Gay Talese was surely the most dapper diner in a roomful of clotheshorses at Greenwich Village’s Perla restaurant on Tuesday. The 80-year-old writer, in a faultless three-piece suit and elegant fedora, was among 11 dashing dads being toasted by e-tailer Park & Bond, which had featured them in a Father’s Day story on the shopping site.
“Way back in the Fifties, when I was a young reporter at The New York Times and Tom Wolfe was a young reporter at the Herald-Tribune, we were both aware that we were dressing up for a story, which we felt was a celebratory event,” said Talese proudly of his fondness for custom-made suits, pointing out the perfectly lined-up pinstripes on his jacket. “We had an exalted sense of who we were and what we did. We thought journalism was a great calling.”
Also on Park & Bond’s honor roll of posh parents were actors Matt Bomer and Kyle MacLachlan; designers Robert Geller, Todd Snyder and Mark McNairy; tie-maker Brett Fahlgren; banker Euan Rellie; photographer Ben Watts; attorney Douglas Hand, and Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport.
“My father was notoriously frugal when it came to clothes,” remembered Rapoport, who claimed no family lineage in his own passion for fashion. “My mom once bought him a Hickey-Freeman suit — he was a journalist on Capitol Hill — and he had it for two days and couldn’t bring himself to wear it, so he returned it. He didn’t feel comfortable wearing a suit that cost more than $200.”
Fahlgren, for his part, is passing on some of his sartorial flair to his two-year-old daughter, Elsa. “I like to dress her up like a tomboy,” he admitted. The tactic seems to be working, as the budding style maven has already appeared as a model on Huggies packaging and in Fisher-Price ads. “She’s got a little fund going for college.”
Tyler Thoreson, vice president of editorial, creative and customer experience for Gilt Man and Park & Bond — and a father of three himself — called the celebratory dinner “a great excuse for a night out, which is a rare thing if you’re a dad.”