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A blog with a daily splash of vintage swimwear, vintage fashion, news, designer profiles and all things retro.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

The Peacock Male - 300 Years of Men's Fashion

There is a wonderful exhibit now open at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which focuses on vintage men's fashions and while I'd love to be able to see it in person, I have to rely on the website to give me a view into the exhibit.

Men's Paper Shirt - late 1960s - designer unknown

The Peacock Male - Exuberance and the Extremes in Masculine Dress Jan 22 - June 2011 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

'Men’s apparel is often thought of as staid and restrained, especially when compared to feminine fashions. Until the late eighteenth century, however, elite men flaunted their social position with rich fabrics and ornamentation. After men generally adopted somber suits, colorful accessories could add spice, and more ostentatious masculine flash and flair was sometimes permissible. The Peacock Male, drawn from the Museum’s collection of Western fashion, examines three hundred years of men’s sartorial display.'

There look to be some wonderful vintage pieces shown on the museums website. We've included a few of our favorites, but really go see for yourself.

Men's Long Sleeve T-shirt - Alexander McQueen - 1997

Man's Coat with Mermaid Pin-Up Girl - Yohji Yamamoto Fall/Winter 1991-1992

This piece has to be my favorite of the pieces I can see on the website. Reminds me of the 1940s peek-a-boo ties, where the actual art is 'hidden' only to be displayed by the wearer to those who are deemed worthy.

Sailors Blouse - 1862 - 1865, attributed to George Dove

During the nineteenth century, dress regulations for enlisted men allowed for individual creativity. Sailors thus often embellished their going-ashore uniforms with embroidery; this embroidered blouse and matching bag, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2008-37-2, are rare surviving examples of this forgotten art form. George W.W. Dove was the 3rd Assistant Engineer aboard the U.S. steamer Richmond during the Civil War. Differences in the quality of the embroidery suggest that two people were responsible for the needlework, one of who may have been George Dove.

And if you do go, or have gone, please report back and let us know your thoughts on the exhibition. Enjoy!

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