By Suzanne Besser
At first glance, they seemed an odd couple: She, a hip young Beacon Hill fashion designer with an edgy approach to fashion and he, a seasoned newspaper and magazine columnist as well as author of three books from Nashville, Tennessee.
But last Friday there were the two of them, amidst sparkling rosé and sweet treats, at North River Outfitters where she, Chynna Pope, introduced custom made bow ties, pocket squares and cummerbunds from her Beacon Hill Bow Tie Club collection, and he, Bill Haltom, signed copies of his newest book entitled Milk and Sugar: The Complete Book of Seersucker.
It turned out that it was the seersucker that brought them together.
His latest book traces the origin of the seersucker suit from “its humble beginnings to its rise as a darling of both men’s and women’s haute couture,” according to Amazon.com. “Haltom examines seersucker’s role in Southern culture from courtrooms and law offices, churches and synagogues, fraternity row and sorority rush, tasteful garden gatherings to raucous fundraisers. Along the way, he dispels rumors about the rules of wearing and accessorizing seersucker and explains the material’s embrace by celebrities from New York City to Hollywood.”
And from Beacon Hill, it would seem. While doing his research for the book, Haltom came upon a story Pope had written on seersucker for The Beacon Hellion, her fashion and life style blog. “Entitled Not just for the Country Club, the piece featured hot young things out and about the city wearing seersucker in unconventional ways,” said Pope. “Haltom was especially amused by a picture I had included of ‘man about town and uber philosopher’ Pierce Harman making his way in the Boston Common on a skate board, while stylishly dressed in a Brooks Brothers seersucker suit with classic dirty bucks.”
Haltom called Pope, wanting to know more about her. She told him about her edgy approach to preppy fashion and how her own fashion business was inspired by her Beacon Hill roots. Haltom then recognized her as leading the way for the modern interpretation of seersucker, and mentions the Beacon Hill Bow Tie Club many times in Mild and Sugar.
The event was held the day after National Seersucker Day, a tradition held in the U.S. Senate dating back to 1996 and started by Mississippi Senator Trent Lott. “About 25 of Beacon Hill’s finest dressed men showed up in perfectly preppy outfits showcasing their fashion-forward take on seersucker,” said Pope. While many were existing members of the Beacon Hill Bow Tie Club, others picked out their first bow tie to match the vibe of the event. After all, what better accessory to pair with your seersucker suit than a Beacon Hill Bow Tie?”