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On why we like modernist chairs and houses, but classical clothes.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by radicaldog, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    It certainly is a sociological question, but the sociology of taste is just a little bit more complex than that - the consensus of research at present is far from a one-way diffusion of taste from taste-makers to consumers. As a recent article had it, taste is composed of all "the ways we make ourselves sensitized, to things, to ourselves, to situations and to moments, while simultaneously controlling how those feelings might be shared and discussed with others."
     
  2. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  3. AldenPyle

    AldenPyle Senior member

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    To me, something like this mass produced item from the turn of the century (1900, I think) would be the height of modernism in menswear
    [​IMG]

    Uniform and unadorned, comfortable and functional. Remember, though the primary function of mechanical and agricultural work wear is to separate and protect the person from the grimy environment, the primary function of office work wear is to protect the pristine environment from the grimy ape beneath.

    I think its no coincidence that something like this was developed as city wear at the time that skyscrapers were developed as office technology and the idea of modernist design, itself. (Nor that it had a revival contemporaneous with mid century modernism).


    This is on the right track, but the key elements of "classical" clothing, which separate it from the modern above, are padded shoulders, the lower button stance, the structured chest, the pinched waist are all neo-classical nature, all inspired by the antique aesthetic ideals, trying to construct the illusion of the perfect form, a kind of a statue of a perfect torso on each mans chest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  4. AldenPyle

    AldenPyle Senior member

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  5. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Yeah, it was a quip. I would agree that the mechanism of constructing and communicating to ourselves and to others a coherent narrative about ourselves in a world made not of things but of facts isn't just about reading some mags and getting the same couch displayed in its glossy pages. In fact taste is as much about how you combine and explain micro-interests into a macro information about yourself called (good) taste.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Cheesus!?!?!?!?!?! Is that you?
     
  7. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    That comment about ikea is a bit misplaced, the architects that designed these peices specified a bit of quality for a reason. Ikea is much more a part of the contemporary throw-away culture than true modernism. They mimic at best.
     
  8. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    +1. Indeed. 19th century English were infatuated with Classical Greek Civilization, Classical English tailoring recapitulates that neo classical aesthetic.

    The clothing analog to modernist architecture would be the Mao Suit.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  9. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It really depends on the item. On balance, what you say is probably closer to the truth, but a lot of what they make is of decent quality and pretty well considered. Of course, the majority is disposable.
     
  10. AldenPyle

    AldenPyle Senior member

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    Mao suit is more Brutalist than modernist, maybe.

    In regards to the OP, there seems to be a preference for tailored clothing with neo-classical design ideals. I wonder if there is such a thing as neo-classical furniture or furnishings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  11. Lovelace

    Lovelace Senior member

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    Well, infatuation is probably a bit too strong a word It was certainly fashionable in the early 19th century, however

    As the 19th century progressed, there was something of a rejection of Neo-Classical/Palladian architecture and Neo-Gothic became more prevalent.

    'The clothing analog to modernist architecture would be the Mao Suit.'

    In more ways than one. :)
     
  12. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Of course there is. Empire, Federal, Greek Revival, Regency, are all particular periods of furnishings or interior designs that might be considered as 'neo classical'. Some more so than others.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  13. AldenPyle

    AldenPyle Senior member

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    You're right. Those seem to cohere more with classical principles of dress.
     
  14. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    On why we like modernist chairs and houses, but classical clothes....
    To respect the old while searching for the new.
     
  15. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    I don't agree with Mafoo's argument about cost-benefit at all. The vast majority of people, when they come round to building a house, especially a family home, choose to build it in a traditional style. People opt for the nostalgic idioms of pitched roof, wooden floors, bow/bay windows, fireplace, etc. Furthermore, often people will opt for modernist furniture inside a home that has a traditional facade. And as other people have mentioned, often people mix antique furniture and modernist furniture in one room -- something one would never do with clothing (without looking absurd).

    Also, it is not true that in general people "like modernist chairs and houses, but classical clothes". It's something very specific to this crowd, i.e., people who really enjoy finely designed and crafted things. I think that's all it amounts too. Classical clothes look beautiful and involve craft and design that I can really get my kicks from. The same applies to some modernist furniture. The chronology and cost-benefit is basically irrelevant to me.
     

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