Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Fashion Report of 1920

The NY Times ran an intriguingly titled story on The Fashion Report of 1920.

It's all about the fashion for traditional clothing and accessories that are functional, even utilitarian: "the auto mechanic jumpsuits, the thermal undershirts, the engineer’s boots, the moccasins and tin cloth jackets and gum boots that so neatly marry form and function that no one has found the need to alter their design for many decades."

It's another example of the Gray Lady getting to the party late, reporting on a trend that's been in full swing for quite some time.

The Times also conflates, I think, three distinct styles.

There's traditional workware - Dickies shirts and carpenter trousers, Red Wing boots and Klein Tools handyman bags (which have lately become fashionable to use as a briefcase or overnight bag).

In contrast, there's traditional outdoor gear from LL Bean and Filson, or for the more British leaning, Barbour jackets and Hunter wellies.

Finally, there's a nod to classic Americana, with basic Levi's jeans and white T shirts. Best quote in the piece came from designer Michael Bastian, a fan of LL Bean Camp Moc shoes, Champion gym shorts, Levi's 501s and Randolph Engineering aviator sunglasses made to US military spec:

"Certain things are just so perfect I can't do it any better. There are things that are perfection in their genericness. I’m not going to touch them. It's like Coke. You can't improve it. I give it to you. You win."

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