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Why does men's fashion come mostly from England and Italy (and America)? Why not France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Austria, etc?

spacenegroes

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And most established and famous menswear makers are from the UK or Italy.

It seems like classic men's tailoring rules and culture came from a period between the late 19th to early 20th centuries. During this period, you'd think that Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, etc were just as major cultural centers as London and Naples. And so much women's fashion comes from Paris. Why did England and Italy come to define menswear culture and style?
 

Harwid

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I think of Italy but I don’t think of England at all for men’s fashion except shoes.

Jeff
 

TheIronDandy

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Menswear makers is probably related to the cloth industry, which in turn is related to water. The water in certain regions of the UK and Italy is supposedly extremely well suited to the manufacture of wool cloth. So being closer to the makers of quality cloth could have influenced it.
 

breakaway01

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It's too bad that @dieworkwear no longer posts here because I'm sure he'd be able to answer this question. My much less informed thought is that Britain was pretty much the principal imperial power in the 19th century with enormous cultural/industrial/financial influence. Wonder whether the Industrial Revolution (originating in Britain) is also relevant to this discussion in terms of fabric production and clothing manufacturing.

Italian influence in tailored menswear is a more recent thing historically -- early/mid 20th century.
 
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SilentPartner

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Also the ruling class in the US were mostly WASPs, so their clothing tastes are what set the stage for Ivy/Trad with its love of British heritage garments. And the US is the preeminent modern power, so its cultural norms tend to dictate business attire in emerging markets.

What I'm really hoping for out of this thread, though, is someone very confident to roll up with a 2000-word screed on the moral and therefore aesthetic superiority of the British, and conversely the depravity of the Italian character and mode of dress, thereby constructing some kind of ideological axis between upright moral character and debauchery that more educated folks can all argue about for many, many pages while calling each other rude names.
 

Harwid

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Also the ruling class in the US were mostly WASPs, so their clothing tastes are what set the stage for Ivy/Trad with its love of British heritage garments. And the US is the preeminent modern power, so its cultural norms tend to dictate business attire in emerging markets.

What I'm really hoping for out of this thread, though, is someone very confident to roll up with a 2000-word screed on the moral and therefore aesthetic superiority of the British, and conversely the depravity of the Italian character and mode of dress, thereby constructing some kind of ideological axis between upright moral character and debauchery that more educated folks can all argue about for many, many pages while calling each other rude names.

It won't be me as I have hardly had any British influence in my clothing choices in the last 60 years. I guess it is a function of lack of interest in Ivy/Trad. Maybe if I lived in New England I would feel differently, but I doubt it. I ignored the Ivy/Trad influences where I grew up.

Italy has great materials and great style.

Jeff
 

Clouseau

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If I remember correctly the well known F.Chenoune’s book « A History of men’s fashion » he traces the origin of modern fashion first to France in the 18th century, with the military and cavalry garments, then to England in the 19th century, with Beau Brummell being of significant importance.
 

othertravel

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For Italy, it was post-WW2 marketing. They linked Italian fashion with the legacy of the Renaissance - and it worked!
 

aristoi bcn

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It comes mostly from the UK as they were the prior imperial power before the US took over.

Italian influence comes because the UK and other elites were doing the grand tour in Italy.

Why are we wearing jeans, sneakers, T shirts and leather jackets nowadays as a standard outfit? Because the US won the 2nd WW and that was what the young soldiers were wearing after the war.
 

edmorel

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If @RJman were here, he’d smack you across the face with a Sulka tie. You need to edumacate yourself on the history/brands of menswear that exist in France/Spain/Germany. Austria has an old and rich leather/shoemaking history.
 

RJman

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If @RJman were here, he’d smack you across the face with a Sulka tie. You need to edumacate yourself on the history/brands of menswear that exist in France/Spain/Germany. Austria has an old and rich leather/shoemaking history.
I mean, Italy remade itself after World War II consciously to create a new image of fashion and flair - the first Pitti shows were about that. And it rode the cult of the designer starting with Pucci and such in the 1950s for women to Armani's coronation at the end of the 1970s. The English apart from the 1960s stopped making waves in mainstream fashion even if their reputation for classics sort of subsists in what remans of Savile Row. But French menswear fashion has been erased - folks have completely forgotten how big Pierre Cardin was as a legitimate menswear designer in the 1960s and 1970s, as was Ted Lapidus and many others. Even some of the higher profile French tailors had licensed ready-to-wear lines in the States in the 1970s, I think Feruch and Andre Bardot did. But now?

Sigh, shameless self promotion - if you want to learn the secret history of custom French menswear, you can buy my book mentioned in my sig.

Austria had Knize and lots of custom shoemakers. Many are still there. But it's had an inferiority complex sartorially even going back to Adolf Loos.

@edmorel I still think about the good old days of our banter. Am I weird?
 

edmorel

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I mean, Italy remade itself after World War II consciously to create a new image of fashion and flair - the first Pitti shows were about that. And it rode the cult of the designer starting with Pucci and such in the 1950s for women to Armani's coronation at the end of the 1970s. The English apart from the 1960s stopped making waves in mainstream fashion even if their reputation for classics sort of subsists in what remans of Savile Row. But French menswear fashion has been erased - folks have completely forgotten how big Pierre Cardin was as a legitimate menswear designer in the 1960s and 1970s, as was Ted Lapidus and many others. Even some of the higher profile French tailors had licensed ready-to-wear lines in the States in the 1970s, I think Feruch and Andre Bardot did. But now?

Sigh, shameless self promotion - if you want to learn the secret history of custom French menswear, you can buy my book mentioned in my sig.

Austria had Knize and lots of custom shoemakers. Many are still there. But it's had an inferiority complex sartorially even going back to Adolf Loos.

@edmorel I still think about the good old days of our banter. Am I weird?

No, it was the proverbial “good ole days”. Sometimes I hear a word that reminds me of an old thread on here and I laugh internally. GQGeek comes to mind.
 

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