The Rake February 2021 - Issue 74

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

Last year the coolest guy I ever met died. Unlike the two million people around the world who have perished as a result of Covid-19, my friend died in an accident. He was working on his pick-up truck when it must have come off a jack-stand and crushed him. It is my sincere hope that he did not suffer, and that, in his final moments, he was assured of the many people who loved him and looked up to him as the hero he was. He was certainly a hero to me. I met Jason Michael Haivala, known to his friends as Jake, during my existential sojourn into the American west, on the grass plains of the Big Sky Country known as Montana. Here’s how it happened. Upon completing my two…

letter from the editor

Imitation is a funny old thing — the sincerest form of flattery, they say. As it happens, I agree; I indulge in it often. My only party trick is half-decent impressions, which people seem to find relatively amusing, and it’s useful around the dinner table when conversation runs dry and everyone is a few glasses of plonk in. Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote that music’s purpose was to “imitate the spiritual”, and what is so extraordinary about so much of his music, from the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis to the Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, is that it is hard to know if, as John Fuller Maitland put it, “one is listening to something very old, or very new”. This is intentional. His time spent analysing folk music…


Mariano, who was born in Lima in the late seventies, travelled the world with his family from an early age before settling down in New Zealand at the age of 10. This is where his passion for art and photography began. Inspired by the scenes depicted in the works of Edward Steichen and Horst P. Horst, he moved to London in 2000 to pursue a career in fashion photography, with his first shoot gracing the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. MARIANO VIVANCO Mariano has published several books, including Ninety Five Chapel Market (2008), Uomini (2010), and Portraits Nudes Flowers (2016). Three of his emblematic portraits are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London. For this issue, Mariano shot our cover star, Gemma Arterton, at the Corinthia Hotel in London. Aleks is…

fürsten foremost

A couple of years ago, Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia Carolina Theresa Pancrazia Galdina von und Zu Fürstenberg, or Ira, as she is (mercifully) known, asked me to write her life story. Ira is just fabulous. I first met her in Marbella; she is unlike anyone I have ever met. If anything, the singular ‘life’ is somewhat misleading, as even by the most conservative of estimates she has led half a dozen different lives. Indeed, given the many personal dramas over 80 years, and the fact she is one of the most engaging, unaffected and clear-eyed witnesses to that halcyon period of the jet set, I am still surprised that Netflix has not been in touch to commission a T.V. series based on her life — what it may lack…

major relief

Since its cornerstone was laid one crisp autumn morning in 1792, the neoclassical residence-cum-seat-of-power that would go on to be named after the blanched Virginia freestone from which it is constructed has become a hotbed of occasionally mawkish anthropomorphism. The first celebrity White House pet was Laddie Boy, Warren G. Harding’s Airedale Terrier, who sat in on cabinet meetings perched upon his own hand-carved chair and was the regular subject of ‘interview’ features in The Washington Star and The New York Times. Herbert Hoover’s Belgian police dog, King Tut, were he scuffing the carpets outside the Oval Office in the glossy publication era, would be the topic of at least as many column inches as Michelle Obama. And let’s not forget that, along with his six offspring, Theodore Roosevelt rocked up…

director’s cut

It’s a terribly kept secret that we are big fans of dogs at The Rake. That is not to say, however, that the handsome golden retriever Hugo is the selling point for this shoot; he was merely a stipulation. Alessandra Codinha, the Style Director of Departures magazine in the United States, has for the past 10 years trodden the kind of path that any serious fashion journalist and editor might wish to. She began at WWD, and had stints at Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue before landing at Departures in 2019. When you’re making a magazine for American Express Platinum card holders, you need a head not only for fashion but the broader lifestyle and culture interests of a worldly client. For that, Alessandra is the perfect fit, as she…