This here is James. James works for Ted Baker (a British designer label, for those of you who might not know), so it’s already a requirement that he know a little something about fashion, no? He told me that the inspiration behind his getup were the child labor workers of the 1920′s. I totally see it. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to his style. It reminded me of the cover of one of the albums of my favorite bands, ‘Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone’ by The Walkmen. It’s what I imagine the young men wore while surviving the tough life in the streets of New York in the old days.

I’ve always been fascinated by historical photographs and noticing what people wore.  I’m impressed by the quality and craftsmanship that was evident in the fashion of those times. Granted, most people were poor and probably wore the same outfit daily, I respect the fact that they put an outfit together. I appreciate the details. I appreciate that men ran a comb through their hair and took care in grooming. When you look at those old pictures of men who performed back-breaking labor in squalid conditions, you’ll see that they actually have hairstyles. They part their hair. They use some kind of hair product. They have manicured facial hair. Maybe it’s just because they were preparing for a photograph. Who knows? It’s just the fact that they made the effort that I appreciate. The perfect mix of toughness, masculinity and style.

Seems like the philosophy of today is that comfort overrides style. And then you look back at the photographs and you see people doing difficult manual labor in button up shirts, suspenders, trousers, tie and hats. Nowadays, we’d scoff at the idea of getting “dressed up” if we are just going to get dirty. I’m not going to say it’s wrong to put on sweats to clean toilets, I’m just saying that I’m in awe of the menswear back in those days. And I’m truly in awe of men who revive those past styles and bring them into the modern world. Well done, James!

Looking through the photographs of Lewis Hine (the photographer whose image was used on The Walkman album), you can see the inspiration behind James’s outfit


Source: Library of Congress

2 Responses to “James”
  1. Amber Dickey says:

    LOVE the photos you included! And is it just me, or does James look like Ben Affleck?

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