Boom! – Required Viewing

Years ago, MSC and TBE alerted me to a movie called “Boom!“  Take Elizabeth Taylor, add Richard Burton and Noel Coward, mix in a screenplay written by Tennessee Williams based on a play by Tennessee Williams, music by John Barry (think James Bond themes), and even that hat she wears (can you call it a hat?) is designed by Karl Lagerfeld (for Tiziani of Rome).  This movie is real crazy, like if serious-crazy and scary-crazy had a baby that was tested for crazy by the school psychologist got the results back, got up from her desk and immediately sold her house and changed her name.  Crazy.  This movie does not fuck around, it is insane screaming over the house intercom and slapping the servants.  It’s having a cocktail while getting a blood transfusion.  It is perfection.

A film staring three divas (Coward’s character is actually named “The Witch of Capri”) and written by a diva has got to be 24 karat gold, right?  The critics and everyone that takes the time to review movies on the internet disagree, loudly.  The plot is a bit lost at times:  dying rich woman meets penniless poet, yelling happens.  It is really better if thought of as a series of really outrageous one-liners held together with ridiculously opulent sets and wardrobe.  Obviously, MSC and TBE love it.

What also adds to the allure is that for the longest time, it was not available on DVD or from Netflix or anywhere even remotely handy. Until now, that is.  I attached the full movie below.  And you’re welcome.

 

The Wiki:

Boom! is a 1968 British drama film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Noël Coward. It was directed by Joseph Losey and adapted from Tennessee Williams‘ play The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.

A Place in the Sun – Required Viewing

Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift have never looked more beautiful in their lives than they do in A Place in the Sun, but Shelley Winters’ performance kills me.  She breaks my heart, I can feel myself holding my breath during her scenes, she is spectacular.  Don’t get me wrong, I hold my breath during Liz and Monty’s scenes too, but Shelley is everything when she is on camera.   It is not an easy movie, it is not a happy movie, but it is absolutely everything.

a place in the sun

The Wiki:

A Place in the Sun is a 1951 American drama film based on the 1925 novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser and the play, also titled An American Tragedy. It tells the story of a working-class young man who is entangled with two women; one who works in his wealthy uncle’s factory and the other a beautiful socialite. The novel had been filmed once before, as An American Tragedy, in 1931.

A Place in the Sun was directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by Harry Brown and Michael Wilson, and stars Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere, and Raymond Burr.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards and the first ever Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. In 1991, A Place in the Sun was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

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Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review

Here is a list of the internet things I found interesting this week and the weekly roundup of what I did on the internets this week:

1.  Video producer and father of four, Nathan Ripperger, has caught himself saying the darndest things to his kids. It’ just another day in the life of a parent, only Nathan decided to illustrate his most ‘introspective’ quips.

The series has become so popular that it has spawned a series of prints (8 x 10 and 16 x 20) that you can purchase from Ripperger’s Etsy Store. You can also view larger versions of each illustration on Nathan’s Flickr profile.

2.  If you literally put your phone down on a flat surface for 10 minutes, corporate sponsors like Giorgio Armani Fragrances will donate money to the UNICEF Tap Project that will then be used towards water, sanitation and hygiene programs in the neediest countries. According to the organization, ”768 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation.”  (I did it twice this morning)

3.  This is amazing.  It’s a feature-length mashup of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 original and Gus Van Sant‘s shot-for-shot 1998 remake, available to watch in full on Steven Soderbergh’s website.

4.  Clap along:

5.  How To Stop Giving A Fuck What People Think.  Living a life that follows the ideal notions of what other people think is a terrible way to live. It makes you become the spineless spectator who waits for other people to take action first. It makes you become a follower. Worst of all, it makes you become someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything.  READ THIS NOW and going forward, give ZERO FUCKS about what others think.

This week on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Randall, Betty Hutton, Dorothy Stratten, Zeppo Marx , Desi Arnaz, Dr. Seuss and Jim Backus. I also added Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House to the the required viewing film series.

Total Views: 103,680
Views This Week: 825
Subscribers: 255
Most Popular Post This Week: Happy Birthday Elizabeth Taylor

This week on Wasp & Pear on tumblr, I posted vintage photographs of Seattle, Hollywood, and New York, as well as continued with the Randomly Generated Wallpaper series. I celebrated the birthday of John Steinbeck and Larry Gelbart.

Total Posts: 1,807
Posts This Week: 82
Total Subscribers: 159
New Subscribers: 3
Most Popular Post: Andy Warhol Dies

On @TheRealSPA on twitter, I questioned if I could finally now go back to ignoring Arizona again, I called Arizona “Uganda Lite”, I reported the breaking of my mobile phone (again), and the usual trash talk.

Total Tweets: 945
Following: 294
Followers: 88

Here’s where I’m @:

I chronicle what inspires me at Waldina.com
I faceplace at facebook.com/parkeranderson
I store my selfies at instagram.com/therealspa#
I tumblr at waspandpear.tumblr.com/
I tweet at twitter.com/TheRealSPA
I ADN at alpha.app.net/spa

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Happy Birthday Elizabeth Taylor

Today is the 82nd birthday of Elizabeth Taylor.  Everything has already been said and everything should be said about Elizabeth Taylor.  Pick one of her films and watch it and re-fall in love with her.  I can’t even decide which one it should be.  Cat? Place? BUtterfield? Suddenly? Giant? Just watch one.

NAME

: Elizabeth Taylor
OCCUPATION: Film Actress
BIRTH DATE: February 27, 1932
DEATH DATE: March 23, 2011
PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
NICKNAME: Liz Taylor
FULL NAME: Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, DBE
ORIGINALLY: Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
AKA: Elizabeth Taylor

BEST KNOWN FOR: Actress Elizabeth Taylor starred in films like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and BUtterfield 8, but was just as famous for her violet eyes and scandalous love life.

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born on February 27, 1932, in London, England. One of film’s most celebrated stars, Elizabeth Taylor has fashioned a career that’s covered more than six decades, accepting roles that have not only showcased her beauty, but her ability to take on emotionally charged characters.

Taylor’s American parents, both art dealers, were residing in London when she was born. Soon after the outbreak of World War II, the Taylors returned to the United States and settled into their new life in Los Angeles.

“One problem with people who have no vices is that they’re pretty sure to have some annoying virtues.” – Elizabeth Taylor

Performance was in Taylor’s blood. Her mother had worked as an actress until she married. At the age of 3, the young Taylor started dancing, and eventually gave a recital for Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Not long after relocating to California a family friend suggested the Taylors’ daughter take a screen test.

She soon signed a contract with Universal Studios, and made her screen debut at the age of 10 in There’s One Born Every Minute (1942). She followed that up with a bigger role in Lassie Come Home (1943) and later The White Cliffs of Dover (1944).

Her breakout role, however, came in 1944 with National Velvet, in a role Elizabeth Taylor spent four months working to get. The film subsequently turned out to be a huge hit that pulled in more than $4 million and made the 12-year-old actress a huge star.

In the glare of the Hollywood spotlight, the young actress showed she was more than adept at handling celebrity’s tricky terrain. Even more impressive was the fact that, unlike so many child stars before and after her, Taylor proved she could make a seamless transition to more adult roles.

“It would be glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Liz Taylor’s finger.” – Andy Warhol

Her stunning looks helped. At just 18 she played opposite Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride (1950). Taylor also showed her acting talents in 1954 with three films: The Last Time I Saw Paris, Rhapsody, and Elephant Walk, the latter of which saw Taylor take on the role of a plantation owner’s wife who is in love with the farm’s manager.

Her personal life only boosted the success of her films. For a time she dated millionaire Howard Hughes, then at the age of 17, Elizabeth Taylor made her first entrance into marriage, when she wed hotel heir, Nicky Hilton.

The union didn’t last long and, in 1952, Taylor was walking down the aisle again—this time to marry actor Michael Welding. In all, Taylor has married eight times during life, including twice to actor Richard Burton.

While her love life continued to make international headlines, Taylor continued to shine showed as an actress.

She delivered a riveting performance in the drama A Place in the Sun, and turned things up even more in 1956 with the film adaptation of the Edna Ferber novel, Giant that co-starred James Dean. Two years later, she sizzled on the big screen in the film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The following year, she starred in another Williams classic, Suddenly Last Summer. Taylor earned her first Oscar, capturing the coveted Best Actress award for her role as call girl in BUtterfield 8 (1960).

But Taylor’s fame was also touched by tragedy and loss. In 1958, she became a young widow when her husband, pioneering film producer Mike Todd, was killed in a plane crash. After his death, Taylor became embroiled in one of the greatest Hollywood love scandals of the era when she began an affair with Todd’s close friend, Eddie Fisher. Fisher divorced Debbie Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959. The couple stayed married for five years until she left Fisher for actor Richard Burton.

The public’s obsession with Taylor’s love life hit new heights with her 1964 marriage to Richard Burton. She’d met and fallen in love with the actor during her work on Cleopatra (1963), a film that not only heightened Taylor’s clout and fame, but also proved to be a staggering investment, clocking in at an unprecedented $37 million to make.

The Taylor-Burton union was a fiery and passionate one. They appeared onscreen together in the much-panned The V.I.P.’s (1963), and then again two years later for the heralded Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a film that earned Taylor her second Oscar for her role as an overweight, angry wife of an alcoholic professor, played by Burton.

The subsequent years proved to be an up-and-down affair for Taylor. There were more marriages, more divorces, health obstacles, and a struggling film career, with movies that gained little traction with critics or the movie-going public.

Still, Taylor continued to act. She found work on television, even making a guest appearance on General Hospital, and on stage. She also began focusing more attention on philanthropy. After her close friend Rock Hudson died in 1985 following his battle with HIV/AIDS, the actress started work to find a cure for the disease. In 1991 she launched the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation in order to offer greater support for those who are sick, as well fund research for more advanced treatments.

Largely retired from the world of acting, Taylor received numerous awards for her body of work. In 1993 she received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. In 2000 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

Taylor overcame a litany of health problems throughout the 90s, from diabetes to congestive heart failure. She had both hips replaced, and in 1997 had a brain tumor removed. In October 2009, Taylor, who has four children, underwent successful heart surgery. In early 2011, Taylor again experienced heart problems.

She was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in that February for congestive heart failure. On March 23, 2011, Taylor passed away from the condition.

Shortly after her death, her son Michael Wilding released a statement, saying “My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love … We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.”

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Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review

Agatha Christie died on this day in 1976. Jack London was born on this day in 1876.

This week Judy Protas, an ad firm copywriter who penned “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye” died at the age of 91. The Levy’s campaign, conceived by Mr. Bernbach and the art director William Taubin, featured photographs of conspicuously non-Jewish New Yorkers — a black boy, Asian and Native American men and a robed choirboy among them — blissfully contemplating a slice of the company’s rye.

The ads were aimed primarily at the metropolitan area, where, exploiting a singular New York delivery system, they appeared chiefly in the subways. Long part of the day-to-day texture of the city, they were so striking that they drew a national following and were sold individually as posters.

As a result of the ads, sales of Levy’s rye bread soared, and the campaign was admired by people as diverse as the syndicated columnist Walter Winchell, who called it “the commercial with a sensayuma” (say it aloud, fast), and Malcolm X, who liked the poster featuring the black child so much that he had himself photographed alongside it.

Waldina broke the 100,000 hits mark this past week, and for that, I am very grateful and excited. I started this blog as a way to chronicle the people/places/things that I love and and find inspiring. I figured that some people would like some of the content from time to time, but I am very excited that more and more people are supporting the concept. Overall, I do my best to be positive and celebratory since there is so much negativity in everyone’s daily lives. I am just glad that others spend a bit of their days celebrating with me and sharing it with their friends. Thank you so much.

This week, I obsessed over the ABC After School Special “My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel”. I reminded everyone about how to use the “reply all” button (just don’t).  I celebrated Evlis and David Bowie’s birthday.  I took to heart the wise words of Elizabeth Taylor.

The Stats:

Overall Hits: 100,169
Hits This Week: 233
Total Posts: 977
Subscribers: 240

Over on Wasp & Pear on Tumblr, I reflagged tidbits from Muffy Bolding, TwistedSifter, Beguiling Hollywood, WeHeartIt, LihtBox, and more. I continued my never-ending obsession with abandoned places, Andy Warhol, the Murphys and Ramon Novarro.

The Stats:

Total Posts: 1,509
Posts This Week: 43
Total Subscribers: 142
New Subscribers:  1

In the @TheRealSPA corner of the twitter-verse this week, I tweeted out some of the people/things twitter thinks I should follow: @WildTurkey and @AvrilLavinge. I did not take their advice. I retweeted a beautiful photograph of Venice Beach in 1979.

The Stats:

Total Tweets: 401
Following: 236
Followers: 55

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Words To Live By – Ms. Taylor

Words from a woman who LIVED/LOVED/LAUGHED the hell out of life. You should do it too, in your own way.

“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” – Elizabeth Taylor

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Happy Birthday Rock Hudson

Sunday was the 88th birthday of the legendary screen heartthrob Rock Hudson.  I once read a recount of how he got his gravely voice.  He was told by movie executives to go up into the mountains and scream until he lost his voice, this damaged his vocal cords in a way that left him with the very low voice he had for his entire career.  I am not sure if it is true, but it is crazy to think that someone would tell a person to do that.  With his legendary good looks and impressive resume of film credits behind him, he publicly announced he had AIDS to the world and took it from being a fringe disease that no one personally knew who had it to being on the cover of People Magazine.  The bravery at the end of his life is an example of true strength of character.  He propelled the image of AIDS mainstream, we all now knew someone with it, it became immediately personal for all of us.  We are better as a society because of Rock Hudson.

NAME: Rock Hudson
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: November 17, 1925
DEATH DATE: October 02, 1985
PLACE OF BIRTH: Winnetka, Illinois
PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
ORIGINALLY: Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.
AKA: Roy Harold Fitzgerald

BEST KNOWN FOR: Rock Hudson was a leading man of the Hollywood screen in the 1950s and 1960s. His death from AIDS in 1985 greatly increased awareness of the disease.

The Wiki:

Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., later Roy Harold Fitzgerald (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), known professionally as Rock Hudson, was an American film and television actor, most recognized as a romantic leading man during the 1950s and 1960s, most notably in Magnificent Obsession (1954), Giant (1956) and several popular comedies with Doris Day. Later roles included the leads in Ice Station Zebra and the popular televison series McMillan & Wife along with a role in the hugely successful series Dynasty.

Hudson was voted “Star of the Year”, “Favorite Leading Man”, and similar titles by numerous movie magazines. The 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall actor was one of the most popular and well-known movie stars of the time. He completed nearly 70 motion pictures and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned over four decades.

Hudson died in 1985, being the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness.

Following his death, Elizabeth Taylor, his co-star in the film Giant, purchased a bronze plaque for Hudson on the West Hollywood Memorial Walk.

 

Why He’s a Style Icon

Millions of men would kill for the ability to make women swoon the way Roy Harold Scherer Jr. did on-screen. This actor had the kind of charisma that couldn’t be manufactured. When he changed his name to Rock Hudson, he broke box-office records with his films and TV appearances. But as a child, the actor was never cast for any of the productions that he auditioned for, and he had trouble memorizing his lines. Superstardom didn’t happen overnight. He sent his photos to tons of production companies until he began getting small roles, which led to larger ones. In 1956, he starred in Giant with fellow style icons James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor. His performance got him an Academy Award nod for best actor.

Hudson epitomized classic American style making simple choices with embellished impressions. On-screen, he wooed woman with his manly good looks and suave style. He pre-dated the word “swag” but would have done it justice. The height of Hudson’s career spanned two decades, both of which were probably the most important to menswear. The ’50s and ’60s brought rebels and statement looks, but menswear still catered to the classics. Hudson was no different.

The best thing about Hudson was his effortless style. He used very little in order to create a look — his presence on- and off-screen was the wow factor. Menswear wasn’t complicated or overly thought out. This is what the ’50s and ’60s were about. Consumers and designers both believed in grooming, so clean looks were always in order. This actor knew how to take something as simple as a white linen shirt and pair it with light-blue slacks, an early version of what would probably be referred to as espadrilles, and a basic leather belt to create the perfect everyday outfit. If he looked like he didn’t try that hard, it’s probably because he didn’t.

Dress the Rock Hudson Way

Rock Hudson’s style wasn’t complicated. From his choices, it’s evident that the actor believed in keeping everything simple and to the point. His perspective was classic and minimalist. That didn’t necessarily mean all white and no patterns, but the actor let embellishments accent his look without overpowering his perspective. When shopping or browsing through your closet, look for basic pieces that can be dressed up and down — nothing too over-the-top. Ermenegildo Zegna’s cotton-stretch pants are great for a simplistic, chic look. These pants (available in white at Bergdorf Goodman) give you that extra room for breathing and the stretch element can conform to the body, making them slim or baggy depending on how they are worn. Grooming should be clean and trimmed. Hudson’s style was more dapper than rugged.

Happy Birthday Montgomery Clift

Today would have been Montgomery Clift’s 93rd birthday.  His life seemed to be full of super highs and super lows and I think that makes the best life story.  It makes me root for them (even if I know the outcome) and love their humanity, vulnerability, and fragility.  Plus, his best friend was Elizabeth Taylor, the 1950’s Elizabeth Taylor at that.  Have you seen A Place in the Sun or Misfits lately?  Have you seen them ever?  They both have ridiculously talented casts that make them more than worthwhile to watch.

NAME: Edward Montgomery Clift
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: October 17, 1920
DEATH DATE: July 23, 1966
PLACE OF BIRTH: Omaha, Nebraska
PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York

BEST KNOWN FOR: Actor Montgomery Clift starred in films like Red River (1948), A Place in the Sun (1951), and From Here To Eternity (1953).

Edward Montgomery Clift (October 17, 1920 – July 23, 1966) was an American film and stage actor. The New York Times’ obituary noted his portrayal of “moody, sensitive young men”.

He invariably played outsiders, often “victim-heroes,” – examples include the social climber in George Stevens’s A Place in the Sun, the anguished Catholic priest in Hitchcock’s I Confess, the doomed regular soldier Robert E. Lee Prewitt in Fred Zinnemann‘s From Here to Eternity, and the Jewish GI bullied by antisemites in Edward Dmytryk’s The Young Lions. Later, after a disfiguring car crash in 1956, and alcohol and prescription drug abuse, he became erratic. Nevertheless important roles were still his, including “the reckless, alcoholic, mother-fixated rodeo performer in Huston’s The Misfits, the title role in Huston’s Freud, and the concentration camp victim in Stanley Kramer‘s Judgment at Nuremberg.

Clift received four Academy Award nominations during his career, three for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting Actor.

Elizabeth Taylor – Words To Live By

elizabeth taylor

“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” – Elizabeth Taylor

Rock Hudson – Style Icon

NAME: Rock Hudson
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: November 17, 1925
DEATH DATE: October 02, 1985
PLACE OF BIRTH: Winnetka, Illinois
PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
ORIGINALLY: Roy Harold Scherer, Jr.
AKA: Roy Harold Fitzgerald

BEST KNOWN FOR: Rock Hudson was a leading man of the Hollywood screen in the 1950s and 1960s. His death from AIDS in 1985 greatly increased awareness of the disease.

Roy Harold Scherer, Jr., later Roy Harold Fitzgerald (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), known professionally as Rock Hudson, was an American film and television actor, most recognized as a romantic leading man during the 1950s and 1960s, most notably in Magnificent Obsession (1954), Giant (1956) and several popular comedies with Doris Day. Later roles included the leads in Ice Station Zebra and the popular televison series McMillan & Wife along with a role in the hugely successful series Dynasty.

Hudson was voted “Star of the Year”, “Favorite Leading Man”, and similar titles by numerous movie magazines. The 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall actor was one of the most popular and well-known movie stars of the time. He completed nearly 70 motion pictures and starred in several television productions during a career that spanned over four decades.

Hudson died in 1985, being the first major celebrity to die from an AIDS-related illness.

Following his death, Elizabeth Taylor, his co-star in the film Giant, purchased a bronze plaque for Hudson on the West Hollywood Memorial Walk.

What You Need To Know

  •     Go for classic minimalist style above all else.
  •     Clean grooming at all times (dapper, not rugged).
  •     Colors accentuate; they don’t intimidate.

Why He’s a Style Icon

Millions of men would kill for the ability to make women swoon the way Roy Harold Scherer Jr. did on-screen. This actor had the kind of charisma that couldn’t be manufactured. When he changed his name to Rock Hudson, he broke box-office records with his films and TV appearances. But as a child, the actor was never cast for any of the productions that he auditioned for, and he had trouble memorizing his lines. Superstardom didn’t happen overnight. He sent his photos to tons of production companies until he began getting small roles, which led to larger ones. In 1956, he starred in Giant with fellow style icons James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor. His performance got him an Academy Award nod for best actor.

Hudson epitomized classic American style making simple choices with embellished impressions. On-screen, he wooed woman with his manly good looks and suave style. He pre-dated the word “swag” but would have done it justice. The height of Hudson’s career spanned two decades, both of which were probably the most important to menswear. The ’50s and ’60s brought rebels and statement looks, but menswear still catered to the classics. Hudson was no different.

The best thing about Hudson was his effortless style. He used very little in order to create a look — his presence on- and off-screen was the wow factor. Menswear wasn’t complicated or overly thought out. This is what the ’50s and ’60s were about. Consumers and designers both believed in grooming, so clean looks were always in order. This actor knew how to take something as simple as a white linen shirt and pair it with light-blue slacks, an early version of what would probably be referred to as espadrilles, and a basic leather belt to create the perfect everyday outfit. If he looked like he didn’t try that hard, it’s probably because he didn’t.

Dress the Rock Hudson Way

Rock Hudson’s style wasn’t complicated. From his choices, it’s evident that the actor believed in keeping everything simple and to the point. His perspective was classic and minimalist. That didn’t necessarily mean all white and no patterns, but the actor let embellishments accent his look without overpowering his perspective. When shopping or browsing through your closet, look for basic pieces that can be dressed up and down — nothing too over-the-top. Ermenegildo Zegna’s cotton-stretch pants are great for a simplistic, chic look. These pants (available in white at Bergdorf Goodman) give you that extra room for breathing and the stretch element can conform to the body, making them slim or baggy depending on how they are worn. Grooming should be clean and trimmed. Hudson’s style was more dapper than rugged.