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I can't stand italian clothing

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Horace, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Plus, you can't just walk in, the door is kept closed/locked. They've got to buzz you in.
     
  2. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    If I remember correctly Lattanzi's tiny store is on the western side of Madison Avenue.
     
  3. Giona Granata

    Giona Granata Senior member

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    can't believe this
     
  4. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    All quotes originally posted by jerrysfriend:
    But some of them are available to you, especially in New York, such as the stand alone stores of Kiton, Santoni, etc. The Santoni "classico" lines of shoes tend to be more of a "bridge" line, and that seems to be sold in more retail outlets there compared to the higher end Santonis.

    I lived in the States during all my college and grad years, and to me, I personally hated the "Trad" look. Very shapeless, very boring. Once I got to Europe, especially Italy, I was sold.

    btw. Saville row clothing as typified by A&S is not that far removed from the Neapolitan suits in terms of shoulder stucture.
     
  5. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Don't worry Mr. Granata, we don't all feel that way [​IMG]
     
  6. MPS

    MPS Senior member

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    T4phage - couldn't agree more.

    Quite frankly, I think that the Italian "take" on the "English look" beats the American hands down.
     
  7. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Christian my dear boy,

    You are a breath of fresh-air amidst it all. So simple and honest.

    However: re: your post. I am always well-spoken, usually well-written, and sometimes well-argued.

    As to Ben Silver, well we've discussed this elsewhere and though I like their gear (I'm ordering a tweed jacket from them), Silver's a (somewhat) different animal all-together on the Amer/Trad front.

    Pip, pip,

    H.
     
  8. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    My dear sir, first allow me to thank you for being such a sport about it all. Then allow me to remind you that whatever the vagaries of these companies, the first two were based on American design. Ray-Ban and the Brooks suit, being great designs of the past (and to an extent the present) cannot be held responsible for those who steward them now. And so for Churchs... But my dear sir, and my dear gentleman all: I began to cut and past all comments for a longish reply, but found it rather unwieldly. And I'd like to be able to reply to all messages within one reply posting, but seem to be having difficulty here. You've all made excellent points and though you may not hold your breath, I shall reply soon. Yours, H.
     
  9. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    (T4phage @ 18 Oct. 2004, 01:23) I lived in the States during all my college and grad years, and to me, I personally hated the "Trad" look. Â Very shapeless, very boring. Â Once I got to Europe, especially Italy, I was sold. btw. Saville row clothing as typified by A&S is not that far removed from the Neapolitan suits in terms of shoulder stucture.
    T4phage - couldn't agree more. Quite frankly, I think that the Italian "take" on the "English look" beats the American hands down.
    From the Ben Silver website: Classic American Blazer [​IMG] Look at this thing - horrid chest, horrid lapels with a dead roll, ironing board stiff shoulders, such low armholes that lack comfort. Ech...
     
  10. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    From Ben Silver's Fall 2004 online catalogue: [​IMG] Look at the fit of this monstrosity, let alone all the other disasters. This is enough to make any Saville Row or Italian tailor cry. What a waste of covert twill. As for American Trad being colourful, yes, but sometimes like a child with a box of crayons - again from the Fall/Winter collection of Ben Silver. [​IMG] Geez, look at that fit, lapel, colours..
     
  11. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Dear Phil and others,

    You're right that one may some difficulty confining an aesthetic to national origin, given esp. the influence each has had on the other (for good or ill). However, I do think it is possible to delineate to a more or less clear extent the basic attributes of a "style". Now if we prefer to think of them not in terms of national origin, that's fine. But I'll continue to do so.

    I should also say that we had a very good discussion of the implications of "national origin" on the AskAndy site. I termed this a sort of "Cultural Capital". That is, a value that is intangible in one sense because it carries with it feelings, emotions, history, and an aesthetic that it is difficult to pin down. Levi's has a certain "cultural capital" due to not only the fact that it is an American design, but because of the discourse surrounding the article of clothing -- the films in which it's appeared, the movie stars who wore it, the (varied) socio-economic classes that have worn it, everyone from the sexy daughter of the society matron on the upper east side of NYC to the down and out punk drug-addict of the old CBGB's club to the farmer in Kansas to the surfer in California has worn levi's. Now Levi's are no longer made in the USA. But that garment still maintains its Cultural Capital. Now I am not arguing for the Levi's here, and I offer it only as an example. (Though the design, in its simplicity, durability, and value are unsurpassed, to my mind, in a pair of jeans).

    It's acutally hard to "pin down" or quantify much aesthetic taste. You know taste when you see it. Now while it is true that in say art, one can attempt to employ mathematics to "rationalize" taste (measuring the dimensions or relative space between features on a face of a Greek statute, for instance), or in poetry one can attempt to scan the meter of the a poem. etc.

    And 'Arvi: what's this business about the Italians influencing the Anglo-American look?

    Yours on the ramparts,

    H.
     
  12. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    (MPS @ 18 Oct. 2004, 10:36)
    I lived in the States during all my college and grad years, and to me, I personally hated the "Trad" look. Â Very shapeless, very boring. Â Once I got to Europe, especially Italy, I was sold. btw. Saville row clothing as typified by A&S is not that far removed from the Neapolitan suits in terms of shoulder stucture.
    T4phage - couldn't agree more. Quite frankly, I think that the Italian "take" on the "English look" beats the American hands down.
    From the Ben Silver website: Classic American Blazer [​IMG] Look at this thing - horrid chest, horrid lapels with a dead roll, ironing board stiff shoulders, such low armholes that lack comfort. Ech...
    I don't find this cut to be uncomfortable at all, though I prefer the shoulder to be slightly more natural. At any rate, Ben Silver is it's own animal, as I've stated, and it gets many things wrong. My critique of the catalog may be found on the askandy.com site.
     
  13. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Thanks for your post. First, what I am really championing is an Anglo-American look. That is, a look that takes certain qualities from the English, but maintians an natural shoulder ivy league look.

    This whole idea of the sack is a phantom. Even the J. Press suit has shaping. People like to slam the sack, as it were, but in has many virtues. The button-down is one among many. Second, the greatest virtues of the Anglo-American look can be found in the many Hitchcock films, such as Foreign Correspondent, North by Northwest, etc. There is a whole list of classic French and Italians films filled with our European brothers who just couldn't get enough of the Anglo-American look.

    Now, I suppose, it would be a good idea to dry to define the Anglo-American look. (Ken Pollack on askandy.com has done a very good job of it).
     
  14. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    (Horace @ 14 Oct. 2004, 01:57) All this Italian stuff --- horrible. Â You all must buy top-shelf American or English things from now on. That means suits, ties, shirts, shoes, leather goods, etc. No more Italian. Â Stop it. Â Only Anglo-American or British cut clothing. Â
    With this attitude, I'm surprised you're not advocating we wear the fascist clothes of Hitler's germany. Yes, we must all obey and bow down to your superior taste from now on. The sack suit? That's only for overweight people. I like the way the Italian suits look for thinner people. Why make everybody, even people thin enough to wear Italian, wear something ugly as an sack. Seriously, sometimes people obsess and glorify the past too much. That was an era where women and minorities had no rights at all.
    First, let me say that only Germany holds a candle to Italy when it comes to Fascist aesthetics. Actually, a study or review of military uniforms of the second world war would be interesting. There is more to the Anglo-American look than the sack. To my eye, the sack looks best when the wearer is fit. (Like most clothing). There is, by the by, no logic in your last sentence. How we got from clothing to human rights is an amazing leap of logic, but it is a leap you took from the beginning.
     
  15. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Aspiring to beauty is unwholesome, even suspect, in an American man.
    Did you mean "aspiring to be beautiful?" Because I, for one, find beauty a wonderful thing to aspire to, though I have no grandiose ideas of being beautiful, per se.
    I wonder if it is an ideal, or if it is merely apathy. A good social question... Regards, Huntsman
    First let me commend Jerrysfriend. I too must say that a part (but only a small part) of my distate for Italian clothing comes from my school years. Second, ROI, I am in agreement, that there is something about the Italian clothing that is to concerned obviously and sometimes even blatantly with beauty. There's something terrible self-indulgent about Italian clothing. I don't like the cut of the clothing. I don't like the fabrics. I don't like the idea behind it. It's this baroque Catholicity. (Though I do like this in art). Now to ROI's critic: I think one should aspire to the beautiful, but not to beauty. There is a difference. Other silly arguments I've seen for the Italian: that they've more selection. that they're clothing flatters one's physique. I say, if you're fit, you can look damn decent in American/Trad wear. And I don't want anything more from it. I think it unseemly to look to good if you're a male. ROI makes good points on the American idea of comfort (note I said "idea") and what he has termed "social invisibility". Interestingly enough, London Lounge had Spallas take on "Two Jackets". If you don't subscribe to the LL, I may still have message and will be delighted to paste here. The British coat is one that is subtle and it's superior quality not evident to one looking upon it from 20 yards away. The italian coat, by contrast, screams out like a peacock. That to me says it all. This vulgar display of showmanship is something I cannot abide. Also this whole shoe business: if there's a thread, please direct me to it, where a discussion of manufacturing techniques are discussed which show shoe a or b demonstrably superior to say, an Alden shoe. As flip and unmoored is my aesthetic toward the American/Trad look, I find the same to be the case for the Italian contingent. Although I admire, say, the knowledge of an A. Harris, I've never been convinced (with a few exceptions) that his approval of one shoe or another is based on anything other than taste. And there is of course, nothing wrong with that. Like Jerry's friend, I too admire the Alden shoe. I like the aesthetic of it, and I like the durability. Now whether it is manufactured as well as other shoes, I don't know. But if someone could explain the differences in manufacture that make one demonstrably superior to the other, I'd be really interested to read that. I simply ignorant (for the most part), in manufacturing techniques of shoes. Once more into the breach, H.
     
  16. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    (CTGuy @ 14 Oct. 2004, 8:36)
    Your a joke. I'd really like to see what you look like in your American Ralph Lauren, and Gieves and Hawkes. (A Joke, just like I said before) One who thinks that Ozwald Botang looks better than is possibly blind. Show me some inovative style in British clothing; take a single look at Gucci a/w 04-05. Is there even a comparision? No, I think not. America, do not get me started, we like to wear things under sweaters, we like to wear things under shirts, we like to wear things ten sizes too big. Sorry boss, but you aint got an argument. Whenever I see someone with a t-shirt under their shirt I feel like taking out my Purdys and oh dear....
    Your narrowmindedness and poor syntax both amaze me.
    Of indemnity and all lucidity, that visage may possess; the English Language's veracity was apparently lost en route to America. Moreover, of collateral, it is undoubtedly a matter of ancient history of whence the language originated.
    Actually styleman, your greatest two poets of the 20th-c, Auden and Larkin, hungered after the American language because they felt that the English language was dead. Auden so much so that he moved to these shores. He felt it was impossible to the tell the truths that a poet must tell if he were to remain in England. It both is and is not ancient history of where the English language originated. Whatever the case of that is though, we must note that it's a good thing it spread so far and wide, beause the returns, in many respects, have been great. For instance, take a look at the Nobel poet writing in English from the British West Indies, Derek Walcott.
     
  17. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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  18. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    Originally Posted by jcusey,16 Oct. 2004, 12:21
    The argument that I was making was that it's ridiculous for someone to say that Lattanzi shoes, for example, are inferior to Edward Green shoes because he saw some outlandish-looking Lattanzi shoe the last time he was in Bergdorf Goodman. The good stuff in Italian shoes is available if you're willing to seek it out and if you're willing to wait for it.
    I shop in New York -- the shopping capital of the USA -- all the time and all I ever see from the top Italian makers are the pimp shoes. Â Where are these other models? Â In Italy only?
    I accept what you and A Harris say about handwork and how that affects the price -- although I have a hard time believing that handwork alone accounts for the huge prices charged by Lattanzi. Â I guess what turns me off about those shoes, apart from the pimp styling, is that if I'm going to pay four-figures for a handmade shoe, I really want it to look like a handmade shoe. Â Even Lattanzi's semi-brogue oxfords have clunky reverse-welted double soles, and are as big as gun boats. Â I guess that's what sells over here, but sheesh. Â The only really good looking Lattanzis I've ever seen are on the Japanese shoe fetish sites. Â Maybe the Japanese have better taste, and so he sells the good stuff over there. In any case, I would always prefer an English bespoke shoe at a comparable price, or an English RTW shoe at well less than half the price. Â But that's just me.[/quote] My dear Manton, concerning your comments and query on "handwork". Â It would be interesting to consider, vis a vis the comments of someone like Veblen (who wrote _Theory of the Leisure Class) and the comments here on handwork. Now, it may very well be in some (many?) cases handwork increases the "use value" or "performance value" of an article: Â for instance, in the case of the chest or shoulder of a jacket, the structure, fit and whatnot may be inhanced by the handwork. Â (Buttonholes are another matter -- I've had bespoke from Saville Row and from the USA, and from HK -- and I actually prefer machine-made buttonholes). But in what cases is there no difference between the two in "performance value", which I separate from "aesthetic value" -- though I can foresee an argument of why others may not. In essence, Veblen's argument was that certain goods of manufacture (and recall he was writing in what? Â 1902?), there was no demonstrable difference in "use value" (a term from Marx) between the two. Â Now, I don't share his critique of society, but I wonder how often the proponents of "more handwork = better item" is more a matter of feeling good about the fact that someone's direct labor (unmediated by technology (e.g. sewing machine) -- though of course, even the needle may be considered technology) went into item. In short, does it necessarily follow in all manufacturing steps that more handwork in a shoe means a better shoe? Â Or could the reverse be argued?
     
  19. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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  20. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    All quotes originally posted by Horace:
    I don't believe Spalla ever said that the English jacket was superior. Remember, he was also comparing a totally handmade Saville jacket to a partially handmade Neapolitan. If you ask him to compare his favorite neapolitan to his favorite English, I don't think he can choose a "better" one. It all depends on usage and image. When I compare my bespoke Hunstman to my Neapolitan or Roman, invariably I prefer my Italians.
    Again, where did it mention the the English was of "superior quality" as compared to the Neapolitan? Just different, again see my point above when comparing a totally handmade v.s partially machine made. Also, he was using very descriptive words. Looking at the De Sica, it does not scream "peacock". What it does say is "incredibly elegant", "fits beautifully", and "looks wonderful and comfortable". I consider myself fit, and when I did try on a "sack suit" - not particularly elegant, not nice, nothing great.... [​IMG]
    If that is the case, Spalla personally likes many Italian tailors. Then you should too if that is all that you require.
     

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