Patrick Van Hoorebeek
And his matching ties and handkerchiefs
Patrick Van Hoorebeek is a bon vivant, a wine expert, a European gentleman and a natty dresser who always makes sure to have a handkerchief in his pocket that complements his tie. You wouldn’t expect less from the man from Brussels, Belgium, who is general manager of Patrick’s Bar Vin, the most fashionable drinking location in the French Quarter, located in the Hotel Mazann at 730 Bienville St.
“I have a personal fashion coordinator that puts together every outfit for each day of the week in every detail,” he says, “from my collection of Prada, Ferragamo and Gucci shoes to the matching belt, colorful socks, handkerchiefs and flower lapel pin. We have traveled and shopped together all over the world.”
On my goodness, did you ever meet a man with his own fashion coordinator? It sounds like something out of a 1920s movie when it wasn’t unusual for a man to have his very own valet who dressed him. Never mind. It doesn’t matter who is doing all the coordinating for Patrick since he (or could it be a she?) is doing it right.
Patrick smiles and expounds, “I have a collection of custom made and very unique jackets. My fashion coordinator, who has carte-blanche when shopping for me, knows exactly what I like. My favorite fabrics in the warmer months are linen and cotton, since the more natural the fabric, the cooler you will be. I detest anything made of polyester or rayon – fabrics that are never allowed in my wardrobe.”
In the cooler season he says he loves starting with a unique jacket, shirts with French cuffs, cufflinks from his handsome collection, then a matching handkerchief, tie and flower lapel pin.
“I enjoy wearing colorful pants to complement the jacket, with just the right shoes, belt, socks, and hat, “ he says. “My favorite fabrics for the cooler season are velvet, leather, cashmere, wool and linen blends, and corduroy.”
Patrick eschews the Southern gentleman’s fashion bible that dictates you cannot wear white after Labor Day. “It’s a silly notion that I ignore, and I pay no attention to those who espouse that certain fabrics can only be work during specific times of the year.”
Patrick says he deals with the hot weather by sometimes wearing vests without jackets, “I just roll up the sleeves of my shirt above my elbows to combat our New Orleans brutal summer heat.”
When you own a fashionable bar where your customers are the crème de la crème of the drinking class, you can roll up your sleeves to your elbows and do anything else you please just as long as you pour perfect drinks and create a jovial atmosphere.
“I like to mix up my style,” he says with a smile. “On any given day, you will find me in Bar Vin in an elegant classic look and the next day, my look has been compared to a Rock Star.” No matter the look, however, he says he is always dressed appropriately for the French Quarter. “I am stopped constantly by complete strangers in the French Quarter where I live, work, and dine,” he says. “They ask if they can have their photograph taken with me, and sometimes comment that they wish they could pull off my unique style, or they would like to see their spouse dress like me.”
So nobody is surprised when Patrick dons his costume to rule as King of the Krewe of Cork, the high society group that parades in full regalia during Mardi Gras, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Royal Street Stroll and around Patrick’s birthday.
“I started the group in 2000 to celebrate my passion for wine,” he says, of the krewe where he reigns as “King for Life,” possibly because he can open a champagne bottle with a saber.