Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Beatles close up and private

Earlier this month we were contacted by Sergei Sviatchenko who alerted us to his on-going style project, Close up and private. We love how it celebrates classic details alongside contemporary looks through a unique form of photographic documentary. The real beauty of menswear is in the details and this style project celebrates them. With this is mind Sergei has sent through his latest spread of images, an homage to the Beatles...

Fans of The Beatles will know that their back catalogue has finally been digitally remastered and is due for release today along with Beatles: The Rock Band. To celebrate this fact, Sergei sent through his pictorial homage to the band. Although we are fans of the fab four's music (who isn't?) we've never really appreciated their style. This series of images forces us to readdress this point and might make you look at the mop top and mod style a little differently. So why not sit back with your favourite Beatles' track (Steve's is Blackbird from The White Album and EJ's changes constantly but is currently 'Michelle' from the Rubber Soul album) and let the images wash over you...

From the very beginning, The Beatles recognised the importance of style and were constantly reinventing their look along with their music. Dark suits soon gave way to lighter, Edwardian style, collarless ones. When The Beatles took to the world stage in the 1960s, they sported an unusual mix of smart suits and shaggy, moptop hair. At a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, shortly after the Beatles' arrival in the United States, Harrison was asked by a reporter, "What do you call your hairstyle?" He replied "Arthur." A suitable name for it, don't you think?

The band's mod suits were among the defining looks of the 1960s and have been coming back in to fashion ever since. The Beatles' in-house tailor was a Londoner called Dougie Millings, who made many of their early stage suits. Millings apparently took the idea of collarless jackets from similar suits created in 1960 by Pierre Cardin.

John Lennon's round glasses were a defining element of hippie style during the 1960s counterculture movement. Of course to contemporary eyes they have more than a hint of Harry Potter about them but these classic, simple, round wire frames never really go out of style.

This is one of our favourite shots because we are picturing an army of lust fuelled teenage girls making chase out of the shot. The 'Beatle Boots' like the ones above are a direct descendant of the Chelsea boot (from which the pointed toe and centre seam stitch was derived) and the Flamenco boot (from which the Cuban heel was derived). The boots originated in October 1961, when John and Paul saw Chelsea boots whilst browsing in Anello & Davide. The pair consequently commissioned four pairs (with the addition of Cuban heels) for the band. The 'Beatle Boot' created queues of 'Mods' outside the Drury Lane shop, and has been in popular demand ever since.

The way Close Up and Private highlights men's style in a personal way makes this a refreshing find and one which will surely provide hours of procrastination fodder.

3 comments:

Jason said...

Love this. A great way to celebrate Beatles day

dapper kid said...

Wow, I am loving these shots. There is something so special about fashion close up photographs, it opens your eyes to the appreciation of those often overlooked details. Thanks for the heads up, it is now bookmarked!

JFK Jean said...

Great post. If there's one band whose style can do no wrong, it was The Beatles. No Sgt. Pepper jackets? haha.....

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