Eileen Smith Dallabrida Special to The News Journal
Published 12:30 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2015 | Updated 4:46 p.m. ET Dec. 13, 2015
WHO: Harry Mack Truax II, 50, of Wilmington, conservation and lighting design coordinator at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library.
WHY: I met Mack at the preview gala for the Delaware Antiques Show, where a friend proclaimed him the most handsome man in the room. Mack has a natural ease, an innate sense of what suits him best and the unique perspective of an artist who views fashion as a vibrant fusion of time, place and creative spirit.
HIS STYLE: “A blend of vintage, designer and custom made. I’m inspired by the New Romantics of the 1980s, mixed with a love of Lilly Pulitzer clothing with its whimsical prints and wonderful use of color.”
OUTFIT — in the Chinese Parlor, set for a du Pont family Christmas: Grey pin-striped wool Moschino sequined jacket from the early 1990s; black speckled H&M shirt; black silk straight tie; grey plaid H&M pants; black crocodile horn-back belt by Pat Areias, circa 1990; black alligator Gucci loafers from the 1980s.
STYLE MENTOR: “Pinkie Black, a friend I met when I lived in New York. She looked amazing in beautiful clothes, couture. She introduced me to designers in the Fashion Underground who influenced me greatly.”
FASHION ICONS: The Duke of Windsor; Hamish Bowles, European editor-at-large for Vogue; Quentin Crisp, writer and raconteur; and Susanne Bartsch, nightlife queen and patron of the Fashion Underground.
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Rachel Auburn, Leigh Bowery, and Lilly Pulitzer.
KEEPING ORGANIZED: He took the advice of Susanne Bartsch, who even after a late night out does not rest until she takes off every garment and accessory and puts it in its proper place. “Everything is on hangers and in bags. I try to be archival about it.”
TIPS FOR BLENDING PATTERNS: “In the 1990s, my friend Vicky Bartlett was fashion editor at Interview Magazine and she gave me a crash course on throwing things together—and then editing them. Add something, take something away until you get it right.”
FASHION MANTRA: “Ich bin kunst” — literally, “I am art” — by Leigh Bowery.
GO-TO OUTFIT: A hand-printed Trentshirt T-shirt by Robert Trent and Carhartt pants. “I can add any jacket I own and be set.”
WHY FASHION IS IMPORTANT: “I dress very casually at work so a lot of people will be surprised that I collect clothes. Fashion is nonverbal communication. It sets your mood. It’s fun. When I like what I am wearing and I am comfortable, it makes me happy.”
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