1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

The Rise of Style Forum-born Entrepreneurs and their Impact on Style

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by F. Corbera, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Lasciate ogne speranze voi qu'intrate
    when were those almost festishistic esquire fellowes drawings popular, and whom were they targeted at? early ralph purple label coats
    Yes, but wasn't Fellows an 'mericun. and therefore, did his illustrations represent the 'typical' at that time English silhouette or were they an idealised version, 'softened' for 'mericun tastes.
     
  2. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,761
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Outside the Beltway but still in the Danger Zone
    Honestly I fail to see how looking at photos of clothing made by tailors in Naples (or Steed) can possibly be applied to RTW or MTM decision making. I am a bespoke customer and I can't think of a single time I've ever said to myself (or my tailor) "let's go for what Mariano or Mina did" for whomever nor would I expect someone to do likewise with what Raphael or Despos has made for me.

    Plus, you are taking one hell of a leap of faith in taking pointers or advice from the customer and not the tailor. Tell me that you have gained genuine insight into construction and fit from Despos or Jefferey and I will happily agree. Tell me it was pontifications of it's wearer and I'll have to agree to disagree that you have learned anything of value.

    Sheesh, you've got an ugly attitude. First, please quit reading more into my post than what I said. I said that I'm listening in, not that I'm "taking advice." Second, keep in mind that as a relative newcomer to fine dressing, I'm going to have a much steeper learning curve than you and other bespoke clients. All I'm saying, then, is that I can learn a lot from listening in -- eavesdropping, if you will -- on discussions of bespoke clothing.

    I can't imagine why you find that so objectionable.
     
  3. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    Yes, but wasn't Fellows an 'mericun. and therefore, did his illustrations represent the 'typical' at that time English silhouette or were they an idealised version, 'softened' for 'mericun tastes.

    your question was how would americans react to a particular silhouette.
    the fellowes' esquire drawings were for an american audience
    and was quite popular due to the run it had
    so it must have been well received, at least in drawing form.

    and the early purple label was of the silhouette you described
    and it too was popular
     
  4. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Honestly I fail to see how looking at photos of clothing made by tailors in Naples (or Steed) can possibly be applied to RTW or MTM decision making. I am a bespoke customer and I can't think of a single time I've ever said to myself (or my tailor) "let's go for what Mariano or Mina did" for whomever nor would I expect someone to do likewise with what Raphael or Despos has made for me.

    Plus, you are taking one hell of a leap of faith in taking pointers or advice from the customer and not the tailor. Tell me that you have gained genuine insight into construction and fit from Despos or Jefferey and I will happily agree. Tell me it was pontifications of it's wearer and I'll have to agree to disagree that you have learned anything of value.


    Hmmm. I find your sentiment too dismal and pessimistic.

    I find, as a group, most of the guys who wear bespoke stuff on SF are level-headed. When they are open enough to discuss or show their experiences, it makes for some of the best reading.

    What others take away from that, I could not say.
     
  5. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Lasciate ogne speranze voi qu'intrate
    Group think Yes, there is a lot group think here and I'm guilty as anyone else. But, that the group would neck down to the most conservative clothes is not a surprise. Men's clothing is best when it does not call attention to itself but, rather, evokes a penumbra of unconscious character associations. You don't want people to look at your clothes and think, "Wow, he is very well-dressed". You want them to look at your clothes and think, "Wow, that guy is intelligent, that guy has leadership skills or, that guy has a lot of energy. " Well-fitted clothes in the classic English tradition do that. English tailoring (if well done) recapitulates the classic men's physique of a broad shoulder tapering to a narrow waist. English tailoring recapitulates the golden mean of ideal proportion emerging from renaissance Europe. Somewhere there is an essay on this that articulates better than I do. (I think it's on Will's Blog ASW) My interest in this forum was driven by utilitarian considerations. I'm a middle-aged engineer competing with younger men for projects and statements of work. I need to walk into an office and convince a stranger (in the first 30 seconds) to overlook my age and hand me a million dollar budget. Careful selection of clothing can do that. The more flamboyant colors, patterns, etc can work in this way but it requires exceptional skills in matching colors, textures, patterns so that the harmony of the components does not draw attention to any one item. Few people have that refined aesthetic judgment. The impulse to solids colors, simple design, soporific ties, etc is driven, I think, by this utilitarian desire to evoke those unconscious responses. I suppose people need to sort out for themselves why are they here. I see people speaking at cross purposes on this forum. I suspect that for many, especially bespoke purchasers, this is not about utility. But, instead, the manifestation of the universal human satisfaction of solving puzzles. I see the impulse to bespoke as similar to the satisfaction of crossword puzzles or, if an engineer like me, reshaping airflow with well crafted aircraft structure. They are using fabric to reshape a complex and imperfect body to a renaissance ideal. For some I think, this is about collecting the work of fine artisans. I can't help but think some like Manton or Mafoofan are more enthralled by tailoring as art then as functional clothing. Like my brother in law who has a 300 yr old antique chair in his living room. No one is allowed to sit in it.
    Engineers in my experience are generaly given quite a bit of leeway in the way they dress. I remember when I worked in industry, which is quite a while ago that I would have been viewed with 'suspicion' if I'd have been dressed to the nines, there was/is almost an expectation that engineers being the practical, creative people they are should look a little 'dishevelled'. So I always turned the Dandy-ifier down a few notches. Given that you are based in Seattle I'll take a stab; Boeing?
     
  6. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Yes, but wasn't Fellows an 'mericun. and therefore, did his illustrations represent the 'typical' at that time English silhouette or were they an idealised version, 'softened' for 'mericun tastes.

    The extended structured shoulder, heavily draped look was indeed a popular look of the time, and reached an exaggerated endpoint in the early 1950s.

    and the early purple label was of the silhouette you described
    and it too was popular


    As early adoptor of Years 1 and 2 of RLPL, I can say one thing with certainty: it was not popular.

    It's fun to see some of it on MBrenin, although I have yet to see the the Nuttery/Blade's versions that I wore on him yet.
     
  7. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    .....
    Plus, you are taking one hell of a leap of faith in taking pointers or advice from the customer and not the tailor. Tell me that you have gained genuine insight into construction and fit from Despos or Jefferey and I will happily agree. Tell me it was pontifications of it's wearer and I'll have to agree to disagree that you have learned anything of value.


    a car is a car
    and engineers from different manufacturers can tell you how they build it
    but each have their own different setups
    so the driving experiences of a bmw owner/kia owner/chevy owners will be different

    are you telling me that only the engineers can tell you what is what
    and not the drivers?

    and what if only two engineers write on this forum?

    if that is what you believe
    you need to learn moar
     
  8. UrbanComposition

    UrbanComposition Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,251
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco

    Just to switch gears a bit: several of you responded in this thread that SF (and perhaps other online forums) has had impact in your own choices and has also provided a vehicle for buying things (through the types of sellers I mentioned in the OP and also through this sites B&S threads) consistent with these choices. How does this interrelated cycle affect the comments that you might make in threads about what others wear?


    I believe there can be an appreciation for a style that I myself would not wear. As an example, while I prefer suits (and have bought some on B&S) over sportcoats, I think there are a few here that wear sportcoats well, and I comment accordingly.

    This place just gets dumber by the day.
    The place is only as dumb as the people who post here.


    This. There are those who contribute, have dialogue about matters that interest them, and share experiences. There are also those who equate all of what is posted as unassailable, and regurgitate what they read. They are likely the same people who read "Every man should have a tuxedo," buy one, and never use it, rather than see if such advice actually pertains to them.


    Question:

    What would be the typical American reaction be to:

    a) An American wearing a structured, wasp waisted coat and how does this vary from region to region. Are some regions or crowds more forgiving or would it be viewed with suspicion.


    I have two DB suits with a flared skirt. I live in San Francisco. I have no idea if these two points are related, but there you go.

    I suspect that for many, especially bespoke purchasers, this is not about utility. But, instead, the manifestation of the universal human satisfaction of solving puzzles. I see the impulse to bespoke as similar to the satisfaction of crossword puzzles or, if an engineer like me, reshaping airflow with well crafted aircraft structure. They are using fabric to reshape a complex and imperfect body to a renaissance ideal.

    For some I think, this is about collecting the work of fine artisans. I can't help but think some like Manton or Mafoofan are more enthralled by tailoring as art then as functional clothing.


    Something that need be done (i.e. covering your peas & carrots and/or staying warm) need not be solely a necessary method of propriety or functionality, and I'd wager that for many who visit this forum would agree, otherwise they wouldn't be here. To continue your example: The most sought-after engineers are those who are able to do exactly as you say - create functional art. Such creations not only serve its functional purpose in space, but also appeal to aesthetics in order to, explicitly or subliminally, evoke feelings of balance, harmony, power, etc. The same can be said of clothing.
     
  9. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    ....

    As early adoptor of Years 1 and 2 of RLPL, I can say one thing with certainty: it was not popular.

    It's fun to see some of it on MBrenin, although I have yet to see the the Nuttery/Blade's versions that I wore on him yet.


    and as someone who wanted to buy a year one purple label cashmere db sportscoat
    it was popular, for it sold out in all four retailers that carried it.

    as did a few other pieces which i liked
    ='(
     
  10. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    and as someone who wanted to buy a year one purple label cashmere db sportscoat
    it was popular, for it sold out in all four retailers that carried it.

    as did a few other pieces which i liked
    ='(


    I had this wild, 3 roll 2 navy odd jacket with a trim skirt and shoulders like an aircraft carrier that could have been exactly on a old Blade's pattern. I wish that I had kept it...RL supplied Cheshire with some amazing fabrics.
     
  11. T4phage

    T4phage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,117
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Location:
    sage
    I had this wild, 3 roll 2 navy odd jacket with a trim skirt and shoulders like an aircraft carrier that could have been exactly on a old Blade's pattern. I wish that I had kept it...RL supplied Cheshire with some amazing fabrics.


    that sounds like the sb brother to the db i wanted..
     
  12. aportnoy

    aportnoy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,790
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    a car is a car
    and engineers from different manufacturers can tell you how they build it
    but each have their own different setups
    so the driving experiences of a bmw owner/kia owner/chevy owners will be different

    are you telling me that only the engineers can tell you what is what
    and not the drivers?

    and what if only two engineers write on this forum?

    if that is what you believe
    you need to learn moar


    As one of the cognescenti, I expected this response. Yes, you can tell me what you like to wear and what experience you have had with a particular fabric or the relationship that you had with a tailor but beyond that, perhaps you need to learn more?
     
  13. aportnoy

    aportnoy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,790
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Hmmm. I find your sentiment too dismal and pessimistic. I find, as a group, most of the guys who wear bespoke stuff on SF are level-headed. When they are open enough to discuss or show their experiences, it makes for some of the best reading. What others take away from that, I could not say.
    Yes there are experiences that can be shared to add value, but not the intricacies of fit, construction etc. I know you don't agree but I don't expect you to.
     
  14. Coburn

    Coburn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    Engineers in my experience are generaly given quite a bit of leeway in the way they dress. I remember when I worked in industry, which is quite a while ago that I would have been viewed with 'suspicion' if I'd have been dressed to the nines, there was/is almost an expectation that engineers being the practical, creative people they are should look a little 'dishevelled'. So I always turned the Dandy-ifier down a few notches.


    Well. Two things:
    1 If you are ambitious, you don't want to fit in: you want to stand out.

    2 This has become the conventional wisdom -- creative, intelligent people don't have time for superficial considerations such as dress or appearance. But, really, walk through the mall, supermarket, place of business. Every one you see dresses badly.

    Do you really think the universal dishevelment is synonymous with creativity or intelligence. More likely the outward appearance reflects the inner lack of ambition, intellect or energy.

    Nowadays, everyone dresses badly. Are they all creative?
     
  15. Coburn

    Coburn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle
    To continue your example: The most sought-after engineers are those who are able to do exactly as you say - create functional art. Such creations not only serve its functional purpose in space, but also appeal to aesthetics in order to, explicitly or subliminally, evoke feelings of balance, harmony, power, etc. The same can be said of clothing.

    Couldn't agree more. But ...

    "...but also appeal to aesthetics in order to, explicitly or subliminally, evoke feelings of balance, harmony, power, etc."

    This site asks each participant to be his own engineer. It asks them to balance utility with aesthetics. My point is that the aesthetics are often out of balance. This is a multidimensional art: it mixes spatial features of sculpture with color palette of 2-d expression.

    The complexity of the task drives people to simplicity of material, color and texture to reduce the aesthetic struggle to a more manageable level.
     
  16. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,908
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Yes there experiences but not the intricacies of fit, construction etc. I know you don't agree but I don't expect you to.

    A., I neither agree or disagree with you because I'm unclear what you are saying.

    I'm pretty sure that I know if a suit fits me or not, and I think that I can tell if a suit fits someone else or not. If fit can't be apprehended by any but tailors, then what is the point?

    As for construction, as a amateur topic it is very nerdy. I find Manton's, or tutee's, or Sator's posts interesting, and when pros like Despos, jefferyd, or Tom Mahon write about it, that's interesting as well. Even Beaman's old post on AAAC about A&S was interesting.

    I think that there's a lot more commentary online from wearers of RTW shitcanning bespoke stuff than the other way around. Do you feel differently?

    I guess I'm also confused by what you expect or don't about my opinion.
     
  17. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Lasciate ogne speranze voi qu'intrate
    Well. Two things: 1 If you are ambitious, you don't want to fit in: you want to stand out.
    Yes, but ultimately it's the quality of your work that will make you stand out, that will garner you respect within the profession. Not the way you dress.
    Do you really think the universal dishevelment is synonymous with creativity or intelligence. More likely the outward appearance reflects the inner lack of ambition, intellect or energy.
    No I don't think it is synonymous with creativity or intellect but I don't think it is indicative of a lack of ambition, intellect or energy either.
     
  18. George

    George Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,832
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Lasciate ogne speranze voi qu'intrate
    Couldn't agree more. But ... "...but also appeal to aesthetics in order to, explicitly or subliminally, evoke feelings of balance, harmony, power, etc." This site asks each participant to be his own engineer. It asks them to balance utility with aesthetics. My point is that the aesthetics are often out of balance. This is a multidimensional art: it mixes spatial features of sculpture with color palette of 2-d expression. The complexity of the task drives people to simplicity of material, color and texture to reduce the aesthetic struggle to a more manageable level.
    No, engineering uses applied mathematics to solve problems. If it looks good then that's just a serendipitous coincidence. An aircraft wing is optimised/shaped to perform a specific engineering function, not to look good. It's engineering not sculpture.
     
  19. radicaldog

    radicaldog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,638
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Typically, we're beginning to derail the thread. Regarding the SF consensus on soft and relaxed tailoring (and the related focus of the SF entrepreneurs), we have two causal hypotheses: (1) Lack of prominent posters who favour a more structured look, and (2) cultural preferences for the soft look in the USA.

    Obviously the two explanations are not incompatible, though (1) has the advantage of being testable, at least in principle. Regarding (2) I really don't think, by the way, that a sensible structured suit would draw a disproportionate amount of unwelcome attention in the US: both a military-inspired Savile Row suit and a Neapolitan suit (and even a soft and draped/London Lounge English suit) are very different from what most people wear (i.e. either generic boxy and roomy suits or modish tight suits).

    On a different note, the prevalence of discussions of bespoke is perfectly understandable: classic clothing was meant to be bespoke, and RTW simply mimics bespoke. So it's only normal that anyone with an interest in classic menswear would develop an interest in bespoke.
     
  20. aportnoy

    aportnoy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,790
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    A., I neither agree or disagree with you because I'm unclear what you are saying. I'm pretty sure that I know if a suit fits me or not, and I think that I can tell if a suit fits someone else or not. If fit can't be apprehended by any but tailors, then what is the point? As for construction, as a amateur topic it is very nerdy. I think that there's a lot more commentary online from wearers of RTW shitcanning bespoke stuff than the other way around. Do you feel differently? I guess I'm also confused by what you expect or don't about my opinion.
    OK, here it is: 1) Yes, we can tell if something fits but we push our luck when we get into the whys. Once the arrows and Photoshop come out, credibility goes wanting. So yes, we apprehend if something fits but to diagnose the fix is something completely different, and in my opinion, odious. 2) Construction is best left to those who construct. I don't have much else to add on that one. 3) I'm not sure of the ratio of shitcanning but I can say with confidence that the vast majority of those who posit themselves as being expert in the tailoring arts are bespoke customers. Which, when combined with being able to order a pizza in Naples in Italian, makes you a world class not tailor. 4) I expect that your opinion will be driven by the fact that you have had much experience with bespoke and in that time you have gained a certain knowledge of tailoring, construction, fit etc. which can/should be passed on to others.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by