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What was the inspiration for 80's type suits? - Page 4

post #46 of 87
Thread Starter 
What really stands out for me is the costume-like quality of the cut. Instead of accentuating or complementing existing physical features, the 80s cut is creating an entirely artificial look. And when I say 'costume like' I don't mean it as an insult to the look per se, but creating large shoulders to the Armani extent is like sewing fake muscles into the armholes. It reminds me of the trend in parts of the world where guys are getting pec implants.

That being said, a strong shoulder in response to sloping shoulders makes sense, but the Armani/boss shoulders seem to have no practical qualities on a mans natural body type. It's like a one size fits all look.

And as a comparison, the Hollywood look from the 30s and 40s looks much more timeless than the pseudo 1930s/40s cut Armani was looking for.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by othertravel View Post

And as a comparison, the Hollywood look from the 30s and 40s looks much more timeless than the pseudo 1930s/40s cut Armani was looking for.
As as been suggested in this thread much of the 30s/40s 'Hollywood Look' was influenced by Anderson & Sheppard. I've been wearing Anderson & Sheppard since the late 70s ... and not once have I been accused of wearing Armani.
post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSS View Post

As as been suggested in this thread much of the 30s/40s 'Hollywood Look' was influenced by Anderson & Sheppard. I've been wearing Anderson & Sheppard since the late 70s ... and not once have I been accused of wearing Armani.

Me neither (though I was a patron of theirs rather later and only briefly).

I was last accused of wearing Armani as a very young man in the late 80s, when in fact I was wearing an early 1950s double-breasted grey suit from the 1950s that I had bought for £20 in an Oxfam shop.

But Armani and his followers were inspired by the look of the 30s-40s (looser trousers, DBs, bold stripes, ventless, etc) - a mix of the 40s (US only - we here were still in inelegant "austerity") baggy drape/zoot suits and the less flappy/floppy but stil bold coats you see in old films. As someone who turned 12 in 1980, I cannot overstate the "retro" influences running through the culture at the time - whether the Preppy Handbook or music videos. Which played out not just in the Armani "80s look" but also through the early-60s styles resurrected by the mod revival, ska, etc.

Essentially, we all thought (whether punks or Gekko-emulators) that the 70s had been awful in almost every respect known to man and looked to the preceeding decades for inspiration. So the early 80s mainstream brought back a lot of things that had been "out" for the two preceeding decades (turn-ups, braces, pleated trousers) and added an idea of loose = comfort = style (which may utimately derive from Scholte/A &S) in contrast to the more structured look of the 70s. And Armani was Italian. Italian was cool. Still is. Why else do so many low-rent fashion brands still call themselves stufff like Mario Ferrarati, when in the 70s they'd have called themselves Charters and Caldicott Bros, Tailors to the Gentry?

In the same way, Tom Ford is inspired - I personally think - by the 70s (movies and TV more than the reality, which I am just old enough to remember with horror), minus flares, shit brown as a desired colour and polyester as a material.
post #49 of 87
I'm stunned that anyone knew how to dress before Style Forvm existed.

How is that possible?

confused.gif
post #50 of 87
According to this thread, they didn't.
post #51 of 87
Scene from the start of 48 hrs (1982) in which Eddie Murphy wears a loud "$957" Armani suit.

Edited by Dewey - 3/27/12 at 5:21pm
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Corbera View Post

I'm stunned that anyone knew how to dress before Style Forvm existed.
How is that possible?
confused.gif



09033319%2009033418%20Renaissance%20Harlequin%20Suit%2038R.JPG

post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSS View Post

That's alright. The question has been partly answered by others.

Ok, how? You said that attributing it to Armani and his fondness for droop wasn't a good enough explanation. So what for you is the set of plausible hypotheses that might explain it? Do you have in mind some cultural shift? Some economic change? What?
post #54 of 87
Armani brought out those suits in the late 70s and called them "Gangster" and "Hollywood."

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/03/28/magazine/elegance-recalled.html

By 1982 Armani was making them more conservative & selling them to men who wore suits to work. This guy wore them on one of the soap operas.

post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post

Me neither (though I was a patron of theirs rather later and only briefly).
I was last accused of wearing Armani as a very young man in the late 80s, when in fact I was wearing an early 1950s double-breasted grey suit from the 1950s that I had bought for £20 in an Oxfam shop.
But Armani and his followers were inspired by the look of the 30s-40s (looser trousers, DBs, bold stripes, ventless, etc) - a mix of the 40s (US only - we here were still in inelegant "austerity") baggy drape/zoot suits and the less flappy/floppy but stil bold coats you see in old films. As someone who turned 12 in 1980, I cannot overstate the "retro" influences running through the culture at the time - whether the Preppy Handbook or music videos. Which played out not just in the Armani "80s look" but also through the early-60s styles resurrected by the mod revival, ska, etc.

What's interesting to notice is that even up untill the early 90's, Armani had kept the loose trouser style and this almost always distinguished the Armani suit from the different designer brands.
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

I quite like the overall interpretation in your post. One puzzle: how could droop suits channel Morgan and Vanderbilt, given that if you google images of them, they did not wear drape cuts, and certainly no droop. Their cuts were much more like military tight. My own theory is that the channeling was done by re-assertion of hyper-masculinity after the flirtation with femininity and androgyny in the 70s, and also by the luxurious effects of draping. Droop suits gave you shoulders, a big chest, and showed you could afford to wear a lot of fabric. Sort of like the regal and priestly effect that wearing robes gives.

Egads! This isn't style commentary. This is social anthropology.
Thank god for the deep-thinkers on SF.
post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

RL pretty much only wears suits with wide shoulders:
lauren-ralph.jpg

I actually saw RL several times "in person" in the 70s and the 90s.
He needs wide shoulders.
post #58 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSS View Post

That's alright. The question has been partly answered by others.
Tracing the casual chain back to the Big Bang is unnecessary. It's generally accepted that clothing hasn't been around that long and I seriously doubt we need go back even as far as the frock coat.

I think you mean "causal chain".
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

I think you mean "causal chain".
I'm sure I did. I'm dylsexic. wink.gif And where I editing right now I'm certain that I'd not notice that error.

But you can have a field day with my misspellings. I think I've already told the story of a prep school English teacher who let me know that with my spelling I'd be lucky to 'clerk at K-Mart.'

Transposing the two middle letters of six letter words is my most frequent error when typing/editing. Add to that the fact that I'm usually on the phone when I post on SF -- so am paying even less attention than I might otherwise -- and I make some 'darn good' mistakes. I'm also unable to distinguish left from right, unless I stop to think of which hand I use to write. On the other hand, I have no problem transitioning between England and the US when it comes to driving. In fact, I don't really notice the difference. Perhaps the restful ten hour interval between the two locations allows me to put the previous driving experience out of mind.

Thanks for the head's up. I'll go back and edit. (Done!)
Edited by RSS - 3/28/12 at 8:25am
post #60 of 87
I thought I was editing the previous post ... but after a few good bottles of wine at Chez Panisse ... the result was a quote of my own post.
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