The Rake February 2020 - Issue 68

The world’s preeminent publication dedicated to the renaissance in gentlemanly sophistication and style, THE RAKE recaptures the codes of classic men’s elegance. Inspired by icons such as Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, the Duke of Windsor, Gianni Agnelli, Sean Connery, and their contemporary counterparts, THE RAKE provides incisive, in-depth commentary on magnificent menswear, and the many other elements of gentlemanly living, from manners and ethics, to art and design, tasteful travel, health and well-being, the intellectual and philosophical, to homes, modes of transport, entertainment, food and drink. THE RAKE is the modern voice of classic elegance.

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letter from the founder

For the majority of my life I’ve been underestimated. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I vividly recall, when I was a child, my grandmother inviting a fortune teller to divine the potential trajectory of my life. In particular, I remember that after a great deal of amateur dramatics, joss-stick throwing, I Ching consulting, palm reading and star-chart mapping, the fortune teller resoundingly declared that I would probably not amount to much. That’s exactly what I needed to hear. Because in the ensuing half-century I would wake up every morning seething with the unbridled desire to prove him wrong. I wanted to pulverise and decimate his prediction into nothingness. Initially, his words seemed to ring true. Each time I applied myself to something, I was met with…

letter from the editor

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. In my case the maxim is literally true, as I was brought up in asphalt- and petrol-scented London, which means I first got my hands dirty when I changed my firstborn’s nappy. Every time I pluck up the courage to leave the security blanket of the M25 (for our majority readership not based in the U.K., the M25 is a circular highway generally considered to be the border of London), the green of the countryside matches my envy for those who get to wake up every day to the cooing wood pigeons and fresh-lunged milkmen whistling their cheery tunes in charming idylls with great names like Bourton-on-the-Water, Boggy Bottom and Mousehole. It is only when I go to the countryside…


Michael is a Floridian turned New Yorker who began his photography career in the fashion industry as an agent for models. While developing and maintaining the careers of some leading models, he had a desire to get back to his lifelong goal of capturing still and moving images. Since changing careers he has not looked back, having shot for several iconic brands, including Hugo Boss, Victoria’s Secret, Vogue and GQ. He lives in New York with his girlfriend and his badass Pomeranian called Biggie. In this issue Michael returned to The Rake to photograph Maggie Gyllenhaal for our cover and accompanying profile (page 82). With two decades’ experience covering style, entertainment, entrepreneurship, travel and luxury, the Singapore-based Barker was The Rake’s founding Editor-in-Chief. Today he serves as the magazine’s editor for…

fire in his belly

You think you know Billy Joel, but you don’t know Billy Joel. There’s an easy way to prove it: go to YouTube and search for ‘Attila’. You’ll hear a cacophonous late-sixties version of heavy metal led by over-amplified organ and see a picture of two longhairs in armour standing in an abattoir. One of them is the organist, and he’s Billy Joel. Most musicians have a past they’d rather forget, and this is Joel’s. He went through a succession of cover bands and failed beat bands, then the terrible Attila, and all of it to show that he wasn’t made for his times. In truth, though, he wasn’t really made for any times, which is both a blessing and a curse for an artist. The songs that made his name —…

animal attraction

Freddie Fox was born to act. The 30-year-old scion of the thespian Fox dynasty that includes his father, Edward, his sister, Emilia, and his cousin Laurence dabbled in other fields in his youth, but was never able to resist the allure of the dramatic arts. Spurred on by his family’s support and inspired by the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Alec Guinness and Paul Newman, Fox attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before throwing himself into a slew of roles in theatre, television and film. Now he is playing Jeremy Bamber in the television series White House Farm, a drama based on the chilling true story of the fatal shootings at White House Farm in Essex in 1985, in which Bamber was convicted of murdering his family. It’s a challenging…

michelangelo and the yearning for tragedy

On a balmy evening in spring 1960, an audience of cinephiles at the Cannes film festival were getting hot under their dress collars. Boos, exaggerated yawns, loud jeers, and even derisive laughter attended the screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura. Described by its director as “a type of film noir in reverse”, the picture told the story of a socialite on a boat trip with haute-bourgeois friends who vanishes on a remote island. Or, to be more exact, it didn’t. Not only was the central ‘mystery’ never resolved, the character simply evaporated from proceedings while her erstwhile boyfriend and best friend embarked on their own listless love affair. For the restive audience, this wasn’t so much delayed gratification as indefinitely postponed gratification. However, later that night, Roberto Rossellini and a group…