Dapper Day + LACMA Celebrate Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage

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Long post!

In a continuation of last year, I was invited to the latest Dapper Day x LACMA event! This time they centered the festivities around their Chagall exhibit: fantasies for the stage.

It’s not often that I get to go to events other than Dapper Day and random vintage sales, so it was a great surprise to see an email from the LACMA marketing director Ashley, inviting me to be another host for their event!  All I had to do was attend promote it across my channels before the event, write about it, and have fun. In addition to extended hours for the Chagall exhibit (which was open until 9PM), they also had a special screening of the 1948 film, The Red Shoes, and music Fabian Otero & West Coast Salsa Orchestra and acclaimed DJ, Professor Watson.  They did email me about 2 weeks before the exhibit, which was a little concerning since the day I had a John Williams concert the day before and tickets to see Hamilton on the same evening as the LACMA day. Either way, I was extremely excited to go and see the fantastical costumes and art by Mark Chagall.

I invited a bunch of my followers and friends to attend the exhibit, so but I unfortunately ended up being late due to lunch with my family.  Spencer (whom I gave my extra ticket to) and I got to the museum at around 1PM, which was just in time to line up for the queue for the Red Shoes film.   I had never seen or heard of the film before (I’m not a big dance or theatre guy) but I was pleasantly surprised. The story, which follows two  ingenues who are ready to make a name for themselves in the musical world.   I really do want to do an analysis of the film on this blog, because the style is incredibly on point.

Julian Caster in a perfectly simple Ethan outfit.

After the film, Spencer and I walked to the Reznic Pavillion to check out the Chagall exhibit.  For those of you who don’t know (which was me before the exhibit), Marc Chagall was a Jewish artist who did everything from painting, stage design, and even costuming.  Again I’m not a big theatre guy (though I have seen a few musicals) so I literally went in blind.  Upon seeing the exhibit, I was blown away.

Menswear still baffles me, especially how a suit can go from a design on paper, to a pattern, into ultimately becoming a three dimensional garment.  Imagine something as avant garde as a horse-esque monster costume that not only goes from an extremely artful painting into a bulbous costume for an opera!  I am definitely not educated to speak about these pieces, so I’ll simply include some pictures.  You can see more by clicking on the images; it will take you to my Flickr album.

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After the exhibit, Spencer and I met with some of our friends and took some pictures of the great style present at this Dapper Day event. It’s important to emphasize that Dapper Day is expanding beyond their Disney events and have started to do more of these types of events. I for one, am a fan, since Disneyland isn’t always the best place to go dressed up!  Plus, having menswear and other sartorial events to go to in LA (which is extremely lacking, much to my chagrin) is a big plus.  We don’t have the Scandinavian street style festival, Pitti Uomo, or anything even remotely like them here.  I don’t think LA Fashion Week counts, but I’ve never gone..

Now here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: our event attire! I’ve gotta say that everyone really kicked it out of the park, which isn’t that surprising.

Ethan

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Last year, I wore my 1940’s Palm Beach fabric DB suit.  This time, I wanted to do something a little less dandy and something more in line with what I wear everyday, since as some of you know, I don’t really wear full 1930s-1940s outfits on a daily basis.  I kept the jacket true vintage though, as its one of my few truly summer wool pieces, and paired it with brown pleated MTM trousers from my Vulture Suits review.  The outfit is is pretty subdued, with enough use of color to make it interesting.  I was going to wear loafers, but decided to go with some brown suede single monks.

I want to add that it was much hotter than I expected that day. If I could go back, I would’ve followed Spencer’s example and worn a simple sportshirt and linen trousers.
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You can definitely see the vintage design from the 1940’s jacket in this shot.  The lapels are wide (with an equally wide-open notch) with padded shoulders, and low buttoning stance that are all common to 1940’s suits.  There’s some hints of the bold late 1940s and early 1950’s details that are apparent here. However, it’s not as crazily padded as some other 40’s suits and the overall fit makes it a good candidate for a jacket that can be worn with contemporary, classic pieces.  The result is an outfit with vintage details, that can doesn’t look out of place today.

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As per Ethan tradition, I decided to mix patterns. Everything I have has stripes, but the scaling of it allows them to be worn together.  It’s funny; I seldom see other guys (even contemporary guys) wear this much patterns at once.  It’s pretty much a key to dress like the 1930s-1940s, even if you have entirely contemporary pieces.  Add the exploding pocket square, and you’ve got a great vintage inspired look.

Spencer

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Spencer definitely dressed correctly for the day.  He’s the epitome of Golden Era California style, with a bold patch pocket jacket, a vintage sport shirt with the runaway collar, and some RRL linen trousers.  There was an article on Die, Workwear about going palewave with tailoring, and Spencer did it well.

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As you can see, Spencer is at ease and looks effortless.  A lot of guys in the vintage community opt for this look since its pretty simple and works best for casual events or hot days where a tie would kill you.  It’s also an option for people to try when they want to do vintage without going for something crazy tailored.  Hell I’d replicate this look more often if I could; I just love ties too much.

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The crazy awesome weave on Spencer’s jacket.  Can Fox Brothers make this?

Andy

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Here is my pal Andy, who is a reader of the blog and a fellow Asian in SoCal who loves classic menswear.  It is to my great disappointment that I was only able to talk with him briefly, as I had to get in line for the Red Shoes showing.  Since he lives relatively close, I’m sure we’re going to get more of him on my blog!

To combat the terribly hot weather, Andy wore an old J. Crew seersucker suit, plain white shirt, navy blue knit tie, and a wide panama that would make Shibumi jealous. It’s always refreshing to see such a simple outfit executed well. You don’t always need to go pattern-crazy like I do.

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J.C (the Barrio Dandy) was also in attendance, this time opting for separates instead of a  full white suit like he did last year.  He  wears a cream DB jacket with grey plaid trousers and red captoe derbies.  It’s a smart ensemble that really shows his advanced approach to style; I can’t recommend it to guys who are just starting to try and dress vintage. However, beginners can learn one thing from this: if you get your hands on a white or cream jacket, it always goes with grey and blue.

It’s important to note that he’s definitely pattern mixing.  He’s got a 1920’s style shirt, witha 1940’s tie, and even 1960’s separates.  It’s easier to approach vintage this way, as 1960s-1970’s tailoring is closer to stuff that’s made today; you can always add some extra flair with a shirt and tie, which is what I do.

J.C de Luna

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J.C is an avid supporter of the arts and he’s even an artist himself! We caught up at the event, talking about designers, thrifting, and even his latest project; he was commission to create an authentic 1940’s zoot suit out of vintage newspaper.  He copied the pattern after a legit (dated 1941) zoot suit made by a Los Angeles tailor (only adding to its true Pachuco roots) and treated the paper to be turned into a suit.  It can be worn, but it will probably stay on display.

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This is a man who likes his accessories, especially since he makes them himself.  Not only is he rocking a contrast, club collar shirt and 1940’s tie, he’s also  got on a few lapel decorations and some rings.  Baller move that only J.C can do. IMG_8891

Blake

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Blake has been getting some rare stuff, courtesy of Wilhelm, a fellow vintage enthusiast based in Germany.  If you look at Wilhelm’s instagram, you’ll see that he’s got a bunch of rare shit; he occasionally finds stuff for other people, like Blake.  Now, Blake looks like a typical American depression-era/workwear guy, but the fact remains that his entire wardrobe is German.  The difference is in the crazy, crazy details.

One example is his jeans (which are more like denim trousers at this point).  They feature suspender buttons and no belt loops (opting for suspender buttons) with triple patch pockets.  Freakin’ fantastic.  Love the high rise  on these bad boys too, which only emphasize these jeans’ vintage nature. IMG_8934

On the subject of garments that aren’t made anymore, take a look at his shirt. It’s not a loop collar shirt, but its still cool thanks to its fleck-y checked pattern.  It reminds me of atomic-style American shirts of the 1950s, but done in a more workwear way.  It’s also from the 1930’s.

Justin

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It’s always cool to be able to photograph Justin Jorgensen, the creator and operator of Dapper Day events.  He’s pretty busy before (during and after) events, but I was happy to be able to speak with him for a bit.  One of the topics was a potential lecture from me, which I hope gets to happen at the next Dapper Day.

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In the past, his outfits have been pretty flamboyant (which is still cool guys) but I’m definitely loving the understated approach that he went with for the event.   You’ll notice that he’s wearing a colorful shirt and loafers, which are grounded by the use of a navy, summer suit.  Justin provides the most modern and fashion-forward outfit out of all of us in attendance, but I still like it. I’d probably do my own version of it at some point!

He told me that he got everything from Paul Stuart.  I’ve never tried them, but it seems like a cool place, if you’re into designers and more contemporary RTW.   I’m glad he’s on this blog, since we haven’t seen much modern dressers in a while!

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Sean

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Keen eyed readers of the blog will remember Sean from my Dapper Day Street Style coverage.  He’s the Store Manager of the LA Brooks Brother’s store and was present at the last Dapper Day expo showing off their MTM service.  We’re hoping that he’ll be present at the next one to help give guys an option (other than vintage) to dress well in the future.

He rocks a summer wool pinstripe suit and classic red repp tie.  Makes sense to go for something slightly ivy when you work at Brooks Brothers!

Drew

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Drew is wearing casual goals. He actually came over to talk to Blake (I mean, why not; Blake’s jeans were awesome) but I asked him if I could quickly take his picture.  He obliged and I was able to capture one of the coolest outfits I’ve seen.  I’m not sure if Drew attends inspiration LA, but this is a look that would definitely feel at home there.  Obviously there isn’t a big classic menswear scene here, but I’ve begun to notice more and more workwear guys (with crazy vintage details) pop up.  I’m glad, since it’s important to have some cool style in LA that isn’t too streetwear oriented.

He’s got a linen (or chambray) chore coat with some high rise, wide legged selvedge jeans, which he’s rocked with a wide cuff much above his ankles.  I’m quite sure that those sick fades  are the result of long wear, which is always great when you opt for raw denim; it adds character unlike anything else.  You’ll notice that he’s making great use of his pockets, putting programs, tickets, and whatever-else in them.  I’ll give him one last well-deserved kudos for his low-buttoned shirt and neckerchief.

We later linked up over instagram and he gave me his details.  A Mr. Freedom blazer, a thrifted linen shirt (woo, fellow thrifter!), Sugar Can 1947 501 repros in the Hawaii fabric, and blue espadrilles.  His belt is also from Mr. Freedom, but he swapped out the buckle for a WWII USN piece!

I’m going to steal this look sometime, if I dare.

Tony

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You might remember Tony, as he came with the guys and me to Benny’s Christmas party .  He isn’t a true vintage type of guy, but he rocks inspired looks with contemporary tailoring.  I was completely enamored with his 3-roll-2 seersucker jacket (made by LA tailor High Society) which he paired wonderfully with a dotted blue tie and white summer trousers.  It’s very similar to Andy’s outfit, but with the move of using separates instead of a full suit.  I hope to feature Tony more, as he has an insane bespoke collection. You can see more of his stuff on his Tumblr.

Extra Pictures

Here’s some other pictures from the event!

 

 

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Buds.

 

 

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Seated portraits.

 

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Blake lookin’ extra photogenic.

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I need photographer friends, so they can take pictures of me like this. 😦

 

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Water break.

 

 

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A prickly friend.

 

 

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New friends!

 

 

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Ethan and Chagall’s masterpieces.

Conclusion

I’m extremely grateful that LACMA and Dapper Day invited me to attend this event.  Not only was The Red Shoes and the Chagall exhibit magnificent, but I was able to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.  I can’t stress how badly LA needs to have more events like this where guys can come together and celebrate style, whether its vintage, modern, or somewhere in between.

If you want to learn more about upcoming exhibits, please visit LACMA ‘s website .  Even if you aren’t able to attend the Chagall exhibits, you can always look at their permanent galleries; I’m a budding enthusiast for renaissance art and their collection is wonderful.  It makes me want to organize a small get together of my own someday! I wonder who would attend.

As always, don’t forget to check out the Dapper Day website as well. There you can find out more about other events in the pipelines and the Fall Outing to Disneyland, where I will definitely be in attendance.  It’s a bi-annual tradition for Spencer and me, and it’s our way of truly exposing our vintage style to the masses.  The expo is a cheaper option ($10 for two days) for those of you who want to get the vintage-meets-modern experience without dying in the Disney parks.  However, I’m really hoping that Dapper Day does more non-Disney events; their annual LACMA collaboration is a great step for them. It’s perfect for me, as I love the arts, fashion, music, and people!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

@ethanmwong 

Street x Sprezza 

Photography by Ethan W. 

 

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