Originally Posted by unbelragazzo
^I'll go back to my original statement of taking preferences as primitive (in the sense of being the basic assumption). The way to figure out if something looks good is not to go investigating what physical traits were advantageous on the plains of Africa, and then investigate if these traits are accentuated in said garment. The way to figure out if something looks good is to look at it. Hardy Amies quote I'm too lazy to type out again:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc
Interesting! Quick point (as I"ve got to get to work!), but one of the interesting thing about non-western designers, especially Yohji, has been the extent to which they've pushed the bounds on what is "flattering" and questioned that Darwinian mindset, showing that it's more social darwinism than biological.
I seem to recall reading an interview about how he developed his style, after seeing a lot of the history of traditional menswear and finding that it was basically just a codeword for a quite narrow, western, historical trend... nothing in the "darwinian" sense. Anyway, he basically said, "imagine me wearing an A&S suit... I'd look completely ridiculous and it would hardly be flattering."
He developed his own style as a response to this, and though he's not an intellectual, I often find his garments to be an interesting commentary on what "flatters" the human body and its shapes. We aren't all the same shape, and won't all look good in the same things, though a certain set of (western, white) men seem to think so.
The silhouettes of Yamamoto's Y3 line, and in particular the early collections, were based on the athletic garments given by the American forces to Japanese people. They were obviously oversized (I think that that typical American man probably outweighs the average Japanese man by a good 50-60 lbs and is a whole lot taller.
I've heard the sentiment that Yamamoto expressed articulated by some older Chinese men as well, who contend that the western suit was not conceived with the Asian (well, specifically Han Chinese) frame in mind, and so, looks ridiculous on many Chinese men, and that this is why Chinese men actually look much better in period dress, in the robes of Manchu ruled China. Had I lived a hundred years ago, and been born and raised in Imperial China, I may have thought the same way. Of course, I was raised in Kingston, Ontario, so I dress, fundamentally, like a small town Canadian boy, and I have a frame that is much larger than that of the average Southern Chinese (I am 5'11" and tip the scale at 175 lbs).
Maybe it's part of the heritage of being a first generation immigrant, but I've often wondered how different might be the way I look, the way I think, the way I feel, about any number of things, if some other accidents of history had occurred.