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Book questions

banksmiranda

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What do you think about Brooks Brothers' book Generations of Style? There's a Brooks Brothers edition of Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man. Is the Brooks Brothers version any different from the standard edition (besides the box) in terms of content, and if so, how?
 

Nick M

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What do you think about Brooks Brothers' book Generations of Style?
I recently ordered a copy of this from Alibris, and the website indicates it's been shipped. When it gets here, I'll let you know - I'm assuming it's mostly a BB vanity book, but we shall see.
 

banksmiranda

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Thanks Nick - I'd appreciate it if you would please keep me posted.
 

Manton

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STYLESTUDENT

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Flusser slammed Brooks quality in his prior book (Style and the Man?) and said that the store had gone downhill since its glory days in the early '60s. Part of this seems bound up with Flusser's nostalgia for his vanished youth, much of which was apparently spent at the Brooks temple. So I question why Brooks would want the Flusser association, and vice versa.
 

Duveen

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Money and a marketing channel for Flusser.

Aura of respectability for Brooks.

Plus, Flusser's 'Dressing the Man' makes the traditionally-styled clothing that Brooks models itself on actually look good and sexy vs. old-fogeyish.  Flusser is the best marketing brochure they could have and, even better, is one that they can make a profit on if they sell enough at full price. Even if a customer doesn't buy it and only looks at it in the store, the effect is there. Flusser makes classic clothes into an aspirational ideal again.  

Although Brooks' offerings are, by and large, only a pale shadow of that ideal, their stuff is the closest to Flusser that there is (at least in the mall).  I bet that they get a few sales every day from having that book lying around.
 

Nick M

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Banks, I received my copy today, so I haven't given it a thorough read yet, but... Well, I'm glad I only spent US$18 on it, rather than US$68. That being said, it's not a bad read so far. It's separated into time periods ('the first hundred years', 'the 20s', etc, although the 30s and 40s are compacted into a single chapter.), and seems to mostly consist of "... and then BB pioneered this, and then BB pioneered that", etc. What I am finding most interesting so far is BB's evolution during and after the war years (both WWI and WWII), as well as the sections devoted to the salesmen of Brooks. There's historical documents, such as BB's first ledger entries, black-and-white advertisements, and a letter from Peal & Co. giving their blessing to the selling of their shoes in the US, as well as references to BB in American literature. I was personally hoping for Laurence Fellows illustrations and candid shots of 1930s celebrities wearing BB, but there's none of that, only single-page references to a few famous people who wore their goods - Fred Astaire, Andy Warhol, Clark Gable etc. And I was also hoping for a chapter laying out, with photographs, the many items Brooks brought to the US, but I struck out again - although there are photos of the BB window displays throughout the decades. Hope this helps. I can put up a few scans if you like... EDIT: Did you know Lincoln is wearing a BB coat in the photo for his second inauguration? Same coat he was shot in, apparently... SECOND EDIT: I also picked up another book from my university library, "Everyday Fashions of the Twenties", featuring excerpts from Sears Roebuck catalogs of the time. Does anyone want to see some choice scans? I was surprised at what you could find in a Sears catalog - pre-Converse canvas-and-rubber hi-tops in 1928, solid 18-karat white gold, platinum-trimmed, diamond-studded watches, and so on.
 

banksmiranda

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Nick, thanks for the info. Don't worry about putting up scans of the BB book, perhaps there'll be a display copy I could thumb through.

Did you know Lincoln is wearing a BB coat in the photo for his second inauguration? Same coat he was shot in, apparently...
Supposedly Lincoln had a BB suit made of what would now be classified as Super 150s, something that was easily the finest at that time.

I also picked up another book from my university library, "Everyday Fashions of the Twenties", featuring excerpts from Sears Roebuck catalogs of the time. Does anyone want to see some choice scans?
This is something I wouldn't mind seeing some scans of, if it's not too much trouble for you. Thanks.
 

Nick M

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No problem. Click away. (Bear in mind that these are all pretty big.)
 

banksmiranda

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Nick, is this the Sears book you found at your library? http://www.amazon.com/exec....=glance BTW, I really like the illustrations you posted. I really do think that that is a big reason why people are so nuts about the 1930s - the illustrations make everything look wonderful. Today we just see lots of actual photographs.
 

Nick M

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Yep, that's the one.

Hey, Amazon says there's volumes for the thirties and forties as well. Might pick them up...

NB: The volume for the twenties is mostly womenswear, in case you were looking to buy any of them.
 

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