It’s too bad only one Pop Art icon found that sort of staying power. If Andy Warhol flatters our coat and tie sensibilities, there is another artist from the same era who challenges them. Working a few miles from the Warhol Factory in her Tribeca studio was Marisol, the first-name-only contemporary of Warhol whose work revels in the sort of shapes menswear enthusiasts try their hardest to avoid. Flitting freely between sculpture and painting, Marisol’s art is a celebration of flatness.
For Leonard Bernstein, the conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1969, every Thursday of the 1958-59 season felt like a sort of purgatory. Too polished to be called a rehearsal, these performances still lacked for Bernstein the sparkly finish of a Friday or Saturday night. And so, stopping short of making his orchestra haul their tailcoats to such a strange unplaceable event, Bernstein devised a new uniform
When a man’s tastes tend toward the idiosyncratic, when he sports a French tuck at the bar where everyone else’s hems hide entirely behind their waistbands, we would like to think those tastes are protected. That he has knitted his various coping mechanisms into an invisible shield that sends all but the kindest words ricocheting across the floor.
During times of upheaval, those vying for power might be too busy seizing territory to pause amid the wreckage and think about how cool they look. And since last spring, when companies like Bird and Lime scattered rentable electric scooters throughout major US cities without so much as a warning, the journalists assigned to make sense of the situation arrived at the same conclusions. The scooters came out of nowhere. They have clear benefits. And they’re not cool.
Let’s pretend for today that universal harmony exists, and everything has a foil somewhere that keeps the world in cosmic balance. Now, unfolding in a tailor’s shop in Naples is a disaster, a real crashing to Earth moment. A man stands before a mirror at the second fitting for his next bespoke suit, doing his best to deal with the fact that the gentle ruffles of the spalla camicia shoulders, having first seemed so nonchalant, now just remind him of kale.
I’m worried about the state of dancing in 2018. Sure, three months ago New York City repealed its Cabaret Law, which required bars and restaurants to have a license to let their patrons lapse into rhythmic motion. But even now, with some New Yorkers surely testing the new boundaries of where their hips can and cannot sway, there is one constant companion that makes a night out something other than the transcendental blur it could have been.
You may recall my last post where I discussed the peculiar dress of the East India Company, one of the most infamous mixers of capitalism and violence before the world gave us United Airlines. I shared accounts of soldiers like Garnet Wolseley and WSR Hodson as they marched across the Indian subcontinent beneath heavy woollen uniforms to fulfill some far-off authority’s idea of national pride.