Saturday, 8 March 2008

Unlikely Style Icon 1 - Isambard Kingdom Brunel

This is a series that I have wanted to start from some time - Unlikely Style Icons - but where to begin? I have been searching for where to begin this thread and I'm afraid that I have had to resort to looking over another boys shoulder to get the answers. I picked up the new issue of Another Man (which is another great issue) and there on page 86 was Jsen Wintle's style icon...Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

For those of you who are not aware of him, Brunel was one of the most versatile and audacious engineers of the 19th century, responsible for the design of tunnels, bridges, railway lines and ships. There can be little doubt that images like the one above are truly iconic images, posing in front of huge chains with top hat and cigar in mouth (apparently he smoked 40 a day). His style was a little mismatched: refined meets awkward, even scruffy with his dirt splattered trousers and beaten up old boots (let's not forget what he did for a living). Wintle ultimately describes Brunel's style as masculine elegance and this style should be hugely appealing for most men. His look was very much his own. I very much enjoy looking at old grainy photographs and one of the things that I love about them is that all of the men look very similar... except for a few notable exceptions, one of whom is Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


j said...

Nice post.

Style Salvage Steve said...

Thanks J but I have to hold my hands up and reiterate that I stole the idea of this from Jsen Wintle. I'm sure he wouldn't mind though! Have you got any unlikely style icons?

Jonas Fred said...

Dear EJ and Steve,

Browsing through your archive I found this post. You should really continue this. Im sure you will get a larger response to this now. Unlikely style icon for me will always be Albert Einstein.

Jonas (The Journal Of Style


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