More on Meledandri from 2010:
Originally Posted by clintonf
Hi all, I recently came across a "new" Ralph Lauren SC which has a four button fastening.
I've seen 4 button jackets before and I'm not really impressed with them.
However, this one has me in two minds. Therefore, I'd like to throw it to the "Dogs" and let them rip into it. In other words, I would appreciate any comments that you may have on the 4 button thing.
I'm not doing a poll, but I would value thoughts.
Does it look stupid? Not too bad? Great?
The late and sainted Roland Meledandri, a major influence in high-end menswear in the 70s
till his untimely death, wore four button suits during the Ivy League style era in the late
'50s -60s. At the time he worked at the pioneering clothiers, Calsual Aire and Men's Town
and Country in Greenwich Village and later the East Side, where the merchandise pushed
the "Ivy" envelope. He also sported a magnificent handle bar mustache. I had one of his
tweed suits. It only had three buttons.
From Film Noir Buff 4/6/06
Index Â» The Wardrobe Â» R Meledandri
#26 2006-06-04 15:07:12
Re: R Meledandri
in a nutshell:
My father started in men's clothing at a store called Casual Aire (I believe it was spelled with an "e") where he met my uncle; Joseph Levine. Together they started Men's Town and Country (which was in the 50's, I think on 3rd Ave; the shot of Marilyn Monroe over the subway grate with her skirt blowing up was in front of the store). My father left there to start R. Meledandri Inc. at 74 East 56th St. (early '60's); a full service men's retail establishment with a custom tailoring department. Most of his merchandise was made in Italy and my father (and mother) used to go to the factories where he would have input into the designs made specifically for him. I would risk saying that in reaction to the prevailing "Brooks Brothers" sensibility he was responsible for bringing elegance and flair back into American men's fashion; he widened lapels, raised the armholes, nipped the waist and flared the skirt. He brought both the influence of Italian tailoring and the British hacking jacket into his designs. Cuffs, collars and ties also went wide, and he introduced a range of colors and textures that were previously unavailable to the American male.
Of course anyone with an artistic eye and a flair for clothes would be attracted to the "Meledandri" look and his clientele included fashion photographers, advertising directors, etc; the people who dictate what the world sees when it comes to style. He was also an extremely charismatic person, when I was photographing his friends and clients, so many of them referred to him as "one of my closest friends". As I said earlier, his store became a kind of salon, a hang out and one his name synonymous with elegance and success (as when the phrase "the men in their Meledandri suits" was used to describe a certain sector of hip NY in the book "Edie")
Over the years he also developed a wholesale division and had departments at both Barney's and Bloomingdales as well as other fine department stores across the country. But he was primarily known for the exquisite design and quality of his custom tailoring department. When he died from a massive and sudden heart attack in 1980 at 51 (quite unexpected as he was extremely fit, a runner and watching his heart) he was in the process of closing "R. Meledandri Inc." and had finally run the first sale in the history of the store. He was a man of impeccable taste, an artist who expressed his vision through clothes.
Last edited by neene (2006-06-04 15:09:50)