The style vs fashion debate always comes down to people who invent their own definitions of those words. See above.
Where I come from being specific about the manner in which you are using generalized terms like fashion and style is considered clarification not invention . I also felt it was clear that that I saw the relationship as cooperative rather than oppositional
For any good discussion all parties need to agree on definitions of terms first right?
That goes for about anything. I think the general use of fashion/style as what is out there/what is personal is pretty accepted.
My only philosophical interest would be in the personal aspect since that is where the intention and creation take place. What's "out there" is just tools right?
I think you have hit the nail right on the head and yet completely dented it in the process instead of hammering it into place.
The art of designing classic menswear today is to capture the essence of classic looks while keeping them contemporary and relevant. That is to say, without making it look like a copy of the classic Bogart look from Casablanca, or the Cary Grant look from North by Northwest, or whatever your favourite classic film is--which, of course, would make it period costume like you correctly point out.
This is so easy to say, and yet so hard to do. I think some designers have some masters working on this and are quite successful. Ralph Lauren's Purple Label, Oxxford, and few others immediately pop to mind. The trick, I think, is to keep some elements that distinguish the classic look and make it instantly recognisable, while updating a carefully chosen set of other elements...eg. length, looseless, shoulder shape, etc.
It is walking a tightrope to be sure. American designers are also more successful at this than Italian designers--who prefer to remain faithful to making the human body beautiful in clothing, rather than aspiring to a classic look which has proven itself, and hence, is approved in fashion society. It's the zeroth order difference between the Italian designers and the English/American designers of classic menswear.
It is also an art that only a master can be successful at. Any idiot can take a garbage bag, wrap it around you with an asymmetrical opening, rolled up pants and extra long sleeves and call it "fashion". Other idiots at Barneys will also agree to hawk it for you It has neither aesthetics, nor time-proven tradition and hence recognition and status. On a few rare occasions, this radicalism is also artistically successful, and more often in womenswear than menswear. But the overwhelming majority of it is garbage.