Style and celebrity – fashion photos, news and trends.
YOU’VE seen them – those needle-craft booklets that were so popular in decades past. When it was fairly common to construct your own clothes (a skill that fell off a cliff in the 1980s), these little pamphlets were freaking everywhere – from your mom’s sewing basket to the grocery store checkout aisle.
THE obvious way to sell men’s clothing is to proclaim that the garments will somehow turn the average guy into an irresistible Studasaurous. From the late Sixties to early Eighties, when Baby Boomers were in their sexual prime, this marketing tactic went into hyperdrive. Boomers were ready to mate, and menswear adverts proclaimed that their apparel was the gateway to sweet, sweet lovemaking. Here are a few examples.
BY THE 1980s, the Baby Boomers, who had enjoyed the Sexual Revolution as trim youth, suddenly found themselves with a little extra weight as they entered their thirties. The alarm was sounded, and what followed can only be described as a cocaine-fueled mania. One manifestation of this fitness assault was an aerobics explosion. I don’t think anyone really knew what they were doing, but they looked wonderfully insane doing it.
Of course, this whole maniacal phenomenon would’ve never gotten off the ground were it not for the necessary endorsement from celebs. Jane Fonda made a mint off her workout video, but other famous names were only too quick to jump on the new trend.
FASHION is the gift that keeps on giving. At the Royal College of Art’s Graduate Fashion show, we spotted this design by Ge Bai. We wondered where the inspiration came from…
…and then we realised:
I BOUGHT my first pair of Converse shoes aged 10. The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneaker was all man. It was also all woman. My sister got them first. But I don’t care. These wasn’t unisex shoes. This wasn’t like being called Lesley. Converse were just cool.
They have been ever semi-professional basketball player Chuck Taylor added his name to the Converse Rubber Company’s “All Star” shoe. Taylor was hired as a salesman. He would travel the US showcasing the shoes in basketball clinics. Chuck and his shoes were a hit.
The kids with no idea wore plimsoles to play. The ones with ideas but no clue wore Dunlop Green Flash. The cool kids had Converse.
Who wears them now? Anyone. Anywhere.
Mods, Rockers, Teds, Irish, Skinheads, Pikeys, Blacks And Jews: The People Banned From Anywhere Decent People Gather
FIFTY years ago, mods and rockers enjoyed the bank holiday weekend by fighting pitched battles at the seaside.
The skirmishes led to public vilification, and sociologists coined the phrase ‘moral panic’ to sum up the hysteria surrounding these modern delinquent ‘folk devils’.
JAMES Lileks has looked beyond the shards of lard and war-effort carrot stuck between our grey teeth to DIY British fashions of the mid 20th Century.
We kick off with…
Lovely bird – drove the lads down at the Enigma labs just mad, except for that chilly Turing fellow – but there doesn’t seem to be enough of her. The more you look at her, the more she looks like a doll that’s been put together from different parts, half of which were attached backwards. But it’s a nice jumper.
When in Brighton, give her a call; tell her Pinky sent you.
FROM the women’s fashion section of the 1974 Fall-Winter Sears Catalog, here are 35 pages of earth-toned acrylics, skin-tight polyester, and knitted creations that should have never seen the light of day. Seventies fashions are fun to behold because they could be so frighteningly terrible; however, if you can resist the easy temptation to scoff at 70s styles and view them with an open mind, some are actually quite brilliant. Today’s everyday styles can be so tired and unremarkable – it’s refreshing to see something bold and unique. Come take a look….
A black and orange striped sweater-vest over a tight olive green turtleneck sweater…. can somebody explain how this happened? The simple answer is widespread recreational drug use, but I’m open to other theories.
IN the 1950s, Lucky Tiger would seduce the girls. If you got really lucky, you could mount their heads.
OTHER than a brief Capri pants fad during the early Sixties, women rarely wore pants in public. It was dresses and skirts only. Then the Women’s Liberation movement hit its stride in the Seventies, and the ladies started to get in on the pants action. Just as the miniskirt had been a proclamation of the youth culture, pants became a proclamation of gender equality. If men can wear hideous corduroy bell-bottoms, by God, the women can too!
LADIES – no need to fight. There are shoes aplenty in this article, so there are more than enough for the both of you. Here is a cornucopia of retro footwear adverts that should keep everyone satisfied for a while. From hippy clogs to funky sidewinders fit for the most stylish of 70s pimps, they’re all here. Some of the advertisements are blatantly sexist, some are just plain odd, but there is much fun to be had. Enjoy!
Each Dexter shoe comes with a hotel coupon and a free condom. Plus, the shoes are highly durable and waterproof in case you’re going to move on from Casual Dex to Fetish Dex.
For much of the Seventies, no brand embodied the Black Power philosophy as much as Flagg Brothers and Eleganza. They offered the very best in pimpwear – I’m talkin’ ermine collars, big ass heels and pearl handle canes. African-American fashions were bold and flamboyant during this decade – if the jive-turkeys didn’t like it, they could kiss their black ass.
A completely nude woman hopelessly in love with a guy’s shoes. Is this advert pure genius, or pure sexist? I’d posit that it’s a lot of both.
It’s become a cliché to say that fashion is circular, but it is absolutely true. The 1970s clogs above would have been absolutely mocked and ridiculed in the 80s and 90s. In 1986, you would have been stoned to death and your entirely family imprisoned for sliding into a platform mule. Today, it’s the entirely fashionable…. although, embroidered fruit still hasn’t made a comeback. In due time.
At first this just seems incredibly odd; however, I guess there are stranger things than choosing to paint your shoes. Apparently, they even had “animal textures” – for instance, you could spray on lizard skin. (And at that point, I would start to question your mental condition.)
Amazingly, someone along the way thought having a nude middle-aged man on a ladder was a good way to sell slippers. But, before you start feeling too sorry for yourself for being subjected to this – just think about what a view those poor firemen are getting!
Very few people know this, but it’s a fact that Nostradamus actually predicted the arrival of the denim boot.
In the land with a climate opposite to Babylon there will be great shedding of blood.
Heaven will seem unjust both on land and sea and in the air.
Sects, famine, kingdoms, denim boots, plagues, and confusion shall rule the Earth.
- Century I, Quatrain 55
What significance it has remains to be seen, but the mysterious denim boot will no doubt play a major role in the apocalypse.
It says the footwear was designed especially for Pat Boone. I’m assuming that means it will never become unclean and remain for all time as pure as the wind driven snow. In this advert, Pat demonstrates the magic of Velcro – “the closure invention of the century”. There’s even directions for proper Velcro use: “to close, press together – to open, peel apart.”
These slippers come in a variety of colors: Spring Green, Royal Blue, Cocoa Brown, and Glowing Nuclear Waste Orange. All Minute Crochet Slippers are machine washable and stain resistant, except the orange, which may cause birth defects, tumors and long term environmental devastation.
The infamous “egg chair” was perhaps mankind’s greatest creation, yet it fell out of favor by the end of the 1970s. You were comfortably enclosed within this upholstered ovum, and some even had speakers inside…. a toker’s throne, you might say.
A guy in a leisure suit is framed by a ring of godawful footwear – Worst selfie ever.
This seems to be nothing more than a cheap and shameless ploy to grab our attention by having us look up this chick’s skirt. In a perfect world, all adverts would be this cheap and shameless. I’ll wager this particular shoe advert had more than its share of men examining it close-up for any glimpse of immodesty.
And speaking of cheap and shameless… ¡Ay, caramba!
ANYBODY else think cycling gear has gone downhill since this Claud Butler Whitsun “rigout” was advertised in 1936?
IN 1903, The Commonwealth Publishing Company of New York City’s magazine Vanity Fair (no, another one; this one ran from February 1902 to April 1904) produced the article on The Bifurcated Girls: Gay Girls In Trousers.
Dian Hansen notes inHistory of Men’s Magazines:
While France had a well-established men’s magazine industry by 1900, America was just showing its ankles in 1903. A magazine called Vanity Fair (unrelated to the current incarnation) was the raciest thing around, and rooming house loozies the hotties of the time. In this New York, tabloid girls who drank like men might strip down to their petticoats and fall into bed together, exposing their corset cover and stockings to peeping male boarders. The famously loose morals of stage actresses made them popular subjects for these shenanigans, but the biggest thrill of all was bifurcation. “What?” one may well ask. Bifurcation, meaning “split in two”, referred to the contours of a woman’s legs revealed by her donning men’s trousers. Bifurcation was a regular and very popular feature in Vanity Fair, it’s popularity leading to Vanity Fair’s Bifurcated Girls.
HERE is some free advice for up-and-coming marketing execs: Adverts should not make consumers feel nauseous or deeply uncomfortable. Nor should they cause consumers to experience waking nightmares or abdominal pain. You wouldn’t think this sort of instruction would be necessary, but here are five examples which demonstrate that it is. Please take notes.
1. SEXUALLY AROUSED STUFFED TOYS PROMOTE BEAR HOSIERY
“What a treat to stocking those legs. Wish I were a man,” says the first bear. I’m not sure how I feel about stuffed animals ogling over a woman’s legs. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer Teddy Bears without a sexual appetite.
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Read the rest of this entry »
MEN’S fashion is an endless source of point-and-laugh fun. In this instalment, we hard back to the 1970s, wherein the Onesie For Him was knocking them bandy in the boardroom and bedroom.
Do say: With your Onesie, you look macho and more ready for action than an aroused Playgirl stud. Nice moustache.
Don’t say: Ha-ha. It’s a babygro, you muppet!
IN the 1960s, Glenn Stewart was a mod. There Is More filmed Glenn over six hours as he recalled him time as a suited and booted, Vespa driving mod.
It’s a lovely short film about one of Britain’s fashion tribes: