“Everything can inspire one, from the African, Arab and Iranians’ struggle for freedom despite the unfavorable odds to a lovely hat,” Michael says. And the value that he places on our intrinsic interconnectedness and simultaneous respect and adoration of our differences, no matter how big or small, is what this site is all about. History and culture and the way it all springs from the context of societal forces are Michael’s obsession and one that he espouses is necessary in order to understand the world. His father was a history teacher and he is a chronicler of style by way of history. It is through his obsession with the historical and sociological-based reason that buildings look the way they do that Michael sees causes, music and fashion – he finds it all pointless without the context.
Identical to his childhood, books are everywhere in Michael’s home. In addition to classical antiques, china and silk curtains draped over the doorways as if stepping into another time, except for the occasional hint of modernity with the Keith Haring prints and a ’70s LOVE poster, which reminds me of his pink velvet blazer with orange silk Indian-print ascot. Tradition means a lot to Michael to say the least, and he shows no signs of resenting the past despite his honest and poignent account of his father’s fear of his son’s homosexuality when he wanted books on the European decorative arts at the library one day. Michael prefers tweaking the past rather than overthrowing it, and he does so with his clothes and the certain changes of color or pattern that counteract the staid or boring. He dramatizes jeans, a gingham shirt, an old cardigan and red Converse sneakers with an indigenous scarf and punctuates a velvet blazer with a DIY mirrored shawl and Kenneth Jay Lane bug pin. Unsurprisingly, Michael looks to Langston Hughes as someone worth emulating – the poet was a bohemian and an artist who expounded his causes while maintaining a striking sartorial elegance.