Fashion Photographer Mikael Jansson Describes His Year Shooting Holocaust Survivors

Zsuzsanna Reisch
Zsuzsanna Reisch Photo: Courtesy of Dagens Nyheter and Mikael Jansson

MIKAEL JANSSON has been a photographer for decades, but no project has given him the sense of urgency that he felt shooting his new exhibition, Witnesses. Jansson shot portraits of 97 Holocaust survivors living in Sweden, all of whom were over 90. “I photographed 97 people. Five have died already,” Jansson said recently. “They are the last voices. The stories can be told later, but not by the people who were actually there and experienced these horrible things.” Jansson began shooting Witnesses last November, and the photographs and accompanying videos will be on display at Gallery 5 at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm until December 16. Jansson paused from a day spent hanging and re-hanging the show (“unfortunately I’m quite particular”) to discuss his experience.

Lauren Larson: Why is this an important moment for Swedes to hear from living witnesses to the Holocaust?

Mikael Jansson: I don’t think it’s only Swedes. I think it’s going on everywhere—the right-wing wins all over Europe. There are walls being built. It’s crazy. So I don’t think it’s only Sweden. I do think it’s very important to remember what happened and to make sure it never happens again.

LL: Did this feel personal for you?

Walter Frankenstein
Walter Frankenstein Photo: Courtesy of Dagens Nyheter and Mikael Jansson

MJ: I don’t have a Jewish background. It’s more of a “human” thing.

LL: Did anyone want to smile for their portrait?

MJ: My idea was to try to interfere as little as possible. Of course I was directing, in terms of, “Sit down.” But I never told anyone what to wear, or touched their hair. They just came and I took the picture. And we talked. But I think both of us felt that you don’t want to laugh.

LL: What was challenging for you about these sessions, versus fashion sessions?

MJ: I didn’t know if I was going to do the photograph before or after I talked to them. Sometimes it helped to hear the story first, but then both of us were so moved and shocked and in tears that it was difficult to photograph. At times it was easier to take the picture first, but you also gain something with expressions by being in the middle of the conversation, so to speak. A lot of tears.

LL: A year of those conversations must have taken an emotional toll. How did you cope with that?

MJ: I kind of didn’t. It’s been very very moving, and difficult. You think differently: You think about this all the time, in your normal life.

LL: Were most of your subjects eager to speak to you, or were some hesitant?

Laura Frajnd
Laura Frajnd Photo: Courtesy of Dagens Nyheter and Mikael Jansson

MJ: Some people had been doing lectures in schools for 30 years pretty much every day, but some had never told anyone, not even their kids, about this. And now, during this project, they sort of felt this was the last chance for them to tell their stories. Sometimes the children were in the studio or in the home where I photographed them, and they’d never heard the stories before.

LL: Besides telling their own stories, did they have any messages they wanted to share about trends in Europe right now?

MJ: They did. That was also part of my interview. I asked them to tell their stories from the beginning, but also what they think about what’s going on today. And most of them are really frightened. They are worried. Some don’t even want to be in this exhibition with their names, because they are still afraid.

Why You Should Consider the House Wine

IF YOU WANT TO ANNOY a sommelier or restaurant wine director, refer to his or her private-label offering as a “house wine.” The two words together tend to evoke a low-class image of “cheap red or white wine in a carafe,” according to Tylor Field III, divisional vice president of wine and spirits at Morton’s The Steakhouse group of restaurants.

The private-label wine that Mr. Field and I were discussing was Primal Cut, a Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Raymond Vineyards in Napa Valley specifically for Morton’s. Although it’s…

How the Midi Skirt Vanquished the Mini Skirt

LOW HANGING HEMS From left: Ali MacGraw wearing a midi in 1971; a see-through version on the Christian Dior fall ’18 runway.
LOW HANGING HEMS From left: Ali MacGraw wearing a midi in 1971; a see-through version on the Christian Dior fall ’18 runway. Illustration: Matt Chase

WHEN VOGUE’S editor in chief Anna Wintour observed a few weeks ago that anything “overly sexy or overly clinging or look-at-me has simply gone out the window,” she was referring to the spring 2019 collections. But, as is often the case, the industry was playing catch up with the mood on the street, which has turned toward a modest feminism of late. With the courts embroiled in conversations about gender, many women are looking to strategically cover up. Consider the continuing interest in the midi, aka the mid-calf-length skirt, which is back for fall in large part because designers like Gabriela Hearst, Ulla Johnson, Emilia Wickstead, Gucci, Marine Serre, Ganni and the Row know women want to wear it. Midi skirts and dresses, said Ms. Johnson, “are the backbone of my business.”

Just don’t confuse “not overly sexy” with “completely void of sex.” “There’s a discreet sexuality to them, an ease and an elegance,” said Ms. Johnson. Added Ms. Hearst: “It’s a design that has an allure that’s sophisticated, that’s sensual without being too revealing; it keeps something back. It’s subtle.” Like Ms. Johnson, she considers the midi central to her aesthetic.

Things were different in 1969, when fashion designers first proposed the midi. Then, it was a reaction to the thigh-baring mini skirt, which, after being tentatively introduced to the U.S. by Britain in 1964, had come to dominate the market. Not all women braved the micro-minis that were available by 1967, but, as family photos from the era attest, even grandmothers wore minis during the ’60s—and this was a time when the old looked older than they do now. During the 1920s, the last decade when skirts’ lengths had retreated at such a rapid rate, hems allowed for a glimpse of knee but rose no further; doing so would have exposed women’s stocking tops and garters. Sixties designers, thanks to the newly invented pantyhose, had no such checks on their inclinations to send hemlines ever upward.

When the first significant batch of midis arrived in American stores in the autumn of 1970, the outrage was palpable.

Still, by the end of the decade, fashion’s constant pendulum effect meant that skirts had to get longer because they couldn’t decently get any shorter (enter: hot pants). Cool it-girls at the time like Paloma Picasso and Loulou de la Falaise had already long tired of tiny mini skirts; they were shopping in flea markets for longer-hemmed looks from the 1930s and ’40s. And fashion insiders were restlessly scanning the horizon for the next big thing. By the summer of 1968, Women’s Wear Daily had already sent a memo to its fashion staffers banning them from wearing short skirts to the office (“we all know minis are dead”), while laywomen still happily wore their minis, unaware that their preference was about to be challenged.

When the first significant batch of midis arrived in American stores in the autumn of 1970, the outrage was palpable. Although some women had objected to Dior’s New Look when it arrived in 1947, they were in the minority. Midi haters were legion. Surging inflation (who could afford to replace all their skirts and dresses?), second-wave feminism (why should fashion magazines tell women what to do?), and a sense that the midi was being foisted on them (we never asked for this!) caused women to rebel. They turned on fashion and collectively said, “No.”

Such attempted strong-arming is unimaginable now for a slew of reasons, among them the fact that fashion doesn’t march in lockstep anymore and women don’t follow it with anything like the zeal they once did. And that’s in part due to the midi, whose divisive 1970 arrival serves as a case study in how women’s relationship to fashion has changed.

In 1970, fashion still believed it could direct and women would obey, as they had since the days of Charles Worth. Significantly, the decree to don the midi came from Paris, the historic center of the fashion world, where la mode is at its most imperious. Even American publications rooted their pro-midi arguments in French soil. A 1970 Women’s Wear Daily article pushing the midi is datelined Paris, as though the writer were in search of true believers who could properly appreciate the correctness of the new style. She quoted a young Frenchwoman on her preference for the longuette, as it was known in France: “I feel so much more feminine. I walk more gracefully. I stand much straighter. Even the way I use my hands has changed.” The message: Be more womanly and put on a longer skirt.

But American women weren’t interested, and the midi debacle left retailers with unsold stock and a lingering disinclination to take risks. In our postmodern trend mashup, of course, you can wear whatever you like, which is the real story here: Now, the midi is beloved by a generation of women born after its contentious introduction.

So what did women in 1970 buy when they couldn’t find a skirt length they liked? The same thing many of them buy now: a pair of pants.

LONG SHOTS / Midis That Make the Mark
How the Midi Skirt Vanquished the Mini Skirt
Photo: F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal

From left: A densely knit patterned piece with good swing. Skirt, $895, proenzaschouler.com; A pleasingly classic option. Skirt, $3,990, The Row, 212-755-2017; For fun, a madras one with a built-in belt. Skirt, $70, zara.com.

More in Style & Fashion

One Last Night with Dimitri Dimitrov, Sunset Tower’s Unforgettable Maître D’

Dimitri Dimitrov in front of a Tower Bar banquette.
Dimitri Dimitrov in front of a Tower Bar banquette. Photo: Maggie Shannon for WSJ. Magazine

THE SUNSET Tower Hotel, the 99-year-old art deco icon in West Hollywood, is known as a bastion of civility, gentility and bonhomie. One reason the place is so beloved—by actors, athletes, producers, directors, writers, musicians and even a few politicians—is Dimitri Dimitrov, the Macedonian-born maître d’ nonpareil who, up until the early hours of Sunday morning, had presided over the hotel’s restaurant, the Paul Fortune–designed Tower Bar, for the past 14 years.

“Tonight is going to be chaos, organized chaos, but it’s not always this emotional. I never cry, never,” says Dimitrov, 68, as he makes some final notes on the evening’s reservation list, moving tables 3, 6 and 8 to the terrace. It’s just past 5 p.m. on Dimitrov’s final night at Tower Bar before he departs to choreograph the San Vicente Bungalows, the new members-only club from Sunset Tower hotelier Jeff Klein. Soft pockets of afternoon light are spilling through the restaurant’s casement windows, glinting off the gilded frames that hang against the walnut paneling, above the rose-colored banquettes—the atmospherics that define what onetime Sunset Tower resident Truman Capote once described as “a very posh establishment…which, or so the local gentry tell me, is where every scandal that ever happened happened.”

In this cinematic setting, there’s not a dry eye as Dimitrov’s replacement, the British-born former magazine writer-editor Gabé Doppelt, gives a tender, if teasing, passing-of-the-torch speech. Doppelt has spent the past 18 months learning every nuance of a role that involves so much more than mingling with A-listers. “It’s weird because it’s not a job you can ever prepare for—you can’t research it,” says Doppelt. “We know who’s coming, but sometimes the wheels come off. Last night we got thrown off by the rain.”

Despite a persistent downpour the previous evening, Tower Bar did 370 covers, with many diners waiting upward of an hour, most of them there to wish Dimitrov a fond farewell. The 350 covers Doppelt expects tonight include Saturday Night Live alum (and former Sunset Tower resident) Andy Samberg, L.A. Clippers coach Doc Rivers, jewelry designer Lisa Eisner and writer-producer Mitch Glazer, who convinced Klein to hire Dimitrov when Klein rehabbed the Tower—then the Argyle hotel—in 2004.

“Dimitri and I met 31 years ago. My writing partner and I were in town to pitch the screenplay for Scrooged, and we were staying at the Bel Age Hotel. So we went down to the lobby to Diaghilev, this French-Russian restaurant with mother-daughter harpists. It was spectacular,” recalls Glazer, who is seated at table 25 (where Bradley Cooper pitched Lady Gaga on A Star Is Born) with his wife, Kelly Lynch, Lisa Eisner, Klein and Klein’s husband, producer John Goldwyn. “It was a real over-the-top restaurant. The clientele was insane because it was rock ’n’ rollers on one side, Charlton Heston and old Hollywood on the other side, and Dimitri in the middle. It had a lot of pageantry and pretension, like this place, but it was all him, it was all Dimitri. I fell in love with the man.”

During Tower Bar previews, Glazer set up a dinner, at this very table, with Anjelica Huston, her late husband, Robert Graham, Tom Ford and his husband, Richard Buckley. “Jeff said, ‘What do you think about it?’” Glazer recalls. “I said, ‘The restaurant is gorgeous, but it’s missing one thing: a great maître d’.’ He said, ‘Do you know anybody?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ I had no idea it would be this great, I just knew Dimitri would look good in this room. He’s so authentic in his Hollywood-in-the-’30s kind of way. He works harder than anyone in the restaurant business. His love of service and natural elegance are rare, and in his own way, he’s a madman. But given how in character he is, he’s also very spontaneous. Bill Murray once took him across the street to make him ride the mechanical bull at the cowboy bar at three in the morning…he brought over a tray of martinis, by the way.”

Seated next to Glazer’s table are Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher, who showed up last minute to celebrate Cohen’s birthday. “We love Dimitri and are sad to see him go,” Fisher says. Near the couple are Andy Samberg and his writing partner Akiva Schaffer, both of whom used to live at the hotel when they were working in Los Angeles. “Dimitri is a true original, and I don’t know a lot of people in L.A. who don’t know who he is,” says Samberg. “The only thing close to him I’ve ever seen is the Triplets of Belleville waiter scene, although Dimitri is not a waiter.” While the French film seems a fitting metaphor, Dimitrov himself describes his “life of service” as akin to that of Mr. James Stevens in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel The Remains of the Day, the character played by Anthony Hopkins in the 1993 film adaptation.

Perpetually checking place settings, polishing silverware and adjusting tables—he carries a four-top by himself—Dimitrov clocks at least five miles walking the floor, a team of waiters hovering around him like opera singers watching their conductor. Dimitrov’s indefatigable work ethic, he says, comes from his father, who worked all day and night handcrafting leather slippers in the Macedonian capital of Skopje. Though Dimitrov didn’t speak a word of English until he was 18, within a decade he was serving royalty at the Ritz in Toronto. He made his fateful move to L.A. at the age of 29. “I’ve never applied for a job in my life,” Dimitrov says. “I’ve only ever worked for four employers. I’m loyal.”


Tracking Dimitri Dimitrov: Inside His Last Night at Tower Bar

The legendary maître d’ ended his 14-year tenure on October 14

With Gabé Doppelt, right, who is taking over Dimitrov’s role.
Maggie Shannon for WSJ. Magazine

“There’s nothing you couldn’t ask of Dimitri,” says Lisa Eisner. “You always feel that you are the most important person in the room, and that kind of service doesn’t really exist in America anymore. All the places that used to do that in L.A.—like Chasen’s—are all gone, but Dimitri is still here.”

At the staff meeting before the dinner rush, Klein jokes, “He’s not dying. He’s just moving on.” Although taking the reins next month at Klein’s San Vicente Bungalows, Dimitrov will live on at the Tower Bar—through Doppelt and the training he’s instilled in her; via the Donald Robertson illustrations of his face in every hotel room; on the playing cards sold in the gift shop that feature photos of him frolicking in the hotel; and, perhaps most importantly, through his signature cocktail, the Dimitri. A potent brew of vodka, gin, Luxardo Maraschino cherries and lime juice, it is a stiff drink that keeps on giving.

“It started out simple, like the man himself, with just vodka—his drink—and some simple syrups,” explains bartender Brett Zimmerman, who has worked alongside the man he calls “the mathematician” since 2010. “But we’ve complicated it more and more throughout the years, so I guess you could say it’s his alter ego.”

Salty, sweet and a little funky, both the man and the cocktail have an effect, an aftertaste, a hangover that lingers on. Both of them, in a word: unforgettable.

Dimitrov by the Numbers

1929 The year the Sunset Tower, designed by architect Leland A. Bryant, opened. Its former residents include Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Bugsy Siegel.

30 The number of napkins Dimitrov folds every night.

7 The number of covers Tower Bar had when it first opened its doors 14 years ago.

5:30 a.m. The time Dimitrov gets home from work every day.

288 The number of days Dimitrov spent training Doppelt to take over his job.

3 The number of vacations Dimitrov has taken in the past 14 years, one of which was to New Orleans, where he filmed a cameo for Billionaire Boys Club.

100 The group of Tower Bar regulars—including John Mayer, Jennifer Aniston and Alex Von Furstenberg—who doodled on dessert menus as farewell cards, which Doppelt assembled into a book for Dimitrov’s send-off.

300 The first wave of members the San Vicente Bungalows will accept when it opens in November.

Don’t Let a Race for a Promotion Get Awkward

Don’t Let a Race for a Promotion Get Awkward
Photo: Rob Shepperson

If career planning at your office is starting to resemble an episode of “Survivor,” you’re not alone.

More employers are sparking internal competitions by posting job openings online and encouraging interested employees to apply. The internal horse races that ensue open up new career opportunities for many, but also risk leaving angry, dispirited runners-up in their wake.

“It’s a really great thing” if these rivalries give employees fairer, faster access to new opportunities, says Minneapolis executive coach Kevin Cashman. “But they create a bit of a monster” if employers fail to provide career-planning help and support for those who lose out, says Mr. Cashman, global head of Korn Ferry’s CEO development practice.

It’s possible to emerge a winner from one of these bake-offs even if you don’t get the job. But it requires some careful career planning and social skill.

Pitting insiders against each other can give rise to destructive tension. Kristen J. Zavo and several hundred other consultants in her division at a previous employer vied annually for a handful of openings for new director positions. Politicking among candidates seeking to align themselves with the most powerful internal allies led to backbiting and undermined co-workers’ trust in each other, Ms. Zavo says.

The rivalry intensified the pressure consultants already felt to work 80-hour weeks. And those who lost out were left seething over the outcome, she says. She resigned after the stress began harming her health. Ms. Zavo is a Cincinnati career coach and author of “Job Joy,” a book about finding meaning and satisfaction in work.

The takeaway for her: Employees shouldn’t join such battles without first figuring out what they’ll do if they don’t get the job. They also should size up each opportunity based on how well it fits into their own long-term career and personal plans.

Employers tapped current employees to fill 21% of all 2017 job openings, up from 11% the previous year, according to a survey of more than 700 employers by SilkRoad, a Chicago-based talent-management technology company.

Kristen J. Zavo, a Cincinnati career coach and author, says intense competition for promotions on a previous job sparked tension and overwork.
Kristen J. Zavo, a Cincinnati career coach and author, says intense competition for promotions on a previous job sparked tension and overwork. Photo: Jess Summers/SAY YES TO JESS

Posting jobs internally attracts a larger pool of highly qualified applicants for hiring managers to choose from, compared with allowing managers to handpick candidates on their own, according to a 2017 study of 8,107 internal hires at a large health-insurance company.

It found that employees who win the job are 17% more likely to stay with the company for at least two additional years, and 28% more likely to be promoted within three years, compared with managers’ handpicked candidates. JR Keller, an assistant professor of human resources studies at Cornell University, conducted the study.

Many employers also hope internal postings will attract a more diverse applicant pool and help address concerns over racial, ethnic or gender bias.

But internal postings risk driving losers out the door. Also-rans in Dr. Keller’s study were 2½ times more likely than the average employee to quit the company in the ensuing six to 12 months, according to unpublished follow-up research.

As employers replace old career ladders and predictable promotion schedules with more flexible internal postings, career-planning responsibility is falling to employees. And many of them aren’t ready. “People just don’t know how to build careers within organizations,” Dr. Keller says. Without some career-planning help, “the only way to figure out what your opportunities are is to actually apply,” he says.

Bake-Off Best Practices

Seven tips on how to behave when competing with co-workers for a promotion:

  • Avoid allowing a rivalry to damage your relationships with co-workers.
  • Acknowledge your rivals’ applications in a friendly way and wish them well.
  • Avoid efforts to undermine or sabotage other candidates.
  • Don’t let applying for internal openings substitute for making your own long-term career plans.
  • Plan in advance what you will do if you lose.
  • If you win, don’t flaunt it. Respect others’ feelings and celebrate away from the office.
  • Be gracious if you lose. Congratulate the winner and talk about what you gained from the process.

Without thoughtful oversight, internal competitions can devolve into a Darwinian struggle. Heather Taylor was dismayed when a new employer pitted her against a co-worker in a head-to-head battle for an editing job several years ago. The hiring manager didn’t reveal until after Ms. Taylor accepted the job that she’d hired another new editor at the same time.

Neither the manager nor the other editor ever openly acknowledged the horse race, but the company was so small that there clearly wasn’t room for more than one person in an editor role. From their first day, “we were sizing each other up. I think we knew from the start that only one of us would make it out alive,” says Ms. Taylor, of Calabasas, Calif.

Ms. Taylor did her best, but soon felt herself losing traction. Her boss began excluding her from meetings and huddling with her rival. “I felt like I was in limbo,” Ms. Taylor says. She left the company after only a few weeks, when her boss chose her rival over her. Although she rebounded quickly, losing that battle was so discouraging that she briefly considered changing careers.

“It really shakes your confidence in your ability and makes you second-guess everything you’re doing,” says Ms. Taylor, who is currently communications coordinator for MyCorporation, a provider of business document-filing services.

Internal bake-offs can work well if the losers get something out of the competition. Runners-up in Dr. Keller’s study were far more likely to stay with the company if hiring managers took the time to interview them, show interest in their candidacy and encourage them, Dr. Keller says.

CEO coach John Mattone says some employers offer all contenders for top jobs executive coaching, skills assessments and interviewing experience. “Even if they aren’t the winner, they still benefit greatly,” says Mr. Mattone, an author and speaker based in Orlando, Fla.

The most profitable companies teach employees to manage their own careers, according to a recent study of 1,220 employers by Bersin by Deloitte. Some 76% of more profitable companies emphasized promoting from within. They also set up training programs encouraging employees to sell themselves internally, network with colleagues outside their teams and explore potential paths to advancement.

Candidates shouldn’t allow an internal horse race to undermine their relationships with colleagues. They have to continue working with them. Also, decision makers tend to see candidates who appear likable and friendly as more competent, says Jack Nasher, author of “Convinced!” a forthcoming book about proving competence. That means showing respect for colleagues at all levels. If you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with a rival at happy hour, say you’ve heard they applied for the job and buy them a round.

If you lose, “don’t focus on losing. Talk about the future with optimism,” Dr. Nasher says. Frame the outcome in a positive way that emphasizes the upside, such as what you learned or new relationships you gained. And make your last comment to decision makers a positive one. That’s the one they’re most likely to remember.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

More From Work & Family

When Winner-Take-All Battles Backfire at Work

When Winner-Take-All Battles Backfire at Work
Photo: Rob Shepperson

If career planning at your office is starting to resemble an episode of “Survivor,” you’re not alone.

More employers are sparking internal competitions by posting job openings online and encouraging interested employees to apply. The internal horse races that ensue open up new career opportunities for many, but also risk leaving angry, dispirited runners-up in their wake.

“It’s a really great thing” if these rivalries give employees fairer, faster access to new opportunities, says Minneapolis executive coach Kevin Cashman. “But they create a bit of a monster” if employers fail to provide career-planning help and support for those who lose out, says Mr. Cashman, global head of Korn Ferry ’s CEO development practice.

It’s possible to emerge a winner from one of these bake-offs even if you don’t get the job. But it requires some careful career planning and social skill.

Pitting insiders against each other can give rise to destructive tension. Kristen J. Zavo and several hundred other consultants in her division at a previous employer vied annually for a handful of openings for new director positions. Politicking among candidates seeking to align themselves with the most powerful internal allies led to backbiting and undermined co-workers’ trust in each other, Ms. Zavo says.

The rivalry intensified the pressure consultants already felt to work 80-hour weeks. And those who lost out were left seething over the outcome, she says. She resigned after the stress began harming her health. Ms. Zavo is a Cincinnati career coach and author of “Job Joy,” a book about finding meaning and satisfaction in work.

The takeaway for her: Employees shouldn’t join such battles without first figuring out what they’ll do if they don’t get the job. They also should size up each opportunity based on how well it fits into their own long-term career and personal plans.

Employers tapped current employees to fill 21% of all 2017 job openings, up from 11% the previous year, according to a survey of more than 700 employers by SilkRoad, a Chicago-based talent-management technology company.

Kristen J. Zavo, a Cincinnati career coach and author, says intense competition for promotions on a previous job sparked tension and overwork.
Kristen J. Zavo, a Cincinnati career coach and author, says intense competition for promotions on a previous job sparked tension and overwork. Photo: Jess Summers/SAY YES TO JESS

Posting jobs internally attracts a larger pool of highly qualified applicants for hiring managers to choose from, compared with allowing managers to handpick candidates on their own, according to a 2017 study of 8,107 internal hires at a large health-insurance company.

It found that employees who win the job are 17% more likely to stay with the company for at least two additional years, and 28% more likely to be promoted within three years, compared with managers’ handpicked candidates. JR Keller, an assistant professor of human resources studies at Cornell University, conducted the study.

Many employers also hope internal postings will attract a more diverse applicant pool and help address concerns over racial, ethnic or gender bias.

But internal postings risk driving losers out the door. Also-rans in Dr. Keller’s study were 2½ times more likely than the average employee to quit the company in the ensuing six to 12 months, according to unpublished follow-up research.

As employers replace old career ladders and predictable promotion schedules with more flexible internal postings, career-planning responsibility is falling to employees. And many of them aren’t ready. “People just don’t know how to build careers within organizations,” Dr. Keller says. Without some career-planning help, “the only way to figure out what your opportunities are is to actually apply,” he says.

Bake-Off Best Practices

Seven tips on how to behave when competing with co-workers for a promotion:

  • Avoid allowing a rivalry to damage your relationships with co-workers.
  • Acknowledge your rivals’ applications in a friendly way and wish them well.
  • Avoid efforts to undermine or sabotage other candidates.
  • Don’t let applying for internal openings substitute for making your own long-term career plans.
  • Plan in advance what you will do if you lose.
  • If you win, don’t flaunt it. Respect others’ feelings and celebrate away from the office.
  • Be gracious if you lose. Congratulate the winner and talk about what you gained from the process.

Without thoughtful oversight, internal competitions can devolve into a Darwinian struggle. Heather Taylor was dismayed when a new employer pitted her against a co-worker in a head-to-head battle for an editing job several years ago. The hiring manager didn’t reveal until after Ms. Taylor accepted the job that she’d hired another new editor at the same time.

Neither the manager nor the other editor ever openly acknowledged the horse race, but the company was so small that there clearly wasn’t room for more than one person in an editor role. From their first day, “we were sizing each other up. I think we knew from the start that only one of us would make it out alive,” says Ms. Taylor, of Calabasas, Calif.

Ms. Taylor did her best, but soon felt herself losing traction. Her boss began excluding her from meetings and huddling with her rival. “I felt like I was in limbo,” Ms. Taylor says. She left the company after only a few weeks, when her boss chose her rival over her. Although she rebounded quickly, losing that battle was so discouraging that she briefly considered changing careers.

“It really shakes your confidence in your ability and makes you second-guess everything you’re doing,” says Ms. Taylor, who is currently communications coordinator for MyCorporation, a provider of business document-filing services.

Internal bake-offs can work well if the losers get something out of the competition. Runners-up in Dr. Keller’s study were far more likely to stay with the company if hiring managers took the time to interview them, show interest in their candidacy and encourage them, Dr. Keller says.

CEO coach John Mattone says some employers offer all contenders for top jobs executive coaching, skills assessments and interviewing experience. “Even if they aren’t the winner, they still benefit greatly,” says Mr. Mattone, an author and speaker based in Orlando, Fla.

The most profitable companies teach employees to manage their own careers, according to a recent study of 1,220 employers by Bersin by Deloitte. Some 76% of more profitable companies emphasized promoting from within. They also set up training programs encouraging employees to sell themselves internally, network with colleagues outside their teams and explore potential paths to advancement.

Candidates shouldn’t allow an internal horse race to undermine their relationships with colleagues. They have to continue working with them. Also, decision makers tend to see candidates who appear likable and friendly as more competent, says Jack Nasher, author of “Convinced!” a forthcoming book about proving competence. That means showing respect for colleagues at all levels. If you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with a rival at happy hour, say you’ve heard they applied for the job and buy them a round.

If you lose, “don’t focus on losing. Talk about the future with optimism,” Dr. Nasher says. Frame the outcome in a positive way that emphasizes the upside, such as what you learned or new relationships you gained. And make your last comment to decision makers a positive one. That’s the one they’re most likely to remember.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at sue.shellenbarger@wsj.com

More From Work & Family

This Is Big: The New Oversize Silhouette

Oversize styles appeared at Balenciaga’s Paris fashion show in March, several months after the #MeToo movement took off globally.
Oversize styles appeared at Balenciaga’s Paris fashion show in March, several months after the #MeToo movement took off globally. Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images

The fashion industry wants women to make room for roomy clothes.

Roomy and even oversize garments appeared in Fall 2018 collections in stores now, from several houses including Balenciaga, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs. The trend continued on runways in the past month, among the Spring 2019 offerings from Matthew Adams Dolan, Loewe, Valentino and others.

The change in silhouette continues a gradual shift from the body-hugging, skin-baring styles that women squeezed into over the past decade. It also comes amid the #MeToo era, raising questions of whether the industry is responding to the movement to end sexual harassment and assault.

It wouldn’t be the first time fashion echoed the zeitgeist. In 1926, economist George Taylor’s Hemline Index suggested that hemlines fall when the economy sags and then rise when it strengthens and shoppers are feeling flush. Similarly, some business executives have posited that a prevalence of high heels signals favorable economic conditions.

However, the fashion world’s calendar makes it unlikely that #MeToo exerted a significant creative influence on clothes now in stores. Designers typically work on collections months or even a year before they are presented to the public. Clothes being sold now appeared on runways in February. That was a few months after the #MeToo movement was galvanized by allegations of sexual assault and harassment by Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile figures. Designers did have time to register the movement as they worked on their Spring 2019 collections. Those clothes were shown on runways in September and early October and hit stores early next year.

Matthew Adams Dolan, who is based in New York, featured oversize looks in his Spring 2019 show. He called the silhouette a response to several things: the #MeToo movement, gender fluidity and discussions of women’s empowerment. The designer, whose oversize looks have been made popular by Rihanna, said, “It’s about the idea of being comfortable and not pleasing someone else, wearing something that makes you feel good and also sexy at the same time.”

Marjorie Jolles, an associate professor of women’s and gender studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, studies the aesthetics and ethics of female power. “Calling [the oversize trend] a direct translation of this political moment is probably too strong,” she said. “But it is impossible, even if designers don’t have a political bone in their body, not to bring with you a sense of the moment when designing.”

Dr. Jolles sees how consumers can read different messages in the oversize trend. “There is something about the volume that is so indifferent to the body,” she said. “The mood of these is ‘cover up’ and many layers between you and the world. The mood here is not thinking about men.”

She cited the principles of a blog called Man Repeller, which “seizes on a female consciousness that says ‘we’re deliberately owning that [these looks] may really be outside of that male gaze and aesthetic universe and we’re totally cool with that.’ That’s the kind of confidence,” oversize looks suggest. But someone else, she cautioned, might perceive fear and not confidence in such looks.

The mood of these is “cover up” and many layers between you and the world. The mood here is not thinking about men.

—Marjorie Jolles

Coach’s runway show during New York Fashion Week in September included oversize hoodies and varsity vests as well as long prairie skirts and voluminous, floor-sweeping tiered dresses. “It’s about ease and attitude,” said Stuart Vevers, executive creative director of Coach. “The movement and proportions give character and swagger.”

Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, sees antecedents in the 1980s. Back then, there were power suits and blazers with broad, mannish shoulders as “you saw women moving up the corporate ladder,” Dr. Mears said. From avant-garde Japanese designers prominent in that era, there were boxy and billowy cuts that obfuscated the body. “It was a woman wanting to look a little more serious and covered up, a woman looking very serious but her body not on view,” Dr. Mears said. “It’s empowering. It’s women saying you cannot pinpoint me in a traditional way.” This was part of a gender-fluidity theme in fashion during the ’80s, she said, and its current iteration can be seen today among young people.

Trend-forecaster WGSN said skinny jeans and leggings seem to have run their course, while a roomier silhouette is on the rise. Two years ago “we started seeing wider silhouettes in denim and in trousers” at brands including Vetements and Y/Project, said Sidney Morgan-Petro, senior retail editor. “It’s consumer fatigue and probably designer fatigue,” Ms. Morgan-Petro said. “That skinny silhouette has been around for 10 years now. It’s just time for a change.”

She pointed to signs of more modest dressing, amid shifting ideas of what is sexy. “Low-rise jeans and [body-conscious] dresses, all those things at the moment feel really passé,” she said. “The new sexy is more rooted in comfort clothes you feel confident moving in.”

Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor in chief, expressed a similar view. In a video recap of Milan Fashion Week posted on Vogue.com last month, Ms. Wintour said “the idea of anything that’s overly sexy, or overly clinging or overly look-at-me has simply gone out the window.”

But designers have to walk a fine line between not appearing to victim-blame by proposing more modest looks and not appearing to objectify women. During Paris Fashion Week some critics tsk-tsked when designer Hedi Slimane showed models in short dresses for his debut at Celine. He clapped back in a statement displayed on TV in France, asking “Does this mean women are no longer free to wear miniskirts if they wish?” Mr. Slimane went on to describe the young women in his show as liberated and “free to dress as they see fit.”

Write to Ray A. Smith at ray.smith@wsj.com

What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack

What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack
Photo: Getty Images
What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack
Photo: Bose

I live in Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-canceling headphones: I fly in them, listen to music, take calls in them. I am using them right now, actually. Obviously I don’t take them up into the mountains, but I have them with me all the time otherwise.

What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack
Photo: Canon

No matter where I am, I always carry a Canon EOS R camera. It’s a top-of-the-line, full-frame digital SLR, but smaller and lighter than the norm for that camera style. I take this thing everywhere—even on expeditions—because it’s super compact. I can use it for fun or to shoot street-style shots and editorial assignments.

What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack
Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

These little Muji gel pens are amazing to write with, and perfect for doodling. They have great glide. The lines are tight. They come in a bunch of colors but I only have the black one.

What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack

After being cooped up in planes for days when I’m traveling, sometimes I’ll randomly run 40 miles. I use MobilityWod rolling devices on sore muscles to help me stay limber.

What Filmmaker and Pro-Climber Jimmy Chin Keeps in his Pack

Being able to use the same ski boot that’s pared down enough for backcountry skiing [where you climb the mountain and then ski down] but high-performance enough for chairlift laps at the resort is a recent development in skiing. Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro boots are ultralight for climbing up and super stiff when heading down. It makes life a lot easier to just have one pair.

More in Gear & Gadgets

A Guide to Surviving the Longest Flight in the World

Singapore

After more than 15 hours, the passengers in the back of the airplane are family-road-trip restless: Are we there yet?

Three more hours to go. Riding the longest airline flight in the world is a traveling ultramarathon. You’re chasing time and outrunning the moon at 550 miles an hour, stretching human tolerance in a high-altitude, desert-dry environment. You’re challenging eating and sleeping patterns and questioning just how many episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” you can watch in one sitting. (There are 24 available.)

Singapore Airlines reclaimed the title of longest flight in the world on Friday with its nonstop between Newark, N.J., and its home at Changi Airport. It’s a 9,534-mile trip scheduled for 18 hours, 45 minutes when heading to Singapore, almost halfway around the world. It’s made possible by the newest airplane in the sky, an ultralong-range version of the new Airbus A350-900 jet.

WSJ’s Scott McCartney went nonstop from Newark, N.J., to Singapore, testing his tips on how to survive more than 18 hours on a plane to help you with your next long-haul flight. Photo: Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal

This is the future of air travel for many. Longer flights actually shorten trips by eliminating the need to stop for connections. Without the nonstop between New York and Singapore, the trip takes at least 22 to 24 hours connecting in Frankfurt, San Francisco, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

Airlines are beginning to pump ultralong flights into schedules—a landmark change some call as big as the introduction of the Boeing 747. “New aircraft have the range and the economics to do what was not possible before,” says Campbell Wilson, Singapore’s senior vice president for sales and marketing.

Singapore’s new plane has 67 business-class seats and 94 premium-economy seats, but mercifully no standard coach. What’s clear from riding Flight 21 on Friday in premium economy is that ultralong-range travel requires a different mind-set for even the most experienced road warriors.

A Day in the Sky

Here’s a timeline of Singapore Airlines’ inaugural trip from Newark, N.J., to Singapore on Friday, Oct. 12, charting the flight route and the service in the Premium Economy cabin during the 18-hour marathon. All times are Eastern Daylight Time except for touchdown in Singapore.

Newark, N.J.

10:48 a.m.

The Airbus A350-900 ULR, an ultra-long-range version of the A350, pushes back from the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport.

12:08 p.m.

Premium Economy passengers served nuts and a beverage.

Light lunch is served.

Cabin lights go orange, simulating sundown. They fade to completely dark over the next 20 minutes to encourage sleep even though it’s the middle of the afternoon EDT.

In Singapore, it’s 2:20 a.m.

Pass just south of the North Pole. The sun is setting.

NORTH

POLE

Crackers offered to those who are awake.

The cabin lights start coming back up. Blue now, turning white. Singapore says it’s time to wake up–even though it’s evening in New York. Flight attendants bring hot towels. The nap period was about five hours.

Pass just northeast of Norilsk, Russia. Daylight again outside. Night lasted only about two hours.

Main meal service of the flight (dinner) is served.

Cabin lights going orange again, then dimming completely. Post-dinner nap is prescribed by Singapore.

Saturday 1 a.m.

Crew serves a small chicken sandwich snack and Milano cookies.

Lights on in the cabin. Hot towels passed out over the Gulf of Thailand before final snack of cheese pizza and a small cake snack.

Saturday, 4:40 a.m. ET/4:40 p.m. local time

Touchdown at Changi Airport. Arrive at gate eight minutes later, exactly 18 hours after departure.

Source: FlightAware

A Day in the Sky

Here’s a timeline of Singapore Airlines’ inaugural trip from Newark, N.J., to Singapore on Friday, Oct. 12, charting the flight route and the service in the Premium Economy cabin during the 18-hour marathon. All times are Eastern Daylight Time except for touchdown in Singapore.

Newark, N.J.

10:48 a.m.

The Airbus A350-900 ULR, an ultra-long-range version of the A350, pushes back from the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport.

12:08 p.m.

Light lunch is served.

Premium Economy passengers served nuts and a beverage.

Cabin lights go orange, simulating sundown. They fade to completely dark over the next 20 minutes to encourage sleep even though it’s the middle of the afternoon EDT.

In Singapore, it’s 2:20 a.m.

NORTH

POLE

Pass just south of the North Pole. The sun is setting.

Crackers offered to those who are awake.

The cabin lights start coming back up. Blue now, turning white. Singapore says it’s time to wake up–even though it’s evening in New York. Flight attendants bring hot towels. The nap period was about five hours.

Pass just northeast of Norilsk, Russia. Daylight again outside. Night lasted only about two hours.

Main meal service of the flight (dinner) is served.

Cabin lights going orange again, then dimming completely. Post-dinner nap is prescribed by Singapore.

Saturday 1 a.m.

Crew serves a small chicken sandwich snack and Milano cookies.

Lights on in the cabin. Hot towels passed out over the Gulf of Thailand before final snack of cheese pizza and a small cake snack.

Saturday, 4:40 a.m. ET/4:40 p.m.

local time

Touchdown at Changi Airport. Arrive at gate eight minutes later, exactly 18 hours after departure.

Source: FlightAware

A Day in the Sky

Here’s a timeline of Singapore Airlines’ inaugural trip from Newark, N.J., to Singapore on Friday, Oct. 12, charting the flight route and the service in the Premium Economy cabin during the 18-hour marathon. All times are Eastern Daylight Time except for touchdown in Singapore.

Newark, N.J.

10:48 a.m.

The Airbus A350-900 ULR, an ultra-long-range version of the A350, pushes back from the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport.

12:08 p.m.

Premium Economy passengers served nuts and a beverage.

Light lunch is served.

Cabin lights go orange, simulating sundown. They fade to completely dark over the next 20 minutes to encourage sleep even though it’s the middle of the afternoon EDT.

In Singapore, it’s 2:20 a.m.

NORTH

POLE

Pass just south of the North Pole. The sun is setting.

Crackers offered to those who are awake.

The cabin lights start coming back up. Blue now, turning white. Singapore says it’s time to wake up–even though it’s evening in New York. Flight attendants bring hot towels. The nap period was about five hours.

Pass just northeast of Norilsk, Russia. Daylight again outside. Night lasted only about two hours.

Main meal service of the flight (dinner) is served.

Cabin lights going orange again, then dimming completely. Post-dinner nap is prescribed by Singapore.

Saturday 1 a.m.

Crew serves a small chicken sandwich snack and Milano cookies.

Lights on in the cabin. Hot towels passed out over the Gulf of Thailand before final snack of cheese pizza and a small cake snack.

Saturday, 4:40 a.m. ET/4:40 p.m. local time

Touchdown at Changi Airport. Arrive at gate eight minutes later, exactly 18 hours after departure.

Source: FlightAware

A Day in the Sky

Here’s a timeline of Singapore Airlines’ inaugural trip from Newark, N.J., to Singapore on Friday, Oct. 12, charting the flight route and the service in the Premium Economy cabin during the 18-hour marathon. All times are Eastern Daylight Time except for touchdown in Singapore.

Newark, N.J.

10:48 a.m.

The Airbus A350-900 ULR, an ultra-long-range version of the A350, pushes back from the gate at

Newark Liberty International Airport.

12:08 p.m.

Premium Economy passengers served nuts and a beverage.

Light lunch is served.

Cabin lights go orange, simulating sundown. They fade to completely dark over the next 20 minutes to encourage sleep even though it’s the middle of the afternoon EDT. In Singapore, it’s 2:20 a.m.

Pass just south of the North Pole. The sun is setting.

NORTH POLE

Crackers offered to those who are awake.

Pass just northeast of Norilsk, Russia. Daylight again outside. Night lasted only about two hours.

The cabin lights start coming back up. Blue now, turning white. Singapore says it’s time to wake up–even though it’s evening in New York. Flight attendants bring hot towels. The nap period was about five hours.

Main meal service of the flight (dinner) is served.

Cabin lights going orange again, then dimming completely. Post-dinner nap is prescribed by Singapore.

Saturday 1 a.m.

Crew serves a small chicken sandwich snack and Milano cookies.

Lights on in the cabin. Hot towels passed out over the Gulf of Thailand before final snack of cheese pizza and a small cake snack.

Saturday, 4:40 a.m. ET/4:40 p.m.

local time

Touchdown at Changi Airport. Arrive at gate eight minutes later, exactly 18 hours after departure.

Source: FlightAware

Staying hydrated is a bigger challenge than on a typical flight. Planning sleep to reorient yourself to the backside of the clock makes a difference. Avoiding salt and calories—typically available in high quantities in airline food—can help you arrive feeling less tired.

And what we learn in these passenger endurance trials can help on shorter flights, too.

Ultralong-range flights challenge fatigue management for crew as well as passengers, says Indranil Ray Chaudhury, Singapore’s captain on Friday. “It’ll take some time for people to get used to this,” he says.

As captain, he flies the takeoff and first part of the trip, gets rest and then returns to the cockpit to handle the final three hours. The big challenge: At 18 hours in, he needs to be his sharpest.

“Here you have to manage your physical constitution so when you arrive, you are fresh, not only for the landing but for any eventuality,” Capt. Chaudhury says. “The weather may be bad. You need to be ready for anything when it comes to the last segment of the flight.”

Passenger Bernard Yan of New Jersey looks at the sunset over the North Pole. The flight headed north from the New York area, passed near the North Pole and then dropped straight south over Siberia, Mongolia, China, Thailand and into Singapore.
Passenger Bernard Yan of New Jersey looks at the sunset over the North Pole. The flight headed north from the New York area, passed near the North Pole and then dropped straight south over Siberia, Mongolia, China, Thailand and into Singapore. Photo: Scott McCartney/The Wall Street Journal

The flight path has three options: Head east across the Atlantic, west across the Pacific or north to the North Pole and down the other side of the globe. Airline flight planners, working with pilots, choose the route with the most favorable winds. They also factor in available emergency-landing sites and storms.

On Friday, the northern route was best—over Danbury, Conn., Montreal, Greenland, passing just south of the North Pole, then down over Siberia, Mongolia, China, Laos and Thailand. Actual time in the air was only 17 hours, 30 minutes thanks to favorable winds. The flight covered 9,857 miles, 3% longer than the shortest possible route. Gate to gate, the trip took 18 hours.

Each of the 12 Singapore flight attendants onboard gets five hours’ rest in crew sleeping compartments. Flight attendants, too, have learned these very long flights are more than a typical milk run with a couple of extra hours tacked on.

“Passengers get more fidgety,” flight attendant Charmaine Ang says. “We look for passengers who are restless and suggest something to eat, something to watch on the entertainment system.” For others, “18 hours is a breeze if you can sleep well,” she says.

Singapore and Australia’s Qantas Airways , another carrier stretching flight boundaries, have been studying the science of airborne wellness. Qantas is pressing Boeing and Airbus for an aircraft that can go even farther than the A350-900 ULR so it can get from Sydney to London and New York nonstop.

Singapore flew this route from 2004 to 2013 with a four-engine airplane fitted with only 100 business class seats. It couldn’t carry a full load that distance. It proved popular with corporate travelers but uneconomical when fuel prices soared.

The earlier experience convinced Singapore it had to do more about in-flight health for such a long flight. The airline worked with health-spa resort operator Canyon Ranch to create a more appropriate menu, and encourage in-seat stretches for better blood flow and ideal sleep cycles. The in-flight entertainment system got an additional 200 hours of programming beyond the standard lineup of 1,000 hours.

On this trip, Singapore suggests a pair of five-hour naps, with a single dinner meal in between. Ideally you want to eat two hours before sleeping, says Canyon Ranch chief executive Susan Docherty, so digestion is complete and you’ll fall asleep faster.

After about 15 hours in the air, passengers in the premium economy cabin grew restless. And they still had three hours to go.
After about 15 hours in the air, passengers in the premium economy cabin grew restless. And they still had three hours to go. Photo: Scott McCartney/The Wall Street Journal

Just one hour after meal service, the cabin lights turn orange and simulate sundown, even though it’s midafternoon in New York. Then they darken for the first nap. (I’ve never been able to sleep sitting up on a plane. No difference this trip, unfortunately.) Wake-up for the lucky comes five hours later, with hot towels and blue lights turning bright white before dinner. An hour later, another faux sundown with orange lights before it’s lights out. (Still no joy for me.)

The menu, which includes a light lunch after takeoff and snacks before landing, is designed for a 2,000-calorie limit—unless passengers want to indulge by asking for more. The flight lands in late afternoon, so it’s best to arrive hungry for dinner and sleep so you’re properly oriented to Singapore time. (The hungry and tired parts aren’t too hard.)

In-flight, taste is diminished by the dry air and cabin pressure, so airlines often add salt to food to boost flavor. But that leads to water retention, bloating and fatigue. For this flight, chefs tricked up dishes with flavors heavy for sea level but tasty in the air, without added salt.

Chefs seasoned beef short ribs with lots of turmeric, giving them strong taste and anti-inflammatory benefits, says Singapore’s food and beverage director Antony McNeil. To reduce carbs, cauliflower was mashed like potatoes and served with the beef. Cauliflower helps hydrate, as it is mostly water. Lentil beans served with chicken were steeped in broth full of garlic and onion. A rich tomato jam on top of the chicken was actually a conduit for lots of red wine vinegar.

Canyon Ranch developed healthy meals for the ultralong flight, such as a dinner of beef short ribs flavored with turmeric, an anti-inflammatory. Mashed cauliflower has high water content for hydration (and looks like potatoes).
Canyon Ranch developed healthy meals for the ultralong flight, such as a dinner of beef short ribs flavored with turmeric, an anti-inflammatory. Mashed cauliflower has high water content for hydration (and looks like potatoes). Photo: Scott McCartney/The Wall Street Journal

The dishes proved airline food could be tasty at 39,000 feet. Even the mashed cauliflower was creamy and flavorful.

Singapore’s premium-economy seat for the ultralong flights is 19 inches wide inside the arm rests—about one inch wider than on an A320. The row is 38 inches long, about 6 inches more than a typical coach row on long flights. Extra legroom makes a huge difference, but it’s still coach.

“About 14, 15 hours in, my legs were really uncomfortable,” says Bernard Yan, who works for a New York clothing manufacturer and was flying to Singapore for his mother’s 58th birthday.

He finds the premium economy seat tight even though it was specially designed by Singapore for long-haul sitting with extra thigh, calf and foot supports. Some of the extra support and under-seat entertainment gear robbed space for his backpack and reduced room to stretch his legs.

Mr. Yan has made the trip many times, usually stopping in Frankfurt, but he was still surprised at how much more taxing the single long flight proved to be.

“This is new territory, definitely not for everybody,” he says. Still, he enjoyed the food, cabin service and time-savings. “This is a better option. I would take it again.”

Enrico Esopa, a Jersey City, N.J., maritime-labor-union official on a business trip to Singapore, enjoyed the all-business-class nonstop when Singapore ran it before. So when the airline announced the re-inauguration, he switched his ticket from United flights through San Francisco and paid about $200 more for the nonstop.

“The premium economy had plenty of room, and this saved me six or seven hours,” Mr. Esopa says. “But after 15, 14 hours, you’re kind of like, let’s get on with it.”

MORE FROM THE MIDDLE SEAT

Write to Scott McCartney at middleseat@wsj.com

The Rolls-Royce Rescued From a Georgia Barn

Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s auction house, with his 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Shooting Brake, at his weekend home in Salisbury, Conn. When Mr. Ettinger first saw this car around 1990, it had been sitting in a barn for decades.
Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s auction house, with his 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Shooting Brake, at his weekend home in Salisbury, Conn. When Mr. Ettinger first saw this car around 1990, it had been sitting in a barn for decades. Photo: Megan Haley for The Wall Street Journal

Arlan Ettinger, the New York City-based founder and president of Guernsey’s auction house, on his 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Shooting Brake, as told to A.J. Baime.

In the mid-1980s, I heard a rumor about an old woman who lived in Georgia who had a vintage Maserati racing car. This piqued my interest because, at the time, my auction house had a specialty in rare sports and racing cars.

By coincidence, I got a call from a Georgia man who called himself a picker—a person who finds old items that have value. I told him about this rumor. I never expected to hear from him again, but a couple weeks later, he called me back with this woman’s telephone number.


Photos: This 1933 Rolls-Royce Rolls On

An auctioneer shows off his rare 20/25 Shooting Brake model that predated the modern station wagon

Arlan Ettinger with his 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Shooting Brake. The term shooting brake is a Britishism, meaning an estate wagon or a station wagon.
Megan Haley for The Wall Street Journal

Her name was Dorothy Lewis. It turned out she had many amazing cars in many barns on her property. Her husband had died around 1960, and she had put all the cars they owned in barns and shut the doors, and had never opened them again.

Over the years, Ms. Lewis and I became great friends. I made many trips to her home, and each time, she would show me more cars. On one occasion, she opened a barn door and there was this 1933 Rolls-Royce with a wooden body. It was sensational. My wife and I had always had a passion for “woodies.”

Ms. Lewis was reluctant to sell, but eventually, she sold me her 1953 Maserati in 1986. When she died in 1998, her will stated that I would auction her cars for her. I obtained permission from her estate’s lawyer to bid on the 1933 Rolls-Royce myself and was able to acquire it.

During the prewar years, Britain’s Rolls-Royce was known to be the finest and most expensive of automobiles. A customer would purchase a chassis, and a coachbuilder would build the car’s body according to the customer’s wishes. So it was extremely rare for there to be two cars that were alike.

This Rolls-Royce is what is known as a shooting brake—the British term for estate wagon [or station wagon]. It came with paperwork detailing its history. It had originally been bodied by a company called Corsica. But in the 1940s it was re-bodied by Jersey, a coachbuilder on the island of Jersey, off the coast of northern France.

I refinished the wood myself, and a Rolls-Royce specialist in Vermont rebuilt the engine. I keep the car at our weekend home in Connecticut—the perfect place for drives with my family and our dog, Rascal, on beautiful country roads. The car ticks along like a clock. It’s a joy, in every single way.

Mr. Ettinger out on the road.
Mr. Ettinger out on the road. Photo: Megan Haley for The Wall Street Journal

More From My Ride