Monday, March 14, 2011

American classics, Quality, and Style

 when deciding what to buy for my shop, I always focus on simple, classic, well-designed, and high quality.... this really is what I have in mind with every thing I offer.........

1951 Saddle Shoes on college kids, Life Magazine archive

These days, buying something well-made, that will last, and can then be passed on, if we haven't worn it out, is what funkoma vintage is about.
While my personal style is West Coast, country, California, beach and sailboat, Cowgirl, farm and orchard....I am not so parochial that I ignore all the beauty from ...oh, lets say, Harris Tweed from Scotland, and indigo wax resist batik from Cote d'Ivorie.

I choose items that are fun, well-made, with a great sense of confidence. I live the Vintage Life, and resolutely believe that re-using is important....and vintage is simply better made and meant to last. It's real value for your money.
Authentically handmade by a real person is a joy! The ultimate luxury is an item handcrafted by a person who lives free. 

An American company, Bass, makes the classic loafer, the penny loafer....
"Penny loafer evolved into a symbol of “cool”. In fact, celebrity James Dean was spotted wearing a pair of Weejuns!
 In late 1960's Bass introduces Sunjuns, the soon to be essential summer sandal.
Michael Jackson wore black Bass Weejuns "
 Bass has a new collection, made in a 3rd world factory (booo!) that combine cute calico floral prints with the classic saddle shoe.

Look at the beautiful sole...stitched, with both leather and rubber. Those little hand-written numbers mean this pair was bought at Nordstroms.And, inside it's edged with blue and green preppy Bass satin ribbon...

 A cute pair of vintage 80s calico Mary Janes....based on 80s Doc Martens.

 Above is a pair of Bass Weejuns, and below, a pair of Dexter (another American company) tassel loafers.

I'd always like to encourage all of us to Stake Our Claim on classics, the traditionals, the rustics, the heritages that are usually worn by the capitalists. Those grads of Ivy Leagues, the Rhodes scholars of Oxford, and such. Those kind of people are the opposite of artists and visionaries, unless your vision is nothing but making money off of the working class, and returning nothing.
When we buy well-made, when we buy things that last, we are Being Green in the easiest way. If you can keep and love a pair of shoes for 15 years instead of 15 minutes, you have Not made years of pollution.
Simple, eh!
and what style are these guys wearing.....I rest my case......

Most of what we consider American classic clothes isn't American inventions...but styles based on clothes from the Mother Country...or fashion from Paris when it was the fancy-schmancy decider of All Things Fashion...and maybe all things style.

 But of course, Levi's are an All American invention. True. Levi Strauss started making workwear pants from blue denim instead of off-white canvas, and with the addition of metal rivets at stress points, that Jacob Davis thought of and showed the technique to Mr. Strauss....well the blue denim jeans with rivets is a classic American invention.

From Britian we get the Trench Coat, from Burberry's and from Aquascutum. We get the standard button down oxford cloth shirt... .from England.  Double breasted styles of fastening your jacket closed...yeah, originated from the English Navy's reefer jacket or, better known,  the Pea Coat.

Brown leather rustic Cowboy boots....

Even those boots we call Cowboy...are influenced by the vaqueros of cattle-herding Spain to Argentina's  pampas plains cow herders from about 300 years ago or so.....
Military styles....based on the classics from other countries. I could go on bursting your bubbles for ever in this manner!

 Cowboy Poetry Time in Elko, Nevada!

Next post....More information on my philosophy about why I prefer buying new things from a 1st world, and why new imports are so awful.