Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Men's Fashion

I got out from the library 'one hundred years of menswear'by Cally Blackman because I feel it important to have at least a basic knowledge of the subject. Cally (who teaches fashion history at Central st. Martins) gives in her opinion a brief history of men's wear. She starts by saying that menswear is often seen as dull in regards to the obvious glamour of women's fashion and this is somethign I have to agree with. Even today as I trawl through catwalk pictures all I seem to see is a sea of grey suits.
However she goes on to remind us what a large impact men's fashion has had on the industry, and especially in women's fashion. It is women who adopt the male wardrobe such as suits, trousers and shirts, and later work and sportswear. She also details how men are often responsible for introducing 'subcultural modes of dress', including, new romantics, gangsters, zoot suiters, Zazous, Teddy boys, hippies, mods and punks.
Blackman discusses how the suit is the most successful garmet of all time due to its functionality and adaptability. Recently I have learned of the reasoning behind the development of clothes and the need for functionality. Prior to the war, clothes were larger and used more material, but throughout the war period material was rationed for uniforms etc so clothes became slimer, and needed to be easy to menouver in.
Blackman says "To adapt a phrase from Le Corbusier, the suit is a machine for living in, close-fitting but comfortable armour, constantly revised and reinvented to be, literally, well suited for modern daily life."
I know it's not just me but armour... no, workers uniform/prison... yes. I relate wearing a suit to be like working in an office, everyday, the suit becomes your second skin. It begins to define you (here's the anti-industrialist Tyler coming out) but, today my modern life is not suited by a suit.

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