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California Casual: Lifestyle Marketing and Men’s Leisurewear, 1930-1960 by William R. Scott in Producing Fashion, Blaszczyk, Ed. Fashion History and Culture.

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Presentation on theme: "California Casual: Lifestyle Marketing and Men’s Leisurewear, 1930-1960 by William R. Scott in Producing Fashion, Blaszczyk, Ed. Fashion History and Culture."— Presentation transcript:

1 California Casual: Lifestyle Marketing and Men’s Leisurewear, by William R. Scott in Producing Fashion, Blaszczyk, Ed. Fashion History and Culture Thursday 6 September 2012

2 California Causal was a hybrid style:  It integrated the  High style of Hollywood and Palm Springs resort wear  Toughness of the Western frontier  Informality of the suburb, Scott, 170.  It referenced the American ranch and the French Riviera at the same time.

3 MAGIC (Men’s Apparel Guild in Cailf.)  California manufacturers organized around menswear and produced trade shows (the Round Up of 1942) and a publication, California Men’s Stylist and later Men’s Wear.  This organizational and editorial infrastructure allowed Los Angeles to promote California Causal nationally through lifestyle marketing and make inroads all the way to the East Coast.

4 California Lifestyle Drove the product.  Key attributes  Youth  Celebrity  Leisure  See Velban’s theory of the Leisure Class and Conspicuous Consumption/Conspicuous Leisure  Heterosexuality  Men were depicted in family situations and appeared looking off into the distance to avert homoerotic gazes, 182.

5 What men want in white-collar suburbia:  “Marketing tactics that linked products to explicitly masculine values had tremendous appeal to men who shunned consumption’s feminine associations. Just as most Playboy subscribers in the 1950s were married, California “frontier” clothes appealed to urban and suburban family men whose fantasies extended to rough-and-tumble living. Men’s penchant for fashionable clothes, long “hidden,” was made visible through the simple act of dressing down,” Scott 171.  Read footnote 5 & 6 on 325.

6 The ABC’s of California Casual  “California Fashion” is best exemplified by:  A—Styled and made in California.  B—Casual, easy fitting apparel.  C—Broader shoulder expression.  D—Tradition slightly sacrificed for comfort.  E—Use of the unusual in colors or color combinations.  F—Often using motifs and details which stem from the Old West, 175.

7  A fundamental shift from Fordist production-centered model to a consumer-centered marketing model, 177.

8 Even race was commoditized and folded into the California “natural” marketing narrative.  “From the Pueblos come the sombre tones of Tile and Adobe Red, while the gay costume of Mexican inhabitants brings forth an array of brightest red and green and gold.” By reducing Mexicans to the category of the natural, alongside mountain peaks and citrus groves, the leisurewear industry adopted an imagined “Mexican peasant look” at the moment when racial tensions mounted between Anglos, blacks, and Hispanics in Los Angeles. Naturalization of the Mexican “peasant” allowed the industry to appropriate Latino culture from a safe distance, 178.

9 The Round Up: Men Entangled  “The Round Up (men’s) fashion show prefigured the “peacock revolution” of the 1960s, the “glamorized male body” of the 1980s, and the “metrosexual” of contemporary parlance,” 185.

10 The Palm Springs Round Up: Merchandising Forum  Not just product, but how to merchandise and display the new fashion lifestyle using  Masculine leisure  Bodily display  Outdoors lifestyle, 186.  For forever more, marketing, not manufacturing, drove their businesses, 186.  The associations with sexuality, leisure, and status aspiration sold the clothes, 186.

11 And today California Casual Lifestyle Lives on!  &v=9BnC5m9hJsI &v=9BnC5m9hJsI

12 And today California Casual Lifestyle Lives on!


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