Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ken Burns

Watching a lot of Ken Burns requires quite the attention span. One could interrupt me a la “at a loud party style” with a loud interjection:




And then divert the conversation somewhere actually interesting a la “some NYT editorial about new epiphanies a new mother has because no one in the world has ever been a mother before so this is really uncharted territory.” Which will be good, because Ken Burns is boring and not a great small-talk subject.

Some people like boring, or what they would say is beauty in details only they can see. These people are (insert interest)-philes and a subsection is the targeted audience of this piece.

Well, Ken Burns likes to include photos, over a century old, of people in baggy, slightly short clothing covered in dirt in his films. The clothing sort of hangs on their short frames and you can tell it had as much wear as the photo has a century into it’s existence. There aren’t a lot of places you can get clothing that makes you look this dated. It would be silly, really, to sell it OTR. You’d look like a re-enactor, a notoriously weird group of people who spend weekends traveling to historical towns and doing things like churning butter -- which is reasonably absurd like writing about clothes. Most would have this sort of thing custom made from deadstock material or from a mill like Woolrich. Or you can buy it from Mister Freedom. It’s not cheap. It’s a bit silly. But the online store is the only place you can buy stuff like it. Unless you’re in Hollywood. 

 photo hacendado20sack20coat20baja20front_zps8922ba2e.jpg

 photo ranchero20shirt20indigo_zps705d3be4.jpg

 photo hacendado20trousers20homespun201_zpsa69fa2e2.jpg

 photo drover-denim-duo131418x369_zps426a4048.jpg

 photo mfsc-gunslinger-pantaloons-indigo2_zps54c8b981.jpg

 photo calif-cl-evo-front11_zps274f088d.jpg

 photo chambray20shirt20green2_zps2ad09419.jpg

An experimental sartorial theorist could give you a scheme like, “wear it with all modern pieces and it’ll get incorporated into your own modern sartorial era,” which could very well work but I don’t quite know what one would do with this stuff once one gets ahold of it. Wear it in public? Pan slowly in and out with a video camera and have a haunting Ashokan Farewell piece play in the background? Get someone with out-of-date prescription glasses to talk about them on camera? 

It’s cool and Christophe Loiron’s vision appears to be boundless. It looks like really wonderful stuff to me and has for as long as he’s had a website. Each collection appears to be reasonably unique but with comparasions between them (which makes sense given that each collection takes into account different time periods). But maybe it’s best to leave sleeping dogs lie. Or “It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.” 

The recurred past may be similar but it is never the same.


  1. This stuff seems similar, and cheaper:

    I really do like Shelby Foote, beeteedub.