Because this is our first newsletter you’re probably asking “why have Lee-Jon and Natty waited so long to share their indispensable taste-making knowledge with their comrades?” “We’re hungry for advice and insider expertise,” you say, “for the love of all that’s holy what do these titans of taste like to eat, drink, wear, purchase and partake in?”
Well fret not, for we have heard this noble summons to assume the full height of our excellence, and we will now be sharing pithy insights into the good life with you, our friends.
In recent months Natty has been inexpertly translating Voltaire’s Traite sur la Tolerance and writing about old movie palaces for some local rag called The New York Times. Lee-Jon has been practicing idling, especially in London’s ever-expanding cocktail scene, and he recently accepted a luxurious invitation to the reopening of the Canadian Embassy to see how this former colony is fairing (spoiler: not too shabby).
It is with great pleasure and a newfound sense of purpose that we now take a break from our lives of gentlemanly leisure to introduce you, our allies and chums, to sweet civilisation.
We have been (metaphorically) pierced by the lapel pins and other men’s jewellery from By Elias. Chiseled, smelted, lasered, sanded, licked, sniffed, flicked, or whatever else hammer-and-anvil types do to make jewellery, these elegant pins look perfect on a Secret Empire suit or stuck through a hatband or some jerk’s thumb.
Last year the Peg+Patriot snuck into a corner of Bethnal Green Town Hall. Their cocktail Pho Money Pho Problems, is pak choi & lime flavours within a spiced vodka, with chilli & coriander garnish. A drink to invoke East Asian cuisine, and more elegant that it sounds. Imbibe with the nose near the garnish for a glass of Vietnamese flavour.
For our inaugural edition it would be remiss of us to honour any website with our praise other than The Dandy Portraits, the long-running photo blog by Rose Callahan, co-author (with Natty), of I am Dandy. If you try really hard and dress very well, you may some day reach the sartorial status of these men, just as they work hard everyday to reach ours.
At the Secret Empire laboratory we have been concerned that the lapel's gorge line is rising faster than Britannia’s oceans. We’re sure certain think-tank friends of ours are happy to deny the former too, but here at Imperial HQ, our scientists know the difference between the obviously blind and the blindingly obvious. Anyway, we digress - back to the all important brain work...
Our scientists predict the gorge will exceed the shoulder on the 17th of October 2017, sometime around elevenses. After this, the peak and notch lapel will drift into the shawl lapel, making the dreaded amalgam we dub The Pangea Lapel. If we don’t take drastic measures to fetter fashion, then we should prepare to live with the aftershocks of this negligence in our children’s disappointed faces. Plunge that gorge line in 2015, and join our campaign to rebalance the lapel to the individual.
Dale Henriques, 30 year-old founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Hommeschooled blog recently got engaged while wearing his blue wool and mohair blend Secret Empire suit, after successfully fending off an extended family of Eastern Europeans who wanted to take wedding photos on the exact same spot he’d staked out for his proposal (by the old Victorian carousel under the Brooklyn Bridge).
Dale, who works as an audiovisual content producer, began his blog because of a deep interest in interior design, menswear, and the lifestyle such elegant pursuits suggests. Hommeschooled informs its readers, going in-depth into the how and why of design, rather than just shining a light on “cool things.” One of those this was his first Secret Empire suit. Aside from being an authority on design, he’s also a second-degree black belt so don’t fuck with him.