April 27, 2011
Courage My Love - Men's Style
I’m a big proponent of men dressing better, with more creativity, more flair and more colour. Jimi Hendrix’ drum major’s coat fills me with delight. Bob Dylan’s polka-dotted shirts are spot-on.
Casual Friday doesn’t have to mean “dress” pants and golf shirts. That’s just gruesome. So when I read that portraits of Mick Jagger from the 1960s would be on display at London’s National Gallery, I just had to get on my bandwagon again.
The exhibition will include portraits of Jagger by Gered Mankowitz, which will highlight the effect of pop art and psychedelia on Jagger’s clothes. Gered Mankowitz (who was just 18 when he became the Rolling Stone’s official photographer) is also responsible for an iconic photo of Jimi Hendrix wearing the military jacket he bought at the boutique I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet, in London’s mod Carnaby Street. The store specialized in movie costumes and military gear. The designer of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s album cover was inspired while walking past the shop.
Again the Beatles circa 1968 demonstrate a male style of dressing that exhibits originality, a sense of confidence and above all, a sense of humour. Known as The Mad Day Out, Don McCullin’s photo session of July 68 show the Beatles as colourful as the flowers surrounding them. Love it!
I see a profound lack of confidence and of humour in clothes both male and female now that I’m back at school. The thousands of university students I pass everyday are as colourless and uniform as a swarm of black ants.
So turn off your mind, relax and flow downstream. Add a little velvet to your life. Dress like the Beatles, not beetles. Start with striped socks, or a bow tie. You’ll feel better too.
Courage My Love, refers to a vintage shop in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Maybe one could pick up a nice striped waistcoat there.
Mick Jagger: Young in the 60s will be at London’s National Portrait Gallery starting May 3. npg.org.uk.
Photo 1 and 3: Gered Mankowitz
Photo 2: Colin Jones
Photo 4 and 5: Don McCullin