We hope you are able to see the beautiful new “Reigning Men” exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see a comprehensive collection of fashionable men’s clothing, and you may have learned some things about men’s fashion that surprised you. Beyond an opportunity to see some exquisite examples of menswear, the exhibition re-examines conventional gender norms, including the frequent equation of fashion with femininity and allows viewers to encounter and appreciate all the splendor of different eras.
If you haven’t seen the exhibit (yet), whet your appetite with the beautiful, hardcover book which accompanied the original exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This gorgeous book, filled with photographs from the Los Angeles exhibit, is a wonderful way to learn about three hundred years of menswear (and also allows you to examine some of the details up close). Reigning Men
We encourage you to explore our collection of resources at Central Library, as well. We have many books on menswear, including history and design, as well as guides to contemporary men’s fashion and how to be a well-dressed gentleman. Whether you’re a student of fashion and design, or just appreciate a well-cut suit and beautiful pair of shoes, we have a wealth of materials. Here are just a few examples (and our friendly staff are more than happy to show you more):
The Fashion Resource Book
This book is an essential guide to the process of visual research for men’s fashion and design and includes interviews with some of the industry’s top menswear designers;
Beautiful photographs accompany practical information on hairstyles, grooming and dress, in addition to history of menswear. From shirts and ties to suits and shoes (and everything in between), this book is a “must” for the sharply dressed man;
The Day of the Peacock
This book is especially fun, even though it focuses on a slim time period in men’s fashion. In the 1960s, men’s fashion experienced a major rebirth which led to lasting social, cultural and commercial change. In this book, illustrated with photographs and ephemera from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, you see why this period was one of optimism and opportunity;
Dandyism in the Age of Revolution
In the 1790s, almost every article of your clothing could be scrutinized for evidence of your political affiliation. This meant that in France, England and Spain, daring dress became a way of taking a stand against the political upheaval of the time. This is a fascinating look at history that you (I’m guessing) never learned in school; and
While this book mainly focuses on women’s fashion, you’ll also find menswear in its oversized pages. Absolutely stuffed with photographs and illustrations, this book is a pleasure to page through.