Thursday, May 19, 2011

1920s style: Sartorial lessons from The Broadway Melody

The Broadway Musical (1929) was the first talking musical for MGM as well as for Hollywood.

The men's suits were almost assuredly bespoke and you will see superb examples of formalwear (below, Charles King and Anita Page) and "lounge suits" (i.e. business suits in modern nomenclature) across a variety of physiques.

Take double-breasted suits for the smaller or trimmer frame, which one rarely sees today. At 50 seconds in the Youtube clip below, you'll see a character with such a figure arms akimbo, wearing a nice DB.

You will also see suits with unusual details, at least by contemporary standards, such as a single-breasted peak lapel, three piece suit with patch pockets and no vents (worn by the lead actor Charles King at 1:19).

Additional links
- Songbook blog entry on The Broadway Melody

Friday, May 13, 2011

Foster & Son NYC visit

A couple of photos from the London shoemaker's NYC visit this week. The austerity brogue sample (center, see below) was made by Emiko and features a lovely burgundy finish and more dramatically rounded edges of the facings than is typically seen.

Below is a photo of Jon Spencer, who is working with principal lastmaker Terry Moore, and Emma Lakin.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A well-dressed past: Jil Sander on Hamburg

Designer Jil Sander on growing up in Hamburg:

I was born in Hamburg, a trading city with a big port. It's very English because it's close to London. The saying is that when it's raining in London, they put up their umbrellas in Hamburg. And so the men are very gentlemanly, with proper tailored clothes. Even in my young age, I saw very nicely dressed men. (GQ Feb 2011)

1930er Hamburg 22/29

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Napoli su misura: First fitting

Earlier this year, I joined the steady stream of Styleforum members in trying out the visiting tailor Napoli su misura comprised of Mina and Dino. I had a length of silk/linen (10.5oz) jacketing fabric that I dropped off for NSM to make up for me as spring/summer sportcoat.

Napoli su misura silk-linen jacket 01

Napoli su misura silk-linen jacket 04

My first fitting in midtown Manhattan occurred this week and I must say I was impressed (having gone through first fittings with different tailors in North America, Europe and Asia). The fit of my try-on jacket was pretty close to final - balance, length, collar and shoulder all looked good. Although I'll reserve judgment on pattern matching until the final jacket arrives, I could probably live with how the pattern lined up on the try-on.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Spring wardrobe

The other week, as temperatures have finally risen, I dropped by the Brooks Bros flagship store on Madison Ave and also the Paul Stuart store nearby.

At BB, the second floor is being redone while the third floor houses the new spring collection for men's sportswear. I thought the merchandising and display were nicely done, grounded in warm spring/summer colors, and organized into a nautical and St. Andrews links theme (complete with a virtual driving range).

For sports shirts and accessories, I liked the emphasis on lively colors and patterns and a nice of selection of fits (from extra slim to regular in shirts to slim to regular widths in knit and woven ties).

If you adhere to the Ivy League look (or some version of it), it's worth a look. A few highlights:

At Paul Stuart, I saw these navy suede chukka boots with crepe soles (Bosley model):

The contrast stitching is a dandified touch of course. Also available in a loden suede.