Style Inspiration from Classic Novels feat. Chuck Martell
April 24th, 2012
Style is about the individual. Your outward appearance represents, in some capacity, who you are on in the inside – your personality, individuality, etc.
With that said, we’re always looking for new guests to feature and share their personal sense of style. When I heard that Townsend’s friend Chuck, a literary buff and style enthusiast, often combines his two passions into literary-inspired looks, we had to make it happen.
“I’m Chuck Martell. I’m the product presentation and marketing manager for the Rugby flagship store on University Place in NYC, as well as a freelance stylist, creative consultant and all around nerd. I live with two good friends in Harlem and am originally from right outside of Boston. I spend my time reading, fantasizing about clothes, and hanging out with my incredible (and fantastically talented) group of friends. Also, I swear I’m not a pretentious asshole.”
1. John Steinbeck / The American Dustbowl
“John Steinbeck was my first ‘grown-up’ author. I was assigned The Red Pony for summer reading one year in elementary school, and I really took to his writing.
I was raised listening to my grandmother’s stories of growing up in Boston during the depression and quickly became fascinated by Steinbeck’s stories of the same period from California to the midwest.”
2. F. Scott Fitzgerald / American Sportswear
“First off, I fully acknowledge that it’s obvious and incredibly cliché to cite F.Scott, but there really is no way of avoiding him. His work has truly influenced my perspective above everything else.”
“I was assigned The Great Gatsby sophomore year of High School; we reviewed the passage where Gatsby ends the tour of his mansion (with Nick and Daisy) by casually throwing his English-made shirts into the air, in his dressing room. The shirts flew beautifully through the “East Egg” light and settled elegantly on the floor.”
I read this right before my spring break and confirmation. The next week, I spent my break, and all my confirmation money, in Manhattan, where the highlight of the vacation was a trip to the Ralph Lauren mansion on 72nd to pick up such beautiful shirts.”
3. Jack Kerouac / Beats
“As I got older, and a little more rebellious, I got really into the Beats. I loved the meandering cynicism and how switching up traditional grammar and composition made it feel as if I was reading an entirely different language.
I also really dug the clothes; the idea that you could pair traditional classics with a totally badass leather jacket. This sense of style definitely influences the way I dress today.”
4. Jack London / Call of the Wild
“As an awkward only child in the Boston suburbs, I spent a lot of time alone. And bored.
I became such a voracious reader as a method of escape and a desire for adventure. Enter Jack London.”
“I ran around my ‘cookie-cutter’ development like it was the Yukon during the gold rush.
Even if all of my expeditions these days happen within the confines of New York City, I still like to occasionally dress as if I’m on a wild adventure.”
5. Bret Easton Ellis / “L.A.” Cool
“Bret Easton Ellis became a favorite of mine shortly after I moved to New York for school as a freshman.
I was a fairly sheltered kid but I quickly found myself surrounded (and fascinated) by the indulgent, debauched nightlife scene in Downtown New York.
His characters were languidly beautiful types, that lined up outside of Don Hills for MisShapes parties, prepared with fake IDs and affected apathy.”
Thanks, as always, for reading – and special thanks to Chuck for participating!
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.