How to Join
the Fashion Spot / Front Row / Designers and Collections
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Rules Links Mobile How to Join
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
22-05-2008
  1
barcode
 
Spike413's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York
Gender: homme
Posts: 14,389
Sizing Up the Cut of a Man - Tom vs Thom NY Times Article
from nytimes.com

Quote:
Sizing Up the Cut of a Man

By Guy Trebay
Published: May 22, 2008




EVEN if you spend a lot of time around fashion and the endearing nut jobs who create it, this question comes up every so often: Who is that person?

By that person, one is referring to an imaginary consumer, a man who designers have decided should wear skintight flood pants and a Pee-wee Herman jacket barely grazing his behind.

Who exactly is the boy/man fashion is crazy about lately, the guy wearing tennis shorts or onesies or the sort of jacket an Etonian whom I know claims was called a bum-freezer when he was at school?
Who, in other words, is the Thom Browne man?


Solve Sundsbo
TOM FORD A designer can forget that
people want something they can wear

For the benefit of those who have just awakened from a lengthy disco nap, Thom Browne is a onetime actor, a former design director for Club Monaco and an award-winning designer who — distressed by the disheveled mess that was men’s wear in the aftermath of business casual — took a pronounced taste for a geek version of the 1960s “Mad Men” style, and also a pair of scissors, to the traditional suit.

Having decided that the American male uniform of jeans and a T-shirt had lapsed into a form of dreary establishment dressing, Mr. Browne set about reviving the suit, a costume that once defined the establishment.
Slashing away with abandon, he arrived at a silhouette that was lean and shrunken, with trousers lopped off well north of the ankle, jacket skirts like peplums and sleeves snug enough to cut off the flow of blood.


Marcelo Krasilcic
THOM BROWNE “An idea that is confident always looks masculine.”

In Thom Browne’s universe, trousers and suit coats and lapels and ties, and even tie clips, are skinny. In Thom Browne’s world, one can actually wear a tie clip without appearing to idolize Don Knotts. Thom Browne thinks that tie clips are cool, and so apparently did the jury of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which two years ago named him men’s wear designer of the year.

It is not just the council folks who signed on to the Thom Browne cult, however. He tends to inspire excitement among department store buyers and editors, particularly Anna Wintour, who is credited with having brokered a job for Mr. Browne at Brooks Brothers when the venerable clothier went looking for someone to infuse its dowdy image with verve.

“What Thom Browne has done is make our eye adjust to a shorter, smaller silhouette,” said Tommy Fazio, the men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman, where members of the Thom Browne sect go for their seasonal hit, at least those unafraid to pay $4,000 for a suit. “Other designers followed,” Mr. Fazio said, an observation correct as far as it goes. (Viktor & Rolf; Christopher Bailey; Ennio Capasa at Costume National; and Miuccia Prada leap to mind as designers who have showed kiddie-size men’s clothes for years.)

It is certainly true that many American designers fell under the influence of Mr. Browne and his singular ideas about masculine presentation. Or most of them did, anyway. The signal exception is another talented Tom named Ford.

If Thom Browne has come to represent sartorial arrested development, the proponent of a kind of masculinity that suggests one is never sexier than when being carded, Tom Ford is a throwback to a different manliness. In one of those funny confluences that retailers like Bergdorf Goodman are seemingly built to showcase, the two designers and their variant ideas of how men should dress now find themselves cheek by jowl.

There, on the second and third floors of the Bergdorf men’s branch on Fifth Avenue, stand racks of Mr. Browne’s suits, all chalk stripes, peg legs and taut armholes. And there, as of May 29, in an adjacent second-floor boutique, is a new Tom Ford department, infused with the designer’s trademark form of wood-paneled testosterone swank.

One could think of the pairing as a stare-down between Tom and Thom, or an attempt to capture in clothes the essence of American manhood. Or just think of it as an accident of real estate. In any case, the pairing offers a chance to see how masculinity looks from the very different vantage points of two of the more talented designers at work.

Mr. Browne, the man Brooks Brothers hired to develop a “style for a new generation,” offers clothes that look a lot like those worn by my father four decades ago, when men aimed to look 50 at 20, rather than 20 going on 15. Mr. Ford, who in his Gucci heyday got more mileage out of crotch-hugging trousers and male décolletage than anyone since Tom Jones, offers his Anglicized gloss on Hollywood style.

Unlike more workaday designers, both men seem to start from the hoary but still sound premise, so beloved of the folks in theory-land, that masculinity is a pose, a form of drag. That their clothes in some ways reflect an adolescent’s idea of what it means to look grown up also makes sense. It is probably no accident that as technology makes age seem more mutable, people have happily lapsed into a kind of prolonged adolescence. Biologists terms this Peter Pan state neoteny. Fashion calls it the new look for fall. And why not? With scientists conspiring to make it seem as if growing up and old is anything but inevitable, it makes sense that designers would take up the challenge to cloak our cultural fantasies in new ways.

Once upon a time, people were encouraged to dress in a manner that was age-appropriate. That notion now seems incredibly quaint. How can you dress appropriately for your age when it’s difficult to recall what it is anymore? And why confine your wardrobe to one stage of manhood when it’s equally cool and plausible to dress as though Cary Grant was your grandpa or Pee-wee Herman your dad?

“I’m taking a more youthful kind of sensibility and stretching it to a not-so-youthful sensibility,” Mr. Browne said the other day. “I wanted to take the traditional suit and give it to men in a new way, so that they weren’t wearing their father’ suits, and hopefully making that cool for them.”

For his part, Mr. Ford, whose ready-made suits start at $2,900, said in an interview last week at his Madison Avenue flagship that a person “can push to create newness and move a boundary and yet end up forgetting that people want something to wear.”

Back in the ’80s, when the undervalued genius Paul Reubens began mining cultural anxiety about manhood, he played it mostly for laughs. But there was undoubtedly something prophetic about the adenoidal boy/man Pee-wee Herman as he giggled his way toward a future in which generational distinctions grow fuzzy and we find ourselves parading giddily toward the playhouse dressed up as our child selves in bow ties and knee socks, or else as our fathers doing impersonations of themselves.
“I don’t get hung up by the idea of masculinity,” Mr. Browne said. “An idea that is confident always looks masculine.”

To be masculine, according to Mr. Ford’s design vision, is to fuse the debonair cut of a Savile Row suit with the swagger of a star from 1970s pornography. “I’m gay, I’m masculine and I’m not at all ashamed or embarrassed at this point to say I feel confident in traditional masculine clothes,” he said. By the time a man has reached his 40s, as Mr. Ford and Mr. Browne both have, it is probably useful to accept that one is less close to the playhouse than to the grave. “You grow up,” Mr. Ford said. Or else you do not.


Eric Johnson for The New York Times
TODAY’S MEN The Tom Ford man, left, is an Anglicized gloss on Hollywood style, while Thom Browne’s designs evoke the hipness of eternal adolescence.

__________________
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford

  Reply With Quote
 
22-05-2008
  2
arndom
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Gender: homme
Posts: 2,580
Many thanks for the article. NYT can't get enough with shorter pants I guess:-) Maybe it's the effect of the global warming in fashion? :-O :-P

Btw, could anybody make it clear, what is the length of TB trousers on sale in the shops, that short as in the pictures, or normal?

  Reply With Quote
23-05-2008
  3
chaos reigns
 
ultramarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Costa Rica
Gender: homme
Posts: 6,491
Kinda off topc ...

arent those pants called high-waters?

And thanks for the article!

__________________
Have you rated this thread yet?
  Reply With Quote
24-05-2008
  4
Stitch:the Hand
 
Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Among the trees
Gender: homme
Posts: 12,914
ah....it is a breath of fresh air to hear thom say something like that about how he defines masculinity. tom ford,not so much. seems a bit too narrow-minded because not all men look like 1970's porn models nor do all gay men aspire to look like that either. at least not this one.

  Reply With Quote
25-05-2008
  5
backstage pass
 
happyguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London
Gender: homme
Posts: 983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
ah....it is a breath of fresh air to hear thom say something like that about how he defines masculinity. tom ford,not so much. seems a bit too narrow-minded because not all men look like 1970's porn models nor do all gay men aspire to look like that either. at least not this one.
ha ha...i wouldn't mind giving it a go. actually...i'd love to give both designer suits a go.

  Reply With Quote
25-05-2008
  6
flaunt the imperfection
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: downtown...
Gender: femme
Posts: 50,744
Quote:
Originally Posted by nqth View Post
Many thanks for the article. NYT can't get enough with shorter pants I guess:-) Maybe it's the effect of the global warming in fashion? :-O :-P

Btw, could anybody make it clear, what is the length of TB trousers on sale in the shops, that short as in the pictures, or normal?
etro will be able to confirm this i am sure...
but i recall seeing the pants unfinished at Barney's...
in other words....you hem them to the length that suits you....

for the record...
i don't care for either of these visions of masculinity....
...



...

__________________
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
ChristianDior



  Reply With Quote
25-05-2008
  7
front row
 
Casius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: CA
Gender: homme
Posts: 434
Yep, they are unhemmed, just waiting for the customer to do what they wish.

I much prefer the TB look to Ford's. Ford's suits just come off as too gaudy for me while TB's are generally more playful.
(I think the s/s suit jacket is quite ingenious)

__________________
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
  Reply With Quote
25-05-2008
  8
Meg
inspired contemplation
 
Meg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London by way of North America
Gender: femme
Posts: 17,064
well the best masculinity look is one that is personal to the guy wearing it, that it reflects him. And I agree with Browne in a sense that when a guy is confident in what he's wearing, he's himself and that's masculine or attractive. Anyway, I would personally love if my boyfriend wore Thom Browne but am not sure it's 100% his look. Again, so much of it is with the styling. If you stripped away the scotch and the 70's glasses and maybe changed out the tie, you could create a different look with Ford's suit juas if you changed the hair and the jacket with Browne's.....


Last edited by Meg; 25-05-2008 at 11:12 PM.
  Reply With Quote
26-05-2008
  9
barcode
 
Spike413's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York
Gender: homme
Posts: 14,389
^ I agree with you Meg. I think once you strip away the styling and whatever image you associate with the designer you're left with beautiful clothing.

Just as with womenswear, it's all about attitude.

I think it's interesting that two such different and distinct designers can have something in common. They both target men, not boys. Even though Thom Browne's designs have that Holden Cauffield rebeliousness, I can't really see his look on young and trendy boys. Tom Ford's desire to cater to grown men is more obvious, but I love that they both represent an ideal that men over the age of 25 can actually aspire to.

__________________
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford

  Reply With Quote
26-05-2008
  10
arndom
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Gender: homme
Posts: 2,580
Thanks for the information. Do they also offer "if you want to wear it normally, wear one size bigger"?

In a way, if we strip all the styling details, the particular "vision" of masculinity will lost its focus. I don't know if one buys TF just because the clothes are well made, pehaprs the "70s gay porn glam" is the reason :-D

In the article GT wrote as if the establishment in USA all started wearing jeans and tshirt, and here came the superhero-tailor TB who made the suits come back, lol.

BTW I like the TB suit on him and on normal ppl I saw in the mags. But the proportion looks ridiculous in his show:-) (talking about styling). I think it really works only when you do made to measure suit.


Last edited by nqth; 26-05-2008 at 05:15 AM.
  Reply With Quote
26-05-2008
  11
fashion icon
 
Mutterlein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Gender: femme
Posts: 3,383
I'll see someone in proper TB dress every now and then (particularly in Williamsburg or on Italians) and not once did it ever look silly. The guys I saw didn't wear their trousers as cropped as Thom does but they certainly were short.

I don't see Ford representing the future of menswear and in fact he's rather banal. On the flip side, the whole slew of american menswear designers that are emerging (adam kimmel, micahel bastian, tim hamilton, patrick ervell, loden dager, band of outsiders, robert geller, etc) are in my opinion coming on the strength and presence Thom Browne commands. The attention the international community is giving NY menswear right now has a lot to do with Browne's peculiar and bold look.
It's got a lot of energy even if some of you don't care for it.

  Reply With Quote
27-05-2008
  12
backstage pass
 
birdofparadise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Gender: homme
Posts: 845
It's really odd how Browne seems to be revered as a punk-rebel of sorts when I think what puts him and Ford neck in neck is that he is his own inspiration, in a sense. No one looks better in those proportions than he does, just go to Pastis any bright and sunny morning to see what I mean. He found a look that best worked for him and got enough 'ooh-do-me-one' requests to realize there was indeed a customer looking for the requisite 'something different'. I hesitate to hang the entire revival of interest in American menswear on his proportions simply because I think the work coming from the new crop is more American in its cuts and proportions and less concerned with successfully hackneyed expressions of Americana (which I still think Browne brilliantly played with in a time when our political manifestation has seemingly been born out of manipulating a cement solid glossary of what is and isn't American). I also agree: hallelujah! clothes for grown men! who work(out?). a lot, probably.

__________________
"Menswear is so limited so I'm free with my ideas. Otherwise I'd die of boredom."--Miuccia Prada
  Reply With Quote
28-05-2008
  13
backstage pass
 
Fuuma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Gender: homme
Posts: 563
To be fair TB is also about the styling; I can wear a size 0 comfortably and, while it is on the short size, it's not a waist lenght jacket either like some of the ones Dior, Taralis or Lad Musician put out. The pants are also, as someone else mentionned, unhemmed when you purchase them.

__________________
« Impossible rentrer ce soir stop Mensonge suit »
  Reply With Quote
11-12-2010
  14
backstage pass
 
markese91's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New York, NY
Gender: homme
Posts: 959
I just wanted to revive this thread.

I have this article that I'm writing and when I pitched it I really didn't think about this angle but now that I've read this article I have... does anyone find it peculiar that Thom Browne and Tom Ford stepped into womenswear in the same season? Maybe I'm looking too much into things but I find it a little... coincidental.

__________________
Mikelle Street
Male Icon: Tony Ward Edit: Yuri Pleskun RW: Nicholas Ripoll | Female Icon: Naomi Campbell Model: Karlie Kloss
  Reply With Quote
13-12-2010
  15
V.I.P.
 
BerlinRocks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MilkyWay-Pluto-Earth
Gender: homme
Posts: 11,021
yes thank you for reviving this thread ...
especially, since my heart belongs to both of them.
i love tom ford 1970 (see what scott describes) idea of a man - but everytime i enter the shop i either love the architecture & display, access., coats, or perfumes - but never felt in love with a complete suit.
but i do love too the tailoring and imagination of thom b. and Black Feece is crazy.

i have though one point to make about the difference i see btw the two : thom b seems to target especially "community" of people. the shows just showcase this idea (all same type looking men - if u know what i mean).

Indeed, the cut of TB are pretty particular. I would never be able to fit those cuts, for instance - I would have to loose a loot of wiehgt.
And it's not that short as portrayed in the picture, but it's a bit shorter than usual. so you need to have beautiful socks.
it's a whole look. everytime i saw a man in TB. he was in complete TB.
but i'm sure you can break it. but TB is very GQ editors, while TF touches more people.

  Reply With Quote
Reply
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Tags
article, cut, man, ny, sizing, thom, times, tom
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"


 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:47 PM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. ©2014 All rights reserved.