Monsieur Propriétaire stood with his hands on his hips, feeling ever so slightly macho. On his feet, his regulation Gucci loafers had been exchanged for stout Worktough boots, with polycarbonate toecaps and ceramic-treated Nubuck leather, in a burnt umber hue. Working upwards, the Rubinacci slacks of old were gone, replaced with a pair of vintage Japanese denim jeans from Kojima. The brand was Big John, which didn’t sound very Japanese to Monsieur Propriétaire, but Eva, the most recent of his four wives, had vouched for their authenticity.
Monsieur Propriétaire knew that any ordinary man would have finished off this undeniably utilitarian look with some sort of workaday check shirt, but Monsieur Propriétaire is, of course, no ordinary man. The lumberjack-look might be acceptable for wine critics with a penchant for ‘natural’ wines, but not for him. Instead, he had opted for contrast, choosing to offset the jejuneness of his snug-fitting denims and their voluminous turn-ups with a remarkable crocodile-skin blouson from Hermès. With a Belstaff Gransden leather jacket in the same burnt umber hue as his boots the overall effect, he thought, was really quite stunning.
But from where was this feeling of exaggerated machismo emanating? It might surprise you (or it might not) to learn it was not from the apparel so far described. The new sensation of virility flowing through Monsieur Propriétaire‘s lymph and humour did not come from his boots, nor did it reflect the terrible origins of his extravagant blouson. It flowed instead from the hard hat which sat atop his head, shimmering white in the summer sunshine, and displaying an occasionally rakish wobble as he turned his head. “Mais oui”, thought Monsieur Propriétaire as he eyed his frame in the reflection of his architect’s mirrored sunglasses. “T-r-è-s à la mode”.
In The Navy
Monsieur Propriétaire suppressed the urge, which had been simmering just beneath the surface for most of the morning, to break into a rendition of The Village People’s classic 1979 chartbuster In the Navy. He knew there was definitely a construction worker in the video – Eva had him working out to it in their private gym every other day – but he feared that his architect and team of builders would fail to make the connection. In addition, he knew his singing voice was a little weak, and his psychiatrist had advised him to avoid situations of ridicule. Instead, he followed the lead of his team, and turned his attention to the building site before him.