The Rake April 2021 - Issue 75

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

It’s a sad sign of the experience we’ve lived through when I find myself writing my second consecutive Founder’s letter in homage to a great man who has passed away. A collective sob was felt throughout the sartorial universe when we learned of Gigi Dalcuore’s death in February this year. We felt the loss keenly because, of course, the world would now be deprived of a great master, a man capable of that rare act of tailoring transubstantiation — of rendering life, dimension and sculptural form from what was once two-dimensional cloth. Dalcuore clothes were infused with anima, with a soul that was imparted by him through his shears as he cut each garment. But the hurt we experienced was far greater because our planet had lost a wonderful human…

letter from the editor

When Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was broadcast, a week or so before this issue of The Rake went to print, I confess to thinking about one person in particular. It wasn’t a member of the royal family, or a commentator pleased to accept any word-rate to make their opinions known. No, I kept things in-house and thought of our Chief Subeditor, Stephen Wood. Why did I think of him? Well, let’s just say that when the Palace furore was unfolding, all I could imagine was Steve saying to himself, Oh, God, Tom’s going to write about the Queen in his letter, isn’t he? Well, yes. Yes, I am. But only briefly, and fortunately it is a neat gambit — the Queen’s gambit, if you will —…


Kurt Iswarienko, a photographer born in the blue-collar creative breeding ground of Akron, Ohio, and raised in Argentina and Mexico, was influenced by the eclectic cultural and geographical contrasts he experienced as he travelled as a young boy. He picked up a camera for the first time while working as a lighting technician on film sets in Hollywood, and his cinematically driven eye found its creative niche working within the static frame. Known for drawing emotionally charged narrative performances from his subjects, and a visually sculpted lighting style, Kurt has photographed everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Brad Pitt, and created media campaigns with a number of diverse brands. During the Covid pandemic he adapted his process to produce still and motion projects remotely, logging more than 40 such shoots in…


Though rock is now filed firmly in the Heritage section alongside jazz and folk, its official history still rules our thinking about popular music. Everything started with Elvis Presley, the wisdom still goes, and before him there was only dross. Nat King Cole is one of the great victims of this belief, his decades of work reduced to a single function. Like Slade, Mariah Carey, The Pogues and Bing Crosby, he is a fixture of our lives in that narrow window between the middle of November and Boxing Day, when we hear his impossibly rich voice launch for the 74th year running into The Christmas Song, reminding us of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at our nose. He deserves much more. Just as that effortlessly seductive…

‘actors have this amazing skill set — of making things happen in spite of the worst-case circumstances’

Freddy Carter has more than the required amount of high cheekbones and unfettered charm to propel his career as an actor. While the 28-year-old was growing up surrounded by the farms and coastline of Somerset, and amid short stints in Cyprus and the United States, a life in front of the camera wasn’t always obvious. But his parents loved the theatre, and a particular trip to London to see Mark Rylance play the wild man of the woods in Jerusalem inspired a 16-year-old Carter. He debated applying to university, even just as a safety net, but instead auditioned for the Oxford School of Drama, and got in. Carter spent no time hanging about after graduation, immediately joining the cast of the Sir Trevor Nunn-directed Wars of the Roses at the Rose…

suspendered in time

There are generally two breeds of interviewer. The first kind are assiduous about getting prepped for their subject. Sir David Frost was the exemplar here; when I turned up to interview him some years ago, he spent the first few minutes making ostentatious reference to a slew of recent stories I’d done, which was both impressive and not a little disarming. The second group takes a — how to put this? — more cavalier approach. Larry King was indisputably their champion. Over 25 years and his many thousands of interviews fronting Larry King Live, CNN’s highest-rated, longest-running programme that reached millions across America and some 130 countries around the world, the Brooklyn-born King displayed what The New York Times called “the folksy personality of a Bensonhurst schmoozer”, making a kind of…