PICTURE: #1 IN ELEVEN ACTS
I first met Joe McGlynn during my photo session with his lovely chic wife, Heidi Rosenau, a previous CHIC INDEX special guest. He had just returned from work—such a gentleman, he asked if we needed any assistant and offered to assist here and there and gave us room when not needed.
Joe’s closet, directly facing his wife’s is also the same size as hers. A cursory glance around and the smart attire he wore when he walked in alerted me to his sartorial sympathies, which I perfectly understood and share.
A tall, fit, lean, agreeable man with a genial smile that most public figures will die for, Joe is a vintage clothing collector focused on fashions of the 1920s thru the mid-1940s, albeit, he owns clothes from other periods. But in his own words, “I find the cut, proportion, and fit more appealing than modern pieces. The articles are more interesting as is the hunt for them.”
Joe and wife Heidi Rosenau share a twin passion—they are swing dancers focused on learning, preserving and sharing the history of 1920s-40s dances—specifically the Charleston, Balboa, Lindy Hop, and Collegiate Shag. An ardent romantic, he reflected as such, “if I could go back in time for a day, I would catch Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall then see Count Basie and Billie Holiday take on Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald at the Savoy, January 16, 1938.” How’s that?
His sympathies for previous epoch notwithstanding, Joe works in the Garment District for a modern-day technology solutions company with bright engineers who resolve loads of tricky IT problems every day. Who should have thought, right?
His aesthete’s disposition also finds him interested in decorative, and fine arts, wine, film, history, travel. All fashions invariably become dated; style redeems fashions to best advantage. In light of this, the honnête homme, say, that is Mr. McGlynn does exactly that—he is seamlessly redeeming previous fashions to best advantage and with such deft economy, informed panache and calm refinement. Chapeau Joe!
Iké Udé /December 2nd.
Coordinator for a technology solutions company
NYC Upper West Side
Brown and earth tones
Favorite Fashion Designer:
The costumers of my favorite movies- I am not about labels and the looks I favor are not associated with one name.
Favorite Shoe/Accessories Designer:
There is no one name that stands out. My favorite pairs of vintage shoes don’t have credited designers.
I like lavender scents for men- Norfolk Lavender (in UK near Sandringham)
Favorite Stylish Film:
Hot Saturday- If I won the lottery I’d become Cary Grant’s character
Gold Diggers of 1933,
Me and My Gal
Film Forum, Swing46, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Campbell Apartment, Flea Market
Louis Armstrong House in Queens NY, Preservation Hall & NOLA’s French Quarter, Oviatt Building in LA, All Balboa Weekend Cleveland, Ohio.
I like the idea of historic cocktails, but they kick my ass. I usually opt for a glass of wine or port.
Who is your style icon?
Cary Grant—not a surprising answer but honest.
What item of clothing would you rather starve for?
Original 1920’s items like sweaters, tweed applejack caps, & size 12 shoes of reasonable width
What is your overall impression of how people dress in general?
I try not to judge, but like to see some point of view- even if it’s not mine. Most people buying through chain stores take part in large-scale trends. Bucking these takes time and effort—deciding what you like and searching outside of those channels. Working in the garment district I, see many who dress creatively and express themselves through their clothing, which is refreshing.
And what do you recommend that they do otherwise?
I suggest they think about who their dollars will support, to look and decide what they like and don’t like, how it looks on them and to have fun defining themselves!
PICTURE: #1 IN ELEVEN ACTS
SPECIAL GUEST INTERVIEW:
JOE McGLYNN TALKS ABOUT HIS 1ST OUTFIT
What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
Linen three-button jacket (jacket has stepped lapel, raked breast pocket, patch pockets, and shell buttons).
tan shirt w/collar bar and brown plaid bow tie,
woven cotton stockings (contemporary),
white & cream cap-toe oxfords by Rossetti, Italy (ca.1980’s)
How did you find the various items that you are wearing?
Brimfield Vintage Fashion and Textile Show (jacket, knickers & bowtie), various vintage clothing stores (hat, shoes, cane, glasses, shirt & collar bar), online (knit socks)
How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
I wanted to show design features from suits of the past that I would like to see in modern ones: the shoulder seam runs from the neck to behind the shoulder. The back is belted and folds from shoulder to belt, allowing for comfortable arm movement, providing structure and freedom. MattDeckard.com in Los Angeles is making pieces with these elements.
Where do you normally shop for clothes and accessories?
Whenever I’m travelling I’ll look for vintage shops. I keep an eye out for shows and flea markets.
How much role does money or the lack thereof play in one’s endeavor to dress very smart or beautifully?
It can be as inexpensive or expensive as you want it to be. One outfit in this profile series cost $40 and another 15 times that.
What special recommendation would give somebody who admires your style but don’t know where or how start?
Just like with any wardrobe, buy pieces that will integrate together. Think about what era you may be interested in, research the period, look online, decide if that look works with your body type. Then look for pieces that will get you in that direction. You can always refine over time while training your eye.
Name six famous personages—past or present—who you would invite over for dinner/drinks because of their impeccable individualistic elegance?”
Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Duke Ellington, Adolphe Menjou, Bill Robinson, Harold Lloyd, and Cab Calloway.
As a result of your style, what is your impression of how you are generally perceived in public?
Some people take notice, most don’t. When I do get a response, it’s usually a comment of appreciation. On the other hand, when a well-meaning person says “I love your costume” it’s a bit like nails on a chalkboard. They are my clothes and there should be a difference.
And how would rather the public perceive you?
A man of relaxed elegance and a catalyst for discussion.
Presently, what do you think accounts for the poor appearances in how people generally dress or don’t dress?
I think people just have other interests and priorities. I will say it doesn’t take much time or money to pull together a clean look…there will be time spent ironing though!
In retrospect have you ever worn something that you now find particularly regrettable?
I’ve worn pieces such as 1930’s shirts to dances (to have a completely authentic period look) only to find I damaged them beyond repair. Either the sleeves rip under the arms or the dye from a 1930s unlined tie stains the shirt permanently. Now I am selective about when I wear those pieces.
In the end, do you dress to: (a.) please others, (b.) please yourself or (c.) hopefully be in agreement with everybody?
B- I dress to please myself. However, Answer A is a close second because I enjoy discussing and learning about fashion and dress to inspire interaction.