Sunday, 24 April 2011

STYLE INSPIRATION

| ? | backstage Jil Sander FW10 show | ? | ? | Paris, 2010 | image from Stockholm Street Style | DBSS high-tops | ? | product designer Achille Castiglioni | 'Supporters, Rotterdam, 1997' from the 'Exactitudes' series by Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek | Undercover SS10 | Robbie Snelders wearing Raf Simons | Yuri Pleskun | Raf Simons SS07 |

|Jil Sander SS11 shoes | image from Stockholm Street Style | SS11 Prada Shoes (image from Jak & Jil) | Prada SS11 shot in Designare magazine | Jil Sander FW08 | ? (looks like Undercover) | still from 'Buzzclub' by Rineke Dijkstra | ? | Cassette Playa | Yuri Pleskun | Rick Owens FW09 | Raf Simons SS03 | Undercover shoes (pre-date the Prada's) | Robbie Snelders wearing SS00 Raf Simons | Maison Margiela Artisinal FW06 jacket | from the 'Brooklyn Gang: Summer 1959' series by Bruce Davidson |


When it comes to personal style, the things I like best are minimalism, futurism and bold/Op Art prints (in moderation), all served up with a slight disquiet and sub-culture edge (skinheads seem to feature often, primarily because of my obsession with short hair and the MA-1 bomber jacket shape). Heaven forbid anyone socio- or psycho-analyses that.

Tradition is anathema to me in regards to dressing. Most of the things I love are informed by the past only in the barest sense. Take a spring/summer 2007 Raf Simons short-sleeve shirt, half cotton, half metallic 'foil' fabric; although all of the components have been seen before, the way they have been assembled is totally new. In a world where so much of art and culture is rooted in the past, it is quite thrilling to me that no such shirt had ever existed before in a comparable form until Raf Simons did it. It baffles me why so many people (especially men) go out of their way to delibrately hark back to the past with their clothes, when fashion gives so many easy opportunities to be forward-looking for once.

The thought of dressing up in black tie evening attire horrifies me. I have a real problem with blazers, jeans (unless they're black), chinos, brown shoes, polo shirts, belts, and all number of other 'wardrobe staples' because they somehow seem too rooted in the past for me. There's no rhyme or reason to it, and I'm sure you could find contradictions in my reasons for liking some things over others, but I'm not trying to prove a point here: I'm just describing what goes through my mind when it comes to clothes. The funny thing is, I think all of the things I listed can look great on other people, even though I wouldn't wear them.

Overtly traditional references and visual clutter are the enemies. A tweed blazer on a young man, teamed with a tattersall shirt, pocket square, slim chinos or cords and brown brogues is my personal nightmare. Go out in east London on a weekend morning and you'll see it everywhere on all the cool dudes. Try as I might, I just can't see the appeal of a (closer-cut) version of what granddad used to wear.

13 comments:

  1. Your a nutter, obsessed with yuri (it seems) and raf (obv).

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  2. Your mood board posts are always a winner
    Although I'm one who loves mens wear tradition I completely agree with you on the whole men complain about being fashion not being forward enough for them but at the same time there are so many opportunities like Raf et al. However I am one of those people who do buy the wardrobe basics as they are just that basic I don't have to worry about it (then again buying Raf or anything like it is just a dream for me) and I don't have to care about price because most stores make "the basics". That said if I did have the money it say a big f**k you to basics and buy Jil and Raf forever

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  3. i love your writing, of course the photos are inspiring.. it's nice to see the boundaries of menswear expand and break out of traditional pairings

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  4. funnily the first phrase of this post also describes my style preferences though I'm a girl)

    and thank God somebody also doesn't like this 'cool grandpa' look on young guys. can't wait till heritage/retro trend will be over

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  5. How refreshing to read this post. I often grumble about the hegemonic status of heritage and trad within the blogosphere.

    For me, the past still plays an important role in shaping the now (if only to provide the onus to rip up the rule book and do things differently) however, I agree, we should be looking forward rather than reminiscing over the style of the past.

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  6. This post is so actual in the current cultural framework, not only regarding men, but the popular trends in general, and not only in fashion. We live in the age of "retro", and that can be noticed all over the place. Let me mention a quote from a music-related site that might clarify what I have in mind:

    "We live in a pop age gone loco for retro and crazy for commemoration. Band re-formations and reunion tours, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups …But what happens when we run out of past? Are we heading toward a sort of cultural-ecological catastrophe, where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?
    Simon Reynolds, one of the finest music writers of his generation, argues that we have indeed reached a tipping point and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity – the Renaissance with its admiration for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement’s invocations of medievalism – never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artifacts of its own immediate past. “Retromania” is the first book to examine the retro industry and ask the question: Is this retromania a death knell for any originality and distinctiveness of our own?" (http://xmist.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/retromania/)
    And it's fascinating that such a retromania has been noticed some 20 years ago, when already The Nation of Ulysses sang:
    "I'm not talking about a Beatle's song,
    written 100 years before I was born."
    Ironically, this "old" song is not old at all due to its full relevance nowadays.

    It's really great to see a post pointing out this trend in fashion as well. I think there's another
    aspect of "men's fashion" that is important to notice nowadays, namely, it's relation to gender issues and male identity. I suspect a need for the preservation of the "manliness" as different from female gender plays a big role in the survival of styles that include blazers, traditional suits, ties. But that's a bit more complex issue so I'll stop here and leave it only as a suggestion or a hypothesis :)

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  7. What watch do you wear?

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  8. what a fascinating comment @renu, I think you could definitely be onto something with the male identity issue.

    @Anonymous, I don't wear a watch

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  9. I have to agree with you on the last point- it's basically the Jack Wills look you're getting at I think...!

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  10. HAWT BOYZ!!! CUTE CLOTHS!!!

    - Uhlexl.blogspot.com

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  11. really nice choices! the raf 06aw boots look great and i've been looking for the unreal real clothes undercover creepers for ages. raf pictures and the less but better pic are great. can't get on with the dbss (?) high tops though. i like your taste.

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