Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Advertising, Clubs and Outrageousness.....






Check out this rare S.T.P. cotton jacket by Artex that I have listed on ebay. I often wonder what makes for "cool" clothing..and I'm speaking to clothing made back in the day before branding, advertising and Ed Hardy designs took ordinary men and turned them into extraordinary cockatoos. Back in the day, clothing was more or less a uniform. A man's job was to represent his job and his family in the socially sanctioned uniform, it was the woman that would dress in an extravagant manner. There is an amazing tension that exists between clothing created within the convention of the uniform and the sanctioned violation of those codes by various "subversive" groups and their custom clothing. These groups countermanded social convention to "customize" and or rebel in various forms, and subverted mainstream fashion both for economic and social recognition. There is a definite postwar development of this kind of subversion that eventual develops into Kustom Kulture. You can see it in Biker culture...which often stemmed from military culture, you see it in Gay and Tourist culture in the artful themes of early gabardine shirts and silk Hawaiian shirts, and you see it in corporate advertising prints which mimic and intertwine with the culture of customization.

These STP jackets and outfits were given to staff, sponsored racers and employees. While I was wearing this STP jacket I was stopped on the street by a woman who's dad worked for the company...they gave him an entire closet full of jackets, t-shirts and coveralls to wear and give out...how cool is that!!!




3 comments:

  1. Hi David
    Your comment about uniforms and whether women wore them brings to mind the back and forth last week on house dresses. The comments (40!) were illuminating. We have come to the conclusion that house dresses are slated for a comeback in part because sahm (stay at home moms) are proud and want a uniform to signal their status (hubby can afford a stay at home wife). heh. Obviously we have no idea of what we're talking about but it's harmless to discuss it.

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  2. I found it interesting that there was a huge split between domestic dress in Europe (thinking Greece and the Mediterranean) vs North America. Where it was perfectly acceptable to wear cleaning clothes or jeans and a sweatshirt in N.A. the European standard was shock and horror if seen out of the house in anything but finery. However inside the house, cleaning clothes and or a bath robe or other said sclump was the norm.

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  3. wow... that Charlie Brown/Snoopy jacket is cool. Also, I remember having TONS of STP stickers when I was a lil girl. My Dad was always into cars-cool stuff ya got here.

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