BUNNY ROGER | BRITISH STYLE ICON YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF

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Legendary Style Icon Bunny Roger fiercely donned.  He invented the tight-cut Capri trousers while on holiday on the island in 1949, and by the 1950s he was sponsoring a neo-Edwardian silhouette – four-button jackets with generous shoulders and mean waists, lapelled waistcoats, high-cut trousers – for plain, checked and striped suits. Accessories, whether a high-crowned bowler or ruby cuff-links, were indispensable.

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As a menswear nut, I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit fawning over the sartorial splendor of the innovative, meticulous (and arguably neurotic) Prince of Wales.   And if you’re a true fan of the man credited with such style staples as turn-ups (trouser cuffs) and the Windsor knot (neckwear), you’d definitely be remiss in not knowing about the one and only– Bunny Roger.  Quite honestly, he’s definitely an acquired taste, and the dandy of all dandies– and now fabulously back in the spotlight with a recent inspiration nod from John Galliano.  Bunny Roger, with his epic style and fabled colorful persona is the definitely the yin to the Princes’ yang.  Bunny possessed a bold flair for tailoring and attitude that rivals his regal peer in terms of eccentricity, inspiration, and attention to detail.  To simply say he’s an original does not do the man justice.

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Circa 1951– Neil Munro (Bunny) Roger, (1911–1997), by Francis Goodman © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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From The Guardian–

Bunny Roger was probably not the most fearsome soldier the allied army has ever had in its ranks. Fighting for the British Rifle Brigade during the second world war, he went to battle wearing a chiffon scarf and brandishing a copy of Vogue. Once, when his sergeant asked him what should be done about the advancing enemy troops, Roger, who liked to wear rouge even with his khakis, replied, “When in doubt, powder heavily.” When he ran into an old friend in the hellish, bombed-out monestary of Monte Cassino in Italy he responded to his pal’s incredulous “What on earth are you doing here?” greeting with one word: “Shopping”. As dandies go, Roger wasn’t a massive spender – he bought a mere 15 suits a year from his London tailor, Watson, Fargerstrom & Hughes, but, boy, was he ever particular. He liked exquisitely cut tartans, Edwardian-style jackets in pale shades of cerulean blue, lilac and shell pink, sharply tapered at the middle to show off his astonishing 29-inch waist. Roger, like all proper dandies, rivaled Oscar Wilde in the one-liner department. When a gobby cab driver yelled from his window, “Watch out, you’ve dropped your diamond necklace, love,” Roger replied, in a flash, “Diamonds with tweed? Never!”

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Shots From the Sotheby’s catalog– Bunny’s (along with his brother’s) belongings were auctioned off back in ’98 where several of Bunny’s neckties were snatched up by none other that uber-smooth crooner Bryan Ferry.

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FAST WOMEN IN HISTORY PT II | AUTO RACING’S TOUGH FEMALE PIONEERS

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Legendary British race car driver~ Kay Petre

The Canadian-born, Kay Petre was an early motor racing star at the legendary Brooklands track. The exploits of this 4’10” speedqueen made big news back in her day.  Born Kathleen Coad Defries in 1903, she moved to England in 1930, following her marriage to Englishman Henry Petre.  Henry was a keen flier who regularly took off from the Brooklands airfield– it was here that Kay first became interested in motor racing. She had always been a skilled and competitive sportswoman back at home, especially in ice-skating. Henry bought Kay her first car for her birthday, a Wolseley Hornet Daytona Special. Soon after her racing career began, with a third and a second in her first two races.  In 1933, Kay purchased her first “proper” racing car, a 2-litre Bugatti. She used it to good effect in the regular handicap races at Brooklands, quickly adjusting to the handling and the increased speed.

One of the most famous images of Kay is her seated in the big 1924 Delage, a 10.5 litre V12-engined ex-John Cobb Land Speed Record car she had been racing. In order to reach the car’s pedals, she had them rigged with large wooden blocks.  Petre threw down the gauntlet to her French rival on 26th October 1934, clocking 129.58 mph on a flying lap. The record stood until the August of 1935, when Gwenda challenged again, setting a new benchmark marginally faster. Not to be outdone, Kay jumped straight in the Delage and beat the record the same day, lapping at an average of 134.75 mph. this was the first time that a female driver had earned the Brooklands badge for a lap at 130 mph or over. Gwenda, driving her Derby-Miller special, joined that exclusive club three days later, hitting 135.95 mph. Kay admitted defeat graciously and went back to her own racing.

The racing legend, Kay Petre, in her car in the pits at Brooklands, prepares for her first drive since an accident on the circuit, ca. 1938.

The racing legend Kay Petre in the pits at Brooklands, prepares for her first drive since an accident on the circuit, ca. 1938. © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

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DUBBLE TRUBBLE TRIUMPH DRAGSTER | BRITISH HYBRID HELL ON WHEELS

Triumph Dubble Trubble

The legendary Dubble Trubble Triumph motorcycle

The Dubble Trubble, built in 1953 by legendary racer Bud Hare, was a beastly Triumph twin-engined motorcycle that dominated the drag strips during the 1950s with a top speed of 142.38 mph.  The dual 40 cu. in. displacement engines were fed through a Harley-Davidson hand-shift gearbox with foot clutch. Only two gears are used– second and high. Totally sick.  Kids– don’t try this at home.

None other than Von Dutch himself painted the lettering on the legendary Triumph’s tank– which explains the 2 dots above the U’s which weren’t asked for.  But then again– Von Dutch was known to kind of do his own thing.

 

Triumph dubble trubble motorcycle

The legendary twin-engined Dubble Trubble Triumph motorcycle

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