Steven Hitchcock, Soft English Style

image

Tailoring is often described in regional or house terms. Anderson & Sheppard’s iconic drape cut is soft shouldered and full throughout the chest, making even the most frail and pudgy look athletic. Conversely, Huntsman’s imposing shoulder line and flared skirt, which kicks out from the hips, accentuates their X-shaped silhouettes. Huntsman’s cut is derived from their heritage, obvious from the company’s name, back when the firm used to tailor for Europe’s hunting and riding aristocracy.  

Over the years, I’ve realized these generalizations only take you so far. In reality, there’s no such thing as an Anderson & Sheppard cut – only a specific cutter’s interpretation of a house style. The word cutter is a tailoring term for a person who drafts a pattern and cuts the cloth, sort of like the architect behind a building. Large tailoring houses can have two or three cutters, maybe more if you count the people making trousers, which means the same number of people can walk into a shop and come out with surprisingly different garments. If you like a bespoke suit or sport coat, it’s just as important to ask who was the cutter as it is to ask about the tailoring house. 

Which is why I like working with small tailoring shops, where the cutter’s name is on the door. You have a better chance of knowing who cut each of the garments that carries the shop’s label. One such cutter-run firm is Steven Hitchcock’s, who’s been in the tailoring business for over twenty-seven years. He left school at age sixteen to find a trade, first puttering around with the idea of becoming a mechanic (he even took some classes for it). “At some point, my grandfather suggested I spend a day with my dad, John Hitchcock, who at the time was a trouser cutter at Anderson & Sheppard,” says Steven. “It ended up being fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a pair of trousers get cut and made, as well as celebrities such as Liam Neeson walk through those doors.”

image

Steven entered the trade as an apprentice coatmaker at Anderson & Sheppard in 1990, where he was taught how to sew the various parts of a coat together. A few years later, management asked him to be an apprentice cutter, what’s known in the trade as a striker, after which he graduated and became one of the tailoring firm’s cutters. He worked at Anderson & Sheppard for many years throughout this time before deciding to venture out on his own. When he left A&S at age twenty-six, ten years after he took his apprenticeship, Steven was the youngest tailor on Savile Row to have his own shop. 

It’s unusual in England for a tailor to be trained as both a cutter and maker. Most people come into the trade as one or the other, and then stay on their career path. This is dramatically different in Italy, where men will enter the tailoring world at a very young age – a generation ago, even when they were just boys – and slowly pick up different aspects of the craft throughout their lifetime. And while most still end up specializing in one facet of the production process, it’s not unusual to find an Italian tailor who can make an entire coat from start to finish if he had to.

Steven feels this gives him an advantage, especially as a traveling tailor, where he works as the salesperson, fitter, and cutter, but also has been trained in the different aspects of making a garment. “If you’re a cutter who can’t make, how do you explain to others what’s gone wrong with the coat?,” he asks. 

image
image

One of the notable things about Steven’s work is the clean precision. Being an Anderson & Sheppard expat, he clearly falls into the soft English style, drape cut tradition, but the center of gravity is different. His coats are a little tidier and neater, maybe even a bit more contemporary in style. “It’s still a drape cut because I cut a very straight coat,” says Steven. “That means the neck point has been brought forward about a half-an-inch, which throws the cloth back. However, I clear away some of the volume from the sides.” 

You can see this in some of the photos above – the shoulder line is still soft and sloping, the waist nipped, and the armholes clearly high. And while there’s a bit of volume in the chest, it doesn’t “drape” around the armholes as much as, say, Edwin DeBoise’s creations at Steed. “I can still make a traditional drape cut for customers who ask for it,” says Steven. “But most customers today want something more controlled.” I think of Steven’s suits as a modernized drape cut, rather than the old-school, drape suits Men’s Club used to feature in their magazines during the 1980s and ‘90s. 

For larger customers, Steven also cuts his jackets with a wedge running through the pocket, which helps hold the coat a bit closer to the body. “I want a clean, straight line, not a wavy line, down the waist. It’s what Frederick Scholte used to achieve a hundred years ago with an iron, but today we have to do with shears. Cloth is just much lighter in weight today, so you need that shape to hold.” 

image

As for how he feels about the future of the trade, Steven is optimistic. While larger tailoring houses are shifting to ready-to-wear in order to pay for their exorbitant Savile Row rents, Steven manages to focus on bespoke by keeping his costs low. He shares his space with other tailors on 11 St. George Street – a small building lovingly known as “the tailors’ den,” as it houses Denman & Goddard, Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, L.G. Wilkinson, and others. Steven does all his work here in-house, on the bottom floor, where he’s hired his own makers. 

“We only make a hundred and fifty suits a year,” he says. “It’s much more manageable as a small shop as you’re focused on making four to five suits per week, rather than the twenty you see at larger houses. It’s not hard to find customers; we struggle to find the best craftsmen, as we aim to make the best soft coat possible.” 

Readers interested in Steven’s work can visit him in London. He also travels to the United States several times a year, where he sees clients in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (the California cities are recent additions). Steven will actually be on the West Coast next week fitting customers. You can make appointments by contacting him through his website

(photos via The Rake and Steven Hitchcock’s Instagram)

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Steven Hitchcock, Soft English Style

image

Tailoring is often described in regional or house terms. Anderson & Sheppard’s iconic drape cut is soft shouldered and full throughout the chest, making even the most frail and pudgy look athletic. Conversely, Huntsman’s imposing shoulder line and flared skirt, which kicks out from the hips, accentuates their X-shaped silhouettes. Huntsman’s cut is derived from their heritage, obvious from the company’s name, back when the firm used to tailor for Europe’s hunting and riding aristocracy.  

Over the years, I’ve realized these generalizations only take you so far. In reality, there’s no such thing as an Anderson & Sheppard cut – only a specific cutter’s interpretation of a house style. The word cutter is a tailoring term for a person who drafts a pattern and cuts the cloth, sort of like the architect behind a building. Large tailoring houses can have two or three cutters, maybe more if you count the people making trousers, which means the same number of people can walk into a shop and come out with surprisingly different garments. If you like a bespoke suit or sport coat, it’s just as important to ask who was the cutter as it is to ask about the tailoring house. 

Which is why I like working with small tailoring shops, where the cutter’s name is on the door. You have a better chance of knowing who cut each of the garments that carries the shop’s label. One such cutter-run firm is Steven Hitchcock’s, who’s been in the tailoring business for over twenty-seven years. He left school at age sixteen to find a trade, first puttering around with the idea of becoming a mechanic (he even took some classes for it). “At some point, my grandfather suggested I spend a day with my dad, John Hitchcock, who at the time was a trouser cutter at Anderson & Sheppard,” says Steven. “It ended up being fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a pair of trousers get cut and made, as well as celebrities such as Liam Neeson walk through those doors.”

image

Steven entered the trade as an apprentice coatmaker at Anderson & Sheppard in 1990, where he was taught how to sew the various parts of a coat together. A few years later, management asked him to be an apprentice cutter, what’s known in the trade as a striker, after which he graduated and became one of the tailoring firm’s cutters. He worked at Anderson & Sheppard for many years throughout this time before deciding to venture out on his own. When he left A&S at age twenty-six, ten years after he took his apprenticeship, Steven was the youngest tailor on Savile Row to have his own shop. 

It’s unusual in England for a tailor to be trained as both a cutter and maker. Most people come into the trade as one or the other, and then stay on their career path. This is dramatically different in Italy, where men will enter the tailoring world at a very young age – a generation ago, even when they were just boys – and slowly pick up different aspects of the craft throughout their lifetime. And while most still end up specializing in one facet of the production process, it’s not unusual to find an Italian tailor who can make an entire coat from start to finish if he had to.

Steven feels this gives him an advantage, especially as a traveling tailor, where he works as the salesperson, fitter, and cutter, but also has been trained in the different aspects of making a garment. “If you’re a cutter who can’t make, how do you explain to others what’s gone wrong with the coat?,” he asks. 

image
image

One of the notable things about Steven’s work is the clean precision. Being an Anderson & Sheppard expat, he clearly falls into the soft English style, drape cut tradition, but the center of gravity is different. His coats are a little tidier and neater, maybe even a bit more contemporary in style. “It’s still a drape cut because I cut a very straight coat,” says Steven. “That means the neck point has been brought forward about a half-an-inch, which throws the cloth back. However, I clear away some of the volume from the sides.” 

You can see this in some of the photos above – the shoulder line is still soft and sloping, the waist nipped, and the armholes clearly high. And while there’s a bit of volume in the chest, it doesn’t “drape” around the armholes as much as, say, Edwin DeBoise’s creations at Steed. “I can still make a traditional drape cut for customers who ask for it,” says Steven. “But most customers today want something more controlled.” I think of Steven’s suits as a modernized drape cut, rather than the old-school, drape suits Men’s Club used to feature in their magazines during the 1980s and ‘90s. 

For larger customers, Steven also cuts his jackets with a wedge running through the pocket, which helps hold the coat a bit closer to the body. “I want a clean, straight line, not a wavy line, down the waist. It’s what Frederick Scholte used to achieve a hundred years ago with an iron, but today we have to do with shears. Cloth is just much lighter in weight today, so you need that shape to hold.” 

image

As for how he feels about the future of the trade, Steven is optimistic. While larger tailoring houses are shifting to ready-to-wear in order to pay for their exorbitant Savile Row rents, Steven manages to focus on bespoke by keeping his costs low. He shares his space with other tailors on 11 St. George Street – a small building lovingly known as “the tailors’ den,” as it houses Denman & Goddard, Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, L.G. Wilkinson, and others. Steven does all his work here in-house, on the bottom floor, where he’s hired his own makers. 

“We only make a hundred and fifty suits a year,” he says. “It’s much more manageable as a small shop as you’re focused on making four to five suits per week, rather than the twenty you see at larger houses. It’s not hard to find customers; we struggle to find the best craftsmen, as we aim to make the best soft coat possible.” 

Readers interested in Steven’s work can visit him in London. He also travels to the United States several times a year, where he sees clients in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (the California cities are recent additions). Steven will actually be on the West Coast next week fitting customers. You can make appointments by contacting him through his website

(photos via The Rake and Steven Hitchcock’s Instagram)

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Northern California Dream: Handcrafted Geodesic Dome Home on a Hillside

It must be hard to say goodbye to a home you built with your own hands after years of daydreaming about the perfect nest for you and your family. The reason Sheila Williamson is putting her beautiful geodesic dome home on the market is a sad one, but whoever buys the house will be inheriting a real gem infused with a whole lot of loving attention to detail. Located at the end of a private one-lane road, this home in the small town of Lafayette, California sits on a one-acre hillside property overlooking a valley. In a feature on Zillow, Williamson explains that the process of building the house was a long and arduous one.

Geodesic Dome Home - Glass Panels

“Just getting the permit was a bit of a challenge,” she says, “because [the building department] had no idea what we were talking about.”

What they were talking about, as it turns out, was a geodesic dome: a structure inspired by the creations of 20th-century architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller. Enlisting the help of an engineer, they were eventually able to gain approval from the city and start construction. It took seven years to carefully plot every detail of the design, from performing the initial calculations to handcrafting each triangular piece that makes up the dome. These pieces are lined with beautifully aged wood from a nearby warehouse that had been torn down.

Geodesic Dome Home - Lafayette, CA Geodesic Dome Home - Lafayette, CA

The home consists of three interconnected spheres on a platform built into the hillside. One acts as the entryway, one holds bedrooms, and the third hosts all the home’s common areas, like the kitchen and living room. This third dome opens out onto a spacious balcony and features a gorgeous skylight and glass panels for better views of the dramatic landscape around it.

Geodesic Dome Home - Balcony

“With characteristics found nowhere else in the area and highlighted by its geodesic dome structure, the home presents countless architectural features to complement such unique design, including wooden interior walls made of recycled wood, large windows & skylights providing ample natural light, magnificent handmade stained glass accents, colorful cabinetry and decor, and shingled exterior siding — neatly tucked against a one-acre private hillside overlooking the Diablo Valley,” reads Pacific Union Realty’s description of the property.

Geodesic Dome Home - Lafayette, CA

“Entering from the front handcrafted wooden door you’re met with features befitting of the home’s unique architectural design namely an expansive, triangular window wall in the main living area overlooking the large deck & outdoor setting. Updated kitchen with custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances, sizable bedrooms and bathrooms, living and family rooms.”

Geodesic Dome Home - Lafayette, CA Geodesic Dome Home - Lafayette, CA

Williamson’s children grew up and left the nest, and then last year, her husband passed away, leaving her feeling like the home was too large for just herself to live in. She put it on the market for $889,000, and a sale is currently pending. If the home is ever dismantled, Williamson hopes the people doing the demolition will take the time to carefully disassemble the triangular panels, because there are small treasures hidden in the framework. During construction, neighborhood children helped put the panels together and hid messages inside some of them.

Photos by Todd Taylor of the Taylor Photography Group.

Source: https://dornob.com

From dark to light: the living room over the years!

OH happy day! We are starting the move in process and I couldn’t be happier. I’m pausing the cleaning, packing and unpacking to share another recap from our old house. 
Want to know something weird? We don’t miss our old house. It’s so odd — we didn’t expect that. Even on the days when living in our tiny hotel space was driving me crazy, I didn’t miss the house. I desperately wanted to be in our new house, but not the old one. I can chalk that up to two things — one, we’ve just been so stinking excited about the new one. Two, we get to visit our old house all the time. 🙂 That’s such a blessing for me, I can’t even tell you. It feels like it belongs to our friends who bought it (as it should). Such a weird, wonderful thing. 🙂 
So anyway, I’ve been sharing recaps of many of the rooms in our old house because let’s be honest, I don’t have much else to talk about lately. 😂 I mean, really. It is what it is. But looking back at the progression of the rooms has always been a favorite of mine, so it’s been lots of fun to do this. 
I’ve shared the guest room, family room, kitchen, library/dining room and bathrooms so far. This next one is a room I struggled with for YEARS. We loved the two stories ceilings when we first walked into the model and it’s what immediately sold us on the house. Those tall walls were later what made me shake my fists in the air quite often. I never knew how to address them. 
I started by hanging stuff really, really high after we moved in: 
Living room before
We’re going old school with photos, sorry for the quality. Our two best kitties ever are sitting in the windows. 🙂 
The furniture was all hand me downs. The nesting tables were Bombay Company finds — remember them? Gosh I loved that store. 
We later bought new furniture (that I ended up absolutely HATING). I also went high with a simple painted box on the wall:
Painted box on wall
And then…they gold and red phase started. You’ve seen it before! 
I went all out!:
Red and gold living room
I made a quick sofa table for about $20 that we used for years. It’s a super simple build and works great if you want to add some lamps or decor behind your sofa: 
Easy DIY sofa table
I changed up that rectangle a lot huh? My love of molding started and I added even more: 
DIY sofa table for $20
Then I started to branch out from my reds and try some different colors. Part of the reason I went with those colors to begin with was because of the wall color. It’s hard to tell in some of the pictures, but in some light our walls looked PINK. As you can see here: 
DIY floral curtains
I didn’t like other colors with it. It was a taupe color that went really rosy and was a pain in my butt. (And YES, I picked it out, of course!)
We later had half of the house repainted in the analytical gray color it stayed at: 
living room with jute rug
This little corner by the door always felt like it needed something, and I tried a few different pieces: 
desk by front door
Later on I built a bookcase that extended out from the half wall. I LOVED that little change! It added so much character to the room: 
DIY half wall bookcase

We moved some furniture around and then got a sofa (for a steal!!) for the room and I found that glass table on Amazon. I love that table! I plan to use both of these in the new family room. (I shared my layout options with you here.)

It only took me 13 years, but this space was FINALLY just how I wanted it early this year. And then we decided to move. Ha!:

Gallery wall, blue dresser, light sofa living room

Neutral sofa round coffee table in living room
This was supposed to be more of a "fancy" living area but that’s not how we live. We used this room quite often — every day! It was where our tall Christmas tree stood at Christmas and we made wonderful memories in there. It was such a pretty welcome into our home!
Oh and here’s my tip for decorating tall rooms…get ready, it’s big. Ignore them. 🙂 I lived with them in quite a few rooms for years and that’s how I addressed them after trying all kinds of things. Adding detail, art or any focus up high will accentuate what doesn’t need to be accentuated. I think it can absolutely be done well, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve heard from so many of you who struggle with decorating rooms like this and that’s always my advice. Keep the decor down instead of going extra high. 
You can see more about some of the projects in this space here! If I missed anything feel free to let me know!: 

This content is property of Thrifty Decor Chick LLC. If you are reading this on any other site other than http://ift.tt/1kRxOJ2 or one of her social media platforms, please contact her immediately (thriftydecorchick at gmail dot com). Any other use of this content is strictly forbidden.

Source: http://ift.tt/1kRxOJ2

Pink + Orange Fall Tablescape

Each year when fall (and then the holidays) roll around, I feel inspired to play with different color schemes. I love finding ways to incorporate traditional autumn vibes, in a unique way. This year, I decided to mix blush pink, mustard and amber to create a colorful tablescape!

This post is a part of our series with Everything But The House, an online estate sale resource. In my last post, I shared my tips for estate sale shopping online. It’s no secret that I love vintage—always have, always will! In today’s post, I wanted to share how incorporating vintage elements with a tight color scheme can be sophisticated and pulled together.

I purchased this wooden and ceramic dip set on EBTH. One of my favorite things to shop vintage for is serverware. As much as I love the new options that are available, there’s something extra special about using pieces at parties from decades past. Maybe it’s my inner Mad Men fan girl shining though, but parties are a time I like to rely heavily on vintage—both in my party prep and with my outfits.

I mixed some new pink and amber glassware from EBTH into my existing collection. These two colors play together so well. I used the glassware for both drinking glasses and vases for a floral centerpiece.

One of my favorite budget-friendly (and just plain fun) tricks is to make all my own floral arrangements. I almost never spend the extra money on pre-made bouquets. Instead, I go to a flower store where you can find a variety of individual blooms and I make my own. It’s so much fun. When I have time to do it, I love to spend the night before a party prepping arrangements and sipping a glass of wine with a good record playing. It’s pretty magical!

I added a handful of mini pumpkins to add to the festive feel of the table. Little touches add to the theme!

An all orange, red and brown color scheme can be lovely, but it can also be cheesy or maybe a little overdone (all a matter of personal taste, of course). Incorporating another color you love into a traditional color scheme is a great way to mix it up and personalize your table to match your home!

I’d love to hear about any fun ideas you have for either Thanksgiving, friendsgiving or autumn parties you are hosting this year! I LOVE this topic and I could seriously sketch out 100 table ideas … it’s so fun for me. Good thing the seasons keep changing and there are always more parties to host!

Thank you so much for reading! If you love this post—please pin some images! xx – Elsie

P.S. If you have any questions about decor in my dining room, all those sources are linked here.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Lightroom Presets.

Source: http://ift.tt/17lPWE9

Pink + Orange Fall Tablescape

Each year when fall (and then the holidays) roll around, I feel inspired to play with different color schemes. I love finding ways to incorporate traditional autumn vibes, in a unique way. This year, I decided to mix blush pink, mustard and amber to create a colorful tablescape!

This post is a part of our series with Everything But The House, an online estate sale resource. In my last post, I shared my tips for estate sale shopping online. It’s no secret that I love vintage—always have, always will! In today’s post, I wanted to share how incorporating vintage elements with a tight color scheme can be sophisticated and pulled together.

I purchased this wooden and ceramic dip set on EBTH. One of my favorite things to shop vintage for is serverware. As much as I love the new options that are available, there’s something extra special about using pieces at parties from decades past. Maybe it’s my inner Mad Men fan girl shining though, but parties are a time I like to rely heavily on vintage—both in my party prep and with my outfits.

I mixed some new pink and amber glassware from EBTH into my existing collection. These two colors play together so well. I used the glassware for both drinking glasses and vases for a floral centerpiece.

One of my favorite budget-friendly (and just plain fun) tricks is to make all my own floral arrangements. I almost never spend the extra money on pre-made bouquets. Instead, I go to a flower store where you can find a variety of individual blooms and I make my own. It’s so much fun. When I have time to do it, I love to spend the night before a party prepping arrangements and sipping a glass of wine with a good record playing. It’s pretty magical!

I added a handful of mini pumpkins to add to the festive feel of the table. Little touches add to the theme!

An all orange, red and brown color scheme can be lovely, but it can also be cheesy or maybe a little overdone (all a matter of personal taste, of course). Incorporating another color you love into a traditional color scheme is a great way to mix it up and personalize your table to match your home!

I’d love to hear about any fun ideas you have for either Thanksgiving, friendsgiving or autumn parties you are hosting this year! I LOVE this topic and I could seriously sketch out 100 table ideas … it’s so fun for me. Good thing the seasons keep changing and there are always more parties to host!

Thank you so much for reading! If you love this post—please pin some images! xx – Elsie

P.S. If you have any questions about decor in my dining room, all those sources are linked here.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Lightroom Presets.

Source: http://ift.tt/17lPWE9

Pink + Orange Fall Tablescape

Each year when fall (and then the holidays) roll around, I feel inspired to play with different color schemes. I love finding ways to incorporate traditional autumn vibes, in a unique way. This year, I decided to mix blush pink, mustard and amber to create a colorful tablescape!

This post is a part of our series with Everything But The House, an online estate sale resource. In my last post, I shared my tips for estate sale shopping online. It’s no secret that I love vintage—always have, always will! In today’s post, I wanted to share how incorporating vintage elements with a tight color scheme can be sophisticated and pulled together.

I purchased this wooden and ceramic dip set on EBTH. One of my favorite things to shop vintage for is serverware. As much as I love the new options that are available, there’s something extra special about using pieces at parties from decades past. Maybe it’s my inner Mad Men fan girl shining though, but parties are a time I like to rely heavily on vintage—both in my party prep and with my outfits.

I mixed some new pink and amber glassware from EBTH into my existing collection. These two colors play together so well. I used the glassware for both drinking glasses and vases for a floral centerpiece.

One of my favorite budget-friendly (and just plain fun) tricks is to make all my own floral arrangements. I almost never spend the extra money on pre-made bouquets. Instead, I go to a flower store where you can find a variety of individual blooms and I make my own. It’s so much fun. When I have time to do it, I love to spend the night before a party prepping arrangements and sipping a glass of wine with a good record playing. It’s pretty magical!

I added a handful of mini pumpkins to add to the festive feel of the table. Little touches add to the theme!

An all orange, red and brown color scheme can be lovely, but it can also be cheesy or maybe a little overdone (all a matter of personal taste, of course). Incorporating another color you love into a traditional color scheme is a great way to mix it up and personalize your table to match your home!

I’d love to hear about any fun ideas you have for either Thanksgiving, friendsgiving or autumn parties you are hosting this year! I LOVE this topic and I could seriously sketch out 100 table ideas … it’s so fun for me. Good thing the seasons keep changing and there are always more parties to host!

Thank you so much for reading! If you love this post—please pin some images! xx – Elsie

P.S. If you have any questions about decor in my dining room, all those sources are linked here.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Lightroom Presets.

Source: http://ift.tt/17lPWE9

Georgette Heyer’s “Sylvester” at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago

Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre has been adapting books into plays and musicals for a long time. My first view of their work was an adaptation of The Left Hand of Darkness, BVC’s own Ursula K. Le Guin’s classic novel. After that, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, a novel by Daniel Pinkwater. I especially love their adaptations of Miss Buncle’s Book (D.E. Stevenson), Pride and Prejudice, Lucia, and of course their Georgette Heyer adaptations–so far, Pistols for Two, The Talisman Ring, and Cotillion. (They also killed Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment, and produced some really stunning new plays, my favorite being Miss Holmes by Christopher M. Walsh.)

Christina Calvit does an astonishing job on the Heyer, never more so than with Sylvester, a much-beloved and monster-long Regency romance. Dorothy Milne provides wack-crazy directing and staging to cram this ridiculously fat novel into an evening of delight. This fourth Lifeline Heyer adaptation finds every rising line and turning point in the story and makes it fabulous and funny and farcical, cuts out the lengthy bits in between—you’re a Heyer fan, you know how big this book is!—and leaves you satisfied that you’ve got the whole story.

I’ve seen Sylvester twice in previews and once after official opening. I’m planning to go again.

I’ll get this out of the way right now: Lifeline ensemble member Peter Greenberg, who absolutely slew his roles as Jack Westruther (Cotillion) and Sir Tristram Shield (The Talisman Ring), and Lord Peter Wimsey (Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night, swoonsville!) does not play Sylvester. Okay, he may be fifty, and Sylvester is supposed to be twenty-eight. But my heart misgave me when I heard this young whippersnapper Andrés Enriquez would be taking on a role I had counted on for Greenberg.

And then I saw Enriquez do it. Yep, he’ll do nicely. He has Sylvester’s stiff courtesy and even stiffer lovemaking down pat. Can’t wait to see it again a few more times. (When Lifeline does something this well, I like to wallow. Saw their adaptation of Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment five times. Six, if you count the reading presentation.)

Things you will not be able to visualize no matter how I try to describe them:

  • Everyone using Snakes & Ladders—actual ladders and actual slides with lovely snakes painted on them—and big Draw One cards—to fill in the massive cuts in the text, which are necessary to cram twenty pounds of book into a two hour play.
  • All the characters wear high-top sneakers, however formal their garb above the waist. Sir Nugent Fotherby’s tassles (applied to his sneakers) totally steal the show.
  • The fateful dance at Lady Castlereagh’s ball, during which Sylvester revenges himself on Phoebe in public, is a freaking hilarious combination of slightly Latin-beat dance music, perfectly Regency-stiff dance style, and some occasional wack-ass shimmies and shakes that work, omigod, because they’re performed deadpan.
  • The actors use big rubber exercise balls with handles as substitutes for horses in the equestrian conversations. You can’t imagine how Sylvester and his cousin Georgie Newbury carry off looking graceful and well-mounted and Phoebe looks as if she is in fact riding a “flat-sided screw.”
  • Three of the main characters, Sylvester, Phobe, and Tom Orde, are performed by actors of color.
  • The child Edmund Rayne and the puppy Chien are performed by various members of the ensemble with manifest reluctance. It’s a riot to watch as each one in turn receives the black spot (Edmund’s cap, or the puppy’s ears) and glumly kneels to deliver the role.
  • As always at Lifeline, they execute technical miracles in a space the size of a two-car garage with lots of head room, and the special effects are always convincing, effective, and yet of necessity bloody primitive.
  • Most of all, the romance works. I loved watching Enriquez’ Sylvester slowly coming apart and fighting it every inch of the way. Samantha Newcomb’s Phoebe is a delicious combination of hoyden and timid stepdaughter, which isn’t easy to pull off. Their chemistry is understated but you get terrific UST and a victory kiss! (Lifeline tends to be stingy with kisses, but not this time.)

Big huge kudos to Milne, Calvit, their tech crew, and a very fine cast.

So yeah, I’m going back at least twice more.

Maybe I’ll see you there, if you happen to be in Chicago between now and October 29!

About Jennifer Stevenson

Jennifer’s new series Coed Demon Sluts launches in May 2017. Read the serialization of the first book for free!

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth

. Jennifer is easy to find on

Facebook

.

Source: http://ift.tt/1eIlTf1

Podcast #349: Sliding vs. Deciding in Relationships

Dating has never been more ambiguous than it is today. People sort of end up with each other without explicitly defining the nature of their relationship, level of commitment, or expectations for the future. What begins as hanging out, slides into spending the night, which slides into moving in together, and can even sometimes slide into marriage.

While keeping your romantic relationships ambiguous may seem to make them safer and less complicated, my guest today has conducted research that shows that’s not necessarily the case. His name is Scott Stanley, he’s an author and professor of psychology at the University of Denver, and he specializes in studying commitment, co-habitating, and marriage.

Today on the show, Scott explains why dating has gotten more ambiguous during the past 20 years and why that has led people to slide into relationships instead of explicitly deciding and committing to them. He then highlights research that shows that, contrary to popular belief, co-habitating before marriage actually increases the chances of divorce when you do decide to get married and how living with someone makes it harder to break up with them, even when you realize you should.

We then get into what men can do to make dating less ambiguous and more decisive, and how being upfront about your intentions with women will make you more attractive, reduce drama down the road, and put you in a better position for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Scott then shares what you should do if you feel like you’ve slid into your relationship and what married couples can do to strengthen their marriage.

Whether you’re dating, thinking about getting married, or already hitched, this podcast is crammed with research-backed advice on how to have better relationships.

Show Highlights

  • Why and how dating today is much more ambiguous than 20-30 years ago
  • The truth about the link between cohabitation and marital success
  • Why living together makes it harder to break up
  • The biggest change in the dating world in the last 40 years
  • The problems with keeping relationships ambiguous
  • Why giving labels to a relationship is actually a good thing
  • How can men make dating less ambiguous?
  • Why taking risks in dating is important
  • What to do if you’ve slid into marriage
  • Maintaining a strong marriage, and getting through rough spots
  • The power of small, easy acts of kindness in a relationship

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Scott

Scott’s website

Scott on Twitter

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

available-on-itunes

available-on-stitcher

soundcloud-logo

pocketcasts

google-play-podcast

Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Podcast Sponsors

The Strenuous Life. The Strenuous Life is a platform for those who wish to revolt against our age of ease, comfort, and existential weightlessness. It is a base of operations for those who are dissatisfied with the status quo and want to connect with the real world through the acquisition of skills that increase their sense of autonomy and mastery. Sign up for email updates, and be the first to know when the next enrollment opens up in January.

ZipRecruiter. Find the best job candidates by posting your job on over 100+ of the top job recruitment sites with just a click at ZipRecruiter. Do it free by visiting http://ift.tt/2eyCPKd.

Saxx Underwear. Everything you didn’t know you needed in a pair of underwear. Get 20% off your first purchase by visiting http://ift.tt/2t0soss.

Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.

Recorded with ClearCast.io.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

The post Podcast #349: Sliding vs. Deciding in Relationships appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

Source: http://ift.tt/ZjKQlp

Podcast #349: Sliding vs. Deciding in Relationships

Dating has never been more ambiguous than it is today. People sort of end up with each other without explicitly defining the nature of their relationship, level of commitment, or expectations for the future. What begins as hanging out, slides into spending the night, which slides into moving in together, and can even sometimes slide into marriage.

While keeping your romantic relationships ambiguous may seem to make them safer and less complicated, my guest today has conducted research that shows that’s not necessarily the case. His name is Scott Stanley, he’s an author and professor of psychology at the University of Denver, and he specializes in studying commitment, co-habitating, and marriage.

Today on the show, Scott explains why dating has gotten more ambiguous during the past 20 years and why that has led people to slide into relationships instead of explicitly deciding and committing to them. He then highlights research that shows that, contrary to popular belief, co-habitating before marriage actually increases the chances of divorce when you do decide to get married and how living with someone makes it harder to break up with them, even when you realize you should.

We then get into what men can do to make dating less ambiguous and more decisive, and how being upfront about your intentions with women will make you more attractive, reduce drama down the road, and put you in a better position for a happy and fulfilling marriage. Scott then shares what you should do if you feel like you’ve slid into your relationship and what married couples can do to strengthen their marriage.

Whether you’re dating, thinking about getting married, or already hitched, this podcast is crammed with research-backed advice on how to have better relationships.

Show Highlights

  • Why and how dating today is much more ambiguous than 20-30 years ago
  • The truth about the link between cohabitation and marital success
  • Why living together makes it harder to break up
  • The biggest change in the dating world in the last 40 years
  • The problems with keeping relationships ambiguous
  • Why giving labels to a relationship is actually a good thing
  • How can men make dating less ambiguous?
  • Why taking risks in dating is important
  • What to do if you’ve slid into marriage
  • Maintaining a strong marriage, and getting through rough spots
  • The power of small, easy acts of kindness in a relationship

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Scott

Scott’s website

Scott on Twitter

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

available-on-itunes

available-on-stitcher

soundcloud-logo

pocketcasts

google-play-podcast

Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Podcast Sponsors

The Strenuous Life. The Strenuous Life is a platform for those who wish to revolt against our age of ease, comfort, and existential weightlessness. It is a base of operations for those who are dissatisfied with the status quo and want to connect with the real world through the acquisition of skills that increase their sense of autonomy and mastery. Sign up for email updates, and be the first to know when the next enrollment opens up in January.

ZipRecruiter. Find the best job candidates by posting your job on over 100+ of the top job recruitment sites with just a click at ZipRecruiter. Do it free by visiting http://ift.tt/2eyCPKd.

Saxx Underwear. Everything you didn’t know you needed in a pair of underwear. Get 20% off your first purchase by visiting http://ift.tt/2t0soss.

Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.

Recorded with ClearCast.io.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

The post Podcast #349: Sliding vs. Deciding in Relationships appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

Source: http://ift.tt/ZjKQlp