Sometimes a good book completes a good look. Which is sort of antithetical thinking in fashion. And the thought of a book being used to complete a look...well it is not very Kindle Generation, is it? But I swear on a good bit of Loro Piana cashmere, that Dennis McDougal's tome, "The Last Mogul", is one of those books with a breathtakingly bold and graphic cover that looks truly good as part of a tastemaker's visual arsenal. Plomp it on a bookshelf, leave it lying just-so on your lap while on the red-eye to LA, crack it open in an Amsterdam coffee shop. The gray, black and white of it, stamped so beautifully with its balanced font work will stand you in good stead.
The fabulous thing about Lew Wasserman, besides his pioneering efforts in building the largest talent agency the world has ever known, (not to mention the fact that he also built one of the first great diversified entertainment conglomerates)... was his taste.
It was reductive, discrete and uniform. Wasserman was the agent who pioneered the black suit, skinny black tie Hollywood dress code. Of course he personalized that power suit with his iconic pair of square framed, oversized sunglasses. And he authored his code of ultimate power coached in the soft tissue of ultimate discretion. Make no mistake, Wasserman had power from every angle...career power...financial power...political power.
Reading Wasserman's journey from East Cleveland to the days of booking big bands to his foresight in wiring a post-Studio Hollywood where finance+talent+deal-making forged the primary code of Hollywood agenting, is indeed a hidden epic of this industry's history.
You wonder what The Man In The Oversized Shades would have made of the digital upheaval coursing through modern entertainment culture. And you wonder how he would have capitalized it.
At the very least, "The Octopus", which was another fabulous Wasserman nickname makes fora great menswear reference. Since the Saint Laurent Paris atelier is rumored to be ensconced in LA, maybe we can one day get a Hedi Slimane extravaganza riffing off "The Last Mogul".