Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apparel Arts-The Coronation Number Advance Spring 1937

Apparel Arts-The Coronation Number Advance Spring 1937…or… “My goodness, what in the world shall I wear to my meeting with Hitler this afternoon.” Sorry—couldn’t resist throwing the brick at the beginning of this yarn versus Orange Croc-ing you at the end.

Early Spring 1937…The folks at A.A. were obviously guiding merchants towards capitalizing on the big event across the pond but more importantly perhaps, the sartorial gravitas of  Edward VIII. 
That’s about where his gravitas peaked and it’s probably a good thing that his younger brother throned Britannia through the War. Had this little fop remained on the throne, echoes of his grandmamma an ‘ems Battenberg Saxe-Coburg-Gotha brogue would have wafted through Buckhouse like the smells from a red hot Spam sputtering skillet. (Premature metaphor...it would be another six years or so before Spam would begin its twenty year reign as a British essential)
Oh my goodness young Duke. You have no idea what's ahead of you.
The Beau of the Twentieth Century...thank you--thank you Wallis, for putting something on this ole boy that Ajax wouldn't scrub off. Winston, find this boy something to do. Bahamas maybe?
But lets give the boy his due. He could without much thought, contrive game changing sartorial rigs. I'd pay money to know what kind of rigs Wallis contrived for the boy. I would NOT however, want to see pictures.
 Admit it, you'd wear this rig if you could get away with it. I've got similar on right now. Shut the ___ up.
Listen, if he did nothing else for the world, I give him high praise for bringing brown suede brogues out of the Country and in to Town. 
I suppose a Coronation issue would be incomplete without some obsequious nod to the subjects, still loosely and vaguely knitted together, 1937 style, forming the Fading Empire.
The Burdened White Man...we call him...Cletus.
Two obviously Walesian textures here...Fair Isle-ish vest and a glen-wales-Urquhartesque plaid. 
But then...almost as if A.A. knew that Eddie-Eight was gonna soon become the Travelling Windsor...The Worlds Travelling House guest, the Coronation issue turns decidedly horsey-country-leisurely.
Tatty patina. Newmarket style. You can't buy it...you've gotta wear the hell out of it to achieve the real deal. Butcept Polo, J.Crew, Rugby and others will "stone wash-vintage-ize, beat the shit out of, weather, hand craft" or whatever on your behalf, in an effort to get you to the patina on time. With an upcharge of course. "Tatty patina" ... sounds like a sun damaged nipple.
And we learned over here from our cousins...over there.
A quintessential classic. Brown and gray flannel. Shut up.
Visual queues in concert with colour and textural evidence of what a proposed contrivance might net out to be. And yes, over the years since 1937, a swatch or two, even a page or two, might be AWOL from an A.A. issue.
In a heartbeat. But you knew that already. With Crocs. Orange.
But then the Coronation issue makes an unscheduled stop...juxtaposing a gaggle of university men reading Esquire and talking about socks and stuff.
Picture a similar scenario today. Instead of killer swathings and shoddings, the fratty or eating club boys would be wearing ass-crack cargo baggies, backwards baseball caps and tweeting some nip-slip story from the previous evening's Red Bull-Adderal-Jagershots soirĂ©e. And no, I'm not cynical. I've already told you to shut up-twice. 
So there you have it. A glimpse of A.A. amidst the Edward VIII buzz. A short-lived, thankfully, whiff of milquetoastian whateverishness. But dressed better than anyone in history. 

Onward. With 20 Apparel Arts volumes from which to spin yarns and tell lies.

A.(Apparel) D.G. II


24 comments:

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Lovely, just beautiful. I shall ask Santa for a copy this Christmas.

Anonymous said...

The whole "Shut up." thing is getting tired.

ADG said...

FogeyLaguna...Better be good between now and then.

Anonymous re the "shut up" ... I think you meant to say that YOU are getting tired of the "shut up" phrase. Or that the "shut up" phrase has long since become hackneyed. Or maybe that the "shut up" phrase is tiresome or tiring...no? Ok, here's my promise to you...I won't use the "shut up" phrase again until November. How's that? But one last time till then....shut up.

NCJack said...

Isn't a "hackney" what the traitorous sh*t and his bimbo duchess used to ride around the grounds? You'll recall that Churchill defended him to the end, then during the war said of him vis-a-vis the then King "Oh, yes, 'that other one' wouldn't have done at all". In dishonor of him I will never wear a Windsor knot-si. Sorry to be so elliptical here, thought my real opinion might be a trifle harsh. Can you say "hanged at Traitor's Gate"? Sure ya can!

Anonymous said...

All yall kill me. I don't care for your high-tone 'tudes
(check out Nina Simone--My Baby Just Cares For Me-- lyrics)
Where do you come up with all this crap you spew?

Here is the real deal....."One has only to look around him to see evidence of the well-established contemporary acceptance of such fashions as brown buckskin shoes, plus fours, the wide-spread collar, the bowler hat, the snap brim felt hat, the fly-front peak lapel raglan sleeve checked coat..........."

This is what I'm talkin' bout. Marvelous!! What a great acquisition ADG. That *dear* (as in costly) set of books will keep you warm all through this winter and the next (with *stunning* curled-up-on-sofa company I am hoping) I am so envious about your AA collection that I could spit. The history is delicious butcept...... I like to see you making new sartorial blog history that is currently appealing......and then.....unpeeling.... very slowly......before a blazing fire and with a bottle of.........

ADG said...

Anonymous...."crap you spew" ... I'll agree that there's a ton of drivel over here but "crap?" ...kinda strong for a Monday morning. I gave the boy credit for his sartorial contributions. And thanks for the good cheer re the Apparel Arts acquisition...it's all stuff...and all I had to do is sell some other "stuff" to finance the deal. And finally, I don't drink enough anymore to create the environment in which to make sartorial blog history before a blazing fire. But is was a nice fantasy for a moment.

NCJack...yes, a hackney can be a buggy of sorts. I never wore a Windsor (even though his brother actually contrived the knot) before I learned of his impertinence.

Turling said...

"Shut up" rocks. I still chuckle everytime I read it. And, shut the ___ up, I almost spit coffee. And, yes, I'm wearing a similar rig now, as well. Minus the scarf, of course, which is much too over the top.

ADG said...

Turling....it's 10:08 EST. You have 30 minutes to get back home and truss-up that neck with a scarf. Now shut the ___ up and get with it. And be back at your desk/office/workstation/truck cab/roto-tiller controls/foxhole/toll booth/checkout register/Municipal-Federal Court Bench or Bar by 11:15 EST.

Patsy said...

I wonder if Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David would have had a blog?

Interesting sartorial tidbit from the English Monarchs website:

"The preparations for the investiture had been the cause of some friction within the family, although his mother, Queen Mary, thought David looked "charming in his purple and miniver cloak and gold circlet", the Prince himself refused to wear the "preposterous rig" and anticipated with dread what his friends at Dartmouth Naval College would make of it. He was eventually persuaded by his mother to reluctantly appear in the costume. "

OK - maybe semi-interesting.

Rittenhouse Custom said...

Ugggghhh!!! I am STILL so jealous of tha A.A. collection. I hope it gives you hours and hours of joy. Thank you for sharing it here.
I too am going to ask Santa for some, but I don't think that is going to happen. I have been a bad boy!

Nelle Somerville said...

I seriously live for the comment section on Maxminimus ADG. I'm skimming the posts now and go straight for the fun!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Thanks. Might be the closest I ever get to the bible of style.

"Informal Town Wear" ... makes me want to weep with joy.

Main Line Sportsman said...

That photo of Dukey in Beret,knickers, lurid socks and scarf...the guy really looks like a six dollar fruit-bat.
I love the final print...(Fellowes?)...wherein "spectator sport" oufit guy is sitting on the seat of his car...c'mon Sport...keep the shoes off the upholstery for Chrissake....

ADG said...

MainLinerSportingType..."six dollar fruit bat" ... brilliant. I'll be using that. Yes, the last picture is by your fellow Main Liner ... Fellows.

Elegantoaster...Don't weep. It ain't worth it and it don't do no good. Why? Because I've been crying convulsively for three weeks now and nothing, not a damn thing has changed. You oughta see my informal town wear that I'm sportin' today.

Nelle...that's bad. There ain't that much going on here in the comments. Is there?

Rittenhouse...ok, I'll sell you a couple of these.

Patsy...interesting? Yes. But would he have a blog? Nope. The Royals play games and engage in some level of Parlor Decalogue but I blog would be waaaay too heady for that boy.

James said...

I fear I can not go until November without a shut-up or two in your post. It is part of your persona. So Mr anony-mouse,shut the _ up. I thank you!

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG -goodness. That must have been a 1-2-3 martini post...

Richard M said...

The DOW wascertainly a dumb cluck-but damn, could that man dress!! The dress standards of the higher-ups were so magnificent then-both dress and casual wear.

ilovelimegreen said...

To Anonymous who finds "Shut up" tiresome, you seem to be taking the phrase a bit too seriously. ADG's "Shut up"s make me laugh and I as well cannot go until November without a "Shut up" from ADG.

(Third time trying to post this comment; ADG, don't tell ME to shut up!)

Gretchen said...

Okayyyy, then, folks. While I happen to crack up each time "shut up!" appears, I'm not taking a stand either way. I just wanna say, if I have to wait til Guy Fawkes day to see it again i'm gonna be a bit peeved. So all you toffee nosed twits should pull your shorts outta where they've twisted themselves and make MUCH better note, like Richard M did, how astonishingly that doofus dressed (and, btw, his skeeving gold-digger Baltimorean Beotch as well). Talk about your Dumb Arse Blonde knowing how to put it on. ADG, why not cut and paste some of your shots into one of these AA spreads for kicks? That would be a hoot, and erm, you dress far better than some of these sketches do, I'd say...

Richard M said...

Gretchen: LOVED "Baltimore Beotch!!!!

Young Fogey said...

Contemporary accounts hold that while the DoW was the best-pressed hanky in the drawer, all he had under his hat was hair.

E&EL said:

""Informal Town Wear" ... makes me want to weep with joy."

I had a similar, yet entirely different, reaction to that.

Incidentally, the Dow neither invented nor wore the Windsor knot. He used a four-in-hand, and had his neckties custom-made to produce a big knot, as does his grand-nephew (or sumpin') Prince Michael of Kent.

Anonymous said...

The Apparel Arts have swatches? You have 20 of them? I think this is the best thing that a man in your position could have ever acquired. Swatches. I am just quivering with envy.

SFBayArea

Flo said...

"Crying convulsively for three weeks" sounds to me like there's a sequel to that masterpiece you wrote on your Dad kicking around in that fertile noggin of yours.

ADG said...

Flo...my mind is beyond active and I've scores of tales yet to tell butcept there's a problem. I have to work. Stay tuned though, please.

AnonSFBay...yes, many of the issues, not all of them, have swatches.

YoungFogey...yep, the Royals have never been accused of being intellectuals. And how on earth did you learn such foppish sartorial history tidbits?

Richard M. ... Don't encourage Gretchen or I'll have to just relent and let her do a guest post.

Gretchen...YES! That's a brilliant idea. An ADG issue of Apparel Arts. Damn. Shut up.

LimeGreenGal...shut up.

Richard M. .... methinks the key to DOW and Astaire and Cary Grant is that they didn't care THAT much about clothes. Just enough.

AnonEng...never more than 2 martinis.

James...I knew you'd have my back on this shut up thing.

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