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Voxsartoria's Weekly WAYWRN Subjective and Totally Unfair Digest

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by voxsartoria, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Really? You think "People who like AA illustrations are just proles trying to live above their station" is a point worth discussing? And you can't see the insult in it?

    If so, I revert to my earlier remark: dense.


    A lot of people seem to think dressing as we do implies a desire to demonstrate social status or mimic the past (for example, Fuuma has claimed, time and time again, that we are simply having a sort of 'dialogue' with another time). I think it's important, if not at least interesting, to understand our motivations as members of a minority group.

    Regardless of your hostilities with FNB, I don't appreciate being called 'dense', particularly after I've taken the time to respond to you in a respectful manner.
     
  2. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    A lot of people seem to think dressing as we do implies a desire to demonstrate social status or mimic the past (for example, Fuuma has claimed, time and time again, that we are simply having a sort of 'dialogue' with another time). I think it's important, if not at least interesting, to understand our motivations as members of a minority group.

    Regardless of your hostilities with FNB, I don't appreciate being called 'dense', particularly after I've taken the time to respond to you in a respectful manner.


    I said that the idealization of the high society dress of a certain period is a huge influence on many members of this forum and often held as an unsurpassed golden standard by people who think there's an optimal way of dressing (hahahahaha!).
     
  3. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    A lot of people seem to think dressing as we do implies a desire to demonstrate social status or mimic the past (for example, Fuuma has claimed, time and time again, that we are simply having a sort of 'dialogue' with another time). I think it's important, if not at least interesting, to understand our motivations as members of a minority group.

    You might say my dialogue is limited to Patrick Macnee's tailor circa 1965.
     
  4. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I said that the idealization of the high society dress of a certain period is a huge influence on many members of this forum and often held as an unsurpassed golden standard by people who think there's an optimal way of dressing (hahahahaha!).

    I agree with that, and make no bones about the fact that when I dress I am trying to live up to a standard that transcends my time and place. But I do so because I think it looks good. My interest is purely aesthetic. That the clothes came from high society originally is interesting, but not so relevant. I will never be of that world, and am not pining for it, and any case it mostly doesn't exist any more. I just really like the clothes.

    If this were such a bad thing, then we would have to say that acquiring any expensive taste, or any taste more expensive than what we grew up with, is a priori the mark of a poser. That's just another way of ossifying the cast system. The only people hell bent on wishing for that are people who feel their own place in the pecking order threatened.

    And, yes, mafoo, for the record, I am talking about FNB.
     
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I said that the idealization of the high society dress of a certain period is a huge influence on many members of this forum and often held as an unsurpassed golden standard by people who think there's an optimal way of dressing (hahahahaha!).

    There's a difference between believing that objective improvement is possible and believing that you know, in all certainty, what is objectively better or worse. If you believe objective improvement is possible, you will demand rational explanations for change; if you don't think anything is 'better' or 'worse', except in completely subjective way, you won't require such justification.
     
  6. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    There is undoubtedly some truth to this, but I wouldn't immediately assume there aren't other good reasons for dressing like people did in another time. Maybe there is something objectively better about it.
    Sure, there can be several reasons. A strong reason is the feeling that the present doesn't respect them for the qualities they possess and that there are no "gentlemen" or "ladies". It's a matter of degree and I suppose everyone has it to so extent, a nostalgia for the past. it's simply a matter of how far back, how authentic the reproduction of the outfits and for what purpose. I doubt if there was anything better about the clothes in the thirties in the absolute sense. Some of the styles have become classics and perhaps some of the color combinations are cultural now. I think the thirties are not in vogue now but rather more like the 1960s and 1970s. The thirties renaissance for men's clothing is fallow, at least for the moment.
    Otherwise, you could make similar assumptions about the motivations of people who dress to contemporary norms. At the end, you can tell very little about anything or anybody by merely identifying the standards they seem to follow.
    No I don't think this is true. If I understand what you mean, people who buy clothes for contemporary status want to fit in while those who recreate the past think they have rediscovered a sort of secret exclusivity and want to stand apart. Thus, one does not have to have any imagination and can simply copy but because the source is not widely avaialble it is almost as if one "invented" it. I havn't got an issue with studying the AA and/or Esquire plates for historical research and trends in clothing; it is adoring the lifestyle of the time and wanting to become it that prompts a curious desire to copy exactly. More than buying "in" clothes, it is more like wearing Shaq's jersey to become Shaq. Although I do not think this is a perfect fit because, as mentioned above, because the person believes these plates to be like an exclusive source they would want to believe they are actually plus Shaq que Shaq. I know, perhaps it's more like wearing a reproduction jersey of a player from a long defunct team that no one knows about and taking immense satisfaction that only you know about the player's history.
     
  7. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You might say my dialogue is limited to Patrick Macnee's tailor circa 1965.

    Bailey & Weatherill?

    That would have been in the B&W series. When they went color for the US market in '67 Macnee switched to having clothes designed for him by Pierre Cardin. Those were totally caricatured.

    The shirts were T&A RTW, apparently.

    In the New Avengers Macnee started out with suits tailored by Gieves.
     
  8. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^ Foo, was all that clear enough?
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Sure, there can be several reasons. A strong reason is the feeling that the present doesn't respect them for the qualities they possess and that there are no "gentlemen" or "ladies". It's a matter of degree and I suppose everyone has it to so extent, a nostalgia for the past. it's simply a matter of how far back, how authentic the reproduction of the outfits and for what purpose.

    But have you considered the possibility that some things from the past are just better than what is normal now? You hate heavy, traditional fabric, but it performs better in some ways. Someone who wears a heavy tweed jacket could be doing it out of nostalgia, sure. But maybe he just likes the way tweed wears.

    No I don't think this is true. If I understand what you mean, people who buy clothes for contemporary status want to fit in while those who recreate the past think they have rediscovered a sort of secret exclusivity and want to stand apart. Thus, one does not have to have any imagination and can simply copy but because the source is not widely avaialble it is almost as if one "invented" it.

    Everyone wants to simultaneously be unique and fit in. If people who wear avant garde fashion are trying to 'fit in', they are only trying to do so in a very small group.

    I havn't got an issue with studying the AA and/or Esquire plates for historical research and trends in clothing; it is adoring the lifestyle of the time and wanting to become it that prompts a curious desire to copy exactly.

    Again, you shouldn't assume people do as others did in the past merely because they wish to mimic the past itself.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^ Foo, was all that clear enough?

    100%. And he didn't insult me.
     
  11. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    There's a difference between believing that objective improvement is possible and believing that you know, in all certainty, what is objectively better or worse. If you believe objective improvement is possible, you will demand rational explanations for change; if you don't think anything is 'better' or 'worse', except in completely subjective way, you won't require such justification.

    You're trying to turn the active into the passive; you weren't born in 1920, hence you purposely chose the fashions of that time as your reference point, if that's what you did. You didn't start at point "0" which is what is "the norm" in your surroundings and reject change as it passed you by as non-productive, contrary to how you usually present that narrative...
     
  12. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    100%. And he didn't insult me.
    I can, if you want.
     
  13. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    There also seems to be a greater expression of colour, patterns and textures in those old plates, more than you see in today's fashion media which is strange when you consider that we've never had more choices available to us and at lower cost. Fashion/style seems to have become somewhat homogenised with few men showing much creative individualism, which is a topic in itself. With the AA/Esquire plates the key I feel is to be inspired and learn from them, then build from there. I wouldn't think it's a good idea to just run out and have a facsimile made.
    I think that's always been true in the USA for men. I would think that these plates were often trying to get men to experiment with color or patterns.
     
  14. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    100%. And he didn't insult me.

    No, no. What I meant was, is the below clear enough? Especially the bolded portions?

    Sure, there can be several reasons. A strong reason is the feeling that the present doesn't respect them for the qualities they possess and that there are no "gentlemen" or "ladies". It's a matter of degree and I suppose everyone has it to so extent, a nostalgia for the past. it's simply a matter of how far back, how authentic the reproduction of the outfits and for what purpose.

    I doubt if there was anything better about the clothes in the thirties in the absolute sense. Some of the styles have become classics and perhaps some of the color combinations are cultural now. I think the thirties are not in vogue now but rather more like the 1960s and 1970s. The thirties renaissance for men's clothing is fallow, at least for the moment.

    No I don't think this is true. If I understand what you mean, people who buy clothes for contemporary status want to fit in while those who recreate the past think they have rediscovered a sort of secret exclusivity and want to stand apart. Thus, one does not have to have any imagination and can simply copy but because the source is not widely avaialble it is almost as if one "invented" it.

    I havn't got an issue with studying the AA and/or Esquire plates for historical research and trends in clothing; it is adoring the lifestyle of the time and wanting to become it that prompts a curious desire to copy exactly.

    More than buying "in" clothes, it is more like wearing Shaq's jersey to become Shaq. Although I do not think this is a perfect fit because, as mentioned above, because the person believes these plates to be like an exclusive source they would want to believe they are actually plus Shaq que Shaq.

    I know, perhaps it's more like wearing a reproduction jersey of a player from a long defunct team that no one knows about and taking immense satisfaction that only you know about the player's history.
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    But have you considered the possibility that some things from the past are just better than what is normal now? You hate heavy, traditional fabric, but it performs better in some ways. Someone who wears a heavy tweed jacket could be doing it out of nostalgia, sure. But maybe he just likes the way tweed wears. .

    I can't say whether he has considered this possibilty or not. I can say that it has been argued to him hundreds of times and he just ignores it, every time. In FNB's universe, if you wear something FNB does not like, it can't be because you like it. I must stem from some deep psychological disorder.
     
  16. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I agree with that, and make no bones about the fact that when I dress I am trying to live up to a standard that transcends my time and place. But I do so because I think it looks good. My interest is purely aesthetic. That the clothes came from high society originally is interesting, but not so relevant. I will never be of that world, and am not pining for it, and any case it mostly doesn't exist any more. I just really like the clothes. If this were such a bad thing, then we would have to say that acquiring any expensive taste, or any taste more expensive than what we grew up with, is a priori the mark of a poser. That's just another way of ossifying the cast system. The only people hell bent on wishing for that are people who feel their own place in the pecking order threatened. And, yes, mafoo, for the record, I am talking about FNB.
    I don't have a beef with it, I know it is not obvious in the way I dress but I also hold a certain fascination with the past, as any human who doesn't live only in the moment does. My problem is with people who pinpoint this point in time and then tell me what came after sucks and is inferior. As for dressing for purely aesthetic reasons I don't believe that's possible but I might be wrong. In any case ignoring the signifiers associated with the clothes we wear is sorta like not being able to grasp the second degree in a text, a terrible loss if there ever was one.
     
  17. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You're trying to turn the active into the passive; you weren't born in 1920, hence you purposely chose the fashions of that time as your reference point, if that's what you did. You didn't start at point "0" which is what is "the norm" in your surroundings and reject change as it passed you by as non-productive, contrary to how you usually present that narrative...

    Point "0" doesn't have to be the norm you were born with; it may be the norm that makes the most sense, and you may have to actively adopt it.
     
  18. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You're trying to turn the active into the passive; you weren't born in 1920, hence you purposely chose the fashions of that time as your reference point, if that's what you did. You didn't start at point "0" which is what is "the norm" in your surroundings and reject change as it passed you by as non-productive, contrary to how you usually present that narrative...

    This is to go much too far.

    The alienness of the AA illustrations is always vastly overstated. What makes them so great, to me, aside from their intrinsic beauty, is how relevant they remain.

    True, they are not relevant at all for streetwear. But the tailored clothing is. The vast majority of what they depicted then is wearable today, and would not turn any heads, either among those who like to dress or those who don't. Except, perhaps, among the latter because of the intrinsic value of the combination.

    There are some outmoded things in those illustrations, but with few (really, only one) exception here, none of us is wearing that.

    Every discussion if AA always comes back to this straw man: You are trying to live in the past. Really? How is this, sartorially, an example of the outmoded past, unwearable today?

    [​IMG]

    The hat? Plenty of hats on SF. Are all hat wearers just nostalgia freaks? Suede monks? Lots of those too. Bow ties? A little eccentric, maybe, but a nice touch once in a while. Swelled edges and patch pockets? Then you have to pack a lot of us off to the loony bin.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I can, if you want.

    I know you are being facetious, sort of, but what exactly did I ever do to attract your consistent scorn?
     
  20. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Point "0" doesn't have to be the norm you were born with; it may be the norm that makes the most sense, and you may have to actively adopt it.

    But then you're not rejecting changes that came after as much as choosing a different time to be your guide. If the whole if history is your oyster it could be said you're rejecting the Toga as much as the slim suit and everything else along with those (except point "o").

    And that's saying nothing of the irrationality inherent in choosing a dress style that pushes colleagues to refer to your hanky in a category of work where sticking out for your dress is not seen as rational.
     

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