17 March 2014

GQ's Ireland (1962)










GQ Magazine, April 1962

While GQ seemed to be the smaller and more intellectually challenged little brother of Esquire, and I've waded thru years and years of both….GQ, for a time, stood on firm turf in the early to mid '60s... both visually and in the writing.  This April issue celebrated Ireland and it has a moody and dark attitude.  I love it.

An GQ is not easy to find and this came from a bound volume so scanning was a challenge.  However, inspirational ideas, fashion jargon for 'stealing,' are everywhere despite the binding.  Not only in unique layout, photography and stories but in the apparel itself.  The nubby stripe shirt reminds me of nubby silk Rooster tie stripes -- A mitre madras shirt reminds me of…nothing. It's unlike anything I've ever seen and I'd kill to have one today.  A rain coat with hacking pockets and sleeve turn ups?  I'd buy that.  I'm even saving up for a Jill Gill - - the NYC artist of all those beautiful whiskeys.

I know fashion designers dig thru these old mags but do fashion editors?  I'm guessing most do not.  And for the very first time, during NY Fashion Week, my hunch was confirmed from widely divergent sources regarding what we'll call,  "Fashion editor illiteracy."   "He didn't know shawl from peak."  "Zip knowledge of apparel history."  "I had to explain canvas construction." "All he liked was black." You get the idea.

I sat in front of Nick Sullivan at Esquire and in a couple minutes he showed me a 1950's Mac hanging on the back of his office door and pointed out the construction suggesting it might even be my size.  We discussed the military influence of clothing and why stealing unit insignia was not only vulgar but unnecessary.  And sure, there was the 24 hour "shoe-cam" which was monitoring what he wore on his feet everyday…but the man was fashion literate.  That much you could not argue.

G. Bruce Boyer bemoaned the GQ of today doing a 20 page spread on jeans and t-shirts.  It's what they know, Bruce.    But I'm guessing there's an archive somewhere in that GQ office and I'd like to suggest it would be a lot more fun to go thru than the PR pitches.

7 comments:

Squeeze said...

Arnold Gingrich would throw up.

tintin said...

So would Arnold Tinseth.

Anonymous said...

Really nice photography. That shooter was on his knees the whole time pushing the compositional boundaries all the while. "Find me a Gregory Peck-type, now!"

Layout design took a chance on the cover shot with all that blur up front and no type to hide it.

-DB

Oyster Guy said...

Smart people with taste, historical knowledge and capital can build a better widget but how do you get not so smart people, dripping with ego, ignorance and narcissism but with capital, to buy it?

There has to be some Italian, 500 or 600 years ago, with answers.

Enzo AGC said...

Oyster Guy - There's always an Italian with answers.

Oyster Guy said...

I am starting to see an ad campaign coming into focus..."Whatever the problem / question....there is always an Italian with solutions / answers..."

ELS said...

"Ireland...has a moody and dark attitude"

I once spent a week on an island on a loch near Lisdoonvarna. Ate trout straight out of the peaty water via a pan of almonds and butter, and topped up my whisky over the side of the boat. Had to row to the pub and some joker nicked my wellies. Incomplete mouldy pack of playing cards and psychological warfare were my entertainment. Felt like a month. Brutal country.