11 July 2012

Calling It: Paisley Ties

 Designer Valentino Garavani, stylish Italian guy,

Journalist Vittorio Feltri, stylish Italian guy,

Mr. De Luca, of Newton Street Vintage and recently, the Andover Shop, stylish Italian guy,
A current personal favorite, 1990s Polo,
 and the Brooks Brothers shirt I like to wear with it.

Nostalgia fashion, or the trend of reviving clothing styles from the past, follows the same cycles as current fashion, on a thirty year delay. This is largely because thrift shops tend to be full of things that go back thirty years or so, generally speaking, and the hip, young and iconoclastic like to find beauty and irony in the detritus of the past. In the 1970s, thrift shops were full of clothes from the 1940s, wide legs, striped suits, wide lapels, and dramatic cuts. Current fashions of the times co-opted the basic ideas. In the eighties, when the thrift shops were bursting with the kind of 1950s American clothes that fetch high ticket "antique" prices these days, we had the Stray Cats and Happy Days, and so on and so forth. While it's true that I may have been harping on the impending 1990s fashion nostalgia trend, the 1990s were thirty years ago, and I can see what kind of stuff is flooding the thrift shops these days.

The young and hip will take it to the hilt, embracing not only the trend itself but its very ugliest underbelly, in an effort to be "new". The old will scoff and moan, wail and gnash their teeth, and resist as hard as they can. Those in the middle will take it apace, accept the best of it, like the return of pleated plants and paisley, especially big, saturated, boldly printed paisley, and allow drops of it to infiltrate their wardrobe, thereby adding new life to the old pieces with...new old pieces.

Stylish Italian guys everywhere said so. We called it. Shotgun!


7 comments:

Kevin Brown said...

1990 was only 22 years ago. You're a decade off.

Giuseppe said...

I'm calling it now because it's coming. You know me, always ahead of the curve.

Thad said...

I have to laugh, because I am reading this while wearing a paisley tie purchased at a thrift for $1 (but originally from Britches of Georgetown). I have a couple of paisley ties and I love to wear all of them!

OldSchool said...

As an undergrad in the early 60s, paisley ties were the only daring item in my wardrobe. They accompanied staid navy blazers, herringbone tweed jackets, solid blue, solid white or white/blue stripe OCBDs, grey flannel trousers and chinos. I was young and reckless then. The paisleys have been replaced with solid navy ties. When I feel daring, I choose a knit tie (navy, of course).

Anonymous said...

When I worked at Jacob Reed's in Philadelphia, 75% of our paisley ties were purchased by women as gifts.

randall said...

I'd back that stat. My wife LOVES anything with paisley print on it.

Donald said...

I'm OK with the paisley ties, have a bunch myself, but no way am I going back to the rest of those 1990 ties, most of which were just ugly. You know the ones I mean--with the weird teardrop shapes, rectangles with circles inside them, etc. Yuck!