Sunday, October 12, 2014

Peacocks And Dandys

    Last week, while I was scrolling up through the decades with you all, I was reminded that I haven't really ever devoted a post totally to the Peacock Revolution of the 1960 and 70s.
    What gives that point in time such great relevance is that it was the first time the primacy of the suit was seriously shaken since its start in the late 1700s.  With the rise of the importance of the young in the retail industry, and the beginning of the Space Age, with all the forward thinking that it brought with it, designers wanted to experiment heavily, not only with the new textiles that were flooding the market, like polyester, dacron, orlon, lurex, and spandex, but with new ideas about shape and proportion.

    Designers like Pierre Cardin were unbuttoning the buttoned down looks of the fifties, and creating new ways for men to see, and express themselves. Jump suits, tunics, leggings, and frankly retro looks, all mixed together in the pot.  The field was open to wander in, and many cultures and times were given a chance to breathe and speak their sartorial voice.
    Herewith a selection of some of the looks that gained a following during that time. Sure, most of this faded out soon after it faded in; but the damage to the seemingly unassailable bastion of the men's suit had been done.  After this point, challenges would come again and again, and as we are seeing now, the doors are off the hinges as the changes in our culture move us further away from the staid formality of the suit, and its need in the business community fades away.
Wildly printed Nehru suit by Blades
An experiment in pattern and texture in polyester knit
Maxicoat that recalls the greatcoats of the early 1800s
A reference to the 18th century
A strong infusion of color, and a further breakdown of the suit into a more casual mode.
Pulling damasks and brocades into the process, the results are far more luxe than before.
And well, because its just Soooooo 60s.

For myself, I would love to bid the suit in its traditional iteration a hearty bon voyage.

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