Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heritage vs. Trend Fashion Rant....

  Paradigm shifts in fashion aren't unusual (actually fairly common), but the decision a lot of young fashionable savages are making is to turn to heritage based looks rather than subscribing to its   fashion based counterpart. While it is very popular today to demean fashion labels such as Seven for All Mankind, William Rast,  and True Religion, it's important to really understand why these trend based brands are so successful, and also learn that the two styles can actually coincide . 

Every other week, we at {milk bar} do a little spot light here at shopmilkbar.blogspot.com on locals we believe to be Fashionable Savages. These people ride the very  thin tight rope of trend and timeless. Like the title suggests, Heritage looks are based on classics cuts, fabrics, and silhouettes. Brands that are leading the way are Flat Head, Sugarcane, Engineered Garments, and Tanner Goods (available at milk bar). Attempting to recreate vintage looks, and damn near indestructible construction is what draws most of its loyal followers. Most of these loyalists are obsessed with every detail including the history behind why/how each piece was created. Generally thought of as “work wear”, the pieces follow strict protocol of how the originators would have done it. Brands like Lee, Carhartt, and Levi's (currently available at milk bar) are blueprints for some of these lines' success. While many of the brands are long gone, or out of vogue, Levi's has created high-end lines such as Capital E and the re-issued vintage lines to offer a first hand account to what those original fits and sensibilities were. The base for all work wear is denim and duct jeans and overalls. Denim's tight weave and weight were the perfect fit for hard work in mines and out on fields. Taking cues from our predecessors, many heritage based brands replicate these styles by upgrading some fabrics, and re-adjusting some fits for todays needs. The move to chambray tops and flannels are also hugely influenced by the working class of yesteryear.  

As some of these heritage brands focus on the blue collar workers, some decide to pay homage to the prep culture of the  American Wasp (white anglo saxon protestant) for reference. Labels like Band of Outsiders, and Asian infused Americana from Hyden Yoo offer a cleaner look from the late 50's and 60's, a continuance of the work wear that was so prevalent in the industrial revolution and throughout WW11, to the emergence of middle class and the generic idea of what would become the “American dream”. With more free time and disposable income, leisurely activities such as boating, annual vacations, and other outdoor aesthetic became increasingly popular. Classic American ideas such as the boat shoe, slim fit chinos, and polos were heralded as fashions of the day. Today, we are amidst the biggest return to these core ideas, yielding a resurgence by companies such as J. Crew, Red Wing,  and Sperry. The concepts of these neo-classics are nothing new, but fit and attention to detail make these garments more fashionable pieces. This is where the two concepts juxtapose.

 "Fashion heads" are really into details following different criteria of interest such as pattern, fabric, and silhouette . Brands like Band of Outsiders, Hyden Yoo, Shades of Greige, Valerie Dumaine, and Modern Amusement (all available at milk bar) focus on creating a luxurious garment, while making it  young and fresh. Like all things, there is good and bad in fashion. Some brands may choose not to over brand the apparel, thus allowing the items to speak for themselves. On the other hand, many fashion labels choose to overtly brand the garment in order to scream “look at me”.  Vintage tattoo-art tee shirts, foiled print blazers, and Embroidered Denim have become a fad to put the fashion world in a stranglehold. Businesses feel so pressed to get a piece of the 18-35 year-old, mixed martial arts infatuated white male youth demographic, that companies like Men's Warehouse have began selling some of the labels. 

  So what to do? We at {milk bar} will continue preaching the gospel of quality goods that can be comfortable, beautiful, and fit into either of the heritage and trend subsets. The  earnest also falls on the consumer to be knowledgeable about what they are buying,with assistance from staff members of clothing stores like {milk bar} to educate its customers. Too often is it the case where price is the main reason giving for why their clothes are quality. Designers prey on those kinds of shoppers. You can be the difference! 


Anonymous said...

Hey, it's branden
that speech made me a little moist. miss your musk.

Boo Bear said...

I'm confused. Is the Zac Effron picture supposed to depict "trend fashion"?

E. Hayes said...

Zac is apart of the Trend Fashion, and the other guy is Heritage

Boo Bear said...

I disagree with your choice of him as a an example of fashion trend. The things he wears are pretty well picked in my opinion. I understand what you're talking about with over the top ostentatious designers such as true religion, "ed hardy' although not outrightly named, and extreme couture (the horrible brand they carry at men's wearhouse) but I think Zac is dressed reasonably classic yet modern. He looks much more edgy than the guy pictured below him, but I feel it's due more to fit than anything. His clothes aren't especially over the top. His jeans look like Diesel Thanaz (but he's often seen wearing Dior 19cm's and while "trendy" or hot in the right crowd, the average mall goer who is interested in William Rast, True Religion, and comparable brands would have no idea what they are or understand why they're so sought after. The guy was just on the cover of GQ and in my opinion is one of the best dressed men in hollywood. I enjoyed your post, but as a fashion nerd myself and someone who loathes the whole "Affliction"/"Ed Hardy"/"True Religion" look, I think you could have chosen someone better to represent the "18-35 year-old, mixed martial arts infatuated white male youth demographic". That being said, I grew up in Columbus and really love what you guys are doing. It's all love. I'd love to see y'all start to carry wings and horns.