made me think

Just a couple of things I found time to read while (sadly) eating dinner at my office desk.

1) A really nice roundtable on GQ about menswear blogs. Read it here.

A lot of good points raised, and I found that I could identify with this particular sentiment (which doesn't sum up the discussion, so you should still go read that):

Aliotsy Andrianarivo (blogger, This Fits): "What's challenging to people who are just starting out [is] trying to pull off [Brunello] Cucinelli in a week—you see it in a lookbook and you want to buy all the pieces. I had a certain degree of that starting out. The blogosphere can encourage that."

I admit, I felt that sometimes too, when I started paying attention to shopping for clothes, although I don't believe I have acted on that impulse to buy an entire look. Did you?

2) This piece by Kurt Andersen for Vanity Fair questioning just how much has design and culture changed in the last two decades. I'm still thinking over his argument and how I feel about those two things.


miss sophie said…
thanks for the links...though i wonder if that phenomenon of buying the entire look is unique to menswear. there's so much more disciplined style in menswear anyway, whereas women who love fashion are taught to mix and match and experiment a whole lot more.
Stacie said…
Thanks for the link to the Kurt Anderson piece! Very interesting ideas but I can't say that I agree with him.
I believe that the explosion of information in the last 20+ years has allowed individuals to have a wider variety of inspiration. This in turn has allowed us to dress to suit our tastes like never before. There is not necessarily a "uniform" anymore for a decade or even a location and I guess I don't have a problem with that.
I do find his assertion that there is no innovation interesting and perhaps troubling but I'm not sure what I think about that point yet.
chibiwow said…
Great post! Love to see how style evolves from that link is a nice style resource. :D

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Joy said…
love the two essays! i really how intense the menswear bloggers are about their craft. so many discussions going about so many related topics!
petrichore said…
LOVED the Kurt Anderson article. I'm not sure I agree with him about fashion remaining virtually the same over the last 20-30 years or so, though. I see pictures of people from the 80s and 90s, and the hair styles and jeans look cringe-worthy and dated. Which of course will be someone else's take on a picture of me 20 years from now.

I liked his commentary on how we have all become "amateur stylists" (his words), and how companies/people like Martha Stewart have sold us lifestyles and aesthetic tastes. I think it's interesting that we've had this explosion of "taste" over the last 20 years or so, during the time which the middle class has actually not expanded (in fact, it's contracting), and so logically you would expect fewer people to have access to these interests, not more.

By the way, I really enjoy your blog!

lin said…
miss sophie: I do fall for total looks. Rare, but it has happened when it's really very very me. But I have yet to actually act in that impulse.

stacie: I don't 100% agree with him either but on his point about the trend for nostalgia and referencing the past, I have to say I have had the same thought before. I think theoretically I agree with him that a lack of innovation in design is disturbing and yet I feel that the point of good design is something that doesn't need improving on. For instance, how would you improve a white shirt? The proportions may change but a white shirt stays a white shirt.

And you are right, people channel looks from any era they like these days, so maybe we not "bound by time" any more.

joy: I agree, I really enjoyed the enthusiasm in that roundtable.

petrichore: I do think some looks from the 90s are essentially the same as what we see now - there's a change in proportion but there isn't really breakthrough signature look of the 2000s. But whether that is necessarily a bad thing is another question.

I like the idea that good design has been made democratic - ikea has made it possible for anyone to own clean, minimal furniture, and high-street brands make it possible for us to style ourselves as we like by providing affordable choices and variety. Of course, it's boring if we all end up with the "same good taste" but I think people don't stop seeking the rare and unique. I think he highlighted an interesting phenomenon but I'm not sure how it's related to his overall point about innovation...
son said…
thanks for the link o the kurt anderson piece. to start on a tangent, i think whats unusual about the current decade is the range of influence, accessibility & variety in what we can wear. his comment about the lack of innovation over the last 20y or so had me wondering - these days we live very similarly to how we did in the 60s 70s 80s 90s but better and more cohesively, and so, does that mark a return to more normal pace of development/progress. im rambling i suspect, but it does seem the pace of change has slown down since our parents days.

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