Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.*
July 21, 2012 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Prada Menswear Fall/Winter 2012 — starring Neo-Victorian gentlemen Garrett Hedlund, Gary Oldman, Jamie Bell, and Willem Dafoe. Photographed by David Sims. (*quote by Coco Chanel.)
posted by cenoxo (73 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would be OK with more color and texture for men, and textured lapels can be really nice, but I worry that, maybe, we are playing into the hands of the Steampunks....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:29 AM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The second guy from the left looks like a goth bellhop.
posted by jonmc at 7:29 AM on July 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


The second guy from the left looks like a goth bellhop.

More upper-class steampunky to me.
posted by Fizz at 7:32 AM on July 21, 2012


More upper-class steampunky to me.

To be fair, no one is sporting gears, and there is not one personal dirigible-vest in sight.

I must say, I like the idea of smoking jackets coming back, although, for some of us, they never really left.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:39 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hm. Well, some of these look good; some of these look like gussied up pajamas.

My immediate reaction was: someone has noted and embraced the popularity of Downton Abbey. The selection and styling of the models reflect that, too.
posted by gilrain at 7:42 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be fair, no one is sporting gears, and there is not one personal dirigible-vest in sight.

Maybe I've just been watching too much Fullmetal Alchemist.
posted by Fizz at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Return to the waistcoat and frock coat, eh? I think not - that mess went out of style for a reason, mostly because of the introduction of central heating and because it was unpleasant and complicated to wear.

That said, I have one Prada suit in non-silly retro style, and it's one of my favorite things to wear.
posted by 1adam12 at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those high collars are brutally unflattering, except to Gary Oldman for some reason.
posted by eugenen at 7:47 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I see small glimpses of a modified nehru jacket and from someone who has spent time in India, that's something that has never gone out of style.
posted by Fizz at 7:49 AM on July 21, 2012


Those high collars are brutally unflattering, except to Gary Oldman for some reason.

That's because Gary Oldman was a vampire in the Victorian era and it preserved him at his personal moment of peak fashion. Willem Dafoe didn't become a Vampire until the 1920's, thus his vague look of discomfort and bloodlust.
posted by last night a dj saved my life at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2012 [19 favorites]


argh Willem Dafoe is a terrifying man why do I find him attractive
posted by Countess Elena at 7:56 AM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


This makes clear that I need much more Willem Dafoe in my life. Thank you.
posted by argonauta at 7:57 AM on July 21, 2012


Return to the waistcoat and frock coat, eh? I think not - that mess went out of style for a reason, mostly because of the introduction of central heating and because it was unpleasant and complicated to wear.

Hmm, save on heating costs?

Either way, as someone who loves fashion like this, I can say it's rather hard to pull off without looking like a costume. These outfits unfortunately look like costumes, but I'd love to see elements of them in more normal-looking clothes.
posted by melissam at 7:57 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again—The Archduke in Maverick is not a fashion plate.
posted by carsonb at 7:59 AM on July 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Downton Abbey is Edwardian, if anything, bleeding into the WWI/Interwar period. Not Victorian.

Lots of this DOES look Steampunk, and that's because it is pretty much steampunk - derisive comments about gears aside, there is an element of luxe-ness and beauty that is as much steampunk as anything else, along with men's clothes just having more interest and personality overall.

I just costumed a steampunk show this Spring, and it wasn't about putting a gear on it - quite the opposite. More a considered idea of modernizing Victorian shapes, personality, character, using natural or at least natural appearing fibers. It was a brain bender, but fun, and I'm better for it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:00 AM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Prada has developed a case of Edwardian Scissorhands.
posted by Flashman at 8:01 AM on July 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Those high collars are brutally unflattering, except to Gary Oldman for some reason.

Is it the facial hair? Having some beard to stretch down over the collar looks as though it somewhat counteracts the face-foreshortening effects of all that cloth swathing the neck. Which, if it's true, could help to explain the (otherwise completely puzzling, to me) Victorian love of long gnarly beards.
posted by Bardolph at 8:03 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It annoys me when fashion magazines and runways use actors, instead of models. Fashion has a v. spec set of skills and needs--there is some overlap, but not enough for clothes to look slightly awkward when actors instead of models are wearing them. I also prefer the mid 1960s, kitsch thing that Prada was doing last season, this kind of bores me.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:03 AM on July 21, 2012


I will work out every day for a month to be able to fit into those outfits.

I am not even kidding.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 AM on July 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


In the very early 1800's neckcloths for men were so high that the most extreme adherents to fashion couldn't turn their heads. It doesn't look all that great in the pictures and illustrations of the era, either.

But Gary Oldman can make anything look dreamy.
posted by winna at 8:21 AM on July 21, 2012


Also making Dafoe looks sinister isn't exactly difficult but damn that some sinister Dafoe.
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 AM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Steampunk has won. There are no more victories left to be had.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:28 AM on July 21, 2012


Prada's Fall Line for 2012: The Man in the High Castle Cosplay?
posted by wcfields at 8:29 AM on July 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah I'm not even thinking about practicality I just want to be doppled into whatever Alternate Universe Prussian Vampire future these clothes come from.
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 AM on July 21, 2012


Also I assume the ready to wear stuff will be more ...practical looking.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 AM on July 21, 2012


Billy Elliot looks older than he used to.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:08 AM on July 21, 2012


These are perfect for any empires (cough cough) that are looking to reenact the Boer War and the Charge of the Light Brigade. Excellent clothes to watch others die in.
posted by Fnarf at 9:09 AM on July 21, 2012


Defoe as not-so-subtle Nazi.

Defoe as a Bond villain who hangs out at a ski chalet wearing pajamas with a collar.
posted by kenko at 9:40 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


People fetish different periods of the past.. the middle ages (fantasy D&D, etc), the Ancient world.. but whenever people fetish the Victorian era, inevitably they take a lot of flack about colonialism and racism. The point being, it's perfectly OK to be a -phile of the past without associating the worst aspects.
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


although sometimes your retrofetish leads to badness.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on July 21, 2012


Defoe as not-so-subtle Nazi.

It looks more like an Edwardian driving coat like you might see Toad wearing in The Wind and the Willows.
posted by stbalbach at 9:48 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny, The Whelk, I thought you were going to link here.
posted by indubitable at 9:54 AM on July 21, 2012


I wish I was Willem Dafoe.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:34 AM on July 21, 2012


Dafoe and Oldman are pwning the boys.

The runway show that led up to this campaign for those who haven't seen and admired it already.
posted by immlass at 10:38 AM on July 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


oh yes please can men start dressing like this and stop with the calculatedly-mismatched thing? it's like they are actively trying to repel women that have any taste.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:00 AM on July 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this fashion collection is beautiful. Some days I even go so far as to wish that the world regularly dressed like this.

Willem Dafoe looks more terrifying than usual, but that could be just me. And I think in one of the photos the jacket makes him look like a Jedi knight.
posted by bookwibble at 11:05 AM on July 21, 2012


Totally dig it. It is interesting that in the runway show I thought the professional models' walks did not completely complement the clothes while the more powerful walks of the actors, in particular, Dafoe and Oldman served those clothes well. Yes, more layered, textured and colorful but masculine and even antique.
posted by jadepearl at 11:07 AM on July 21, 2012


immlass, thanks for linking to the runway show - I love at 8:35 when Gary Oldman pretty much sneers at the audience. evreyone after minute 7 is pretty great, really
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:16 AM on July 21, 2012


I will express this in decent terms instead of the drooling sounds I could be making when seeing those particular men in those particular clothes: they look very good. Very very good.

But now I've seen those photos, I cannot imagine that anyone else would look as good in those outfits. It's not fair to all other men really... I look forward to seeing examples disproving that, though! Oh yeah.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:24 AM on July 21, 2012


These clothes are designed by my brother-in-law. We were all nervous to meet him at the wedding in Rome, afraid that the guys would all be out-classed. He wore brown shoes with no socks, six inch hem on his navy blue pants and a Pee Wee Herman miniature blazer. He dressed my brother in an elegant tux but insisted that it be cut to an almost sprayed-on sizing, I hope my brother can keep that physique. His sister's gown was kind of deconstructed with frayed hems and seams, with lots of appliqued jewels. That's in the Prada gallery in Milan now.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:30 AM on July 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


Took me a while to notice the pattern on Dafoe's shirt in this one is tiny revolvers.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:35 AM on July 21, 2012


I like how with his shades on Dafoe is totally a Batman villain.
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 AM on July 21, 2012


It annoys me when fashion magazines and runways use actors, instead of models. Fashion has a v. spec set of skills and needs--there is some overlap, but not enough for clothes to look slightly awkward when actors instead of models are wearing them.

I think the opposite - I much prefer to see actors rather than models in magazine layouts. I think it's partly because they have a wider range of build and body shape than standard models, and I find the classic model beanpole build+pout look boring en masse.
posted by Azara at 11:52 AM on July 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


With Neo-Victorianism embracing the Edwardian era, consider also the Clothes on Film sartorial review of the wonderfully dark 1949 British comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets: Decadent Dennis Price:
This is a splendid film in its own right, shot in a sumptuous black and white. However, what interests us today is the extraordinary care taken in recreating Edwardian dress. As Mazzini slowly murders his way up the social ladder, his manner of dress, starting as a humble store clerk in a lounge coat, becomes increasingly extravagant and dandified, in keeping with the growing hubris of the character.

With that let us move onto to seeing pictures of how Dennis Price is dressed in the film. It will be patently obvious to all here that every single garment is a bespoke item. One look at the fit of the garments says all. Costume design, incidentally, is by Anthony Mendleson (The Blue Lamp, Bill Budd).

The range of different coats cut for Price are designed to showcase Edwardian dress recreated with remarkable historical accuracy and recreates beautifully the spirit of the age as describe by Byrde. Unlike with modern period films, I can detect almost no obvious violations of Edwardian dress codes – with one exception, when Mazzini wears a frock coat with silk faced lapels to the funeral of one his victims. For funerals, frock coats should be self faced. But that is the only transgression, and a subtle one at that.
Experienced actors are perhaps better than models in that they must breathe life into their screen personas. Wear the right clothes then, and the parts can play themselves.
posted by cenoxo at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2012


I kind of like the cummerbund-y shirt thing that's going on in some of these, especially in the upper right of this set. It's loose-to-baggy but without sacrificing the visual outline. A more open collar and less stern cuffs would be nice. I couldn't pull the look off at all myself, but the idea of something looser overall which remains trim and looks well-suited even if you aren't skinny is nice, 'cause I sure can't work the everything-tight look.

On the other hand, maybe that's why sportcoats were invented.
posted by postcommunism at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2012


Oldman and Dafoe walking the runway show just made me swoon. Damn. This is wonderful.
posted by so much modern time at 11:54 AM on July 21, 2012


I'm curious as to how much name brand actors cost to use as models as opposed to top-end models... Did the actors take this gig because they liked the clothes (which is fully reasonable) or because of a fat paycheck (also understandable).

(note: I'd model these clothes at a very very good price - just let me keep the clothes).
posted by el io at 1:15 PM on July 21, 2012


So, has steampunk jumped the shark?
posted by theora55 at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


So.... how long until the fall/winter collections is actually in stores?
posted by -harlequin- at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2012


YES WHERE DO WE SEND THE MONEY.

(knows that couture isn't made in his size, is just very enthusiastic)
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next year I would like to see them use Toms Hardy and Hiddleston, although the former might be difficult to dress right if he's still all hulked up. Tiddles was made for this kind of thing, though.
posted by elizardbits at 2:20 PM on July 21, 2012


Do you WANT to kill everyone on tumblr? Heart attacks, heart attacks everywhere.
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on July 21, 2012


It will be great when the affordable matter printers show up ala Diamond Age and we can just download the blueprints for these and have 'em pop out of a cabinet. The thing about Victorian fashion is that it was restricted to the absolute upper crust, and of course that sort of thing is still possible if you are able to spend that kind of money (and if you're eccentric enough). But if clothes ever become truly fungible, if style and material cease to have any effect on price, and we can all have anything we want to wear made on a whim to our personal dimensions... well. That will be a lot of fun.
posted by Scientist at 2:21 PM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Prada is basically fascism made flesh. Or cloth, I suppose. If ever I am in the position to have evil minions, Prada will design their uniforms.
posted by elizardbits at 2:21 PM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


well Hugo Boss is literally historical fascism fashion design but Prada is the modern expression. Without the guns.
posted by The Whelk at 2:28 PM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


the guns are there, merely hidden :)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:57 PM on July 21, 2012


The problem is that the actors are foregrounded, so we don't look at the clothes, we look at how swoony oldman or defoe is...it's the problem with moss these days, actually. (who combined a kind of blankness and a kind of swagger that was impossible and gorgeous for a few years in the mid 90s)
posted by PinkMoose at 3:08 PM on July 21, 2012


...has steampunk jumped the shark?

Perhaps, but in a classically fashionable manner.
posted by cenoxo at 5:36 PM on July 21, 2012


Yes, he looks great in those clothes, but no camera can capture the angular beauty of Willem Dafoe in IRL 3D. I saw him in person at a movie premiere some years ago while I was in the queue, looking around at the shenanigans. When I caught sight of him, I honestly nearly did swoon. Mein Gott! That face. It was breathtakingly gorgeous. At first I couldn't believe it was him, but those cheekbones were unmistakably his.

He was with his son, who was merely almost as handsome. The woman that the elder Dafoe was with had a Jennifer Westfeldt-ian look of "Hell, yeah, he's with me, bitches!" on her face. and I daresay had he been my date, I'd've given the women staring around me the same smug look.

Even the actors that Hollywood tries to pass off as homely are usually much better-looking in person than you'd suspect, but he was just... wow.

Prada picked the right guy for this campaign, yes, indeedy!
posted by droplet at 7:41 PM on July 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


immlass: "Dafoe and Oldman are pwning the boys.

The runway show that led up to this campaign for those who haven't seen and admired it already.
"


Someone forgot to tell the actors that they're not supposed to smile.
posted by deborah at 9:38 PM on July 21, 2012


I don't care about fashion, but I will pay to see this movie.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:16 AM on July 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


well Hugo Boss is literally historical fascism fashion design but Prada is the modern expression. Without the guns.

There's a brand new dance
But I don't know it's name
That people from bad homes
Do again and again
It's big and it's grand
Full of tension and fear
They don't do it there but you better do it here
Fascion! Turn to the right!
Fascion! I SAID TURN TO THE RIGHT
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:27 AM on July 22, 2012


There's this quote from immlass' link to the runway show above: “The theme was 'power,' specifically, as Miuccia herself put it, the collection is 'a parody of male power.'”

Does anybody have any insights into what makes this collection parody rather than homage? I'd like to know: how is this concept borne out in the composition of the clothes? Or perhaps it's half and half parody and homage?

The casting of actors is apt on a couple of levels. Their fame and cache reinforces the impression that these clothes are the uniform of Great Men of history. On the other hand, this impression is sort of undermined when we realise that, as actors, their function is performance and make believe.

Now that I've read the quote, I suppose I can see how the colours and patterns are just that little bit too flamboyant, the tailoring just a little too rigid to be considered traditionally proper. Somebody else mentioned that some of these clothes look like pajamas, despite the absurd formality of the collection overall.
posted by quosimosaur at 6:09 AM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fascion! Turn to the right!

Read this to my husband, who immediately wanted to write Dedicated Follower of Follower of Fascism.
posted by immlass at 7:06 AM on July 22, 2012


ugh. linking fail. editing window please.
posted by immlass at 7:07 AM on July 22, 2012


Compare the authoritarian look of all four actors together to the concepts expressed in the PoliceOne.Com article, The psychological influence of the police uniform:
The uniform worn by a police officer also elicits stereotypes about that human being''s status, authority, attitudes, and motivations, The police uniform serves to identify a person as one vested with the powers of the state to arrest and use force. The uniform also serves to establish order and conformity within the ranks of those who wear it by suppressing individuality. The psychological and physical impact of the police uniform should not be underestimated. Depending on the background of the citizen, the police uniform can elicit emotions ranging from pride and respect, to fear and anger.
...
One interesting experiment to test the power of the police uniform was conducted by psychologist Dr. Leonard Bickman. Pedestrians on a city street were approached at random and ordered by a research assistant to either pick tip a paper bag, give a dime to another person, or step back from a bus stop. The research assistant was alternately dressed in casual street clothes, a milkman uniform, or a grey, police-style uniform bearing a badge but lacking weapons. Only the police-style uniform resulted in a high rate of cooperation from citizens. Obedience to the police-style uniform usually continued even after the research assistant quickly walked away and did not watch to ensure compliance.
The overall lack of color also has an impact. Although Oldman's blood red jacket — an echo of his armor in Dracula (1992) — is the obvious exception, the other three black-and-whites look sternly official with medal-like pens on their chests and a superior gaze (thanks to the low camera angle):
In one experiment students viewed black and white drawings of three styles of police uniforms. Two of the uniforms were of a traditional paramilitary-style, but were lacking a duly belt or weapons. The third, nontraditional uniform involved a sport coat blazer over slacks, and a shirt with a tie. Although all three uniforms were rated similarly for objectivity and trustworthiness, the blazer style uniform rated slightly higher for professionalism, However a similar experiment using color photos found the traditional, paramilitary style uniforms rated as more honest, good, helpful, and competent than the blazer uniform.
...
Just as with the style of the police uniform, the color of the police uniform has meaning. Psychological tests have found that people associate colors with specific moods. For example, red is generally associated with excitement and stimulation, thus explaining why it is often a color in flashing emergency vehicle lights. These tests have also found that the color blue is associated with feelings of security and comfort, and black is most often associated with power and strength. Studies of both high school and college students in the United States have found that students perceived light colors such as white and yellow as weak, but also good and active, The same students perceived dark colors such as black and brown as strong and passive, but also as bad. These results were not based on cultural influences because they did not vary with the race of the students.
...
Even people in Europe, Western Asia, Central Africa, and the Middle East had similar perceptions of colors. Across all cultures that have been studied, light colors are consistently associated with goodness and weakness, while dark colors are consistently perceived as strong but evil. On psychological inventories, test subjects rate lighter colors as more pleasant and less dominant. Dark colors on the other hand elicit emotions of anger, hostility, dominance, and aggression.
Clothes make The Man, indeed.
posted by cenoxo at 8:16 AM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


... immediately wanted to write Dedicated Follower of Follower of Fascism.

Actually, I don't need to. There are plenty of versions out there, skewering the royal family or the BNP, but venturing afield from those targets as well.

It also makes an strong subheading for a news story or blog entry if, for instance, some prince gets photographed in a Nazi uniform, Oswald Mosley's widow needs an obituary, or the PM of Italy appoints a member of the MSI as his foreign minister or somesuch.

My favorite musical reference to that particular Kink's song is in Billy Bragg's 1991 song Accident Waiting to Happen where one of the verses ends with "You're a dedicated swallower of fascism." I don't think he intended the subtext to be there, but there it is.

Given that about a decade earlier, Ray Davies was presenting his views on Thatcherism in Young Conservatives, I kinda think he'd like Bragg's reference.
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:30 AM on July 22, 2012


The photos are neat and well-styled, but wearing this stuff in real life would make it seem like you double-parked your Zeppelin and had to get back to it as soon as possible—just as soon as you dispatch robots to smite your enemies using coordinates from your steam calculator.
posted by littlerobothead at 9:34 AM on July 22, 2012


...and your point is?
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on July 22, 2012


The Whelk: YES WHERE DO WE SEND THE MONEY.

(knows that couture isn't made in his size, is just very enthusiastic)


On the contrary, couture is made to exactly your size. You really don't think that the ladies who patronize the salons are size two and eighty-six pounds, do you? Neither are the gentlemen all Olympic gymnasts.

Coco Chanel was quoted as saying something to the effect that she would clothe "ostriches, hippopotami or giraffe" if need be, but I'll be damned if I can find the quote. Anyway, cut out pictures you like and save them for the day you can go and have them made.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 11:15 AM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well yeah, anything worth it would be made for you, there's a reason why I send my tailor Christmas cards. But walk into say the McQueen boutique and there's nothing over a certain size, which is fine, paying retail for off the rack stuff is a suckers bet anyway.
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coco Chanel was quoted as saying something to the effect that she would clothe "ostriches, hippopotami or giraffe" if need be, but I'll be damned if I can find the quote.

Until then, substitute Edith Head doppelgänger Edna Mode (SLYT @ 0:58):
"Supermodels. Heh! Nothing super about them... spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves. Feh! I used to design for GODS!"
When Prada Men F/W 12 finally descends to the street, you too can be as they.
posted by cenoxo at 2:23 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The expression Dafoe is wearing in the shot with the shades. Somebody else pretty much pwns it.
posted by jfuller at 11:54 AM on July 24, 2012


« Older Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow...  |  Woody Allen's 2011 movie Midni... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments