Barrel roll / Tonneau

We saw this style of photo for the first time of a pair of boots hanging from their laces: upside down but obviously, gravity being gravity, not in fact upside down. Here an unusually clear Paris winter sky gave us a direction-neutral background. Perhaps this is what a pilot doing barrel rolls might see were he to undo his bow tie?

Nous avons vu ce style de photo pour la première fois avec un pair de bottillons suspendu par les lacets. Ils ont l’air être à l’envers mais bien évidement, vu la force de gravité, ils ne l’ont pas. Ici un ciel parisien qui n’est pas clair d’habitude nous donne un fond sans indication de l’orientation spatial. Peut-être que c’est cela qu’un pilote verrait s’il dénouerait son nœud papillon en mêle temps de faire un tonneau ?

Thierry

At each photoshoot we remind our friend Thierry that he could be Harrison Ford’s brother. While he looks good wearing anything he’s particularly dapper in a bow tie.

À chaque séance de photo on rappel à notre ami Thierry qu’il pourrait être le frère de Harrison Ford. Alors qu’il a l’air soigné avec n’importe quel accessoire masculin, c’est tellement le cas lorsqu’il porte un nœud papillon.

Salon des créateurs de swing

In 2016 Zutiste participated in the first Salon des créateurs de swing, or Swing Designers Show, à l’Arrière Cour in Paris. Accompanying the exploding dance scene in Europe are artisans & enterprises manufacturing bow ties (us!), clothing, & footwear (@swivells.shoes).

En 2016, Zutiste à assisté au premier salon des créateurs de swing à l’Arrière Cour à Paris. À côté du scene de danse qui connaît une croissance exponentielle en Europe sont des artisans et fabricants des nœuds papillons (nous!), vêtements et chaussures.

With radiant jazz dancer Nastya

Nastya visited Paris last year for Paris Jazz Roots. We had the pleasure of spending a spring afternoon with her at Parc de Belleville.

Nastya visitait Paris l’année dernière pour Paris Jazz Roots. Nous avons eu le plaisir de passer un après-midi du printemps avec elle au Parc de Belleville.

Graf St Genois d’Anneaucourt

Christian Schad, ‘Graf St Genois d’Anneaucourt’ (1937)—Centre Pompidou, Paris.

The black tie bow possesses a certain je ne sais quoi: we hope that it is never consigned to the sartorial retirement home that is the waiter’s uniform or new year’s eve costume.

Coffee break with Romain

Romain was our first full photoshoot model. We met him—trying his hand (feet?) at lindy hop—at an outdoor dance event in Paris one summer a few years ago. On a coffee break during a photo shoot a few months later our photographer snapped him, bow tie selected for the afternoon session, taking it easy for a few moments.

Romain était notre premier mannequin. Nous avons fait sa connaissance—lorsqu’il essayait la danse du swing—à un événement de danse sur les quais de Seine il y a quelques années. En pause café à une séance de photo notre photographe lui a pris en photo, avec son nœud papillon déjà sélectionné pour la séance de l’après-midi, pendant qu’il se reposait.

Shoes

At the gravitational centre of the parallel universes of dancing and dressing are one’s shoes. They are practically essential for the former; the sartorial fifth dimension similarly collapses without genuine footwear. I’m referring here to what could be called ‘classic’ footwear. It’s usually leather, goes well with a sports coat, requires polishing and all that. The fourth dimension, by the way, is time.

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Wisdom from the inimitable Will Boehlke

It’s not acceptable to be insecure about when it’s OK to wear one. It’s always OK. If [you’re] wearing a jacket with an open breast pocket, the pocket should have a square in it.

—Will Boehlke, founder & writer (from 2006–2015) of A Suitable Wardrobe

Over-the-calf socks

Integral to taking an interest in style is maintaining the minutiae of one’s appearance: an ironed shirt, polished shoes… and erect socks.

Socks count among the usually invisible elements of the well-dressed formula. Crumpled around the ankles or in whichever state, socks are unlikely to be noticed unless your legs are crossed, and the fabric is particularly bright in colour, or a photograph captures you in an acrobatic dance move. Introducing refinement to the conversation, a glance to the past and to classic dressing will reward the curious with an effortless and elegant means of displaying an ankle pleasingly and evenly covered by hosiery.

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Braces

Trousers present two significant conundrums for dancers: they slip down, and shirts untuck from them.

Much of this impracticality is attributable to ill-fit. A bespoke shirt that fits properly will remain tucked while trousers that rest above the waist will remain up. Universally-sized, ready to wear shirts cannot accommodate an individual’s upper arm lifting without pulling the shirt’s body with it.

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Buying trousers

Someone recently sought my advice on where to buy trousers for dancing (or pants, in American English). Reflecting on this question I realised that there are, for the curious, numerous angles to consider: style, fabric, manufacturer, historical context, and dance suitability. That which follows is my (entirely unqualified) views and advice on trousers for dancing.

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