The Rake October 2021 - Issue 78

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.

United Kingdom
The Rake Pte Ltd
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letter from the founder

I’ve been travelling for the past four weeks, with two more weeks to go. Before I go into the details of my trip, let’s pause to examine the enormity of this. As I left a world that had essentially been locked down to contain the spread of the most virulent pandemic of the past century, I was curious to understand and experience life post-Covid. My simple conclusion is that it is glorious. I am immensely grateful for every moment spent with friends, in person, across a table, laughing, sharing stories and engaging in the most primal and fundamentally necessary behaviour of remaking and strengthening our bonds. One thing you learn as you grow older — and this is something my mother pressed upon me at an early age — is that…

letter from the editor-in-chief

Whenever I write my letter, I tend to go down one of two routes: superfluous and whimsical or dead-serious and sentimental. As I look at the news today, I see a new Islamic emirate set up by a death cult that has been left to summarily execute musicians, academics and homosexuals; the ongoing financial effects of Covid playing havoc with world economies; shortages galore in Britain because of the slow process of untangling from the E.U.; and if someplace hasn’t set on fire, it’s probably flooded. In such times it is clear what tone I need to take in this letter. Whimsy it is. What an issue we have for you. New York is the playground from which we have drawn our inspiration this time. It happened almost by accident, and…


GREG WILLIAMS Greg established his reportage style as a photojournalist in the 1990s, covering war zones in Burma, Chechnya and Sierra Leone. An assignment for The Sunday Times Magazine gave him his first access to the film industry, and he has now shot specials on more than 200 movies, including four poster campaigns for the Bond franchise. Greg has also enjoyed exclusive access to the Baftas, the Golden Globes and the Oscars, and is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair and British Vogue. In addition to his photographic output, Greg is a filmmaker, principally with his first-person documentaries, and a product designer (his Leica Q2, in partnership with Daniel Craig, is Leica’s fastest selling large-scale edition). His education platform, Skills Faster, is home to his Candid Photography course, which has the…

the president that never was

Not long ago, a fresh rumour gained traction amid the phantasmagoria of the QAnon conspiracy theoryindustrial complex. It held that John F. Kennedy Jr. had faked his death in a plane crash in 1999 and was about to emerge from a Pennsylvania bolthole to be declared Donald Trump’s vice-presidential pick for the 2020 election. Some went further, positing that JFK Jr. was responsible for the recondite call-to-action postings of Q himself. For a movement that contains such self-evident truths as the existence of a cannibalistic cabal of paedophiles running the ‘deep state’ from the basements of Washington pizza parlours, this particular shibboleth not only verged on the comparatively plausible but tapped into an inchoate yearning for the advent of some kind of American saviour, maybe the yin to Trump’s yang. In…

hope in hell

For me, George Hahn is an unexpected delight in a topsyturvy, unbalanced world that needs perspective, humour and great coffee. This raconteur du jour on the Instagram scene shot to prominence when he posted a video he calls the “78 seconds that changed my life”. It was a satirical take on Fox News’ insistence that, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, the metropolitan heartlands of America resembled war zones. In the video Hahn repeated these lines but added that it was a “hellscape” because the streets were lined with people “getting ice cream” and “having dinner”. Then an editor in New York emailed me a link to a New York Times profile of a man pictured in his apartment with a copy of The Rake on show. Same guy!…

swing time

Artie Shaw was easy to love but hard to like. Good looking, immaculately stylish and supremely talented, he dominated the swing era as the ‘King of the Clarinet’, inciting the devotion of the jazz cognoscenti and the paying public — as well as many of the most beautiful women of his time. Despite this, he lived a life of dissatisfaction, resentment and misanthropy, contemptuous of all around him and even of his own spectacular gifts. A master of his instrument, he sold millions of records while also pushing popular music in new directions. With a restlessness that began in his teens, he lived as many lives as a cat, burning through jobs, bands and marriages as he pursued not only music but a string of secondary careers and sporting achievements with…