Too Much of A Good Thing

Words by: Andrew Williams


As I write this I’m listening to Dean Martin; as a rule I’ll quite happily drink cocktails with dinner; I read books on the Rat Pack and Sixties film icons; my favourite song is ‘Come Fly with Me’, sung of course by Frank Sinatra; my dream car is the Jaguar E-Type and don’t even get me started on Mad Men.  So you could say I’m a man with a long and ingrained appreciation for that age of manliness, the early 1960’s.

A few years ago I discovered Adam Shener. His shop, Adam of London, in Portobello sells suits authentically styled in the fashion of that peculiarly English movement known as the Mod’s. Tapered and tailored three button suits are the signature piece, and he stocks a full range of shirts and knitted silk ties. I thought his shop great. An original Mod himself, I loved what Adam was trying to do and his complete avoidance of the dictates of current fashion. Sadly, since then fashion has caught up with him.

The 60’s style revival that has happened over the last few years, which if not started by the cult status achieved by Mad Men was certainly accelerated by it, seems all pervasive. Knitted ties, and slim cut suit silhouettes are everywhere.

Of course if you talk to the genuine article, men like Adam, you’ll realise that most of it is a bastardisation of the authentic style of early 1960’s. But the era is yet another victim of fashions tendency towards overkill. But then anybody with a love of American Work Wear or genuine Ivy League will no doubt feel similarly – more Madras ties anybody?

The realisation that I’d just had too much of a good thing struck me this week when I visited Jaeger’s Autumn/Winter 2010 review day. While there were plenty of items I liked, and a few I will certainly be getting, my overriding feeling was ‘please God not another 60’s styled collection’. Of course it’s not entirely the fault of this company, this era was its heyday and it is only natural that they should take a look in their considerable archive for inspiration.

Fortunately, fashion is ever looking for the next big thing; and I shall retire to my sick bed with a copy of Shawn Levy’s ‘Rat Pack’ to aid my recovery.