Ed Driscoll

THEN AND NOW

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t completely wallow in nostalgia–there’s a lot about today’s society that I like. But it’s tough not to feel that we’ve lost a fair amount of civility, when comparing this essay on Manhattan in 1939 (linked to by James Lileks) with this recent article in the Wall Street Journal on today’s fashions–or lack thereof.

The 1980s rediscovered fashion to a certain extent. As Lileks once described it people temporarily threw off their beat 1970s Army surplus olive drab Vietnam-protesting jackets and decided to look sharp.

Will it happen again? Hope springs eternal, but its arteries (at least around here) are definitely feeling sclerosed these days.

Ironically, America has lost its sense of fashion, just as it’s become obsessed with design aesthetic. But how do you abandon personal aesthetics, and insist on good design in inanimate objects?