What Would F. Scott Fitzgerald Post on Tumblr? The Lost Generation, #menswear, Booze and Other Elements of Style.
So, Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ is here, and suddenly everybody is talking about style, menswear, swag and the good ol’ days in which men used to dress impeccably, drink copiously, and use polished words. The opposite of Jay-Z, basically.
And, considering the huge popularity of #menswear on social media – especially on Tumblr – it’s probably the right time to pay a tribute to a bunch of great artists.
The other day I read this, somewhere, I don’t remember where: ‘Always a natty dresser, Fitzgerald had his Army uniform tailored by Brooks Brothers. He dressed many of his characters in attire by the same clothier.’
And, as you can see from the following pictures, Mr. Fitzgerald was indeed a stylish man.
The writer was a key member of what has been called “The Lost Generation” by Gertrude Stein. A generation of stylish, decadent, hedonistic, inconsolable and dark-souled artists, such as Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, John Dos Passos, Waldo Peirce, Isadora Duncan, Abraham Walkowitz, Alan Seeger, and Erich Maria Remarque.
Erich Maria Remarque
John Dos Passos
T. S. Eliot
They were also into booze, as you can see from this selection of quotes.
‘First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.’
‘I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.’
F. Scott Fitzgerald
‘Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.’
‘I drink to make other people more interesting.’
‘If I were sufficiently romantic I suppose I’d have killed myself long ago just to make people talk about me. I haven’t even got the conviction to make a successful drunkard.’
John Dos Passos
What do you think?
‘Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony.’
The Internet is full of everything: cats, other cute animals, scary stuff, silly stuff, serious stuff, stuffy stuff, cats, fashion bloggers, foodies, cats, other cute animals, LOLz and OMGs and YOLOs and, finally, cats.
When it comes to menswear, we often have the impression that it’s just about poses, manufactured coolness and people who take themselves and their outfits a bit too seriously. There is something missing: irony, i.e. playing with concepts and ideas and storytelling, without the “pull my finger” kind of attitude or being too tedious. Don’t get me wrong, we all agree that style is King, but, at the end of the day, a pair of trousers is just two tubes made of fabric, even though said fabric is Loro Piana cashmere.
The following Tumblr blogs represent a rather interesting twist on the contemporary idea of #menswear.
The Telegraph claims ‘It’s no surprise then that our tastes for ‘real-life fashion’ are changing, so gorged are we on unattainable designer duds adorning unattainably beautiful bodies. Enter Ali, an 83-year-old Turkish father of 18 and the latest street style star to capture the blogosphere’s attention.
A doctor-turned-tailor, the octogenarian resides in Berlin where he captured the attention of waitress/photographer Zoe Spawton, who spotted him walking past the café she works in each morning. After watching him stroll past in a series of natty get-ups, the 29-year-old plucked up the courage to approach him last summer and ask whether she could photograph his daily fashion choices for a blog.’
The blog amasses a staggering 120,000 hits a day.
As the name suggests, The Pandorialist is like The Sartorialist, but with a panda bear.
Hell yeah, it’s Mensweardog!
And, least but not least, the best collection of Accidental Chinese Hipsters you’ll ever see.
What do you think?
It’s Paris Fashion Week. Everybody knows it. La Ville-Lumière shows its immortal beauty and allure, the designers are showing their pieces of art, the most beautiful models show off, the bloggers are simply showing up, for no apparent reason. Paparazzi, limos, celebrities, glamour, and rivers of champagne. C’est tout simplement magnifique.
But there is a man everybody’s talking about, more than the weather, the traffic, Carmen Kass, Stella McCartney’s polar mission, and Hollywood stars, put together: Mr. Justin O’Shea, Buying Director of the luxury online store mytheresa.com. Our friend Sennait, international account executive at Matthew Williamson, in Paris for the event, told me the other day: “Every girl is going crazy over him, at #PFW!”
So here he is, the man himself.
What do you think?
On Beauty, #menswear, video, and the meaning of art / A movie starring T-Michael, A. Sauvage, Philip Lim and Mr Porter.
“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”
Harry S. Truman
The Internet is so bottomless and lawless and structureless and ruleless, you’d think it’s Show Time, with brands going all arty and psychedelic, coming up with new things every day, things that will help change our Weltanschauung and open our minds, just like when you watch a movie directed by Terry Gilliam or enjoy a pièce de theatre written by Samuel Beckett or you look at Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X.
Paradoxically, it doesn’t work that way.
The majority of brands online still behave in a surprisingly unsurprising way. Same old story, same old tricks, same old copy, same old content. Social media should work as the lab in which revolutionary experiments get conducted, in order to find the cure to boredom, and to finally synthesise the ultimate recreational and mind-expanding pill. In fact, most of the times we see things about cats, BUY THIS, LIKE THAT, SHARE THIS, REPIN THAT, Rihanna and a couple of photographs with a caption that says something grandma-friendly, but with some sort of rebellious twist. What happened to Beauty? What happen to the motto “Ars gratia artis”, AKA “L’art pour l’art”, AKA “Art for art’s sake”, which inspired Edgar Allan Poe, Théophile Gautier, Victor Cousin and Walter Benjamin? What happened to David Lynch and a bunch of scary, silent bunnies? Where is John Cage, making music with a piano, a few bolts and screws, and a hammer? Moreover, as video is still the dark horse of social media, it allows the inspired one to go even more creative and experimental. But few brands truly exploit the medium, and, when they do, they tend to be quite conservative.
Storytelling through video, then, how should it be done? It’s all about Beauty. GIVE US BEAUTY. Please.
Look at the following examples. Pure Beauty. Art. Cool stuff. Less garments, more message. Quality over quantity. Focus on the story rather than sales. And Vimeo instead of YouTube. Win.
‘Phillip Lim has proved an early addition to the onslaught of spring/summer 2013 campaign videos, with a beautiful spot for its menswear line that demonstrates martial arts tricking.’
THIS IS NOT A SUIT (2010) — A FILM BY A. SAUVAGE
A stunning homage to Jørgen Leth’s The Perfect Human.
FEATURE FILM: THE REINVENTION
From Mr Porter – ‘One Sunday evening in April 2004, 32-year-old professional gambler Mr Ashley Revell walked into Las Vegas’ Plaza Hotel & Casino in a black tuxedo. His aim? To take the $135,300 he’d made the previous month selling everything he owned – including the clothes off his back – and place it on the roulette table in one gigantic, double-or-nothing bet. Pick right between black and red and he’d be twice as rich; wrong, and he’d walk away with nothing. Literally.’
ART COMES FIRST
About: ‘Fashion maybe suﬀers from a reputation as art’s most shallow valued cousin, but that is only because its power is often corrupted and abused.
The A.C.F. is not about fashion in that way. It is about something else entirely. The nobility of the striving and nature mandate that we fulﬁll our responsibility to inspire one another.’
The video has been ‘Written & Directed by Finn-Erik Rognan and T-Michael’. I met the latter when I was living in Norway: a true gentleman, always impeccably dressed, a Über-stylish dandy, way before the #menswear thing became a mainstream trend. A pioneer. He even came to one of our exhibitions, held in a squatted wooden house, close to his studio, in the most beautiful – and somehow hidden – part of Bergen. Bless.
What will the future bring? Hopefully, more Beauty.
Among some interesting new brands devoted to menswear, elegance, and the Beauty of art, there’s one that looks especially enlightened: the name’s Curieux, stay tuned for more.
What do you think?
Sultans of Swag / Street Style
The Woost, AKA Arbiter Coolarum
Year of the Monkey
The Dark Side of the Groom, or “Not Sure What Is Going On Here”
What do you think?
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