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Anatomy of a Wardrobe

Our fearless fashion director, Alex Badia, summoned a few experts on men’s style for a roundtable discussion. It took place on a recent morning, in an elegant private room at Aretsky’s Patroon restaurant on Manhattan’s East Side, and it touched on everything from the death of the dress-down look to the influence of digital culture on the menswear industry.

Those who took part were Nick Wooster, the former fashion director of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman; writer Michael Williams, of the influential Continuous Lean fashion blog; and the designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, founding partners of the New York City label Public School, who won this year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America Swarovski Menswear Award. Ken Aretsky, the restaurant’s beautifully tailored owner, joined the discussion in progress.

ALEX BADIA: Let’s start with you, Nick. Where are we in menswear right now?

NICK WOOSTER: In the almost thirty years that I’ve lived in New York, the menswear business has changed completely, partly because of the influence of the Internet and social media. It’s more democratized and so much more accessible. Thirty years ago, it was very segmented.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS: Now men are more comfortable expressing themselves through clothing. A lot of the stigma has been withdrawn—guys are more at ease.

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'Pete Campbell Is Not An Evil Guy'

For M’s summer issue, senior editor Jim Windolf interviewed Vincent Kartheiser, the acting force behind “Mad Men” scoundrel Pete Campbell. Photo by Robert Trachtenberg

"Mad Men" would probably not be much without Vincent Kartheiser, the 34-year-old actor who has given his character, Peter Dyckman Campbell, such a rich blend of sleaze and formality. “He’s hard to watch,” said Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator, at a recent panel discussion. “He’s every bad thing you’ve ever done all at once.” That may be true, but the character’s relentless scheming often triggers the best Mad Men stories. And he plays the even more crucial role of foil to the show’s enigmatic protagonist, Don Draper. At 10 a.m., still in bed on the day after filming the season-six finale, Kartheiser answered his phone. 

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The Frat Pack

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Today’s entertainers are emulating Sinatra-style manhood, but, as Frank DiGiacomo writes, only one is able to pull it off. Illustration by Drew Friedman.

There’s a sequence at the beginning of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” video that stops me cold every time I see it. I’m sure you’ve seen it too, since the marketing campaign for the performer’s album “The 20/20 Experience” has bordered on harassment, but maybe you haven’t really noticed it.

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Back to Newtown

For M’s manhood issue, senior writer Matthew Lynch considered the place of his boyhood, Newtown, Conn.

When I was 16 and driving around my hometown in a borrowed Volvo with nowhere in particular to go, stuck in what felt like then the most generic existence anyone could have been sentenced to by whatever god had dreamed up the millennial New England sprawl, there was a joke specific to our geography that was so obvious, we didn’t even have to make it. We knew it in our bones. New town; Newtown. We lived on a 60-square-mile tract of Connecticut farmland so uninspiring that the 30-odd settlers who moved inland from the Long Island Sound in the opening years of the eighteenth century couldn’t even find it in their colonial hearts to give it a proper name. They paid the local Paugussett Indians, dashed off a few boundaries, and penciled in a placeholder that stuck. It still looks out of place among its more lyrical counterparts on the list: Aurora, Phoenix, Blacksburg, Columbine, and on.

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Meet The Rookies

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M contributor Erik Maza meets three fresh fellows who are trying to make it in New York’s most treacherous field. Photo by Isa Wipfli.

Matt McGlone, Marc Faiella and Alex Michels are promising young models who are starting to get good assignments and make decent money. They are represented by the powerful IMG Models agency, which relaunched its men’s division last year. But the field they have chosen is treacherous, with no guarantees. For every Sean O’Pry or Tyson Ballou—the rare male models with any kind of staying power—there are thousands of good-looking guys who come to Manhattan and get a taste, only to crash and burn.

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