Interchange by Ansel Adams, Los Angeles, 1967
"Guaranteed to Bleed", real deal bleeding Indian Madras cotton garments available from this Etsy seller and select few other vintage resellers
Dave Brubeck (ready for his close-up), UK EP, 1960
The Kingston Trio...from the "Hungry i", recorded live in North Beach, San Francisco, released on Capitol Records in 1959...I remember pouring over the line drawing in the background for ages as a kid!
Speaking of which, I asked him where one could find these styles in a some-what sleep military town like San Diego back in the day. He replied:
"4 stores in San Diego, Roberts and The Highlander (which is still alive). The third, The Ascot Shop in La Jolla, is still there as well, but we were too poor to even drive to La Jolla. The last was Lion Clothing. Right on Broadway downtown. Long since gone. They sold the absolute best traditional clothing. This is where I bought my suit when I got married. Funny story here. Dad [his father Ugo Rossi, ed.] bought all of his Ivy League suits at Roberts usually during the January sales and from his high school friend, David Reed. I remember because their connection beyond high school was that David went to Reed College and my uncle went to Portland. David had a son, also a David, who also went to Reed is a famous artist. I have to say that my dad was the style guy with his cuffed pants, vented-jackets, and, of course, wingtips, which I had to shine for him weekly."
Early-1900s newspaper advertisement for Lion Clothing
I pressed him a bit further on details. What were the hallmarks? Were there any particular regional favorites within the style? He was happy to oblige:
"Hickey-Freeman suits: all wool. English Walkers wingtips. My dad wore them all the time. Don't confuse with British Walkers. They are not the same. Other popular shoes were saddles and Bass Weejun penny loafers. Black and white saddles were the rage worn with powder blue slacks and with button-downs. Everyone in high school wore these kinds of clothes because we also had to wear blazers every day which were bought at only one place...Roberts! As a senior you could choose another color and we chose olive drab. All underclassmen had to wear black. Fridays you had to wear a tie, so getting dressed up was the thing. Add a skinny tie and you were good to go. It was also the beginning of the "dry" look. No more Brylcream or Wildroot Hair Tonic. The greasy look was dead to coincide with the clothes. Grease started leave in the late 50's. Again, Kingston Trio influence as well as surfer influence."
Manufacturer stamp from the extremely illusive English Walkers brand shoe
One final story. When I finally purchased my first new Brooks Brothers oxford cloth button-down shirt from their Century City shop in 1996, I immediately called my father with the news. I was immensely proud of myself and felt like I had attained some degree of maturity and success. And indeed I had.
Happy Father's Day Pops!