Friday, March 13, 2009

men’s fashion: from tailored trousers to thug life.

My creative discussion is titled Men’s Fashion: From tailored trousers to thug life. It outlines a recent history of American male dress and suit as well as Hip-hop and thug life as dress and its relation to high fashion.

The 1900s are the earliest years researched in the discussion. The 1920s daytime and nighttime clothes were very formal, tailcoats and top hats were very appropriate. In the 1930s the stock market crash affected the fashion industry in cutbacks on the way clothes were manufactured and purchased. In the 1940s the Zoot Suit was introduced this gave a fantastic foreshadowing to the hip-hop culture that we know today. In the 1960s a more ‘feminine’ look for men became popular, bright florescent colors and puffy sleeves. Jewelry for men was introduced.

The 1970s liberation decade saw more exposed body and tighter clothes.
The 1980s an emergence of couture culture for men. Anna Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gautier were some of the many names pushing the male power suit. The 1990s casual Fridays implemented. Gothic and punk appeared. Men no longer had to conform to one look. Many styles were available and suits came in many varieties. Presently fashion is a combination of all the previous eras, there is a lot of repetition and re vamping of old trends to create this variety of present in men’s wear. Business fashion has not changed however has become newly popularized by such affordable labels as
Sean John.
Hip hop dress like hip -hop music un deniably stems from criminal lifestyles of trying to make a living to escape the “ghetto”. The word ‘bling’ comes from the sound associated with seeing a diamond. It is also associated with shiny objects such as jewelry, cars, and new technological accessories.
From the timeless suit to the very trendy ‘grilz’ (teeth jewelry) men’s fashion has maintained a visual representation of class and status. Hip-hop dress is all about displaying what you have become and what you can afford.

Men’s suits portray a vision of power and etiquette. Now, for the first time we are seeing a combination of these two very different styles through such artists as P. Diddy and his fashion line, Sean John. Representing class and status is evident in all forms of fashion and never before has it reached such a peak. •Men’s fashion is constantly changing and being re invented to suit the time. There is a variety of styles and representation within men’s fashion.

The suit will continue to be staple in Men’s dress and the symbolizations of status, class and wealth will forever be evident in male dress

It is important to acknowledge what certain dress represents; in the case of gangster fashion, representing gang life takes on a lot of social implications that are not positive to promote.

•“a legitimate concern for safety turns into the official harassment of a minority underclass -- or perhaps of poseurs laying claim to that identity -- and it is not always easy to know where one trips into the other” This quotation is from a Maclean’s article on banning of baggy pants in a London school. What are your thoughts on this quotation?

•Music has been very influential to men’s fashion, as we have seen in the Zoot suit and hip hop culture. What other factors (events or cultural sub groups) do you feel influence men’s fashion?
Image credit:mooosh ♥ miso funky flickr

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