This designing man favors vintage and designer style

This designing man favors vintage and designer style

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.”

Style Files runs weekly in Sundaylife. To suggest someone stylish to feature—your coworker, teacher, friend, relative or even yourself—please send information to and include contact information. Pictures are super, too. Reach Eileen Smith Dallabrida at

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