Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rebel Style by G. Bruce Boyer

So I just got my copy of Rebel Style by The Sartorialist contributor G. Bruce Boyer.

I’m a more image-driven person so these little books are just perfect for me-just enough text to inform me without putting me to sleep. I think Bruce does a great job setting the social context for the emergence of Rebel Style in the fifties.

I’m not sure it will stick but I think I learned something today.


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  1. The Silver Surfer

    May 11, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    Along with Brando on the “reels” as rebels during the 50′s were Sal Mineo, Lee Marvin, and of course James Dean.

    In “real” life parents complained about juvenile delinquency as guys would hang out at the corner malt shop wearing jeans and always having a pack of cigarettes rolled up inside of their white t-shirt sleeve. Everyone carried a comb so they could comb back their hair in a “dove tail” just as “Kookie” did on 77 Sunset Strip.

    Stealing hubcaps and selling them paid for the smokes and on Friday and Saturday nights you would watch submarine races down by the river with your girl and seeing just how far she would go.

    If the coppers came around you would act cool and snear unless you know they were looking for you.

    Drag racing your souped up Ford or Chevy was another pass time as you listened to rock n roll songs such as Little Darlin’, Alley Oop, Angel Eyes, Peggy Sue, and Get A Job from the local AM radio station.

    Beatniks hung out a coffee clubs, Russia was a year or two away from starting the space race, the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, and Ike was in the White House building the interstate highway system across the U.S.A.

    Dad’s monthly mortgage payment was $100, mom stayed home, and they started shopping at something being called a supermarket.

    You brushed your teeth with Ipana, dad used listerine, and mom was her hair with Halo and used VO5 while a little dab will do you Brealcream held your hair in place.

  2. jojo

    May 11, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Love your style Silver Surfer.

  3. Ali Kat Girl

    May 11, 2006 at 7:50 pm

    Silver Surfer took me back to a day … a day I would have loved to have known… ahhh.. tis yummy like a very chilly beer & frogs singing their little soft bellies out in the twilight!

  4. Dad

    May 11, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    I remember the day. It was a lot of fun.

  5. SportyChick

    May 12, 2006 at 12:02 am

    What amazing eyes on the cover…

  6. Liza

    May 12, 2006 at 2:10 am

    You’re my hero. New York Magazine’s Most Influential People of Fashion will include you next year.

  7. pAralOx

    May 12, 2006 at 6:29 am

    Great blog, great photos, great texts, just a question : when will you be a bad person?



  8. argos

    May 12, 2006 at 8:46 am

    When it comes to Brando, I much prefer remembering him in Godfather wardrobe. Especially that day he wore the charcoal cardi, green shirt and deep red tie.

    Back in 92, I walked into a barbershop in the valley. There he was, sitting in the chair. He weighed 300 lbs, the poor guy. Soon he left, I got in the chair. Moments later, he walked back in, walked across the room and grabbed his jacket, which he had forgotten. As he walked back out, he stopped at the foot of the chair, looked me right in the eyes, smiled and said “I’d forget my balls, if they weren’t in a bag.” It was precious.

    As adolecents in Iowa in the late sixties, we all looked like James Dean. Dark blue jeans with 2 inch cuffs, penny loafers with no socks, white shirts and slim buttoned cardis. It is still my favorite look. Yes, he was a rebel but he was preppy.

  9. Ali Kat Girl

    May 12, 2006 at 10:04 am

    Dreamy Argos… dreamy….

  10. argos

    May 15, 2006 at 7:59 am

    sorry for the digression in my previous comment.

    I meant to add that I would purchase Boyers book “Rebel Style” as a coffee table gem. I am very curious about it.

    So, what did you learn?

  11. Anonymous

    February 20, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Argo, I thank you for your Brando story. He’s my favorite actor, icon, iconoclast, and all around bad ass…whether 175 lbds or 300 lbds, he had an amazing wit and ability to seize the momemt. I loved his line and would have keeled over the barber chair with laughter…

  12. julian

    September 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

    One of the most stunningly beautiful men who ever existed (and I’m straight!)

    Anyone who doubts this should watch ‘Streetcar named Desire’, which is also a far superior film in my opinion to the fairly dreary ‘On The Waterfront’ for which he won an Oscar

    - doesnt seem fair that his prodigious and startlingly original talent also means that he’s often labelled ‘the greatest actor who ever lived’

    Always got the impression that Brando really couldnt have given a stuff about fashion and style

    Fascinating character though, my all time favourite actor and one of my personal heroes

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