This weekend I attended “Inspiration LA,” a vintage and vintage-inspired-menswear tradeshow for (mostly) American and Japanese manufacturers, retailers, and uhhh … enthusiasts. Everyone seemed to have a different impression of what the show’s about. A lot of people were experts in their particular area of interest, but knew little about what was buzzing around them.
A lot of people dressed up in a fun way for this event. Here’s a guy with a snakeskin jacket and jeans made of a hundred jeans. Seems crazy to me, but this would be the right occasion for it, I guess. The other guy nailed the “well-dressed gas station attendant” aesthetic. Pretty much tiptoeing up to the “costume” line, but he looked super handsome, so he got away with it.
My favorite dressers (at vintage trade shows or in daily life) aren’t trying to show off. I met this guy at the end of the show in a perfect, simple outfit. Wide jeans, a t-shirt, and a simple tan bomber jacket. And white boots! It fit the show in an understated way. I took his picture to make this drawing and he asked, “Who, me?” I got the exact same reaction from this older Japanese guy in a windbreaker styled like a blazer, unremarkable jeans, cheerfully striped socks, and tan penny loafers. Definitely not a denim-bro or really showing off, but it was a nice combination. By the way, both of these guys’ outfits flattered their respective body types.
A few items I liked: a vintage linen sailor shirt reminds me of Japan. This very old work shirt’s front is styled like a frilly tuxedo. It must be special, because it was falling apart but it cost like $600.! It seemed like the 1920’s version of the weird clothes I see on blogs or GQ.com slide shows. This pair of ketchup-red oxfords was pretty inexpensive, but it looked well made. I think I could pull them off. The tan stitching over the welt was very nice, but they didn’t fit me. – Ryan