If I’ve spoken to you over this past week or so, you probably could’ve seen this post coming from a mile away, because I’ll admit I don’t think there’s been an waking hour that’s gone by since the start of the new year that I haven’t brought up The West Wing. For about ten days now, thanks to Netflix’s ever so wise decision to finally buck up and offer Aaron Sorkin’s political masterpiece (which all of you should check out if you have the chance) I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the majority of my days basking in the liberal utopia that is The West Wing. While I love The West Wing, and I’d like to believe that it accurately portrayals the inner workings of our political system, I’m not naive, it is still television after all and it’s no secret that the show takes it’s fair share of liberties with history. Yet, one area where it is not off base is in the attire of the president and his team. President Josiah Bartlett and rest of his staff dress like pretty much all modern day politicians: lame, cookie cutter, stagnant, and all around average. As with any rule though, there is one large exception, and that’s John Spencer’s character, White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry.
One of my favorite sentiments to pull out when talking about our friends over on the other side of the world, is that “the Japanese do Americana far better than we ever could.” Of course, it’s a blanket statement holds about as much weight as a bag full of feathers, but nonetheless it sure is fun to say. I first came up with the line during a spur of the moment discussion with a few colleagues about the state of the Japanese vintage market, which by now is probably stocked with more U.S. made deadstock pieces then any of us could even begin to fathom. It’s a cheeky line and makes me seem much more well-versed on the topic than I am, so I’ve kept on saying it, but each time I repeat it, it becomes that much more evident to me just how much of a double-edged sword those ten words are.
With today marking the start of the London Collections: Men and the 83rd edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence beginning tomorrow, it’s that time of year again as all the dominoes begin to topple on the Fall 2013 collections. Normally, I try to shy away from covering what goes on at Fashion Weeks, barring the occasional show that I attend here in New York, but Pitti Uomo is always tough to ignore. While, it’s my personal rule that I refuse to fly out to Florence for Pitti until I have a real reason to go (and the only real reason would be that it’s part of my job) that’s not to say that I don’t spend a good chunk of my days during Pitti, sitting at home sifting through the plethora of press that comes out of the trade show. Pitti is where all the heavy-hitters and up-coming brands in European menswear debut their upcoming collections, but what I really like about Pitti is that the brands aren’t targeted toward the high-fashion market that we’ll be seeing on runways for the remainder of this month and next. Instead, most brands are more interested in their legacy as a company, about building upon an aesthetic that people are familiar with. Pitti is about reinforcement, not reinvention, well, at least in the case of most brands that show there. As for the hoards of pea-cocking attendees (and hanger-ons) and the street-style frenzy that follows in their wake, well that’s an entirely different story.