Originally Posted by F. Corbera
That's a really, really dumb first paragraph. I say that with love.
The second is a matter of preference.
Originally Posted by LA Guy
Well, it's like critiquing a fashion show. You can be like my father, and say things like "Ah, that doesn't fit well, it's just ugly", or you can either have very good intuition, or a deeper understanding of fashion history, of references to different periods, different subcultures, specific moments, etc....
For example, to really appreciate Margiela's work, (and by that I mean the women's work, since he never gave two shits about menswear) you have to understand that he believed that all the elements were already there, that his job was essentially to splice together that which already existed.
I know that something analogous exists in traditional menswear. However, it's a much narrower field, and most guys can get a decent education, albeit incomplete, from a tailor or from a decent SA. However, I've met very few SAs in designer stores could teach someone how to put together a decent outfit. Those who know how to do so themselves, usually do it by intuition, and can't articulate why they do what they do. So, the people who can "lift the veil" are fewer and farther in between.
Someone like Simon Doonan, and I think, several of the better retailers on the forum, can, but they are not as common as they are in Mens tailored clothing. Recent trends, which essentially allowed amateurs with no background, and often, less self-awareness, get into the field, hasn't helped matters, though it's definitely made the field much more interesting. The wild west is always more fun than some staid settlement, imo.
I think one way of looking at it is to compare the MC/ SW&D divide to the divide between traditional jazz and free jazz. By traditional jazz, I mean bebop, swing, Dixie, cool era, etc. By free jazz I mean all the avant-garde stuff that Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra were known for.
In traditional jazz, there are a general set of rules, at least comparatively more so than free jazz. However, it's not true that you could be a good jazz musician by just following those rules. If you could, music schools would be churning out great jazz musicians all the time. Unfortunately, while many people who graduate from music school are adequate, few are great.
For free jazz, it can be difficult to articulate why something is appealing while something else is not. Something may appeal because of how it fits into the discourse at the time (discourse about concepts, forms, ideas, etc). If you're not privy to that discourse (the MMM example Fok gave is a good example), you might not "get it." Other times, something may appeal just on a gut emotional level.
The differences between MC and SW&D seem to be similar. So does the divide. On one side, you have people dismissing modern free jazz as "bullshit," just because they're either not interested in the conversation or too close minded to appreciate a few pieces. On the other side, you have people who dismiss the traditional stuff as being too old and boring.
Perhaps I'm over stretching here (likely). But that's my stab at it.
I'm personally not a fan of free jazz, but I appreciate some pieces. Most of the time, I listen to traditional jazz. I hope that one of the things that will come out of this thread (and the one at SW&D) is a mutual appreciation for both forms, even if people are rooted in different "home bases." Imagine it like a radio show that plays both traditional and free jazz, and talks about them in a thoughtful way (why some piece works, and why others didn't). Perhaps in that way, people can get a better understanding of jazz (or men's clothing and style) as a whole.
What's been disappointing, however, is that people seem to be responding with "this one is better than that one," which to me seems to miss an important opportunity. I really like both fits here and think they appeal in different ways. There's no reason, in my opinion, to listen to Louis Armstrong and then Cecil Taylor and say "Bah!
Cecil was obviously a fraud." That seems rather small minded.
As an aside, I think MC needs more "natural" photographs. Same could probably be said for SW&D too, but they seem to do fewer robot poses. I recently saw this photo
of Mark in his first Liverano suit at an O'Mast screening. I really like it. It's probably the best photograph I've seen of him in that suit, and it's completely candid. It gives me a real sense of what a Liverano silhouette looks like, much more so than all the edited photos Mark has posted of himself in the same suit.
Candid shots might also help with the taming down the neurotic "there is a crease on the left side of your leg; bad fit" comments you often see in MC. Certainly, those kind of fit threads are helpful, but sometimes I feel like they can miss the forest for the trees.Edited by dieworkwear - 3/23/12 at 11:06pm