May 10, 2010

Paying My Respects

Don't worry, no one died. In fact, that may be the problem.

I came across a post last weekend that overheated my cockles and I decided I'd comment on it. My gripe comes in the form of this Esquire piece on David Lynch: click over to check it out, and then come back real quick so we can talk about it.

Men's style, in general, is a finicky beast. If you're putting in too much effort, you're trying too hard. Not enough, and you're a slouch. There seems to be a strongly-held belief that if you're not playing by the rules, you're doing it wrong.

In making a case for Lynch as a(n "Accidental") Style Icon, Esquire describes him as "badly-dressed," with tailoring that is "too long...too wide," crafting the tale of a man who's too "head in the clouds" to be bothered to run down to J. Crew to score all the items on the latest GQ Buyer's Guide.


David Lynch is a master. Not only of film, but also of style. He embodies the effortless cool of a Steve McQueen or a Paul Newman, names which are lauded ad nauseum in men's style media, but the difference is that Lynch doesn't abuse patch pockets or ride motorcycles or fuck supermodels (that I know of.) Oh, and he still sucks air, which I guess complicates the whole hero worship pathos.

You see, there is a fine line between what Lynch does and looking like your lazy, balding uncle. But Esquire tells you that you can't do it because it reinforces them as somehow important, vital to our tenuous grasp on the ever-changing world of men's style. It's style writing like this that keeps publications like Esquire in business--they make you think you need them, because without them, you're doing it wrong.

Mainstream men's style media are getting out of hand. Current trends and today's standards need to be called in to question, always. Failure to step out looking like a Brooks Brothers ad doesn't preclude good style. In fact, I'd encourage it. Lynch's refusal to bow to current trends may position him as an outcast in the sartorial world, but his no-frills utilitarianism is a look I can wholly endorse. Besides, it provides the perfect palette for that hair.

All this is to say that I won't be making that Blue Velvet style inspiration post anymore, because it just seems redundant. Long live Lynch.


Cory said...

Hahaha, men's style magazines like GQ and Esquire are sustained almost solely by cultivating a sense among their readership of "insider knowledge" that amounts to a huge list of rules such as the exact number of allowable buttons or millimeters of collar or sleeve to thumb-length ratio. It's really hilarious (and arrogant as fuck) that they think they're complimenting Lynch by describing his "accidental" style appeal. It's actually just condescending; that he can look good despite not graduating from the Justin Timberlake school of greyish silver sharp-shoulder suit wearing. Esquire would have it's readers believe he's just a humble man straight out of the raw, tobacco-stained world of legendary Americana who must not even think of his personal appearance at all (how can he when he isn't following The Rules?!) and somehow he doesn't look like total garbage...arrogant dicks.

Oh and "hipster-style paean to cholo chic"? Jesus fucking christ.

Charlotte said...

I LOVE this post! I completely agree with you and totally understand your frustration. Long Live Lynch!

Charlotte xx

The Style Rail

Charlotte said...

ps) I'm following you! If you like my blog maybe you would follow me? :D

Charlotte xx

The Style Rail