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Thread: Magnoli's suits.

  1. #11
    Call Me a Cab Sefton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Henline
    For the guy that wants a vintage "look" these aren't too bad... maybe it will lead them to actual vintage, to being educated in the fit, cut and fabric of a vintage suit and that's not a bad thing...
    I agree, not a bad thing at all. If more men start wearing suits that at least attempt the look of vintage perhaps the choices off the rack will improve (Even a superficial resemblance is better than nothing) Finding a true vintage suit has so far, proved elusive...

  2. #12
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    I agree with everything that everyone has said so far. (Can this be possible?)

    I've seen several -- but only several -- vintage '30s suits that were made by the finest U.S. tailors of that time. The fabrics compared well to the best Piana wools of today. We almost never see the best vintage menswear because there was so little of it made, and even less survives.

    About 10 years ago, I went to many estate sales in the L.A./Pasadena area. I had three pieces of luck that will never be repeated: I found in the closet of a doctor's home a three-piece double-breasted suit made by "Sy Devore" of Las Vegas in 1951 for ... Dean Martin. That's right: custom made for Dean Martin just when his film career was taking off. The suit was amazing. It was a slightly trimmer, more streamlined version of the early '40s silhouette: the lapels were still wide, but somehow more ... Italian.

    Also hanging in that cramped closet -- along with tons of awful polyester -- was a light grey flannel, single-breasted, peak lapel suit custom-made by the Warner Bros. wardrobe dept. in 1957 for ... Roger Moore. (He must have been very young at the time, and tall too: the suit was a 42 L.) Now, you'd think that a late '50s suit would have a boxy cut and thinnish lapels. Not this one! It looked like something Carey Grant would have worn in an early '40s film. The lightweight flannel was the finest I've ever felt: supremely soft and drapey. And the tailoring was superb. The true hallmark of a great tailor is the way he makes trousers. The pleated trousers on this suit were cut, assembled and darted in such a fluid way that they hid human defects and accentuated nature's gifts.

    When I moved to Chile, I sold the Roger Moore suit to Art Fawcett. I ended up selling the Dean Martin suit to a TV sitcom writer. Things come, things go ...

    One more find: a swallowtail coat custom-made in London in 1913 for a pre-presidential Herbert Hoover, the very year he entered public service by promoting commerce between the U.S. and Britain. The coat was in perfect condition: it looked new. I was struck at the fineness of the thick fabric's quality: a black cheviot wool that's just beautiful. The entire lining is pure silk. The tailoring isn't rigid, it molds to the body while paradoxically giving it room to move (and keeping hidden the way that was achieved).

    Believe it or not, I found this coat (and one of Hoover's hats, a British flat-topped bowler similar to Churchill's) at an estate sale in, of all places, South Pasadena. Turns out that one of Herbert Hoover's sons settled there; when that son died in the 1960s, his family held an estate sale and a neighbor bought a lot of clothes -- including some belonging to the ex-president. It was at this neighbor's own estate sale that I found Hoover's hat and coat. I also bought a tailcoat and a pair of linen golf knickers belonging to his son.

    Now that coat I still have! I sold the hat and the other clothes.

    -- Marc




  3. #13
    One Too Many Flitcraft's Avatar
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    Not familiar with Magnoli's at all.
    Does anyone here have any experience with them.
    Didn't Jack Nicholson's suit in Chinatown have a back pleat?

  4. #14
    One Too Many
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    I wish him the best of luck with his buiness, and I may order a millitary bag and journal for my safari to Africa.
    Member of Dumpster Divers International Since 2006

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flitcraft
    Didn't Jack Nicholson's suit in Chinatown have a back pleat?
    You bet it did. CHINATOWN was one of the first Hollywood films to faithfully utilize vintage '30s clothing, as opposed to costumes "modernized" by studio wardrobe depts. CHINATOWN didn't try to give a contemporary twist to period costuming. Before then, every Hollywood film would "modernize" costuming, make-up and hairstyling to make period films "accessible" to modern audiences. Think GUYS AND DOLLS. Think CLEOPATRA (the '60s and the '30s versions). Think BONNIE & CLYDE. Think HELLO, DOLLY. Better yet, try to forget them!

    This mania for modernizing continued into the late '70s. THE GREAT GATSBY was Ralph Lauren laying an egg: it's a small step from that to Travolta's white disco suit. Even THE GODFATHER mixed vintage with groovy, especially in the Vegas scenes. Strangely enough, THE GODFATHER, PART II got it right: just about all the costuming there looks authentic, and most of it was real vintage. Another exception was BUGSY MALONE, which (according to its costumer) utilized 100% period vintage.

    Things really changed in the early 1980s, when such films as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and THE COTTON CLUB were quite authentic when it came to their costuming. THE UNTOUCHABLES dropped the ball a bit, but that's what happens when you ask a famous clothing designer (Georgio Armani here) to design your costumes. In more recent times, BILLY BATHGATE, LAST MAN STANDING, SEABISCUIT and even OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU achieved high standards in authentic '30s period costuming.




  6. #16
    One Too Many Vladimir Berkov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica Parra

    Before then, every Hollywood film would "modernize" costuming, make-up and hairstyling to make period films "accessible" to modern audiences. Think GUYS AND DOLLS. Think CLEOPATRA (the '60s and the '30s versions). Think BONNIE & CLYDE. Think HELLO, DOLLY. Better yet, try to forget them!
    Don't forget the 60's hair styles in "Dr. Zhivago!"

  7. #17
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    What was it with David Lean and hairstyles? The same weirdness happened in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Peter O'Toole's Lawrence sports a forelock that's sweeping the ground.

    Still, the costuming in both films is first rate for the time.


  8. #18
    I'll Lock Up BellyTank's Avatar
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    Tweeds!

    Modern tweeds could do the job, especially Harris/Lewis.
    Heavy stuff-

    He should do a Norfolk.

    The modern 'Supers' are too light.

    B
    T
    Looking with my good ear peeled.

  9. #19
    Distinguished Service Award Lauren's Avatar
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    I have to say, Veronica and Marc, that you have some of the funniest posts. I think my co-workers must wonder what's wrong with me when I'm chuckling... Darn flash and photoshop are so funny!!
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  10. #20
    Bartender Brad Bowers's Avatar
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    I think they look nice, but then, the only experience I've had with vintage clothing is reading it here. I'll never find a vintage suit in a 46 Short coat and 42 trousers, so I have to take modern. I do think the fabrics could be a little heavier, though. They seem like they would tear easily.

    His prices seem good. More than I can afford right now, but reasonable nonetheless.

    Brad
    Keeping alive the Hatting History of Crofut & Knapp, Dobbs, and Cavanagh since 2004. Visit my blog, The Hatted Professor.
    New website under construction at TheHattedProfessor.com!

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