power suits are frequently rigid and/or overly structured so the wearer looks uncomfortable; soft suits can lack shape and substance meaning the wearer loses the presence and panache that a proper suit conveys. But with his recent foray into tailored clothing, Brunello Cucinelli is reinventing the suit as a luxury garment that men can live in!

The new Cucinelli tailored clothing is crafted in the recently purchased D’Avenza factory, reputed to be the finest in the world. “Expanding into fine tailoring was a natural evolution of our menswear collection,” Cucinelli explains. Since suits require a different level of expertise than sportswear, he sought out, purchased and collaborated with this highly respected clothing facility, working carefully with the artisans to ensure that the suits have his particular fit and relaxed sensibility. These are full-canvas garments, entirely hand-made. It’s the shoulder that’s particularly unique: semi-constructed so that there’s enough structure for shape (so it doesn’t look like a sweater) but not so much to make it stiff and unnatural. “The broad but soft shoulder paired with the trimmer waist and shorter length of the jacket creates a modern aesthetic. The minimal construction allows for easy wear; the half-lined interior minimizes the weight and allows the jacket to conform to the body,” Cucinelli explains.

While the company has always been known for elegant sportswear, the new emphasis is on clothes with a more tailored image. Even outerwear has a more sartorial touch: overcoats are about six centimeters longer. Fabrics are less tech-y and more sartorial, many in fine wools and cashmeres. The look is still relaxed, but definitely more professional.

Brunello Cucinelli started out in 1978 at age 25 with a small workshop, evolving his business into an international luxury brand with more than 1,200 employees. Based in the 14th-century hamlet of Solomeo, Cucinelli restored a castle to its ancient splendor and purchased a second facility at the foot of the town. In addition to his world-class fashion, he is recognized for his humanistic ideals, placing people at the center of his enterprise, always with respect for the environment. In 2013 he received an award from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage for contributing to the moral, cultural and civic growth of his country.

Ask Forum: Fall 2014 Fashion Tips for Him

Courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna

Q: Other than for weddings and special events, I don’t wear suits much these days. Is it okay to pull out what’s in my closet for occasional dress-up events?

Probably not. Although menswear is evolution rather than revolution, suits that are more than five years old, even from the best makers, will definitely look dated: trousers too long and baggy, jackets too roomy, shoulders too padded. Designers have gradually gone slimmer in suits, sportcoats and trousers, and fabrics have evolved so that today’s suits are more comfortable and travel- friendly than the old stuff in your closet. We’re betting you’ll find our fall ’14 suits so comfortable that you’ll choose to wear them in more casual settings, even when no suit is required.

 

Q: Is it okay to text or email my sales associate when I have a wardrobe question? How can I maximize our relationship?

Not only is it okay, but they would totally appreciate it! (Well maybe not at 3:00 a.m…) Our sales people have a wealth of information that can help you look your best every day. They can email you photos of new items as they arrive in store that will work with what you’ve already bought. They can inform you about the best-fitting jeans. They can help you match colors and patterns or figure out which tie to wear with which shirt collar. (For example, your new skinny tie is not likely to work with a cutaway collar shirt, but yes, you can wear the brown suede shoes with your gray suit!) They can also suggest the perfect gift, wrap it and send it without you needing to leave your desk. Never be afraid to contact your sales associate for any fashion-related issue: their passion for fine clothing is the reason they chose this career, and your trust in them is the ultimate compliment.

Q: I see that a lot of my favorite brands have their own stores: do you carry the same styles they do?

Sometimes there’s crossover, but we try to customize our mix to the needs of our community. While fashion has become somewhat international, our buyers know their customers personally so it’s easy for them to fine-tune assortments to specific tastes and lifestyles. Another advantage of shopping an independent store: since we carry so many top brands, we can suggest how to mix your favorite pieces so you’re not dressed head-to-toe in a single designer. This type of brand blending adds creativity and personality to your look so you won’t see yourself coming and going. Stop by and we’ll show you how to do it!

Designed to Thrill

A look inside the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition.

BY DAVID A. ROSE

Italy is renowned for many fine products: cuisine, wines and luxury fashions instantly come to mind. But high on the list of Italian gems are its exotic sports cars. Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati set the bar for fast and exquisitely designed racing machines. Every so often this automotive world crosses paths with the world of high-end fashions, but rarely have the results been so intriguing.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Maserati marque, the company has collaborated with top fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna to offer a limited series of 100 Maserati Quattroporte high-performance luxury cars. The 100 numbered cars represent each year Maserati has been in production.

When two highly respected global companies of this caliber work together on a project, it becomes a celebration of Italian production and design not just from a standpoint of mechanical know-how, but also of fabric innovation. Ermenegildo Zegna was established as a fine woolen mill in 1910 and today is known not only for its clothing designs, but also for its unparalleled creation of original fabrics.

An exclusive Owner’s Collection kit is Ermenegildo Zegna’s gift with purchase. The kit includes personal accessories and 10 yards of Zegna silk in the same chevron pattern used on the car’s seats.

Reminiscent of the finest Zegna suit, the silk fabric used for the car’s roof lining exhibits a tasteful and classic touch. The combination of leather and silk appears in soft shades of gray and cappuccino, which exude the tone of a Zegna menswear collection and give the vehicle its strong masculine identity. The exterior shade, developed exclusively for the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition, is called Platinum Silk. The exterior appeal of the car is further enhanced by the stunning 20” polished wheels.

To drive a beautiful car is very satisfying, but the experience would be quite lacking if the car’s performance did not match its elegant looks. In this regard, the Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition will not disappoint. Thanks to its twin turbo V/8 and 530 horsepower, the car can catapult from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 191. Not only will the owner turn heads as he cruises along Main Street, but the vehicle’s speed and handling will impress even the most accomplished driver.

World Scene

Experience life’s little luxuries.

BY DONALD CHARLES RICHARDSON

Courtesy of Eduardo Patino

BALLET BECOMES YOU

Ballet Hispanico is the foremost Latino dance company in the United States. This dazzling young group of wonderfully talented dancers, with a repertoire of over 100 works, creates a brilliant theatrical experience performed to sold-out audiences in America, Europe and South America. “We combine the artistry, technique and physicality of the dancers and imbue ballet with contemporary and Spanish dance,” explains artistic director Eduardo Vilaro. “It’s the passion of the Latino world.” In 2015, Ballet Hispanico will be appearing across the country in cities including Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. To get the insider experience, sign on as a Patron: you’ll meet the dancers, watch rehearsals and even travel with the company.

ROYAL RETREAT

Near the markets and not far from the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakech, secluded on a quiet, narrow street, a modest door opens to an elaborate atrium lined with balconies in rich wood. A former 19th-century palace, the Riad Ayadina is a mixture of light and shadows, cozy nooks and open spaces. The three rooms and six suites have four-poster beds (strewn with rose petals to celebrate your arrival) and copper baths. There’s a swimming pool, hot tub and a spa offering massages, facials and a traditional Moroccan Hammam bath. The charming French owner oversees accommodations and personally arranges the lavish menus. Have breakfast on the roof terrace with views over the old city into the mountains, and dine by candlelight on a three-course fusion of French and Moroccan cuisine in your own private courtyard.

NEED A LIFT?

Davos, Switzerland is the highest city in Europe, home to the amazing Parsenn Mountain (a favorite of freestylers and snowboarders), and
nearby, the new InterContinental Davos. This opulent hotel with a unique golden egg design by Oikos has spacious rooms, each with a balcony overlooking Davos and the mountains. There are three restaurants (at the Capricorn, an alpine brasserie, culinary director Alex Kroll has created a surprisingly delicious hay soup, featuring a Champagne/white wine base and hay grown at or above 2,000 meters). The Alpine Spa uses La Prairie products and indigenous herbs. And after a day on the slopes, the hotel will bring tired skiers home in a horse-drawn carriage that serves warm mulled wine.

THE MUSIC GOES ON AND ON

In 2015, New York City’s legendary Duplex Cabaret Theatre will be celebrating its 65th year. Here, where stars such as Barbra Streisand, Joan Rivers and KT Sullivan honed their skills, the legacy of superb nightly entertainment continues with well-known cabaret performers as well as unique first time acts taking the stage. “The Duplex has always been a place of beginnings,” says program director Thomas Honeck. “We love helping newcomers get their start in New York City, as well as providing a home for award-winning composers and singers.” The Duplex starts its celebration this New Year’s Eve with a show by the great Natalie Douglas, who’s returning to the Greenwich Village club after performances at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, the Café Carlyle and a critically acclaimed show in London. Life is a cabaret.

THIS DESK IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND

If you work hard at your desk, it might be time to choose one that works as hard as you do. Incorporating the principle that human beings feel better when they move around periodically, the Stir Kinetic Desk can “learn” your habits and remind you when it’s time to change positions. It can be programmed with your standing and sitting height preferences (a simple double tap will move it up or down), and can even sense and track your standing time and the calories burned while you’re on your feet. Plus it’s WiFi and Bluetooth enabled. Now sit. Good desk.

Soundtrack of Our Lives

The joys of youth, the magic of music, captured in photographs.

BY WAYNE MAIBAUM

“Beatles in Surf” by Charles Trainor, courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery.

A recent exhibit at Soho’s Morrison Hotel Gallery, curated by Julian Lennon and showcasing some never-before-seen photographs of The Beatles, reminded me of why we still love them. For 50 years, The Beatles have been credited with social change, from setting fashion trends to spurring the fall of communism! But for most of us, their importance is more personal: simply put, their music makes us feel good, restoring the promises of youth and providing a universal connection that transcends age, race, religion, politics and all such superficial barriers. (Imagine!) Our basic human emotions—love, loss, longing, regret, elation—continue to resonate in each resounding melody. And mysteriously, the older we get, the more we seem to get it.

“Beatles in Limo” by Curt Gunther, courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery.

“What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key
I get by with a little help from my friends…”

“Saving up your money for a rainy day
Giving all your clothes to charity
Last night the wife said
Oh boy, when you’re dead
You don’t take nothing with you but your soul…”