Aaron Charney, Biglaw, Charles Stillman, David Braff, Fashion, Gay, Laura Schnell, Shoes, Zachary Fasman

Brokeback Lawfirm: A Runway Report (Part 1)

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Move over, Bryant Park. The real fashion show was going on here: New York Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street.
Last week, of course, was New York Fashion Week. Our little sister, Fashionista, covered the events extensively.
Meanwhile, downtown from the tents in Bryant Park, we too had fashion on the brain. But instead of watching runway models strut their stuff, we assessed the sartorial choices of lawyers — namely, counsel at last week’s hearing in the litigation between gay lawyer Aaron Charney and his former employer, Sullivan & Cromwell.
You’re dying to know:

— Who was the best-dressed attorney in Courtroom 540 — and who was the worst?

— Who sported the nicest footwear?

— Who had the most problematic hair?

The answers to these questions, and more, after the jump.

Best Dressed Lawyer: Charles Stillman and Zach Fasman (tie).
Stillman and Fasman both dressed very well, but took different approaches. Stillman traveled the classic route: a bespoke suit, in a solid navy blue. It was simple and elegant, and it would have been boring, if he hadn’t redeemed it with his shoes (discussed infra).
Fasman was more modern, and took more risks. He wore a dark pinstriped suit that looked, from afar, like any other dark, pinstriped suit. But closer inspection revealed stripes that were in surprisingly daring colors, including dark reds and greens.
This may sound weird in description. But take our word for it, it worked in person.
We commend Fasman for the cut of his suit as well. Although we didn’t see the hand-stitched lapels that we had requested, the suit fit Fasman as well as a custom suit.
Zach Fasman crowned this look with what the New York Observer described as a perfectly folded pocket square. We don’t go for pocket squares ourselves; but for Zach Fasman, it worked.
(Add this to the growing list of Zach Fasman “super-powers”: He can pull off the pocket square.)
Worst Dressed Lawyer: David Braff.
This came as a surprise. S&C partner Dave Braff is, after all, (1) gay and (2) loaded.
So what was the offending outfit? Braff was wearing a grey-blue, three-piece suit, in a conspicuously heavy-looking wool. He completed the look with a maroon tie, which was on the drab side.
Why did we hate this ensemble so much? David Braff is a multimillionaire partner at a top New York law firm, yet his suit made him look like the headmaster of a New England boarding school.
Forget about Mr. Chips — goodbye, Mr. Braff! You’ve been expelled from the gay fraternity, for crimes against fashion humanity.
Best Shoes: Charles Stillman.
These chocolate-brown monkstraps, with bright brass buckles, were nothing short of brilliant. (They’re pictured below, although you can’t seem them very well.)
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Why were these shoes a stroke of sartorial genius? Because Stillman paired them with a super-conservative, solid blue suit.
The suit was perfectly tailored, but bland. If paired with boring shoes, it would give off the impression that Charles Stillman just doesn’t care about his appearance at all.
But pairing a conservative (but beautifully made) suit with flashy, almost dandy-ish shoes sends an entirely different message. It tells the world: “This sober blue suit shows I’m a serious lawyer. But these flamboyant shoes show I have a serious sense of style. Am I not fabulous?”
Worst Shoes: Laura Schnell.
Girlfriend: What WERE those ghastly things on your feet? They looked like a hideous cross between clogs and kitten heels. No no no no no.
Look, we’re not saying you should have whipped out the Manolos. It was, after all, a hearing in STATE court. Save the $600 shoes for an Article III court.
But would it have killed you to wear, say, a nice pair of Chanel pumps?
Best Hair: David Braff and Zach Fasman (tie).
Yes, we know: they’re bald. But less is more, baby. If you’re balding or bald, you can’t really screw up your hair — unless you attempt a really bad combover.
John Harris John B Harris lawyer attorney Above the Law Aaron Charney.JPGWorst Hair: John B. Harris (male) and Laura Schnell (female).
Speaking of which… On the men’s side, Charles Stillman’s law partner, John B. Harris, wins the award for “Worst Hair – Male.” Check out the photographs at right and above.
Yes, the picture’s blurry. You can thank us later.
As for the women — Laura, we don’t mean to pick on you. We like you. We were impressed by you at the hearing, even though you spoke only briefly. We have raved in these pages about your impressive credentials. You’re obviously an excellent attorney.
But that hair could get you disbarred, honey. Did you have it styled by Katie Swanson, the hairstylist who transformed Charlize Theron into Aileen Wuornos for “Monster”?
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Dan Alterman and Laura Schnell, leaving court after the hearing.
Okay, that’s the first half of our fashion round-up. We’ll have more awards to bestow — including some props for Laura Schnell, who didn’t do EVERYTHING wrong — later today.
Associate Gets Crushed Beneath White Shoe [New York Observer]

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