Et Tu, Christophe?

The keen-eyed sharp dresser, James Tuttle


by James Tuttle

Please welcome a new contributor to PFC, James Tuttle.  He will be dropping in from time to time with a few bons mots and opinions about fashion and lifestyle.

Gentle reader,

I’m taking a short break from watching a riveting episode of Bad Girls Club to share a thought with you.  Well, perhaps a few thoughts.

The most immediate is to dissuade as many as possible from using BGC, as this charming and occasionally violent women’s empowerment show is known to its devotees, as any type of fashion reference. You see, I’ve been in the fashion industry for many years and nearly all of those years have been spent with top designers. Whenever I see a young lady veer toward a selection that is embarrassingly (for her or for me?) too short, too tight or too low and hear her declare that it’s “okay because it’s for the clubs,” I suggest that she go topless and write “SLUT” on her forehead.  How’s that for a declaration?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for “sexy” but that can be better accomplished with a bare back in a high-necked, long sleeved gown.  It doesn’t have to involve every possible inch of skin, even if the young lady is in exquisite physical condition.  Unfortunately, they rarely are, even in L.A.  I should also mention that my morning commute often takes me past an array of Santa Monica Boulevard’s black trannie hookers before I reach Beverly Hills, and I find that they really give me a sense of perspective on the whole matter of just how much is too much.

On the left: Kate Hudson's back. Seriously sexy. On the right: Jennavacia from BGC's front. Seriously something else.

But enough about me.  First, Galliano’s supremely stupid pro-Hitler gaffe (in the Marais of all places!) landed him rightfully in the global Dog House. This fall from grace was especially hard to watch after his couture collection for Dior, based on the work of French fashion illustrator René Gruau, brought tears to my eyes and made me fall in love with the drama of it all a little bit more.  Where are we to draw the line between the artist and his work?  Hitchcock was a sadistic prick and I still love his films.  Picasso was a serial womanizer and a sadistic prick and people still pay millions for his paintings.

In related Paris Fashion Week news, designer Cristophe Decarnin did a no-show at the Balmain défilé.  Rumors have been swirling about his nervous breakdown and that he’s passed Go by skipping rehab and going straight into a mental ward.

I really didn’t think much more about it until I opened my drawer to an assortment of Balmain T-shirts that, just between you and me, needed a Woolite intervention because they’re covered with tiny holes in just the right places, as though they’ve been lovingly brushed with a chainsaw and, if I handed them over to the enormously efficient and Clorox-loving housekeeper, Esperanza, I’ll be lucky if I got so much as a string of yarn back.

At $40 a hole, there's no way Esperanza's getting her hands on my Balmain tees.

The realization struck like a heart attack: What the fuck am I going to wear now? I’ve based my whole look on Decarnin’s Balmain Homme for the last few seasons because it struck such a chord with me about how I could dress fashionably and, at the same time, not feel stupid in L.A.  You see, dressing fashionably in L.A. makes you stand out like an eight point buck in a henhouse. To know that one is well dressed gives one the confidence and ease of the ruler of the glen, whereas dressing for a henhouse makes one dress like a chicken. I have no idea what that means but you get my point.

I don’t dress head to toe in Balmain because $1,400 is a bit silly to pay for a pair of jeans when there are so many other pressures on my bank balance. The last time I checked, those gay polo ponies aren’t paying for themselves.  I did buy a selection of Balmain tee-shirts, however, and rounded out the rest of the look with things I already had—Emporio Armani leather jackets and duffle coats, Cesare Paciotti boots. Then I found skinny Zara jeans for $39 and the pulled the whole Decarnin look together for less than the cost of an economy car.  Luckily, the Balmain look hasn’t changed much from season to season, to the dismay of many quick-change fashionistas, but I’m able to keep those horses in hay so something’s going right.

Much as I would love to afford Balmain, it's easier if I just pull it together myself and keep the ponies in hay. The real look is lower right.

I hope that poor Christophe gets out soon, or that he can slip sketches out to his assistants or something before it’s too late for next season. A stint in the Looney Bin is probably a bit longer than the standard twenty-eight days in rehab.  And Galliano will be back someday, most likely dressing less like a gay pirate and more like someone asking our forgiveness and working very hard. Regardless of how much ugliness he might have tucked away, he has much beauty, too.  I suppose we all do.

In conclusion, never lose weight when you have a huge head.

Much love,


Comments: 28

  • bjvl March 24, 20117:50 am

    Where are we to draw the line between the artist and his work? Hitchcock was a sadistic prick and I still love his films. Picasso was a serial womanizer and a sadistic prick and people still pay millions for his paintings.

    The crucial difference is that those gentlemen (and I do use the term generously) are safely dead, whereupon it becomes allowable to admire their acumen from an insurmountable distance.

    • James Tuttle March 24, 20116:08 pm

      I’ll have to mull that over, whether their being dead should influence our ability to separate their humanity from their accomplishments. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing!

      • bjvl March 28, 20117:50 am

        Oh, I don’t consider it a moral viewpoint–merely a truism. Rather like Colin Firth’s character in The King’s Speech saying, in reaction to his daughter’s question about what Hitler’s speaking about in a newsreel, “I don’t know, but he’s saying it rather well.” Or how we can view Louis XIV’s reign without condemning the man himself, or any lamentable personal habits.

        Time is a distancer–so is death. Both are insurmountable distancers which allow us to gain what historians call “perspective” and moralists call “apathy.”

  • angelasab March 24, 20117:57 am

    Fabulous. I cannot wait for more……x

    • James Tuttle March 24, 20116:12 pm

      Hopefully next week! Thanks, Angela.

  • M.Fay March 24, 20119:16 am

    well said.
    so happy to get your perspective of all things fashion and fabulous,

    • James Tuttle March 24, 20116:14 pm

      I’m happy to share! Thanks for coming along for the ride.

  • ethan March 24, 20119:49 am

    I love the look you created… and you’re right. In today’s economy, wearing a label for the sake of name dropping is not important. The only loyalty I give a label is when I support a cause or belief I share with them. I love being inspired by a designer to create a similar look for LESS!

    • James Tuttle March 24, 20116:15 pm

      Name dropping is horrid in any economy! haha. I’m glad you’re feeling inspired, Ethan. Let me know what you come up with.

  • Rose Cepero March 24, 20112:11 pm

    Exciting and Real!!

  • James Tuttle March 24, 20116:16 pm

    Thank you! Tune in next week for more dish.

  • Buck March 24, 20117:05 pm


  • Joan Marlowe March 24, 20117:14 pm

    I always did enjoy your wit and your sense of fashion. Keep it up.

    • James Tuttle March 24, 20118:14 pm

      Thanks Joan! And thanks for joining us.

  • Douglas March 25, 20113:59 am

    dear James,
    I’m in LA.
    we should be lovers.
    kindest regards,

    • James Tuttle March 25, 201111:24 pm

      Kindest regards to you, as well, Douglas! I don’t think we can be lovers at the moment but thank you for your interest. I hope you tune in again!

  • Joan M. Kessler March 25, 20117:08 am

    Oh, James, I love you!
    xx Joan

    • James Tuttle March 25, 201111:26 pm

      I love you, too! Keep writing!

  • Patricia Veneman March 25, 20117:55 am

    James! Loved it!

    • James Tuttle March 25, 201111:27 pm

      Patricia, I’m so glad you did! Big hug to you.

  • Cavali Jay March 25, 20112:07 pm

    James, James, James! What an awesome write-up, I thoroughly enjoyed this, well done you..!

    Be sure to E-mail me when you’re next one is up..

    xx CJ

    • James Tuttle March 25, 201111:29 pm

      I’ll def let you know! Thanks for the support… and send the link out to your adoring fans! They might have fun with it, too!

  • Tom Lamb March 28, 20116:58 am


    • James Tuttle March 30, 20119:08 pm

      Thank you, Tom! I hope you enjoy the next one, too.

  • Elena March 28, 201111:47 am

    Enjoyed reading this, it made me laugh. Could just imagine hearing you talk even though it’s been ages. I think it’s about time I visit soon and check out those Balmain T’s in persona.

    • James Tuttle March 30, 20119:11 pm

      Elena! I think you should visit! I’m glad you liked the article, too.

  • Skupe March 31, 201111:33 am

    Please please PLEASE be my stylist!! I adore your look – you are one of THE most handsome men EVER! And you can write. It’s really not fair to the rest of the world. Keep it up (and I do mean the writing!)
    Much love and many kisses, in my dreams at least…

    • James Tuttle April 2, 20118:43 pm

      Skupe, thanks for the fashion love! Of course, I’d be your stylist in a red hot minute! Many, many thanks.

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