Comic reporting

In the May 2 New Yorker, Tad Friend achieves the classic tone of Talk of the Town reporting in the magazine, in his piece “Clothes Horse”, which begins:

The director Paul Feig was peacocking in a gray pin-striped suit (Ralph Lauren Purple Label), black double-monk-strap shoes (Santoni), black-framed eye-glasses (Gucci), and a don’t-fuck-with-me watch (Panerai).

The ostentatious verbing of peacock, the accumulation of technical descriptors and brand names, going through items labeled by neutral colors (gray, black, black), building to a surprise vernacular climax. (I suppose the last item could have been described as a power watch, but don’t-fuck-with-me is much more effective.)

There’s more entertainment, not all of it stylistic, including an adventure in the “ultra-gent” men’s wear temple of Tom Ford:

Plunging in with some trepidation, he eyed a gray-striped number, then ran his hand softly over a black-and-white Glen plaid. “So classic,” he saud, “Timeless, elegant, Gatsbyesque. I remember seeing Hamm” — Jon Hamm, who plays a cad in “Bridesmaids” [which Feig directed] — “in this suit at a party, and thinking, That is a gorgeous suit.” The implicit comparison prompted him to flee the store. “If I’d stayed any longer,” he explained, on the sidewalk, “the salesmen would all have started talking about me, and then one would have come over and said, ‘Sir, Mr. Ford has called and he will not allow you to buy the suit — he doesn’t like the image it would put forth.’ “

Later he goes back to Tom Ford and buys the suit.

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