Sunday, February 1, 2009

tailoring details

Well, I ran across a discussion thread regarding Mr. Obama's choice of clothing for his inauguration and the opinions of those who follow style and style etiquette. It's an interesting discussion and reflects the kind of details that we who create for the stage ponder all the time.

Menswear is rife with small details, width and shape of lapel, width of trouser leg, cuffs or plain bottoms, pleats or flat fronted trousers, the break of the trouser on the shoe, waistcoat or cummerbund, length and shape of the tails on a tail coat. White tie and a tuxedo jacket? Sorry Mr. Obama. I bet they have an advisor around the White House somewhere!
Our current formal wear has evolved over the past two hundred years, more or less, and it seems that its etiquette has settled into a set pattern-with occasional variations- by the early to mid 20th century. It's a beautiful look when done correctly, and I think that it is epitomised by stars like Cary Grant and Fred Astaire among others.

I doubt that most people ever think about things like this anymore, and just buy what is available and never even notice the style of, or the etiquette of, wearing certain garments. It's too bad, because then we are dependent on the whims of modern manufacturing styling (and bad fabric) Styling that comes from an attempt to save money instead of improving or exploring a design.
I don't know if you've seen the horrible tailcoat styling that has princess seams and no waist seam....ugly. That's all I can say.
Don't fix it if it's not broken

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