The Rake October 2020 - Issue 72

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

Recently the stylist Francesca Burns called out Hedi Slimane, the Creative Director at Celine, over sample sizing. She was styling a photoshoot and was helping a model try on a pair of pants that had been sent. The model, as you can tell from the image Burns shared, was, as she put it, “tiny”. Yet she found buttoning the apparently child-size trousers impossible. Burns’s issue is that a model experiencing this will feel embarrassed or frustrated, which can lead to body dysmorphia, eating disorders, anxiety, and other mental health issues. (And we are talking about an already rail-thin professional model who, despite appearing on the pages of a fashion magazine, is young and at a formative and impressionable point in her life.) In the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, which…

letter from the editor

While I like cars, I am tone deaf when it comes to engineering. I am unable to make the calculation that tells me whether certain brake horsepower is impressive, and although I’d like to understand, ‘torque’ is not a concept I follow. I do, however, love to drive; I do all of it in the family. Sadly this reflects in part a trauma I suffered as a child, when I was sent hurtling into the propeller of a parked boat. My leg was permanently scarred, and psychologically — well, it was a fairly traumatic and frightening thing to happen to a seven-year-old. The incident itself was bad enough, but what followed was years of reconstructive surgery to get things back into relative working order. I was so scared, the doctors…

letter from the guest editor

I was four years old, in a playground, when I saw my first Aston Martin drive by. Something clicked, and the memory is clear in my mind to this day. Growing up, I spent all my free time reading as much as I could about cars. The second I got my licence, I found myself at a small, almost hidden, mechanic’s garage in West Los Angeles. For those of you not so familiar with L.A., there is nothing exceptional about a mechanic’s shop in a city in which cars are more or less a necessity, but this one was different, and it changed my life. I would find myself there almost daily, with a group of people who had been bitten by the same bug as I had. Over the…


The photographer Boo George has contributed to international editions of Vogue, W, Love, Arena Homme + and i-D; commercially he has been engaged by Calvin Klein, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Dior, and Ralph Lauren. He has turned his lens on myriad personalities, including Emma Watson, Helen Mirren, Michael Fassbender, Kim Kardashian and Sienna Miller. Ireland-born Boo now splits his time between Britain and the U.S., and joined us in London to shoot Eddie Redmayne for this issue’s cover. He says: “I’d shot Eddie before, but it was years ago. For the location of this shoot we chose this rundown old hotel in Lancaster Gate — I’d often passed it on my bicycle, and I thought it would be a nice juxtaposition, the decaying walls and old wooden floorboards against Eddie’s beautifully…

bug’s life

In 1927, a most singular automobile glided out of the doors of a factory in Molsheim, in present-day Alsace. The Bugatti Royale was the ultimate in luxury conveyances, as envisioned by the celebrated Italian engineer and designer Ettore Bugatti. Reportedly inspired when Ettore was goaded by the remarks of an Englishwoman, who compared Bugattis unfavourably to Rolls-Royces, the Royale cut a suitably imposing figure. It was 21 feet long and weighed around three tons (outshining a Rolls by 20 per cent and 25 per cent respectively). Its rangy bonnet concealed a 12.7-litre straight-eight engine, originally designed for the French Air ministry, which could theoretically propel it to 180 kilometres an hour or more. It featured a swooping Art Deco running board and a radiator cap modelled on a dancing elephant…

ever the twain

Having grown up avidly tuning into the Oscars — “but only for the red carpet bit” — Andy Poupart, a software engineering manager, has always been left a little cold by the “trackie pants and jeans” culture prevalent in his professional realm. But it was a chat with a man whose neck was a-drape not with a tape measure but a stethoscope that prompted the sartorial overhaul that has proved life-redefining. Poupart says: “About eight years ago I had a physical — my blood sugar was trending badly and the doctor just said, ‘You don’t want that trend to continue’. So I ended up losing a bunch of weight, and my clothes didn’t fit any more. I needed an entirely new wardrobe. I had a couple of suits made on Savile…