A Prince or Ten Among Men

All this recent talk of prints and Princes reminded me of the regal state of menswear lately.

Old world princes are to be had whether it’s Rajput or recent influence. Raghavendra Rathore has the lineage – both royal and rag-trade. His family origins date back to the maharajahs of Jodhpur and he’s trained at Parsons, having worked for DKNY and Oscar de la Renta before launching the Rathore Jodhpur label in the mid ’90s.

Indian Prince at Rathore Jodhpur AW09
Modern Indian Prince at Rathore Jodhpur AW09
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The Maharajah of Nawanagar, b. 1872
Etro's Rock and Roll Regalia
Etro's Rock and Roll Regalia
Etro embellishes their modern heir to the throne with rock and roll cool and colour. Bhupendra Singh of Patiala shows off rocks of a different nature during his reign from 1900-1938.
bhupendra-singh-maharaja-of-patiala
Bhupendra Singh Maharajah of Patilia, b. 1891

Cut to current day and elaborate jewels are replaced by an embellished scarf at Rathore Jodhpur. The layered 3/4 jackets echo Philippe Dubuc’s foray into the same several years back, if not his skirts for men, then layered over pants. 

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Very Dubuc at Rathore Jodhpur AW09

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world…things were…and still are just just Dandy. Edward, Prince of Wales, started the dining jacket trend when acclaimed Saville Row tailors Henry Poole & Co. fashioned one for HRH in 1860.

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Edward, Prince of Wales – Dressed for Dinner

Master tailor Alexander McQueen cleverly combines all elements of a three-piece formal suit in one fantastical jacket. It’s proper and cutting edge – echoing his love for Victorian London.

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McQueen Menswear FW09
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McQueen Menswear FW09

The short waistcoat and higher waisted trouser recalls George Brummel – also a fashion rebel at the time and friend of Prince Eddie. George B thought men should be less frilly and wear more sophisticated, tailored clothing in subtler shades.

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George “Beau” Brummell (1778-1840)
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Mrs. Rampal is One Lucky Princess!

Guess we have him to thank for the dapper Mr. Rampal then? A prince he may not be, but looking like royalty is good enough for us!

Photo sources: Arjun Rampal, Brummel, Edward, Etro, Maharajahs, McQueen, Rathore Jodhpur.

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