Lately I have been pondering about society’s current fascination (actually more like a guilty pleasure) of diving back into the pool of the past and seeing how deep they can go without forgetting to come back up for air.
Even I am convinced, on some level, that I should instead have been a screaming, fainting fan in a Beatles crowd and insist on spending my daily bus ride tapping my toes to a Ringo beat.
Living in the past is something that everyday society thrives on, even if it is a past that we haven’t necessarily been a part of and the fashion world is no exception to this historical dumpster-diving addiction.
I think Kurt Anderson was on to something when he stated in Vanity Fair that the world hasn’t got much of its own style anymore.
Case in point, when I asked my coworkers and my sister what odd fashions they remember from their childhood days, they all replied with the same unique (and equally hilarious) answer: “I don’t”.
Although there are some current designers who are constantly trying to come up with the next ‘big trend’, I am still searching for that current trend that will stick out 10 years from now.
As far as I am concerned, no one has seemed to be too successful yet, have they?
It seems we no longer live in our own time; merely an amalgamated illusion of past loves and hates all rolled up into one world that has been designed to suit everyone.
Even as I look around from my coffee shop window I see a stuffed vest from the 80’s, a light wash jean from the 90’s and I’m listening to music from the 50’s (and Lord only knows how old the empty coffee cup next to me is…).
*Cue an epic, wheel-spinning, ear-melting Delorean entrance. An exceptionally stylish and well dressed version of Dr. Emmet Brown comes out of the car and asks us to go with him to the 1940’s.*
Fall 2012 Menswear Goes Back in Time
Set your Delorean to 1.21 gigawatts and grab your ration coupons! We’re going back in time to the 1940’s.
Fall 2012 menswear seems to have been taken over by a brigade of R.A.F. fighters and American gangsters (not that it’s a bad thing….)
I like Billy Reid’s take on the pilot’s bomber vest – still ‘fur’ lined and leather made, but on the runway it was paired with a rather office worthy ensemble of trousers and a printed sweater over a long sleeved, slightly striped shirt and tie.
An otherwise subdued and ‘kind of boring’ (as my beau would say) outfit, brought to life and given a personality with a vest.
The same, however cannot be said for Adam Kimmel’s attempt.
Unfortunately a modern F-16 style helmet doesn’t quite send the same ‘classy and unique’ message. Perhaps what worries me most is when the hose is worn IN a pocket on the sweater.
Where exactly is it going, Mr. Kimmel?
Combat boots have been stripped from the trenches and are back with a roar (and not just the dumbed-down, feminized and bedazzled version for those of my side of the gender classification).
The nitty gritty is back for you gentleman to slip on with a pair of cargos or dark jeans and enjoy your day off.
The great thing about the way that Michael Bastian showed them (as a part of his Gant collection) is how he took about four otherwise simple and yawn-worthy pieces, chucked them all on the same guy and said “HERE!…done”.
Not bad at all, Mr. B (he’s slowly setting up a small camp site in my heart).
Grab some boots, a blazer, your jeans, and your otherwise un-used turtle necks and jean shirts and give it a try.
Another 40’s touch that Bastian seemed to be flirting with was pin stripes. Mostly sported by gangsters back in the day, they emerge on a slim (sliiiim) fitting pair of cuffed slacks and a merlot brown leather jacket in Mr. B’s signature collection (don’t forget the polka dot bow tie…oh bow ties).
Pin stripes (as most of us know) ran all over suits of those who tended to fly on the other side of the train tracks and in the 40’s, men made their presence known with broad, beaming shoulders and a loose fitting pant (macho, macho man).
Yes, the style in the above picture is a little ‘out dated’ but Sarah Burton (at the house of McQueen) doesn’t seem to think so. She’s re-introduced this style rather well (maybe the afro was a little unnecessary though).
Blast from the Past
After having gone through all these era revivals, perhaps we should finally learn to walk on our own two feet and not insist on being propped up by the gems of the past (like my grandmother’s blackout curtains…still up…still closed…every night..).
We’re running out of semi-fashionable decades as it is and Lord, if any man reading this even considers an acid wash waterproof fanny pack I will find you.
However, I find this latest revival of the 1940’s as a fond reminder of our fighting days. Our proud and true days. The days where each individual held a country together at a time of war as opposed to all banding against the government.
So maybe we should indulge in this guilty pleasure once more. Just one more dip into the Delorean just for ‘old time’s sake’.
For more information on the lines mentioned, visit the following links on style.com:
- Billy Reid: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012MEN-BREID
- Adam Kimmel: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012MEN-AKIMMEL
- Gant by Michael Bastain: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012MEN-GANT
- Michael Bastain signature: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012MEN-MBASTIAN
- Alexander McQueen: http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/F2012MEN-AMCQUEEN