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Voxsartoria's Weekly WAYWRN Subjective and Totally Unfair Digest

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

  1. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    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.


    The combination of them all, no?

    On the other hand while I do act like you guys are dressed by AA as you sorta presented yourselves as such it is merely a convenient fiction to drive the discussion. I don't perceive either you or Mafoo as doing that. Inspired by: yes, copying the style of the 30s : no.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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

    It was the foyer. Duh.
     
  3. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff [​IMG] 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.
    I do not hate heavy fabric, I simply think it is mostly useless for the types of environments I inhabit. Actually I happen to love some of the heavy fabrics for their intrinsic beauty, I am simply not going to torture myself by wearing them just because of these qualities. I like tweed jackets, I just dont think they are modern and that's the extent of it. Harris tweed jackets are enormously popular and People might very well wear them today because of their intrinsic properties but that doesnt have anything to do with reproducing outfits from plates or idolizing the mis en scene they represent nor does it take into account that people wore them in the past because they didnt have affordable cashmere or it was a relief from the 30oz broadcloth that city suits were made from. I think there are a myriad of reasons people wear clothes from the past but I am talking about those who wear things because they are in the AA/Esky plates and the reasons they might do so. I have no doubt that the belief that things were just made better back then is a prime motivator. Further, some things were indeed made better in the past but not all things; many things are made better today. Additionally, although many things no longer exist because not enough people can appreciate them just as many became extinct because they aren't useful anymore. Finally, some items that were made better then are are still "better" today are inappropriate for our lifestyles and if someone forces themselves to wear it because it is in an Esky plate, what does that say? Quote: Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff [​IMG] 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.
    The primary and crucial difference is one of source. You get something exclusive that everyone knows about and cannot obtain it is rather different than recreating something from the past that is unique and no one else knows about it. I think this is an unimaginative approach but I also think it is a matter of degree. If you design something and refer to the past it is a lot different than reproduction in every detail. Please remember that we are talking about the AA/Esky plates here. Quote: Originally Posted by Film Noir Buff [​IMG] 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.
    If you could develop this a bit more for discussion purposes. I don't necessarily say there isn't another reason, i just can't see a stronger one than wanting to identify more closely with the past.
     
  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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").

    I think it's fair to say that evolution has been the dominant trend in clothing norms up until the second half of the twentieth century. I don't agree with postmodernist thinking, but I will not dispute that we are now a postmodernist-thinking society. That's probably why it appears that I only reject things after a certain point in time--it's not the time period I'm concerned with, but the underlying rationale (or lack thereof) that accompanies a change at issue. Now, I'm not saying that there was ever a consciously rationale approach to the development of fashion, but I will take slow, experiential development over fast, revolutionary change every single time, all else being equal.

    In other words: when norms are tossed out for new norms, but without good reason, I think the old norms should be restored since they, at least, rest on experience and less risky magnitudes of change. I think, we have come, as a society, to value change in and of itself (thank you, Mr. President)--I view this as a sort of intellectual disease because it is costly (destabilizing norms that don't necessarily need destabilizing), and it distracts us from changing norms for good reasons.

    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.

    I don't care if people like the way I dress. I recognize that I've taken my own kind of risk under the circumstances--but that is a risk I consider worth taking (see my argument above).

    It was the foyer. Duh.

    Oh please. If that is really a reason for any of you to have a problem with me, I can only assume you all have serious reading comprehension deficiencies.
     
  5. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.

    I often hear this regarding music, rock & roll died after 1973.

    I think AA and Esquire plates depict the pinnacle of being well dressed. The difference then and now lies in the audience. When first seen in its day people would aspire to dress in that way. Today it is scoffed at and deemed irrelevant.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oh please. If that is really a reason for any of you to have a problem with me, I can only assume you all have serious reading comprehension deficiencies.

    A distressed plane landed in my foyer today. None of the passengers was hurt.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My problem is with people who pinpoint this point in time and then tell me what came after sucks and is inferior.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I think you are selling my position short. I don't have a particular time in mind, and I clearly have my own eccentricities that betray past norms. As I'm sure you will agree, postmodernism has changed the reasons why society rejects and adopts new norms. Regardless of whether you think that's good or bad, it is a real phenomenon. I reject changes that are purely postmodernist in nature (I know, I'm being sloppy with the term, but please be charitable). While that appears to make my preferences correlate with a point in time, I wouldn't make too much out of it.
     
  8. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Senior member

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    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.
    This is a fascinating way to look at it and even suggests ideology over aesthetics, function, purpose etc.. But there are definitely periods of heightened creativity that people draw on more than others like Brummel's England, The sixties. I know that with military uniforms certain periods are considered classic in spite of their antiquity because the length of the conflict led to perfect cross sections of aesthetics and practicality. I think the 1920s are probably more creative than the 1930s but the 1930s was the time that set about codifying and standardizing the innovations of the previous decade's break from rigidity.
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    A distressed plane landed in my foyer today. None of the passengers was hurt.

    My 'foyer' is about five feet wide. Even I could not lie down in it without bumping my head. And I'd like to note on another matter: you still haven't said sorry for insulting me.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is a fascinating way to look at it and even suggests ideology over aesthetics, function, purpose etc.

    It is a philosophical controversy at the heart of this: does rationality (or ideology, values, etc.) govern or predict aesthetics, or are they two unrelated matters?
     
  11. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My 'foyer' is about five feet wide. Even I could not lie down in it without bumping my head, and you still didn't say sorry for insulting me.

    I am not sorry. I am sorry if you feel bad, but I believe the word I used was apt. Perhaps I should have qualified it with "dense in this instance," and indeed I will do so now.

    That said, I don't want to fight with you, or join the anti-foo anvil chorus, so we may as well let it drop.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It is a philosophical controversy at the heart of this: does rationality (or ideology, values, etc.) govern or predict aesthetics, or are they two unrelated matters?

    First, rationality and ideology are only dimly related. Second, values is a fraught term in and of itself. Third, to some extent aesthetics are rational, in the sense of understandable because operating on natural principles, but I don't think clothing aesthetics make the cut. There is too much arbitrary variation which cannot be explained by any transcendent standard.

    But I have had my say on this at length in another place.
     
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I am not sorry. I am sorry if you feel bad, but I believe the word I used was apt. Perhaps I should have qualified it with "dense in this instance," and indeed I will do so now.

    I don't feel bad. I just think calling me dense in response to a polite post addressing you was uncalled for, no matter how wrong you thought I was.
     
  14. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I often hear this regarding music, rock & roll died after 1973.

    I think AA and Esquire plates depict the pinnacle of being well dressed. The difference then and now lies in the audience. When first seen in its day people would aspire to dress in that way. Today it is scoffed at and deemed irrelevant.


    I'm pretty sure most didn't give a fuck.

    As for the pinnacle it was togas, made things so much easier when it was time to party like it's 1999.

    Deeming it irrelevant sorta makes it irrelevant and it is to most.
     
  15. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oh please. If that is really a reason for any of you to have a problem with me, I can only assume you all have serious reading comprehension deficiencies.
    I don't let manton put words or anything else in my mouth. You had me at hello.

    My 'foyer' is about five feet wide. Even I could not lie down in it without bumping my head. And I'd like to note on another matter: you still haven't said sorry for insulting me.
    Why does Manton have to apologize to you?

    I am not sorry. I am sorry if you feel bad, but I believe the word I used was apt. Perhaps I should have qualified it with "dense in this instance," and indeed I will do so now.

    That said, I don't want to fight with you, or join the anti-foo anvil chorus, so we may as well let it drop.

    What is an anvil chorus?

    Is it better to be a smart stupid person or a stupid smart person (like me)?
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm pretty sure most didn't give a fuck.

    You don't think many people divine certain impressions about a guy in a carefully tailored jacket or suit? Even in my own family, the way I dress sometimes becomes a source of argument.
     
  17. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but I think you are selling my position short. I don't have a particular time in mind, and I clearly have my own eccentricities that betray past norms. As I'm sure you will agree, postmodernism has changed the reasons why society rejects and adopts new norms. Regardless of whether you think that's good or bad, it is a real phenomenon. I reject changes that are purely postmodernist in nature (I know, I'm being sloppy with the term, but please be charitable). While that appears to make my preferences correlate with a point in time, I wouldn't make too much out of it.
    Are you saying changes before were made for rational reasons and now, due to postmodernism we became irrational (so now that we live in postmodernity we have "irrational" fashions). I posit we were never rational and never will be.
     
  18. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You don't think many people divine certain impressions about a guy in a carefully tailored jacket or suit? Even in my own family, the way I dress sometimes becomes a source of argument.

    What do they argue about? I think I read a Gore Vidal short story like this.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't let manton put words or anything else in my mouth. You had me at hello.

    Are you saying I let Manton put words in my mouth, or that I let you put words in my mouth? Clarity, RJ, clarity.

    Why does Manton have to apologize to you?

    He doesn't have to. But I would apologize for calling someone 'dense' because I didn't like or agree with his politely conveyed opinion.
     
  20. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    You don't think many people divine certain impressions about a guy in a carefully tailored jacket or suit? Even in my own family, the way I dress sometimes becomes a source of argument.

    In the sense that they didn't study AA or aspire to dress that way, aside from vague yearnings for the lifestyle that could have included seeing them in a fancy suit (the way would have been cut=irrelevant, the status it denotes=important).
     

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