Dapper Day x LACMA: The Swinging Soirée

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For the first time, we go to a LACMA x Dapper Day event in the evening.  It was certainly a great way to end the first month of 2019!

Long story short, these events just get better and better. You need to join us!

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I know I say this every time, we cover Dapper Day, but it’s true: it just gets better and better.  We’ve gone from just going to Disneyland to completely sans-Disney events.  Last year we even traversed the Natural History Museum’s grounds in vintage inspired clothing. While I hope to do the NHMLA again someday (perhaps even on my own), I can always count on Dapper Day’s annual collaboration with LACMA.  LACMA is probably one of the most popular museums in Los Angeles (housing classical, modern, and cultural art) and is a great space for an event. I’ve been an invited guest since 2016 and have done my best to spread the word.

Instead of being centered around the Disney parks, it really emphasizes “stepping out in style” in your community, enjoying masterpieces in a city that is pretty much casual 24/7.  Usually the event, centers around a particular special exhibit (this has included Reigning Men-swear, Chagall, and Hockney) but this time it was just going to be a cool evening soirée, with drinks, music, and extended hours for the regular galleries.  However, they did have the Rauschenberg 1/4th Mile in their Broad annex, which was fantastic, though not necessarily a fashion related exhibit.

Not only was this a great way to start the year (Dapper Day x LACMA is usually in the summer), but it was the first time they were having a completely free event that included museum admission (of sorts).  They planned it for January since the permanent collection building is going to be closed for remodeling in February, so a summer event would be pretty bare.   In the past,  the evening music is already free as the DJ and dace floor is located near Urban Lights and their food/bar; this time it took place inside the main gallery, complete with a dance floor, and a big makeshift lounge area/bar in the ticketing courtyard.  In short, they really outdid themselves and made it bigger and better!

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Spencer, Nguyen, and I arrived at 5:30PM to see the special exhibits before they closed at 7PM, which was when the soirée started anyway.  While the event was free, it required an RSVP for capacity reasons, and it actually sold out a few days before! Thankfully, LACMA staff allowed me to bring in as many people as I wanted, and I’m pretty sure everyone who came got to get in, with or without a reservation ticket.  I’m happy to say that it was an extremely fun night and I’m glad I got to bring my growing squad of friends!

We even served up a few looks too.

Nguyen

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A lot of my friends have my old clothes because #1 they’re close to my size and #2 I’m moving toward a more intentional wardrobe.  You may remember this cotton DB suit from this article that was pretty good, though I was never super happy with it, with the jacket in particular. Nguyen (a friend I actually met at a LACMA event and heavily featured here) is taller than me, which meant that the suit looked more proportional on him than it did on me. He didn’t even tailor it!  It looks so damn good on him, and he added to it with the classic white OCBD and red stripe tie (for an ivy vibe) along with solid green socks and suede loafers.  I love having well dressed friends.

Ethan

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Legs are nice and wide! 

I like to think of events like this as my personal Pitti Uomo: it’s a chance to show off some cool  pieces and perhaps try something a bit different.  I used Dapper Day as an opportunity to debut my new custom suit from Natty Adams, the author of the book I am Dandy and clothier.  I got it in the darkest brown he had (a supers wool, so a bit more shiny/delicate that I’m used to) and went with a low notch, 3-roll-2 closure, with a belt back and triple patch pockets.  The process was interesting and there were a few issues, as it is more MTM than bespoke, but it resulted in a very nice suit that I think will be a fantastic addition to my wardrobe.  The fit is spot on and perfectly in-line with my aesthetic, don’t you think?

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Couldn’t do completely unstructured shoulders, but that’s okay!

The shirt is also something new for me, as it’s actually from Drake’s! This is their long-point collar, which is sort of a mix between a spearpoint and a spread as you can see that the points don’t really want to meet (though it can still be pinned with a collar bar). I was in love with the bold stripe ever since I saw it on their social media feeds and bought it (along with some other goodies) immediately when it went on sale for 50%.  The fabric is a lot finer than I’m used to, as my old custom shirts were cheap or made from oxford (like my bespoke Ascot Chang ones), but it’s pretty good for a high end RTW! It will see plenty of play during the spring/summer as I think it’s a great candidate for the runaway collar.  It’s also one of the few shirts that necessitate me to break out a solid tie instead of a patterned one.

The beret was appropriate, I think, or perhaps too on the nose?

Spencer

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Spencer is a great example of my everyday (read: non-event) attire.  It really reflects where his style is going, moving away from suiting and more into casual, ivy stuff.  In fact, most of his money is going toward rugged workwear items, which we’ll see more of next month at Inspiration LA.

The outfit is definitely “Ethan’s take on Drake’s”, as it involves my favorite combo of a blue jacket and brown trousers along with a contrasting sweater vest.  The shirt is blue striped spread collar which is certainly different than our usual OCBDs and spearpoints, but it works well for Spencer; the tie is a 1940’s foulard that is very reminiscent of the “soft squares” normally seen at Drake’s.  White socks and desert boots finish off the look for a more casual vibe.

Garret

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Garret confided to me that he really loves double breasted suits.  That made him a good candidate for my first ever Indochino commission: a navy pinstripe DB in linen.  As I noted before, Indochino makes a pretty decent suit, having wide almost-horizontal peak lapels, good button spacing, and the ability to do high rise trousers if you fudge with the measurements.   I found myself not wearing this gorgeous garment anymore and sold it to Garret, who happily took it off my hands!  It’s great for his unique style and he wears it with a plain OCBD and some 2120 boots.

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Doug is a new comer to our little group but you may recognize him from the Bryceland’s trunk show and the Bloke One Year Party.  Since he’s also near Pasadena, we’ll probably see a lot more of him this year as he’s become a good friend and a source of knowledge/thrifting.  He’s been a great guy to go to Rosebowl or to get boba with (which is pretty much my standard for friends).

He showed up to the soirée in something that would be my casual summer uniform: a plaid sportshirt, high rise 1960’s Levis big-E Sta-Prest (basically 5-pocket chinos), white socks, and loafers.  It’s a look that combines elements of rockabilly(-ish) and ivy, but it’s completely classic and perfect for California. Could be considered dressy for most LA people, but to me it’s perfect.

Luisa

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Where would we be without Luisa, one of my oldest friends and a stylish person in her own right. She’s smiling, but she’s fresh from a wisdom teeth surgery. It definitely took a lot of convincing to get her there at absolutely the last minute.

For the “cold” she has the classic tan trench coat, worn over a vintage green motif dress and cute pink bowtie shoes. We’ve been missing her from events lately so we’re happy to have her!

Linda

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We can always count of Linda to stop by and wow everyone..  She really doesn’t mess around, considering how she showed up to my J. Crew event or even the absolutely gorgeous dress to the Opera. Here, she’s in a literal flower crown and a floor length velvet gown.  I love the use of the beaded(?) ball purse.  I can’t wait to see what she wears to LA Phil this weekend.

Snapshots

So here are some pictures of the day! Because I anticipated being there late, I brought everything I needed in my leather tote bag which included a bunch of extra batteries (both for my camera and my flash), Advil for headaches, and water bottles. They all served me well and you can see Spencer and Nguyen graciously taking turns holding it.

The boys and I started our day at the Rauschenberg exhibit before being basic and taking pictures at the Lights, waiting for the LACMA staff to escort our big group into the party area.  The party was pretty awesome (even had a rare alcoholic drink) where we met a few people and enjoyed listening  to swing music provided by our friend DJ (Marshall) Watson.  I don’t dance, but Luisa definitely did!  The group made it a point to see the classical art collection, as the building was going to be demolished and the collection would be moved starting in February.

And of course, we got a silly and took a lot of pictures (even more so than ever before).  But what else did you expect?

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LA’s biggest proponents for classic menswear.

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The Rauschenberg 1/4 mile.

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Luisa helping an awesome lady capture a memory!

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The gang.

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Hector, in his bespoke garments.

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Linda with some of the Dapper Day ladies, including Doris Mayday.

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It’ll be a shame to say goodbye to this building!

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This lady loved Spencer’s attire and wanted a picture.

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Doug eating chips.

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I don’t know what this is, I just said “make me your sweetest drink”.

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Professor Watson!

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Does flossing count as swing dancing?

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Gotta love a great hat, especially when it’s worn with brown and grey!

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Garret is a thirsty boy.

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I’m proud of this one.

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Pretty packed!

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Justin Jorgensen, founder of Dapper Day events, in a great Gucci blazer.

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Alex in soft tailoring and some sprezzatura!

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Thrash, Franz, Justin, and Jonas in some cool modern menswear.

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Ashley, the LACMA coordinator of these events!

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Steph, a great photographer who is always found at Dapper Day as well as Disney events!

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Tired, silly menswear boys.

Conclusion

Hoo boy, this was a great event. I mean, I don’t think I’ve taken (or shared) this many pictures since I went to NYC!  I can’t reiterate how much fun this was.  It’s definitely different than the previous ones, mainly because it “forced” people to be together for a change.  Most of the time it’s how it was earlier in the afternoon, a few well dressed people wandering the grounds; the same could be said for Dapper Day at Disneyland.  With a section of the lounge and a bit of the main galleries, it made for a more intimate event so people could talk, dance, or even meet someone new!  For example, I never get to run into Justin very long or often at a regular event. This time, I was able to ask him about his experience with Edward Sexton and with Natty, as Justin was also getting a custom suit from our mutual dandy friend.

I’m also really happy that I had such a great group of friends to go with. Unfortunately we were missing a few people like Michael or Josh, but it was still a good time.  While I do like the more “intimate” nature, I probably would’ve felt weird if it was just me!  That’s why I always like to invite as many people as possible to share in the event, just because I know some of you are just itching for a non-work reason to dress up. It may not be Pitti or the Rake, but it’s something that I’m happy to be a part of.

Be sure to go to DapperDay.com to learn about future events and join us for the next one! I go to pretty much everything so it would be fun to meet! Maybe you’ll even get a picture on the blog…

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

@ethanmwong 

Street x Sprezza 

Photography by me and whoever I gave the camera to 

9 comments

  1. Spencer Sinn · January 30, 2019

    All the images in this post appear to be broken links.

    Like

    • Ethan M. Wong · January 31, 2019

      Hello!

      They’re not broken, the clickable picture just leads to my private flickr account which functions as my photo archive for friends and clients. In the past, clicking an image would take you to the entire flickr album, not all of which are for public viewing. So the pictures are emebedded in the blog post proper, but just don’t click them so you won’t be redirected! Sorry about the confusion.

      Like

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