Across the Atlantic

Number (N)ine wool-alpaca Cowichan sweater, $1,695 at Barneys New York; tattersall cotton shirt, $425 at Bergdorf Goodman; Patrik Ervell pleated cashmere pants, $700 at Opening Ceremony; cotton bandana, $12 at Jean Shop.

There is something almost imperceptibly interesting about this recent Americana editorial from The New York Times: Dress Codes, Looking Good: The Sequel.

Leather coat with shearling-lined hood, $1,595 at Emporio Armani; Scandinavian print cashmere crew neck, $547 at Paul Stuart; cotton shirt, $330, and slim-leg wool pants, $570, both at Marc Jacobs; Michael Bastian Shetland wool tie, $180 at Bergdorf.

You will notice the bold contrasting of colors.

Wool-alpaca patch-pocket jacket, $1,130 at Marc Jacobs; Thom Browne tattersall oxford shirt, $350 at Bergdorf; Hanro cotton tank top, $78 at; printed silk scarf, $295 at Yves Saint Laurent; Black Fleece wool trousers, $900 at Brooks Brothers; duck boots, $85 at L. L. Bean.

The mix of fabrics with different textures. The nonchalant but obviously bohemian insertion of details such as bandanas.

Michael Bastian striped cotton tank, $252 at, and wrap cardigan, $1,195 at Saks; Dries Van Noten wide-leg wool-cashmere pants, $555 at Barneys; cashmere cable-knit scarf, $1,330 at Tom Ford.

Contrasts again, but this time against an exquisite scarf.

Shawl-collar wool sweater, $98, and striped barrel-cuff cotton shirt, $125, both at Banana Republic; Michael Bastian cashmere weave tie, $185 at Bergdorf; Band of Outsiders corduroy trousers, $520 at Barneys; orange leather belt, $5 from a street vendor; leather messenger bag, $495 at J. Crew; "Jones" black plastic frames, $195 at A.R. Trapp Opticians.

The $5 belt bought from a street vendor is a sweet surprise.

Bamford & Sons cashmere fisherman sweater, $1,195 at Barneys; Band of Outsiders tartan quilted vest, $445 at Opening Ceremony; Phineas Cole checked wool trousers, $484 at Paul Stuart; wool toggle coat, $400 at Banana Republic; Michael Bastian fingerless wool gloves, $240 at Bergdorf; socks, $00 at Paragon Sports; duck boots, $85 at L.L. Bean; "Fiction" tortoise plastic frames, $220 at A.R. Trapp.

This look could have been assembled from the separate wardrobes of five highly opinionated people. Together, the pieces belong to a highly confident and sly sophisticate.

Tweed wool overcoat, $1,930, striped cardigan, $930, and wool pants, $420, all at Etro; Black Fleece striped cotton shirt, $150 at Brooks Brothers; suede belt, $255 at Yves Saint Laurent; Michael Bastian knit scarf, $465 at Scoop.

Band of Outsiders two-button corduroy sports jacket, $1,610, tartan cashmere sweater vest, $710, striped cotton oxford shirt, $225, and silk tie, $125, all at Barneys; Black Fleece cable-knit wool sweater, $350 at Brooks Brothers; leather messenger bag, $588 at Il Bisonte.

I have to concede and admit that I have never imagined American dressing like this.

The solidity of mood produced by the editorial above can carry itself well when compared with this Menswear magazine 2007 holiday shoot, No Sun in Venice, where emotions carry their own shadows.

Instead of sunlight, there is the dark of unsaid words and unexpressed confessions.

The two editorials seem to stand for light and darkness, America and Europe, modernity and tradition, besides of course, day clothes and night wear.

I think both shoots are exquisite, though in a different respect.

Editors and stylists merely have to breathe the air of their chosen settings, cities, continents. The clothes usually follow.

"No Sun in Venice" images from Model Hommes