Diet Coke Fashion Friday: Fashion Books Aren’t Just For Christmas (Part II)

Remember this?

“If you can’t think of the best gift that has yet to be given, let me suggest a book.  Books are great.  Unlike electronics, they don’t crash or freeze, they are incredibly tactile and the feeling of looking at a picture on a page is far superior to looking at one on a screen (it’s the glossiness, I think).

I’ve got some fashion book choices for the various people in your life.  Well, the people in your life who like fashion.  For everyone else, I’d suggest a book token.”

No? That’s grand – that was part one of my Christmas gift guide – now on with part two…

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1.  For the Voguette, the woman who wants to be Nuclear Wintour, or Alexandra Schulman, or Franca Sozzani, and has the Mt. Everest of Vogues to prove it, I’d suggest you get a copy of Vogue: The Editor’s Eye – a full review of which will be coming on Monday.  Focusing on the role of the fashion editor through the latter half of the twentieth century to the present day, there are some really nice spreads that throw light (rightfully) on women like Babs Simpson, Polly Mellen and Tonne Goodman.  You might not know who they are, but the Voguette definitely will.

Honourable mention - In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine

via Getting Beat Like You Stole Something

2.  For the (platonic) man friend who’s looking to up his game sartorially, there are two things.  First, give him a round of applause/packet of crisps for getting into personal style in a country where, except for a few inclusive pockets, it’s not incredibly popular to do so. Second, give him a copy of Style and The Man by Alan Flusser.  It’s all about suits and tailoring, so there’s nothing too avant-garde and there’s absolutely zilch that Flusser doesn’t know about knots, cuffs and how to get a good three piece made without compromise.

Honourable mention – Icons of Mens Style

3. For the street-style savvy friend who can’t get enough of The Sart (I was going to title this one the ‘street style slut’ before I realised how insulting that was), the newest book by the aforementioned Sartorialist is a great bet.  I wasn’t a big fan of the first book, but The Sartorialist: Closer really showcases just how damn GOOD Scott Schuman has got at capturing the personality quirks as well as the outfits of his subjects.

Honourable mention - The Sartorialist (eh, if it’s not broke don’t fix it).

Licentiate Column 24/11/11: The New Prep

Some men are just unfathomable. Not the James Dean types, because you know their brooding facial expressions are a result of a) careful practise in the mirror or b) a long rumination on what to have for tea (bacon sandwich) and whether those underpants will stand another day (Mam can always wash them over the weekend anyway).

Scratch that, you don’t have to be Jacques Cousteau to fathom Irish men – no more than any other nationality. But, in our typically Irish way, the logic with which some Irish men buy clothes is like a mirror maze, filled with wrong turns, false exits and amazing feats of self-reflexive hypocrisy.

On a night out, I spotted the highly known New Prep Male. Brendan (I think), medical student, navy Ralph Lauren tee, faded blue jeans, 80’s trainers.

You know the guy. He or one of his many replicants are everywhere. Preppy guys wear Hollister and Abercrombie hoodies that they bought on their ‘massive’ J1 in Huntington Beach or Wildwood, New Jersey. They have short hair (the longest they’ll go is a Donncha O’Callaghan-style flop), they drink Jagerbombs and pints of Bav. Their dads are members of the yacht club. Their mothers have sidelines selling handmade jewellery or organic soaps. They’re the Celtic Hangover. You know, the kind of people who think that Ross O’Carroll-Kelly books are a searing, incisive set of documentary-style modern memoirs.

This is our future. Yes it is.

The American brands that they love so much are famous for their discriminatory employment and advertising policies. In a way, what they wear denotes an almost Aryan sense of self-entitlement that has yet to be diluted by the economy. Even if none of the New Preps really feel that way, their uniform does all the talking for them.

‘AHA’, I thought on seeing this perfect specimen of prep (I think in caps lock, doesn’t everyone?), ‘NOW THIS SHOULD MAKE A GOOD COLUMN’.

Five minutes later and I am small talking like Warwick Davies at a speed dating event. I segue from chatter about Blackburn Rovers (and mentally thanking God for that copy of Four Four Two in the doctor’s office) into ‘So, where did you get that top?’ Smooth, Sarah. Real smooth.

It was his brother’s top. He often borrowed clothes from his brother. When going shopping, he just liked things that were comfortable. ‘What about colours?’ I said. Would you buy a neon yellow t-shirt with a picture of a flamingo on it’?

The response was classic. He said, ‘Well, I don’t like to judge a book by it’s cover’. I was slightly confused. Aren’t you supposed to judge the clothes you buy by their appearance?

It’s just to easy to be a New Prep. If a man doesn’t want to think too much about clothes, then there’s a uniform waiting for him. But, what if the uniform just tells other people that you’re vapid, self-absorbed and thoroughly disinterested in anyone even slightly different to you?

One preppy man I know has a huge tattoo of a space age pin up girl on his upper thigh (don’t ask me how I know). Another spends most of his time caring for his severely disabled girlfriend. Another is an accomplished musician.

But if clothes make the man, then why don’t they want to wear something else?

See what I mean? Unfathomable.

War Heroes = Wowsa

>I’m not the biggest fan of posting up long chunks of magazine editorials (although I love looking at other peoples blog post on fashion editorials…) but I think that this one, from this months Dazed and Confused, is one of the better concepts for a menswear shoot that incorporates the military trend with some fairly hard-hitting and witty statements.

I am however a really big fan of the notion that, in life, there’s a very thin line between comedy and tragedy, so thin that sometimes the two bleed into each other and that there’s no place that we can see this better than in war.  Three generations of my family have served in the armed forces and, judging from the stories I’ve been told, it’s a theory that might carry an iota of truth.

Wool as blood, the limbs and faces of childish dolls as masks and scars, severe corseting and reining in and vomiting out the trimmings or military costume.  The poses are stiff, full on or three quarters profile, like an actual military portrait. While it’s a bit risky to run in a mainstream magazine, it’s the risks that make life (and editorials) interesting.  If you like what you see, go buy a copy of Dazed and peruse the rest of the editorial *blatant magazine pushing alert*
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Photos from TFS
Photos – Richard Burbridge
Styling – Robbie Spencer

No-one remembers Buster Keaton anymore…

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I love this image of Keaton and Chaplin squaring off from Damian Blake’s Deviant Art profile 

You’d be forgiven for assuming that Galliano’s menswear show would focus on purposely shabby, frayed materials if you saw the flurry of twitpics before the show of whey faced Chaplin-alike models with curly hair and suspect mustaches.

Instead it seems more like a play on proportions (tight jacket/baggy trousers) that makes Chaplin the perfect fit (ahem) for the show.

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However, when the tailoring and proportions turn more towards the square shoulders and starched collars, the models look more like Buster Keaton, with straw boaters and newsboy caps.

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I wish more men dressed like this.  The world would be a much more interesting place if they did.

Watch video of the show here .
Runway photos from style.com