Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015

"Reigning Men" exhibit at LACMA
Karen and I attended a fascinating members-only lecture about men's fashion at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA), Monday night. We learned about the Macaronis—as in, Yankee Doodle "stuck a feather in his cap and called it 'Macaroni'"—who were young British dandies, who toured Italy in the 1800s and loved eating pasta so much that they called themselves "Macaroni"! Their signature fashion statement included colorful garb and mile-high hair. Who knew?

We also heard about LACMA's 5-year search for an authentic zoot suit, which they were finally able to purchase for a record-breaking $78,000 (yikes!) through a New York auction. You can read more about it here.

Following the lecture, we were given after-hours access to the "Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015" exhibition, which ends August 21. At first, LACMA curators thought they would have to include some women's fashion to add color and spice. But no need. As you can see below, the exhibit is fabulous as is. (Click on images to enlarge.) Highly recommended.

A Macaroni, sporting colorful waistcoat,
boutonniere, and tall hair 

Modern version of a colorful jacket
and vest

Dandies from the 1960s, 1800s, and today

Remember the '60s?

Broad-legged pants

The famous zoot suit: more
broad-legged pants

Incredible robes


Hugh Hefner, anyone?

Amazing Hawaiian shirts from the 1950s

Wool suits--dig the crazy horn hat! 

Tapestry suit

Who says men's clothing is boring?!

Coat of many colors!

Amazing jacket

Men about town

Hip cats


Covered in mother-of-pearl buttons

Camouflage and what our lecturer 
called "anti-camouflage"

Did you know that men used to cinch 
their waists also?

An array of swimwear (or not!)

And, of course, no wardrobe is complete without 
some fancy kicks

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