Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in men (14)


Keep Your Shirt On!

Click for a history lessonI know that just the other day I panned the white shirt and cast it into outer darkness, but today let us pay homage to a special white shirt of recent history: the ruffled pirate shirt of Jerry Seinfeld infamy. Once you have finished dwelling over that precious memory, cast your eyes over this wonderful editorial on duelling fashion from the Australian magazine Follow Me Gentlemen (Sep/Nov 1989).

The gentlemen are sultry and the lady is sulky; passion and tempers run high. The introduction is full of delicious puns. These shirts are worn relaxed and open – no getting hot under the collar for these guys!

Click on images for larger versions.


Wild Men in Tweed

In honour of the ManStyle exhibition I reviewed the other day, I bring you here four wild men with a penchant for tweed and silliness in the Scottish highlands. They appeared in British Vogue, c. 1990s, and were photographed by Hanspeter Schneider.

I love how they’ve thrown themselves right into the theme of the shoot, and have no reluctance at all at being photographed pulling faces. Their eccentric outfits work wonderfully with the picturesque background. It’s only a pity that I haven’t kept the whole editorial.



Modern Men and Period Peacocks

After I missed the last two fashion exhibitions held at the National Gallery of Victoria, I was a little disappointed that the next one was ManStyle, focusing on men’s fashion over last three centuries. Even direr, I saw, it would occupy the fashion and textile galleries until the end of the year.

However, I was actually pleasantly surprised to find this exhibition quite enjoyable. The exhibition is divided between the two galleries in the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia and NGV International with a focus on the rise of tailoring at the former gallery, and the ‘peacock male’ at the latter. It was fascinating to see the exquisitely embroidered 18th century garments, and marvel over the diminutive size of our ancestors. A modern man (should he choose to take unfair advantage) would make mincemeat of these period peacocks.

In fact, although men in the 18th century wore very colourful clothes, the last few decades were very well represented with outlandish garments. As works of design or art they are fascinating to examine, but I wonder how many men actually ordered these designer threads and wore them out and about. Certainly the interviews recorded with Australian men in the fashion and entertainment industry showed that although they were interested in looking stylish or in expressing their personality through fashion, few or none would have worn the more outrageous garments in the exhibition.

After watching these (albeit interesting) videos, I was left wondering about the psychology and sartorial choices of the Australian male who is not in the fashion or entertainment industry. I find the business attire of far less interest than leisure wear – yes, there is something to be said for the bespoke suit and fine cufflinks – but I wonder what do ordinary men wear to please themselves?

Undoubtedly there are some who take pride in an immaculate appearance, or showing off their prized vintage shoe collection, but I suspect the proud peacock is in actual fact almost extinct.

The exhibition is on until 27 Nov 2011.
Apologies, I omitted to take notes on the creators of each garment. 


Don Johnson Fan

“He’s flash – he’s got his white jacket on, and he’s got his cash; He’s wearing dark sunglasses, sleeves rolled up – yes, he’s Eurotrash…” (I made that song up just now.) :: Melodie // Alfred Infrared // No flashI was sitting on a train a few months back and had a little giggle to myself when I spied this guy in his corner seat, flashing his hairy legs; sleeves of his white jacket rolled up à la Don Johnson in Miami Vice. The reason I was giggling was because I was planning a photoshoot with a friend of mine with the theme ‘Eurogigolo’.

My friend actually adores dressing Eurotrash style, and I knew he would love to see this guy in his little shorts, sockless feet and dark sunnies.

Now I’m not one for blatantly snapping away at members of the general public without permission (unless it’s a public event and I’m photographing ‘ambiance’), but this time I sneakily pretended I was taking photos of the train’s interior. And I was right, my friend did love it. 


A Gentlemanly Art

Adolpho perfects the art of matching his tie to the wallpaper.

Apparently fake ties are quite comme il faut amongst professional bouncers. Why? Because when a bouncer gets dragged (quite by his own fault of course) into an unseemly bout of fisticuffs, he can’t be strangled by his own tie. The elastic defeats the most determined of unruly barflies.

Better yet is the bowtie: because it is considered amusing, even clownish, it is sure to defuse a tense situation, thereby avoiding brawls with pugnacious patrons.

Apparently fake ties are quite comme il faut amongst professional bouncers.

However, if the gentleman – or the lady interested in storming this last bastion of men’s attire – is not a doorman, he might be interested in the half-windsor knot. Or even the four-in-hand.

Perhaps in fact, he – or she – is not well-versed in such niceties. 

Standing his ground: Adolpho demonstrates the art of withstanding all forms of blandishment.

In this case, let us today examine the half-windsor knot. This is a symmetrical tie that will be appropriate for any dress shirt, unlike the aforementioned four-in-hand which is oddly skewed (but good for button-down shirts seemingly).

Click on image for larger version. Download and print for future reference.

Doesn’t look complicated at all, does it? Be thankful that this is not the heydey of the cravat. This neckband originated in 17th century Croatia, and by many accounts there were hundreds of complicated styles to choose from, and tying them was in fact an artform. Crumpling three in a row and taking half an hour to knot one was a common occurrence.

Click image for larger version. (L-R) A self-patterned foulard cravat fastened with a cluster pearl pin is worn in the neck of a tailored suit with short revers; Kendal Milne fashion (Ph. Chaloner Woods, Getty Images); the modern man’s cravat in white, Burberry Prorsum Fall 2009; Oh, Mr Darcy! (Colin Firth as); a black cravat for today’s fashionista, Reyes Fall 2007; the original incarnation: Portrait of a Dandy with a White Cravat (c. 1815), Louis-Léopold Boilly.Still want to expand your horizons? Go to Tie-A-Tie for more than you ever thought you’d need to know about this gentlemanly art.

Many thanks to Volodya for his patience, good humour and willingness to throw himself into any robe role!