Tag Archives: leonardo dicaprio

STYLE {WISE} Romeo, Romeo . . .

Where for art thou, Romeo?

Ro·me·o
ˈrōmēˌō/
noun
noun: Romeo; plural noun: Romeos

1. an attractive, passionate male seducer or lover.

There’s nothing so timeless as a Romeo . . . its amazing after hundreds of years, a fictional character could still be so prevalent in our culture. I guess, not so surprising, considering he was created by the genius that is William Shakespeare.

He is a wonderful archetypal character of a beautiful boy, young and naive, but full of vigour, and somewhat tragic in the end….so, like many young men, which is what most certainly resonates. We recently acquired a really cool vintage theatre costume with some Shakespearean swag which got us thinking on the topic.

CHECK IT OUT IN THE {SHOP}

I don’t think many men can deny they have a bit of Romeo in them. I know for certain many men cannot deny they wish they were as bad ass as say Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s iconic 90s pop culture cult classic “Romeo + Juliet” which brought the tale to the beach and the streets and mansions of Los Angeles for a hyper technicolor MTV version that still resonates today, especially when it comes to style.

Do you remember the first time you watched the “Love at First Sight Scene” in the film with that glorious neon aquarium and that haunting “Kissing You” song playing…shit! I mean, come on!!! Claire Danes is especially gorgeous, and her sensitive acting abilities really shine through.

People would kill me for actually saying this, but they were robbed of Academy Award nominations, truly.

I’m not going to lie, we were pushing the tropical shirts long before every major fashion house started picking up the trend (see: +THE CASE FOR HAWAIIAN SHIRTS+), and we’re not upset about it…in fact, its so wonderful to see more guys take risks with their style because of inspirations like this!

While, Dicaprio’s gang chic Romeo is uber cool, we wanted to look back on some previous Romeos – most especially Leonard Whiting from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 “Romeo & Juliet”, which is hands down our favourite.

Quick shout out to Douglas Booth in the 2013 version – very handsome guy, but the film is redundant AF – so here’s a quick pic should suffice.

Zeffirelli’s film is unique, as it was the first time two unknown teenage actors were cast in the lead of such a massive Shakespeare production, and a world-wide search brought the world the ethereal youthful beauty of Olivia Hussey (she ain’t no hussy, but she did also star in the cult Canadian horror flick “Black Christmas” – you can’t miss those eyes) who was only 15 at the time, and the handsome Leonard Whiting (17) , who lets face it, really does look like Zac Efron.

Certified, he did it first!

 

Their chemistry is unpalpable, and the entire production is lush and dripping sophistication- Roger Ebert even went as far to say it is the best film of Shakespeare ever made. Respectfully it was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, and Director, and won for its gorgeous cinematography, and Danilo Donati’s sumptuous costumes.

It even inspired the fashion scene at the time with the two stars appearing in various fashion magazines rocking mod styles with a medieval flare. The two teens were definitely a big IT couple of the moment. So, if you haven’t seen this classic, do yourself a favour already!

Another Romeo might be the OG of movie star Romeos – Leslie Howard who starred opposite of Norma Shearer in George Cukor’s 1936 film. Neither of them really exude that youthful innocence, seeing as they are grown ass adults!

But, the vibe is full-on Hollywood glamour with a dazzle and flare that is just so fabulously extra, and sadly missed today!!! Also, very inspired by Leslie Howard’s perfectly coiffed hair!

We all know the story, so let’s just take a look at a few snaps to spark and inspire the Romeo vibe.

Pretty wicked! So, if you’re looking to channel your inner Romeo, we have some picks for you from the {SHOP}!

Remember, XIXIXI gets you 25% OFF of these, and all our hand-picked curated vintage finds! FREE SHIPPING in CANADA, also. Don’t be shy to message us for any details.

To learn more about these pieces, browse our {SHOP}

We’re also huge fans of HBO’s ‘WESTWORLD’ so what a delight to find one of our favorite quotes originated from this fine inspiration…

“These violent delights, have violent ends”

– Shakespeare, “Romeo & Juliet”: Act 2 , Scene 6
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We can’t wait to see what the next incarnation of this idol of style will be in the {FUTURE} . . .

Until next time,

{theEye}
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WTF?! THIS EXACT MOMENT 105 YEARS AGO . . . APRIL 14, 1912

 

The R.M.S. Titanic hits an iceberg and the 20th Century will never be the same.

 

Imagine how different 1997 would have been without this megalith of a movie hitting the screens?We might not even have the same Kate or Leo we have today?! Winter of 1997/98 wouldn’t have been consumed by 12 theatre viewings of “TITANIC”!!!

We shudder to think . . .

+TITANIC 4 LIFE +

On a serious note; I’m not sure what it is about this majestic ship that has always captured my imagination. I’m guessing its a mixture of the Edwardian elegance, decadence, and grandeur of the ship – the microcosm of society contained within it – and the hubris of the upper echelon whose powers control the world to this day, and the tragedy that ensued as a result.

There are many many many fascinating details regarding this ship, but perhaps the most stimulating aspect of the Titanic’s untimely fate is that it was predicted 14 years earlier by a pulp novella entitled The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility which I was lucky to read before the film had even been in production.

Talk about psychic premonitions; author Morgan Robertson (also the self proclaimed inventor of the periscope) chillingly predicts much of the Titanic’s destiny with his fictional telling of an enormous “unsinkable” triple screw British luxury ocean liner named the S.S. TITAN  which meets its untimely demise on a cold April night in the North Atlantic after it hits an iceberg losing almost everyone on board due to a lack of lifeboats.

{click here to read the rundown of similarities between the TITANIC and TITAN}

CRAZY, RIGHT?! This is 14 years before the infamous disaster! Designs for Titanic‘s sister ship didn’t even go into production until 1908. How was it that Morgan Robertson could right a tale so shockingly similar to the Titanic’s actual events. Was he psychic? Was it planned?

TIME TRAVEL???

The whole thing is absolutely incredible, and definitely worth looking more into.

+ DESTINY DAZES +

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Life sure is strange, sometimes.

Lest we forget.

{theEye}

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Friendly Update from Yours Truly {theEye} . . . Happy Holidays, and Thanks for a Sweet Year!!!

Bruce Lee in 1970s Black and White Floral Graphic Shirt- Vintage Mens Inspiration- Th Eye of Faith Blog

As you may have noticed, we’ve been a little tardy on updating the blog.

Not to worry, we are still very much present . . . buzzing around in the background; making strides everyday we survive this crazy world.

For the past, nearly two months now, we have been without a charger for our computer, which has made things quite “unique”, to say the least. Yes, we do have very kind friends who do let us borrow their’s when the time permits, but overall, we’ve been struggling to keep the battery alive to do as much as check our email, do a Facebook update or two, and regular maintenance on our Etsy shop.

All this has left little opportunity to do what we so love – what started it all – which is keep the site updated with awesome vintage inspiration! But fear not, we will tread on, and hopefully by the New Year we will be back to our consistent selves.

In the meantime, there are nearly a thousand posts from the {PAST} you can delve yourselves into by perusing the backlog, or use the sidebar on the left to discern your gaze to the many particular categories we have offered over the years. Our personal favourite, E.O.F. Style Idols & Divinities, is much recommended reading.

We have been doing a lot of cool stuff (like styling Charles Bradley and The Beaches for Hamilton’s Supercrawl), and creating epic fashions shows which we will update the site with in the coming weeks.

Overall, we can’t complain. Other than the time its taking for our charger to make it to us from China!!! What a pain . . .

But you know what? We’ll survive… After all, we’ve survived much worse.

So keep in touch! We’ll be around.

Hope you all have a Happy Holidays, and can’t wait to see your bright shining minds back again!

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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STYLE {WISE} + The Case for Hawaiian Shirts +

[image: fashion.grunge.style.]

Summer is at its peak, and its time to embrace the ultimate piece for the summer. . . .the Hawaiian Shirt. For some reason, this idea makes some people cringe, but over the course of this post you will see the innate beauty and wonder that is the Hawaiian Shirt.

The Case for Hawaiian Shirts really began when I was 8 years old and my mother brought home a Hawaiian shirt for me from her trip to Hawaii. I had begged her to grab me one while she was touring the islands for work. Seemed to me like the coolest thing!

It was a wicked print, nothing too crazy, pretty much an example of a classic Hawaiian shirt.

I remember my locker neighbour saying:  “Whats wrong with you?”

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” is what I wanted to say, but I just shrugged and laughed her aside. She didn’t even have a sense about her as she was herself wearing something completely typical of the girls in my classes around these times…

She just couldn’t appreciate it the way I did. For me, it made me feel the most ahead of the game. I was different than the rest, and that’s always a good thing. For me, there’s just no doubting a really great Hawaiian Shirt.

{Donna Reed + Montgomery Clift, “From Here to Eternity” [1953]. }

{Michael Pitt for Prada S/S 2012 by David Sims}

Lately there’s been a huge influx of Hawaiian and tropical shirts in both runway shows and magazine editorials – it seems the world is finally catching on and getting a little more in tuned with not just my drift, but the truth of the whole matter. Open up any mens fashion magazine and you will find them littered in the colourful graphics.

The case for Hawaiian and Tropical print shirts is that they are as much a classic staple in ones wardrobe as other pieces heralded as being part of our sartorial lineage.

There is plenty of mythology revolving around the the true origin of the Aloha shirt (as they are also called) that range from birth in the Philipines to the islands of Samoa. Until the early 18th century, kapa was the main currency of many islands of the South Pacific. Kapa was a simple patterned cloth found in the South Pacific made from pounding and dyeing the bark of a mulberry tree. These prints later made a splash again in the 1950s. However, it is safe to accredit much of why we still sport and wear these styles to the craftsmanship and entrepreneurial efforts of one, Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, Musa-Shiya was one of the top Japanese tailors in Honolulu, who profited from his made-to-order custom silk shirts made with colourful and bright Japanese fabrics with Western-style tailoring.

These shirts helped tourists visiting the island make that final transformation to truly being on vacation, taking it easy, and saying goodbye to the stresses of the mainland. Forget your troubles, come on be happy! Soon after other Japanese tailors were doing the same, and quickly the demand for these tailored tropical refuges only began to soar. The 1953 film, “From Here to Eternity” would pretty much seal the deal with stars such as Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and even Frank Sinatra sporting the casual cuts of florals and tropical sunsets.

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From here on out, it pretty much has become the go-to expression of ease. Picking the right pattern is about 90% of the magic. There must be literally thousands, if not millions of different Aloha prints floating around in this world, and not all of them good. The key is equal parts colour as it is pattern – make sure both are really slamming. Compromise on this and you could really fall flat.

 

FIT would be another major point. So make sure it fits to your liking, or get it altered to fit your needs. Alteration is often the key to vintage, so if you haven’t already, be sure to check your local yellow pages for tailors or alterers in your neighbourhood. They will be happy to oblige, and you’d be surprised at how cheap it can be.

If you’re feeling a little more lax and party you may want to embrace some volume (think Sean Penn as Spicoli from Fast Times, or Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing) or you can keep the cut classic and simple with a bit more of a tailored look to emulate classic stars like Clift, Sinatra, or Delon. Either way – you’re pretty much laughing …

{After World War II, a gradual change in aloha wear took place with the breakdown of rigid dress requirements for business attire. The business tie and jacket certainly were not comfortable in Hawaii’s summer climate. In 1946, the Honolulu Chamber of commerce appropriated $1000 to study aloha shirts and prepare suitable designs that clothing businessmen could wear.}

And just in case you’re unsure, check out our pics of style stunning inspiration that ranges from the {PAST} to {PRESENT}. So take a look, and decide your {FUTURE}…it’s calling! All year round, these shirts takes you where you want to go! It’s time to declare the Hawaiian Shirt an equally valuable piece of everyone’s wardrobe.

It’s a defining piece with the magical ability to transport us from our everyday, and for those dedicated followers of fashion these pieces are definitely gaining visibility.

This is what I’m saying!

If you don’t look back, you can never go forward!

So hopefully you appreciate this menagerie of the exotic and wild! Check out The Vintage Hawaiian Shirt for more history, and a look at the web’s most impressive collection of them! Don’t be stuck staring at your everyday checks, plaids, and plain…carry on the {TRADITION} and accelerate the past!

Make sure you also check out the E.O.F. {SHOP}!  We are stocking up more and more fashion forward pieces from our collected history so make sure to check it out!

{The Feedback and Support has been great! So thank you all!}

Also join us on FACEBOOK , TUMBLR, & TWITTER for more vintage musings from the one and only {EYE}!

Stay Style {WISE}, kids!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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{style-wise} Gatsby Le Magnificent . . .

THE GREAT GATSBY

the grea gatsby - robert redfrod - bathing suit

We thought it would be cool to refresh all our memories with some of the classic looks from the iconic 1974 film that won an Academy Award for Costume Design by the legendary Theoni V. Alredge, whose costumes are some of the finest ever seen in a film to this day.

Robert Redford - The Great Gatsby Tuxedo- 1974- vintage

The film starred Mia Farrow as the delicate Daisy, and a young, handsome, Robert Redford as Gatsby. The looks in this film were a revelation for the time, and continue to inspire to this day.

GQ The Great Gatsby 1974 Cover

And while we can’t wait to see Leo’s take, we were feeling particularly nostalgic for arguably Robert Redford’s most important and iconic roles. We showed you The Brooks Brothers collection which collaborated with costume designer Catherine Martin bring the Gatsby look to life for their stores, and give historical flair to the costumes of the film, but we wanted to delve into the past, and see how much Theoni V. Aldredge’s classic 1974 take permeates these characters still today.

It’s really a testament to classic style and its innate time travelling properties.

Also with Miucci Prada’s contributions to this latest film, who knows which one will be on top of the style castle by the end of it. . .

The role is bound to be another iconic one for Dicaprio. I guess we will have to wait and see which is your favourite –

 Past or Present?

There’s something about a little nostalgia that gets us here. Go figure, right?

Don’t forget to check out the {SHOP} for some dandy decadence of your own!

Until we meet again,

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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Similar Stories:

The Brooks Brothers Gatsby Collection “‘They’re such beautiful shirts’, she sobbed . . . “

gatsby-lookbk-slideshow8

Seems like the whole world is talking Gatsby, and there’s not many moons before the curtains rise and the screens across the globe begin to flicker “The Great Gatsby” once again, this time in crystal clear 3-D. And while the effect might be just part of the movie, the filmmaker’s have made it possible to live the part in real life.

From The Brooks Brothers, Fitzgerald’s own personal favourite brand for dressing dapper which brilliant lent their archives to Catherine Martin to design the costumes for the film. Together, in collaboration, they have created an impressive capsule collection directly inspired by the film’s protagonist, and dandy idol, The Great Gatsby himself – Jay. And while Jay is described as an ever opulent and over-achieving man of style and substance, the pieces themselves are classics for every man to aspire to, and to admire.

shirt-scene-the-great-gatsby

There is something magical about that moment in the novel when Jay and Daisy have just reunited, and in the excitement of the moment Jay finds himself touring Daisy through his home, and invariably ending up in his luxurious bedroom (Hint Nick, just leave already). From what it seems, Jay Gatsby really does have everything, and in a whirlwind of excitement he begins to throw his many neatly pressed and pastel coloured shirts into the air. They are so incredible that Daisy begins to sob.

I think Fitzgerald describes it best:

“He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them one by one before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher – shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple green and lavender and faint orange with monograms of indian blue. Suddenly with a strained sound Daisy Bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.

“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such beautiful shirts before.”

{Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby (87)}

I am always baffled by this approach to the situation, but also admire Fitzgerald’s willingness to lose himself in the spirit of his story. I love the way he describes the shirts, and its this attention to detail that is really matched by The Great Gatsby collection by The Brooks Brothers.

gatsby-lookbk-slideshow4 gatsby-lookbk-slideshow5

The Great Gatsby Collection - Brooks Brothers

There’s something so modern and sophisticated about the collection, and yet the pieces are perfectly matched to the era they are meant to come out of in the story. The pieces look well crafted, and to be honest, to find 1920s menswear in wearable condition is very rare, so the chance to buy period proper pieces that are wonderfully crafted from the Jay Gatsby repertoire is impressive. All the classic Gatsby looks are available from the striped blazers to the slick black party tuxedo, and even the most iconic Gatsbyism of style – a pink suit.

Brooks Brothers- The Great Gatsby Collection 7

Gatsby, a vision in pink, is a notion as classic as the story itself. It says a lot about his spirit, bravado and acute style sensibilities.  I mean, for a fictional character, he has got to be the best-dressed of any of them. We offered the behind the scenes on the collaboration, now bring you some of the unique pieces inspired by the Gatsby spirit.

Really dig the straw boater hats. That’s something that would be worth waiting to find.

Counting Down . . .

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Festival De Cannes 2013 Line Up : A Past, Present, and Future of Cinema + Style

AFF_CANNES_22X30.indd

The Festival de Cannes is upon us again, and if you were with us last year, we had a lot of fun covering the ups and downs of this iconic film and fashion event. After all, Cannes is a place where stars are born, and if you’re looking to get ahead of the game (any game, really) its best to stay up to date with all the festivities.

11.vintage cannes 1955 brigitte bardot alain delon

8.vintage natalie wood cannes

6.gracekelly1955cannes

One moment an unknown is sky rocketed to unbelievable heights of stardom, fame, and critical acclaim for just one night at the star-studded gala that has been in existence since 1946.

This year promises to be as extravagant and elegant an affair as ever, with Baz Luhrmann’s epic telling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” to open the competition. The film promises to bring back the Jazz Age with a roaring velocity only the 21st Century could handle.

Other notable candidates competing for the grand prize, the Palm D’Or, are Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Inside Llewellyn Davis” starring Justin Timberlake and Gatsby co-star Carey Mulligan, Takashi Miike’s “Straw Shield“, François Ozon’s “Young and Beautiful“, Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska“, Roman Polanski’s “Venus in Fur“, and our much-anticipated favourite “Only God Forgives” directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, which offers up a bad-ass vision of crime and the underworld set in the sweltering heat of Thailand and stars Ryan Gosling in the lead role (click here to watch trailer).

Also taking off at the festival is Sofia Coppola’s latest film on the scandal and psychology of “The Bling Ring” – the infamous crew of L.A. socialite-wannabes who took media outlets by storm after being caught in a string of celebrity burglaries. The film kicks off the Un Certain Regard category which also includes James Franco’s “As I Lay Dying“. Based off a novel by William Faulkner, the film is written, directed, and stars the offbeat actor, so hopefully people can start giving the guy a little more credit around these parts!

And if you’re not a fan of the contemporary film scene, not to worry, as the Cannes Film Festival line-up has built in dozens of classic films to showcase and celebrate at this year’s festival, showing that  film past is just as powerful as film present, if not even more. After all, where would we be today without some of the great boundary-breaking films that got us here?

Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra”

Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley - la pleine soleil

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley in “La Plein Soleil”

These films are icons of style as well as cinema, and include in the line up Alain Resnais’s stunningly poetic “Hiroshima, Mon Amour” (starring “Amour”;s Emanuelle Riva), Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s elaborate and sumptuous “Cleopatra”, Jacques Demy’s charmingly whimsical “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg”, Jean Cocteau’s “La Belle et la Bette” , Bernardo Bertolucci’s vivid 80’s epic “The Last Emperor”, and the creme de la creme of vintage menswear movies “Le Plein Soleil”, starring E.O.F. Style Idol Alain Delon as Patricia Highsmith’s cunning antihero Tom Ripley in Renee Clement’s classic 1960 film.

Another of the classics they are bringing to the screen at this year’s festival is Alfred Hitchock’s 1958 masterpiece “Vertigo”. To celebrate the new restoration of the film, the festival has invited the film’s star, Kim Novak, as the guest of honour to the Festival.

The film was not well-recieved well at all in the US upon its release, and misunderstood it remained for many years before the French propped it up for discussion as proof of Alfred Hitchcock’s auteurism (a term for a true artist of the cinema), so its no surprise to see the film celebrated to this day for its subtle artistry in creating an unsettling dreamlike mood that permeates throughout the entire story of “Vertigo”.

Here I was born, and there I died. It was only a moment for you;

you took no notice.

-Madeleine, “Vertigo”

[POP CULTURE MOMENT: Do you remember hearing the “Vertigo” soundtrack at the beginning of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” music video? Listen back to the narrative opening of the full music video and you can hear “Vertigo” ‘s haunting theme . This theme is one of Bernard Hermann’s most iconic compositions, second maybe only to the blitzkrieg of strings in “Psycho”. Click here to see.]


It’s stylish, cool, classy, and the twist at the end is bloody brilliant. There might never be another movie like it. We suggest you rent this classic and make a night in watching this with a glass of vino and pretend you’re at Cannes, then dress up like Jimmy Stewart the morning after.

Check out the official website for the full details and for more information about the 2013 Fesbertival De Cannes. If you can’t be there this year, be sure to check back for more updates as they come!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Bringing the Past Back to Life! Behind the Scenes THE GREAT GATSBY & BROOKS BROTHERS

Lets Party! (Gatsby Style)

Brooks Brothers is offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming film remake of the classic 1920’s novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

While the 1974 version is iconic in its own right, but Baz Luhrmann’s revamped hyper saturated glittered tour-de-force looks to reimagine the classic tale of lost love and the unrelenting politics of class – it’s a story that manages to continually mirror our own society into 2013.

ruce-Dern-Mia-Farrow-and-Robert-Redford-in-The-Great-Gatsby-1974

the_great_gatsby_-_amitabh_bachchan

In fact, the remake has been a long time coming, and its great to see such attention to detail brought by legendary and award-winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin, who seems to have pulled out all the stops to bring a fresh and accurate portrayal of 1920s Gatsby glamour.

For the film, Martin was lucky enough to get a chance to muse through the historical archives at Brooks Brothers (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s  personal favourite place to shop for clothes) to achieve the greatest amount of period accuracy and detail. The result is a much-needed revival of classic American style.

f-scott-fitzgerald-an-american-icon-1

From the dandy that is Gatsby, to the more humble narrator Nick; each character is rich with their own personality, and is bound to inspire countless cults of must-havers!

The most intriguing detail, by far, has to be the skull and bone lining added to the blazers of Tom Buchanan (played by Joel Edgerton) for the film to play off of the character’s privileged Yale roots. . . . Secret society details for days, my dear! Secret society details for days . . .

skull-and-bones-ballot-box

I waited, and sure enough, in a moment she looked at me with an absolute smirk on her lovely face as if she had asserted her membership in a rather distinguished secret society to which she and Tom belonged.

– Quote, ” The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Back in 1974, fashion definitely had a 1920s revival of sorts, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this film is going to take the fashion world by storm again. After all, the vintage-style has been growing stronger and stronger for years now, heading more towards that dandy style that Gatsby epitomizes, and in the world of womenswear, Deco-styles, metallics, sequins, fur, and all-out luxury have been for years on the map. They had it in the cards all along it seems.

Brooks Brothers has prepared an exclusive Behind-the-Scenes look with Catherine Martin who talks of their unique involvement with the film, as well as a bit about the characters she created, so please check it out below!

Enjoy this sumptuous feast for the eyes, and come back soon for more Gatsby indulgences!

The film is set to release May 10, so mark your calendars!

2013 has been a great year for vintage styles, so lets keep ’em coming, Universe . . .

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Similar Stories

+ The Case for Hawaiian Shirts + Vintage Fashion Inspiration {Spring/Summer 2013}

[image: fashion.grunge.style.]

The Case for Hawaiian Shirts really began when I was 8 years old and my mother brought home a Hawaiian shirt for me from her trip to Hawaii. I had begged her to grab me one while she was touring the islands for work. Seemed to me like the coolest thing!

It was a wicked print, nothing too crazy, pretty much an example of a classic Hawaiian shirt.

I remember my locker neighbour saying:  “Whats wrong with you?”

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!” is what I wanted to say, but I just shrugged and laughed her aside. She didn’t even have a sense about her as she was herself wearing something completely typical of the girls in my classes around these times…

She just couldn’t appreciate it the way I did. For me, it made me feel the most ahead of the game. I was different than the rest, and that’s always a good thing. For me, there’s just no doubting a really great Hawaiian Shirt.

{Donna Reed + Montgomery Clift, “From Here to Eternity” [1953]. }

{Michael Pitt for Prada S/S 2012 by David Sims}

Lately there’s been a huge influx of Hawaiian and tropical shirts in both runway shows and magazine editorials – it seems the world is finally catching on and getting a little more in tuned with not just my drift, but the truth of the whole matter.

The case for Hawaiian and Tropical print shirts is that they are as much a classic staple in ones wardrobe as other pieces heralded as being part of our sartorial lineage.

There is plenty of mythology revolving around the the true origin of the Aloha shirt (as they are also called) that range from birth in the Philipines to the islands of Samoa.

Until the early 18th century, kapa was the main currency of many islands of the South Pacific. Kapa was a simple patterned cloth found in the South Pacific made from pounding and dyeing the bark of a mulberry tree. These prints later made a splash again in the 1950s.

However, it is safe to accredit much of why we still sport and wear these styles to the craftsmanship and entrepreneurial efforts of one, Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker. Throughout the 1920s and 30s, Musa-Shiya was one of the top Japanese tailors in Honolulu, who profited from his made-to-order custom silk shirts made with colourful and bright Japanese fabrics with Western-style tailoring.

These shirts helped tourists visiting the island make that final transformation to truly being on vacation, taking it easy, and saying goodbye to the stresses of the mainland. Forget your troubles, come on be happy!

Soon after other Japanese tailors were doing the same, and quickly the demand for these tailored tropical refuges only began to soar. The 1953 film, “From Here to Eternity” would pretty much seal the deal with stars such as Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and even Frank Sinatra sporting the casual cuts of florals and tropical sunsets.

+  +  +

From here on out, it pretty much has become the go-to expression of ease. Picking the right pattern is about 90% of the magic. There must be literally thousands, if not millions of different Aloha prints floating around in this world, and not all of them good. The key is equal parts colour as it is pattern – make sure both are really slamming. Compromise on this and you could really fall flat.

FIT would be another major point. So make sure it fits to your liking. If you’re feeling a little more lax and party you may want to embrace some volume (think Sean Penn as Spicoli from Fast Times, or Johnny Depp in Fear & Loathing) or you can keep the cut classic and simple with a bit more of a tailored look to emulate classic stars like Clift, Sinatra, or Delon. Either way – you’re pretty much laughing …

{After World War II, a gradual change in aloha wear took place with the breakdown of rigid dress requirements for business attire. The business tie and jacket certainly were not comfortable in Hawaii’s summer climate. In 1946, the Honolulu Chamber of commerce appropriated $1000 to study aloha shirts and prepare suitable designs that clothing businessmen could wear.}

And just in case you’re unsure, check out our pics of style stunning inspiration that ranges from the {PAST} to {PRESENT}. So take a look, and decide your {FUTURE}…it’s calling!

All year round, these shirts takes you where you want to go!

It’s time to declare the Hawaiian Shirt an equally valuable piece of everyone’s wardrobe. It’s a defining piece with the magical ability to transport us from our everyday, and for those dedicated followers of fashion these pieces are definitely gaining visibility.

This is what I’m saying! If you don’t look back, you can never go forward! So hopefully you appreciate this menagerie of the exotic and wild! Check out The Vintage Hawaiian Shirt for more history, and a look at the web’s most impressive collection of them!

Don’t be stuck staring at your everyday checks, plaids, and plain…carry on the {TRADITION} and accelerate the past!

Take a look at some of the pieces in the +SHOP+ that can help you bring this look to life!

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Crazy Tropical Tiger All Over Graphic Print Cotton Summer Shirt – 

SMALL {$20}

P1016633

Mystic Mayan Prophecy Vintage Bugle Boy Shirt –

SMALL {$18} 

[SOLD]

P1016574

1970s Typographical Graphic Print Surf Shirt – 

MEDIUM {$18}

[SOLD]

P1015441

Phantom Floral  Hand-Blocked Cotton Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$20}

P1016531-1

Ocean Mists 1970s Graphic Print Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$20}

P1017652

Aloha Joe Authentic 1950s Graphic Tropical Print Hawaiian Shirt

{$40}

P1016396

“Paradise Lost”, 1950s Hawaiian Shirt with Cut-Off Sleeves

SMALL {$18}

P1016042

Embroidered Silk ‘Hollywood Babylon’

Art-Deco Asian Metallic Surf Party Shirt

– MEDIUM {$35}

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‘The Tree of Life’ 1970s All Over Wildlife Animal Graphic Print Shirt

LARGE {$30}

Knights of the Sandcastle- Sears Hawaii 1960s Graphic Floral Surf Shirt

Rare 1960s SEARS HAWAII Vibrant Frond Beach Party Surf Shirt

MEDIUM {$45}

Dreamweaver - 1970s Ralph Lauren Pscyhedellic Equestrian Wave Warrior All-Over Graphic Surf Shirt - The Eye of Faith Vintage Menswear

Dreamweaver 1970s Psychedelic Equestrian Vivid Ralph Lauren Graphic Print Beach Shirt OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paradise Hawaii 1960s Classic Tropical Floral Graphic Beach Summer Shirt

MEDIUM {$60}

SMALL {$90}

Don’t forget to LIKE us on FACEBOOK,

& FOLLOW US on TWITTER

for all your vintage musings

from {theEye}!

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Stay Style {WISE}, kids!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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Racism or Reality? Suck it Up, 21st Century!

Django Uncahined- Leo, Samuel L Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jamie foxx

A slew of scandal has shaken the entertainment industry this year with release of Quentin Tarantino’s much anticipated new film “Django Unchained”, which tells of a newly freed slave and his journey with a bounty hunter to free his wife from the grip of a brutal plantation owner.

Tarantino, who is no stranger to controversy, is receiving criticism for his screenplay which uses the “N-word” (you know the one all the rappers throw out like Mardi-Gras beads from a parade float) over 100 times throughout the film, which is set in 1858, amidst the horrors of slavery in the Antebellum South.

While the film is visually stunning, and has received accolades, including 5 Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Sound Editting), and a Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay, many nay-sayers, including high-profile names such as director Spike Lee, are completely opposed to the film, claiming “It’d be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s the only thing I’m going to say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors”.

And while the film is Tarantino’s most successful to date ( $186.76 million worldwide, topping his last effort, the WWII action flick “Inglourious Basterds”), the film can’t seem to get a break.

eof- django unchained toys deemed offensive and removed from shelves

Most recently, a line of “Django Unchained” action figures were pulled from shelves, due to controversy over the “slave” and “slave owner” characters being depicted. Perhaps it’s not the film itself that has everyone’s emotions going out of whack.

What it comes down to is that the past was a very scary place. One that to this day conjures deep and unsettling emotions.

artist Kara Walker

On a similar note, contemporary American artist Kara Walker (best known for her silhouetted figures of Blacks and Whites living in dystopian disharmony in the romance of the Antebellum South) has also come under fire (once again) for another politically, racially, and sexually charged depiction of the horrors many African Americans faced prior to the Civil War that included a depiction of a black woman performing oral sex on a white man.

The drawing entitled “The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos” (2010), features bold and brash figures, in Walker’s signature drawing style, and are hurried across the picture, which has the community of Newark divided, after the drawing was covered by a cloth after its hanging on Thanksgiving in the Newark Public Library.

KARA WALKER- The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos (2010

Just days ago, the drawing was reinstated to the walls of the New Jersey library, on the grounds that “The library should be a safe harbor for controversies of all types, and those controversies can be dealt with in the context of what is known about art, about literature, democracy and freedom,” according to Library trustee, and history professor at Rutgers University, Clement A. Price.

Granted, the African American experience is a sensitive issue, but as Price notes “”Should we be depicted sentimentally, romantically?” or “Should some of the grotesque realities be depicted in art or movies?” Kara Walker has also been invited for a presentation at the Library on the topic of artistic freedom and her role as a black artist to society.

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kara walker - you do

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Rather than shy from the harsh realities of this atrocious period in history, Walker’s work attacks it head on, and has gained respect worldwide as an artist who is unafraid of the truth of the matter. In fact, it is the “N-word” that started off the young artists’ career, adapting the persona of the “Negress” and exploring the racism, sex, violence, and mythos associated with African Americans throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, when slavery was at its height in both Canada and the US.

Through careful research, imagination, and pure fearlessness, Walker is able to uncover the hidden truths of the society we live in. On her own work, Walker says “I think my work sort of minimcs the past, but it’s all about the present. Oh, some great artist in the past, Courbet or somebody, said there’s no historical art that isn’t about present…” and “The work is two parts research and one part paranoid hysteria.”

Django Uncahined - bloody violence

Much like Walker, Tarantino’s vision of pre-Civil War America is based on a history that has been amplified, as so our 21st Century eyes and ears can hear and see the past in a clear light. In our world today, racism is no way condoned by anybody, but to forget about such a turbulent aspect of our society on the grounds that it is racist is completely naive. This controversy might be a sure sign that our society is in deep denial and conflict over the world we live in.

By shying away from the past, we do ourselves a complete disservice, and deny ourselves the chance to experience the present in its true form. Context is everything, and when dealing with the Antebellum south, the context is not going to be pretty. We should not try to make a romance of the tragedies that have preceded us. To do so could be the most racist thing of all. And we should not try to hide from younger generations the truth, when it has taken so long for us to uncover it.

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Django Unchained- light my candle

2013 has been called a year of forgiveness, where past wounds can heal, and new dreams can be achieved. My dream would be to see a society that can own up to its past, and be OK with it – can that change the past? No. But it can allow for healing and forgiveness to those who are up in arms about it.

As for Tarantino in the matter, he brags to the L.A. times “Even for the movie’s biggest black detractors, I think their children will grow up and love this movie. I think it could become a rite of passage for young, black males.” Not only this, but think of Django as a hero who can represent overcoming the most difficult of challenges, and to give power to anyone in the world who feels they have been under the strains of any sort of oppression.

We can rise above. So, suck it up, 21st Century! It’s time to grow a pair!

Jamie Foxx- Blue Boy Costume- Django Unchained

What are your thoughts? Let us know below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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