I’m in the middle of a closet embargo, only worsened by the pandemic. To that end, I’ve begun a series of little Do It Yourself projects to try to breath new life into old things. I invite readers to try this list for themselves, or make up their own.
As a costume designer my job is to help create authentic characters alongside the director & actor. After reading the script for Dispatches From Elsewhere, I spent a long time imagining how Andre Benjamin would look as Fredwynn and finding the pieces that would help Andre bring Fredwynn to life. After all my pacing and planning, Andre wore these outfits effortlessly.
One of the joys of custom clothing, they used to say, is that is supposed to last forever. Any English teacher would immediately ask, who are “they”? The reassuring voice of others that lured us down this path, the sybarite chorus of lazy fashion journalists and bored copywriters, repeating every few articles or press releases the same tropes about a kind of clothing that had become both incredibly rare and, generally, deterrently expensive a few decades ago.
How do you get over a hangover? You shower, and you put on a suit. And while, no – this is not a universal prescription, it is my very own tried-and-tested formula; advice I proudly relay to haggard, red-eyed pals in London.
It never ceases to amuse me. The portion of what we call classic men’s clothing that cannot claim a military origin (as do trenchcoats, khakis, raglan sleeves, cardigans, duffel coats, desert boots, wristwatches, and on and on and on) must pretend to a pedigree both butch and aristocratic: sport, generally involving horses.
It takes a lot of work to make a map, and precious little to copy it. And since map makers, unlike novelists or painters, are all trying to tell the same story, it’s almost impossible to prove whether a competitor has stolen your work or achieved the same results on their own.