or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › What are the greatest menswear brands of all time?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What are the greatest menswear brands of all time? - Page 15

post #211 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by hendrix View Post

[*] Not everyone wants to have their bodies flattered in the Darwinian sense - i.e. we don't necessarily care to have a nipped waist and strong shoulder or elongated legs etc etc. This is because humans are intelligent and see past things like a lion's mane and a puffed up puffer fish, but also because some of us like to intellectually flatter ourselves - interestingly sculpted lines and patterns for the point of visual interest can be more attractive than just making yourself look strong.
[/LIST]

Excellent point.
Punk Rock was another fashion/lifestyle movement that was in many ways a rejection of conforming to social context as well as Darwinian ideals of physical attractiveness.
post #212 of 500
^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:

http://ivorytowerstyle.tumblr.com/post/31099567302/to-this-as-to-anything-else-that-is-designed-and
post #213 of 500
Well obviously, but you don't just look at something without your senses, your memory, your thoughts, your experiences determining how you perceive it.

That's getting into philosophy but it's true. Looking at something is not the same thing as perceiving something.
post #214 of 500
^Yes but that's not the distinction I meant. I meant, you can't explain to someone that something can't possibly look good for the reason that it makes his left ear look big and large left ears where particularly disadvantageous for humans tens of thousands of years ago, whereas something else must look good because it makes the right elbow stand out more, and prominent right elbows were a valued trait evolutionarily.
post #215 of 500
Ah, gotcha
post #216 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

I spent $9000 on these shoes because they were sewn by a single old man using a platinum needle and molding the last by pressing it under his armpit for eleven weeks, after which he buried the leather in the ground for twenty years to get the antique color, etc etc

Anyone remember this?

Hilarious.
post #217 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

I thought that Citizen Kane was sorta boring, and I laughed at Ernest goes to camp for about 5 minutes before I had to turn it off, but that's neither here nor there.
I think that it is very interesting to discuss the creative aspect of clothing. That's essentially what we did here re. Ferre, for example.
I think that the issue here is that you are conflating "creative aspect" with "why we like what we like." Why we like what we like is, to the first order, a combination of our shared cultural history, our relationship to society and different societal values. For example, in the developing world, where labor is cheap and mechanization is expensive, manufactured goods are highly prized. As a modern society develops, labor becomes expensive, and mechanization relatively economical, and handmade goods become more desirable. This is pretty well documented.
I think that in order to discuss the creative aspect of clothing, we have to get people out of the prescriptive mindset, e.g. a suit has to have a skirt that covers your bottom, or else you look like a lady, lol. X,Y,Z factors flatter a man's physique., etc... And I think that that's easier said than done. But we can try.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posts.

I'm actually not a Citizen Kane fan either, but I hope you can admit that a great deal of thought went into it, that it contained a great deal of technical innovation, that it influenced other movies that are worth watching, Vern.

I personally think people are most interesting when they aren't just a sum of their cultural inheritance, when they pursue unique paths of thinking and living, so that what they happen to like says something unique about them. Or better yet, what they happen to like says something unique about the world.

That one is able to like possessions because he is not a serf isn't the most interesting thing to say about a person's tastes.

I wasn't advocating presciptivism. I would say that "creativity" in clothing that isn't a lasting source of inspiration for others isn't worthy of the name. Or of being deemed "great."
Edited by The Thin Man - 9/24/12 at 7:06pm
post #218 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Anyone remember this?
Hilarious.
He did this also in the beach happy.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9DmGYuGX7s
post #219 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

This. While I think I get "the thin man's" overall point (critical thinking about subjective taste), ultimately I think it's impossible and will break down into exactly that kind of prescriptive mindset. In addition to what you write above, another reason is that it isn't possible to articulate WHY we like what we like, exactly, because we have neither complete information about it and also because we're influenced by so many factors automatically, over which we have no control. Thin man's argument seems dependent upon a kind of rationality and reflection about our own tastes that, ultimately, isn't possible, given various unconscious influences like priming, framing, bias, etc. (all those things that the behavioral economists have helped to show cloud all those perfectly rational agents!)
So, in the end, the discussion will largely devolve away from actual clothing and down to the social norms of the prescriptive type you outline above. If it is done "right," it will basically devolve down to "I like it because I like it and alternatives from that are ridiculous because they're stupid," or a rationally untenable argument.
People won't/can't think critically about their subjective tastes, because they aren't really in control of them. While on the one hand a man can say he likes RL because he likes "classic tailored menswear that is well manufactured," in truth (and given various behavioral experiments or brain scans) we might actually be able to make a more convincing case that latent sexual attraction to a coworker who happened to wear RL on Tuesdays caused the attraction to the brand. Likewise, it might be because his neighbor had a polo pony when he grew up. In short, the line between some sort of "aesthetic judgment" and a purely affective one is quite thin, and both can work together, "I like well tailored menswear because RL uses a polo pony that my neighbor had when i was young."

I don't know what objective knowledge of human endeavors really is. The best we can hope for is intersubjective agreement, so let's keep talking. Being able to articulate one's perspective is perhaps a rare talent, and highly valuable.

Some of my favorite Style Forum posts succeed at this, and are not at all what you are describing. I'd point you toward Holdfast's reasoning behind what he wears, or the post from a couple of months ago by a SW&D member describing their favorite clothes that Fok put on the front page. Really any well-informed member getting at the roots of what he likes is usually interesting.

Just because describing one's aesthetic sense is never going to be a perfect excercise doesn't mean that when executed well, it can't be rewarding for others. I tend to value rationality and reflection even when achieving them is more of a goal than a possibilty. I don't think I'm alone.

Trying to understand ourselves, let alone other people, is one of our highest callings, partly because of the challenges you outline. To me, it has the potential to be more rewarding than cataloguing commercial successes or even broad social themes.
Edited by The Thin Man - 9/24/12 at 5:49pm
post #220 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Regardless, I think what TTM was suggesting was that we (or someone) take an analytical approach to the aesthetics of classic brands. My only comment is that the website Jesse and I are writing for are allocating us something like 100 words per brand, and I assume the use of just one photo. This is actually supposed to be a fun, slightly arbitrary, light read. I've probably taken much more seriously than necessary, if only because I'm genuinely interested in the subject. But I don't know if we have the space to do a critical review of some brand's aesthetics.

That's cool. I just didn't like seeing brands discussed in primarily commercial or sociological terms. I didn't see much about beauty, which to me = great.
post #221 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexSF View Post

He did this also in the beach happy.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9DmGYuGX7s

I know from this thread that my following view is only a result of a lifetime's worth of cultural, sociological, and even economic-class conditioning, but I will assert, despite having no real objective reasoning to back up my view: I think the Italians make some ugly ass shoes. The English do it so much better.
post #222 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

Good points. I guess my thinking was that while we all (assuming we are of a certain age) have a few ELO songs hidden somewhere on an Ipod or CD, very few of us own a Gaultier skirt. In this way, the social nature of one over the other thus changes the entire set of categories by which we automatically think of it. As mentioned two or three posts ago, it is this "automaticity" that interests me with fashion, how a certain designer changed what we otherwise would never have considered upon opening our closet.
Obviously, many musicians have done this as well (read what people thought at the premier of Stravinsky's Firebird or Tchaikovsky's violin concerto), but it is a very big difference given the inherently social nature of clothes.

Completely tangential, but I have ELO, Gazebo, Tears for Fears, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Muse, 2 Chainz, classic (pre-humous) Tupac, Chopin, and Meursault all on the same playlist (just looking at what is coming up next). I'm assuming that there are minds being blown right now.
post #223 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

Completely tangential, but I have ELO, Gazebo, Tears for Fears, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Muse, 2 Chainz, classic (pre-humous) Tupac, Chopin, and Meursault all on the same playlist (just looking at what is coming up next). I'm assuming that there are minds being blown right now.

+1, looking at my list now I see a potential shuffle of Blizzard of ozz (Mr. Crowley!), Montserrat Caballe, Don Shirley Trio, Johnny cash, and Janet Jackson's Velvet Rope. Nice to know there are fellow listeners out there with equally eclectic tastes.
post #224 of 500
This is now the most interesting thread on MC.
post #225 of 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

^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:
http://ivorytowerstyle.tumblr.com/post/31099567302/to-this-as-to-anything-else-that-is-designed-and
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

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.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › What are the greatest menswear brands of all time?