I must first not fail to mention that I always liked Joseph Abboud. Not his work, but the person. Anytime I saw an interview with him, I, for some reason, felt calm. I have no idea why, but his aura is classy and I envy him. That being said, I was never a big fan of his clothes. Not that he would EVER care what I think, but still.
Italians are the worst at being organized and punctual, but when it comes to pretty much everything else, especially things concerning good taste, they are #1 and everyone else wants to copy. It is no secret that Milan is the capital of Fashion, but Naples is the capital of Style. I never, ever cared about Fashion. Style is character and it is everlasting. Everlasting, that is, if you got it naturally.
There has been a HUGE interest in Men’s Clothing as of late, especially in America, where it has been lacking and most needed. With blogging and easy air travel, resources are readily available to put together any look you want. But here’s the problem … The “look” is just that : a look. AND it is PUT TOGETHER. THAT’S the problem.
The new interest in Men’s Clothing takes a very calculated and formulaic approach to copying (yes, copying, let’s call it what it is) not only Italian, and more specifically Neapolitan, clothing, but ALSO the gestures and WAY of being and acting. But all these people are doing is playing dress-up. Now, dumb girls may be fooled by the guy’s new “look”, but to the discerning eyes and other senses, a fake can be sniffed out easily, if not sensed from a mile away. If I put on golf clothes and tried to act like Tiger Woods, I may fool most people who don’t know or play golf. But the true golf artists would see right through me.
The current obsession with Neapolitan clothing is dangerous because like ALL things people do, especially in America, it is for the wrong reason. It is over-done, then years later, hated and made fun of and even makes people feel embarrassed that they were involved. I got an idea: Try to actually APPRECIATE something first before you jump into something as a way of “growing up”and trying to shed your past of supposed shame. Just be yourself.
The Neapolitan shoulder of a suit jacket is soft, natural, and has little to no padding. Now, just like the good elements in green tea or the “bad” gluten, the specified feature is EXTRACTED and focused on relentlessly in America.
Joseph Abboud took over Men’s Wearhouse. He will surely add to the company in a positive way. To be fair, so would a turtle. The suits were of bad quality and actually more expensive than you think, so Mr. Abboud will probably look like Jesus Christ to them. But what bothers me is that in the promo video announcing Mr. Abboud’s takeover, they zoom in and basically lie about his “signature soft shoulder”. THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Watch the video and at 9 seconds, those MAGIC words are stated like they were part of a Declaration. THEN, look at the the photo I provided with Mr. Abboud and his work, proudly displaying box-y shoulders.
Is this the end of the world? No. BUT These little things are everywhere. And they add up. All it takes to sell someone on ANYthing is say the magic words. I remember in college, one girl was anxiously waiting to point out her favorite part of what was then Biggie’s new song “Hypnotize”. She could not wait to tell us her “favorite part”. When Biggie said “DKNY”, she smiled and was relieved, as if she just orgasmed. All he had to do was SAY the words “DKNY” and the imagery of whatever it may have meant in her troubled world was enough to make her feel wonderful. I wish I were that simple. My life would be easier.
Photo courtesy of George Bennett Studio via mwi.org (1973)