The day I disagreed with Flusser

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by cuffthis, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    Maybe it's an insight from his new book "Geeky Clothes and the Man." Â It's got all kinds of great tips like: -- 'why shouldn't a man wear a polo shirt and suspenders together?' -- 'white walking shoes and black knee socks are a dashing way to compliment green bermuda shorts.' -- 'nothing screams elegance like a beige hopsack blazer and a brown "Who Farted?" T-shirt.' LOL [​IMG]
     
  2. Hoya Saxa

    Hoya Saxa Senior member

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    Who knew? And to think the copier repairman was dressing by the rules this entire time ...

    Cheers,

    Hoya
     
  3. Demeter

    Demeter Senior member

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    'naturally, females are intrinsically attracted to a man who shows his prowess and hands-on ability by taping the bridge of his glasses '
     
  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    (StevenRocks @ Mar. 19 2005,20:27) Maybe it's an insight from his new book "Geeky Clothes and the Man." It's got all kinds of great tips like: -- 'why shouldn't a man wear a polo shirt and suspenders together?' -- 'white walking shoes and black knee socks are a dashing way to compliment green bermuda shorts.' -- 'nothing screams elegance like a beige hopsack blazer and a brown "Who Farted?" T-shirt.' LOL [​IMG]
    'naturally, females are intrinsically attracted to a man who shows his prowess and hands-on ability by taping the bridge of his glasses '
    And men who can jiggle their glasses between their thumb and forefinger: [​IMG] Jon.
     
  5. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    The question is why doesn't Flusser contribute to this board or AA if he swings that way.
    I am a member because I enjoy sharing my shirtmaking knowledge with fellows who enjoy learning. My frame of mind, my station in life, is one of a teacher. This is why I also enjoy owning my little art school in the Hamptons and teaching children on Saturdays and during the Summer. The appreciation I receive from forum members who have come to grasp a previously foreign concept, method, or idea is personally very rewarding. Along with the enjoyment I get from sharing knowledge, I am forced to accept the ever-present defamation and imbecilic sophistry of such unbalanced twits as Marc Grayson/Goldstein who spew forth an unending barrage of exaggerations, innuendo and lies in an effort to injure my reputation. Though at times I wonder why I remain here and put up with such continuous incivility on the part of so very few, I know that is why Alan, and many other industry notables, do not.
    I appreciate you contributions here Alex. I don't know what Greyson's beef with you is, or the other way around, but I think most of us, most of the time can view criticism for or against with a healthy dose of skepticism, as the case may be. On Flusser, it would be interesting for him to get on here to defend some of his assertions. I don't have Flusser in mind when I muse on the following, but I wouldn't disallow a consideration of his works: it's interesting to me, and it really could be a separate thread, that so many writers on sartorial matters neglect to cite sources or in any do some rudimentary scholarship when citing anecdotes or precedents for rules. (And I love the rules). I'd like to see more indepth work, but I suppose it's not necessary for books written for the general public. It gets tiresome however when we hear about Albert or Edward not buttoning his button on his waistcoat in phrasing that is so similar to the way another author has written the story. It just becomes too much.
     
  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    I rather tend to agree with you. Though most of the sartorial writing I do re: shirts has no source other than one feeble old brain, on those rare occasions when I do stray off-topic I try to throw in a cite or two if the books are handy. Certain posters on the board have done so for a long, long time and that is why I enjoy their writings so. Manton is one who comes immediately to mind, as does the long-not-heard-from Cherrytree.

    Thank you for the compliment. I don't know what his beef is either. We have never met ... I have not a clue what the man looks like ... and until I phoned his office last month, we had never even spoken.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Well, the thing is, there are not a lot of original sources. Â Those that exist are largely hearsay themselves. Â The duke of Windsor's memoirs are a great example. Â He crammed them with everything he could remember about clothes, and even had one of the most knowledgable experts of the 20th century (James Laver) help him with research and fact-checking. Â Yet a lot of what's in there boils down to his personal recollections, or stories he heard, or things he took on faith from Laver. Beyond this, I think there are two kinds of "rules": those that govern how things should be made, and those that govern how things should be worn. Â It is almost universally easier to trace the precise beginnings of rules in the former category. Â Anything made has an "origin and first appearance", and if you can find that, or some account of it, you are likely as not to be able to figure out why it was made that way in the first place. Â A great example, sticking with the duke, is the origin of black tie. Â He writes of this at great length, because he more than any other person is responsible for it coming into being. Â He tells us why he wore what he wore, and how he designed it. Â The origins, specs, and rationale are all there. "Usage" rules, however, are much harder to pin down. Â Well-nigh impossible, in most cases. Â The reason writers cite those stories (e.g., Bertie unbuttoning his vest) is because they are cute and part of the lore. Â I don't have a problem with it. Â I do have a problem when people cite such anecdotes as established fact. Â But for these rules, the lore is all there is, for the most part. Â Nobody knows. Â It's like trying to trace the origin of shaking hands: there are theories (e.g., it proves you aren't poised to strike with a weapon), but no original sources to back up the theory. The point is that unlike (say) political history, there is a dearth of sources. Â If you want to know why Richelieu really goaded Louis XIII into the siege of La Rochelle, you can go back and read all his official correspondence and private diaries. Â If you want to know why the prince of Wales unbuttoned his vest, you can read every one of his letters and, amazingly, the subject does not come up. Â (Though clothes did occasionally come up in royal correspondence, mostly in the form of letters from parents scolding their children to dress more conservatively. Â The duke quotes these at some length.) As for Flusser specifically, he is a reader (he has a much better and bigger collection of books and sources than I have, and mine's not small) and compiler of the lore. Â He's been doing this for something like 40 years. Â First as a hobby, then as a business and a hobby. Â Naturally, he has heard it all. Â Personally, I would trust what he has to say about what is "correct" or "traditional" or the "rule" over a lot of quasi-original sources. Â (Even the great Apparal Arts sometimes stumbled, for instance with the mess jacket debacle of the mid-1930s.) Â Which is why Flusser's "endorsement" of short sleeve dress shirts was so disheartening. Â That is wrong, wrong, wrong no matter what Alan says. Â What makes it worse is that he knows better, so if he's serious about that, he's just bending for the sake of "modernization." Â Or something.
     
  8. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    Would one of our NYC members please stop by the Alan Flusser Custom shop and ask Alan or Mark what the reasoning was behind their answer?
     
  9. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Tight white short sleeve shirts with skinny black ties look fine on those skinny Brooklyn indie electro-clash boys.

    I have made my self plenty of shirt sleeve shirts, None to wear with ties.

    I give Alan credit for surviving this long. I met him first in 1981. He has always been able to make it on other people's money. And when the business's crashed, he walked away to find someone new to back him.

    He has the ability to pull together outfits that should not work, but do. I don't have that good of an eye for it.
    I once saw Alan put together an outfit that should not have worked. Busy stripes and patterns. On the table it looked great. I Doubt it would have worked on the man who was 5'8" and 50 pounds overweight.

    Carl
     
  10. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    In seeking reason were none can be there is an obvious harkening to enshrine, rather than vilify, a man we have all come to regard as an indisputable icon of sartorial excellence. That notwithstanding, the Sun does not rise in the West, it rises in the East. Alan Flusser has postulated many concepts I absolutely adore. Others are so abrasive to my taste as to be aberrent. Yet all of his offerings constitute an amalgam, a unique style set which works exquisitely for those who, some would opine, revere it.

    However, never has Alan, to my knowledge, written something I would classify as "wrong". Until today.

    There is no reasoning which can explain why the Sun rises in the West, for it does not. There is no reasoning which can explain why short sleeves have become acceptable as dress shirts ... because they are not.
     
  11. Trilby

    Trilby Senior member

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    Perhaps not so amazing. Isn't the conventional wisdom (albeit probably apocryphal) that he was too fat to button it properly. If so, it's unlikely he would mention it in his correspondence.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The (almost certainly apocryphal) story is that he ate too much once and unbuttoned his vest, and his companions sycophantically followed suit. The duke of Windsor states flatly in his memoirs that he does not believe the story.

    P.S.: "amazingly" was a (lame) joke.
     
  13. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    (Trilby @ Mar. 20 2005,10:48) Isn't the conventional wisdom (albeit probably apocryphal) that he was too fat to button it properly.
    The (almost certainly apocryphal) story is that he ate too much once and unbuttoned his vest, and his companions sycophantically followed suit. Â The duke of Windsor states flatly in his memoirs that he does not believe the story. P.S.: "amazingly" was a (lame) joke.
    Different (earlier) Dook, n'est-ce pas? RJ,gloveless,man... Does this mean I know how Michael Jackson feels? No,wait...
     
  14. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The fat dude who unbuttoned his vest was Bertie, prince of Wales (Victoria's son), later Edward VII.  The dude who wrote the book was Bertie's grandson David, later (for about ten minutes) Edward VIII, thereafter the duke of Windsor.
     
  15. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Having lost my favorite cufflinks about a year and a half ago somewhere near Daniel, I feel your pain. I have sad news for you ... in contrast to common lore, the pain of a lost sartorial ingredient is NOT healed by the passage of time. I still miss them every time I fasten ... notwithstanding the fact that they were from France.

    Going to duck, now.
     

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