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 cool is that!!!