Showing posts with label wrinkles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wrinkles. Show all posts

Friday, September 02, 2016


Right now fashion favors the thin, skin-hugging, emo-influenced look, but amazingly it also favors...or at least tolerates...the opposite (above): the luxurious, wrinkly, over-size, sort of designer baggy look. Baggy's the wrong word but I don't know what else to call it. 

I'm not talking about the baggy that skateboarders wore. I'm talking about something with design and good fabric...something like Hepburn is wearing in the picture above. It looks great. It may never go out of style....a true classic.

That goes for men's fashions, too. Men's suits looked great in the 30s. We should dress like that now.

The 40s look was even better. The shoulders were padded so that every guy looked manly, like Superman, and the pants were wide so you could jitterbug in them.

Not every set of threads was equal, though. There was the upturned sharp-shoulder look, which I find detestable.  The too heavy slacks in those suits drooped like weighted drapes.

Zoot suits were part of this period, and they were hilarious, but covering that would require another post.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Most of these pictures are from Phileppe Halsman's "The Jump Book." It might just as well have been called "The Wrinkle Manifesto," because that's what it is: a visual argument for bringing back loose clothing that wrinkles easy.

Current fashions (above) don't wrinkle much. They make the wearer look good, but that's the problem. They make the wearer look too good. How boring!

It's selfish to dress for yourself. The truly social person dresses for the amusement or enlightenment of the people he encounters on the street. Nobody wants to see a street full of generic people, all without obvious defects. Why leave home if that's all there is to see outside?  

This woman gambled and lost. A gust of wind came up and blew her dress too high..but I don't think many people minded, at least not many men. I admire her for wearing a dress that wasn't risk free. 

Now, don't get me wrong...I'm not suggesting that we do away with tailoring and wear bedsheets. The best clothes from the Wrinkle Era (the 1930s and 40s) were all made from good fabrics and were all nicely tailored...but the tailoring was alternately loose and never did away with risk. 

It's true that wrinkles sometimes make the wearer look bad, but so what? To put on loose, wrinkly clothes is to take a risk, and that's what life is all about. "A harbor is a safe place for ships, but ships were not made to stay in harbors."

The Golden Age of Wrinkles ended sometime in the mid 50s. That's 50s Rock and Roll personality Dick Clark above. Dick did a great jump but his skinny trousers failed to flap and wrinkle at the right time and a potentially beautiful picture was lost.

Clark could have had this (above).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


John K just put up a couple of great wrinkle posts and they inspired me to take a shot at it, in the belief that great and noble subjects like wrinkles can't be discussed too frequently. This is a post about wrinkles; beautiful, sumptuous winkles. Wrinkles, the cartoonist's friend.

Wrinkles look great on a suit, in fact a suit that doesn't have them (above) looks odd and characterless.

Of course you take a chance when you buy a wrinkle suit. The wrinkles won't always flatter you and indeed they shouldn't. You want a suit that has character, that is independent and has a life of its own.  The suit's idiosyncrasies are part of its charm.

The thing to understand about wrinkles is that the best ones are always a surprise. You expect a certain amount of wrinkles around a bent elbow, you don't expect really drastic wrinkles around the bottom of the rib cage as in the picture of President Kennedy above. The wrinkle connoisseur treasures surprises like this. 

Having lots of wrinkles serves to call attention to the areas that don't have them. Here (above) the wrinkled-up sleeve beautifully contrasts to the unwrinkled, clean sweep of the back.

The effort to vanquish wrinkles is doomed to defeat. You may as well grow to like them because there's not much you can do about them. President Nixon tried to banish them by wearing characterless felt (or felt-type) puppet jackets... a situation where the cure was worse than the disease.

I hate to admit it, but not all wrinkles are equal. Some are just plain boring. Here's (above) a velour jacket that's so thick and heavy that it looks like Ahab just stripped it off a whale. The heavy, lazy wrinkles have no character. They just can't take the trouble to assume interesting shapes.

Here's (above) another negative example: these (above) are the kind of despicable wrinkles you get straight out of the washing machine. The large wrinkles are too predictable, the small ones too random. 

Really interesting wrinkles occur when a well-groomed wearer tries to avoid them, but they occur anyway. That's an example of the suit asserting it's own personality, and not just being a toady to the wearer.

Some of the 30s and 40s suits were tailored with the deliberate intention of creating interesting wrinkles. These were fine in their own way, but the heavy fabric produced only predictable wrinkles. Not many surprises there. 

I prefer the baggy look of the early 50s. Slender suits were coming into fashion then but the older generation clung to the baggy look...only by then the fabric was less heavy. One day, when time machines have been perfected, wrinkle connoisseurs will take tours of this era and bring back lots of photos of the flamboyant oldsters.
It takes guts to be a wrinkle man. We relish what the rest of the world considers mistakes. Before I was enlightened I used to be appalled when I sat down and my puffy pants "tent-poled" up from the lap. Now I enjoy it, and do nothing to hide it. Er...well, actually I do try to hide it sometimes; I guess I still have to work on that one. I have a feeling it makes girls uneasy.

There's lots more to say about wrinkles, but I guess this is all I have time for now. One of these days I'll post about another interesting mens fashion: the slim, crimped waist look with the outrageously over-sized hats and spit-shined patent leather shoes. 

Thursday, August 24, 2006


When Phileppe Halsman's "Jump Book" was re-printed in the 1980s I didn't pay much attention. There's a lot of gimmick books out there and this didn't seem to be any different. Now that some time has passed I could kick myself for not buying it. All those wrinkled suits are funny!

I don't know about you but I LOVE long as they're somebody else's! It's funny when you see someone who had to dress fast stuck with wearing a shirt that's wrinkled on one side or a jacket with flaps that just won't stay down. Or what about the suit jackets that work their way up as if the wearer had an invisible set of shoulder pads on? Suits have a life of their own. We wear them but we don't own them. We're just their means of locomotion.
Maybe the all time best suit wrinkles in animation were in the the kissing sequence in "Coal Black." Scribner must have had wrinkled people pose for him. Why aren't there more cartoon scenes like that? Every cartoonist should study wrinkles with the same determination that he studies old stand-bys like male breasts and nose hairs.
These are terrible sketches but I'll put them up anyway because I got a great idea while drawing them! What if cartoon characters walked around wearing wrinkled clothes? It would at least make a great sequence wouldn't it?...or maybe not. (Groan!) I need to get some sleep.