Am I alone in believing that slightly-built Chinese or Japanese men just have a natural ability to carry off the 1920s/1930s look? So many of your postings seem to confirm that they most certainly do! Both these gentlemen have perfect haircuts, and perhaps most importantly of all, they know how to stand properly. My one very slight stumbling block is the rather short length of those baggy trousers in the first photograph, but I understand we will be seeing more of this trend over the year ahead!
As an Asian male I find South London Boy’s comment very offensive and racist. I would like to believe that it was not intentional and of course give him the benefit of the doubt. No, not all chinese/japanese men (as he puts it) play rugby, but to generalize is wrong and naive, to say the least. Thank you
The guy on the upper picture looks great from head to the waist. The scarf, shirt, pullover and the jacket are perfect, down to the detail of the single button and the glasses looking out of his pocket. Below the waist it becomes clown-like (more the length than the width of the trousers). The shoes are very nice again.
The lower picture is nice, but it all looks a little too arranged.
By the way, I love this page and the photos in general!
I almost choked on my morning tea when I spotted the second (bottom) photo. What a wonderful look!
This is a classic preppy outfit and I love it. I like the dress shirt with bengal/university stripes, the v-neck jumper, and the canvas deck shoes. The flat-front olive khakis are nice too, though I note (w/disapproval) the absence of cuffs. WTF?!
But obviously this photo is all about the vest! Is that a classic fair isle knit, or some sort of ethnic third world pattern? Either way, that v-neck vest rocks! I love the tilted, off-kilter chest pocket. Well-played.
I thought the first (top) photo was great from the waist up. I liked the color of his trousers, but the fit bothered me. The second (bottom) photo would have been a perfect casual preppy look if he left off the vest.
I love the story the top photo conveys — country gentleman artist the morning after! He’s a little hungover and he’s gone for a walk ’round the stableblock before sitting down to drink more coffee and read the Sunday papers in front of a cosy parlor fire. He’s contemplating a Bloody Mary.
The young man in the top photo is perfection. Above and beyond the superb color coordination of the outfit (and that sweater makes the whole thing pop!) a lot of it has to do with his presence: the way he carries himself, his posture and most of all his facial features: there’s something about him that says — leader.
Not a fan of the comically wide pants in the first picture. There is “easy cut,” and then there’s just sloppy. If this trend continues we will all look like awkward teenagers wearing their older sibling’s too-large hand-me-downs.
I really love this blog because these are all the details that often writers forget about in their stories. I mean, look at how carefully the textures and colors were chosen. It’s offbeat, but then again, somehow it’s proper.
Thanks for the inspiration. I love what you do. You have a good eye, and obviously a way of approaching people that encourages them to agree to have their photo taken.
I must confess to really disliking the vest and jersey with the Mongolian-like prints, not for me and they shouldn’t have been for these fellows either. As an aside, though race issues should never come to play on this and though they often do, I do think that yamamoto misunderstood what south london boy said, read it again and see if it’s still offensive.
well, I have seen that fairisle pattern before (top pic) I made lots of sweaters using it for Howard Partman at San Fransisco Clothing on Lexington in the 70′s. I wonder if this is one of those, or whether it has been redone by Howard with someone else – or what …. nice to see it again, anyway! very fresh looking. not at all sure about this short trousers look, though.
Re: M’s comment I did re-read South London Boy’s comment and I still find it offensive. It’s OK, we don’t have to find excuses for everything. Just because his comment was racist and offensive it does not mean the writer is racist too. He is probably a good person who works and pays taxes. It’s just that he is naive and unwordly.
I’m a US-born Asian woman who didn’t find south london boy’s comments offensive. I reread them after the firestorm and still don’t see the problem. I think he meant to be complimentary. We’re so prickly nowadays, aren’t we? Chill.
Y. Yamamoto needs to lighten up BIG time and drop the boring PC stuff. Rent a Bill Murray comedy fur gaod’s sake and find a better way to speak truth to power than the comment page of The Sartorialist. Oxfam here you come…
I’m not sure I want to encourage the controversy bubbling away here, but I can’t resist.
How did this one get overlooked?:
“Both guys only confirm the obvious: japanese men are the epithomy of cool and easy dressing up, they just have it in their DNA.”
If you want to object to a “racist” remark, that seems to fit the description.
Yet, both remarks were positive, not negative, — they were meant as compliments. I think everybody should lighten up a bit and think about context and intention. And I agree with Butch — it would be difficult to talk about almost anything without generalizations.
For example, would anybody object to a remark that said: “Swedes look so great in dark blue — they can carry off that sailor look better than anybody else.”
What’s the difference?
These two men are referencing 20s/30s fashion, but keep in mind that it was as significant in Asia as it was in Europe. If these two individuals are good at these references, maybe it is because they can draw on two cultural manifestations of the stylistic elements.
But basically, it is best not to read too much into a photograph — they may be Asian-born; they might be third generation Europeans..
The Button details, the cut of the khaki’s and the layers of the first gentleman are all terrific. Very mid century bohemian. The look also reminds me now of Junya Watanabe’s new Fall collection. check it out My personal fav of what I’ve seen out of Paris this year.
Quick words on the easily thrown around word “racist” and the strange forms it has taken just in this little commenting section.
A racial generalization – be it positive or negative – is always dangerous because it presumes that millions of individuals share some necessary trait simply because of their ethnic makeup. A compliment that “all Japanese are fashionable” can so easily facilitate its evil cousin “all Japanese are fascist/stupid/etc.” Plus, why assume these men are Japanese? Or even Asian instead of Asian-European/American?
Thus, SLB came off as offensive. Not because he is “racist” (in the self-aware, villianous kind of way) but because he “racialized” fashion in an unnecessary way. Pointing out the dangers of “racialization” is also not racist in itself.
I don’t think Y.Yamamoto is overly PC, or “prickly.” I’m sure SLB is a nice, well meaning person in real life. But race should never be tossed around casually.
NOW – can I just say how much I love those bright punchy carnivalesque colors and print peeking out behind somber winter navy??
And, I digg that man’s sleek helmet hair. It is so precise to become almost cartoony!