Saturday, February 7, 2009

And then there were none

An old suit, a battered hat, a perfect tie, and a good collar, that's what makes a well dressed man.
Baron de Meyer - early 20th century arbiter of men's style

Ben Silver, Charleston, South Carolina

The New York Times reported it as part of a larger commentary on the way things change. For the most part though, it was quiet thing. I guess a lot of happenings that change the face of things we know are just that, quiet little mice that roar of mighty cultural changes if only you listen carefully enough to hear. Then again, maybe if you go to "21" in New York, you won't sense the change. Maybe it only matters to me and some old guys in suits.

Brooks Brothers.

Ben Silver, Regimental Tie Collection

But before this bastion of traditionalism falls, I will tell you what they called them in men's fashion houses: Dress furnishings. In our blog universe, this term could be confused with formalizing a parlor. In fact, this has nothing to do with interiors or homes even.

Ferragamo, Lion

Dress furnishings and the designers and buyers that handle these precious, delicate items (hold on while I reminisce here... There is no fabric on earth more exciting for me than real tie silks.) are said to be " dress furnishings." Did you think they did the suit, coat, tie designing-thing in the same design area? Not at all. Shirts and ties and their combinations are works of art onto themselves and until late have been respected as such.

True talent in creating dress furnishings creates high art. Not just clothes. Not just stupid old clothes. No. This was a temple in which many created and worshipped, a way of life, a last form of expression among millions of black, navy, and grey suits. They jazzed up tweeds and made pinstripes race. And you know what else? They mattered.

Ferragamo, Jungle Animal

Ben Silver, The Bow Tie Collection

High art, or any art in the same classification, will no longer be required at "21." I cannot help but wonder how long until I am writing posts about dress furnishings and how to wear them as I have recently been white tie.

So long, neckties at dinner, I will catch you in my etiquette pages as I come face to face with a generation which barely knows you. You will be sorely missed.

Brooks Brothers.


~Tessa~Scoffs said...

Indeed. Men's ties have now gone the way of ladies' hats and gloves. No longer required.

dasz said...

Gone! Replaced by the shirt tails hanging out (even on the new mini-men, male toddlers).