You might have noticed that recently, for reasons unknown to me, there has been a marked increase in comments on this site. The post on Rogues Gallery generated quite a few remarks from all sorts of different readers. Nothing like the photo Aaron Levine, but a healthy debate. Yesterday an ACL reader named Marc D. left one of the most well thought out and insightful pieces of commentary (on that same Rogues Gallery thread) I have seen here to date. I think that the comment is worth a closer look.
I find this comment thread really amusing, it’s funny to listen to an outsider’s perspective on a geographic region.
Being a native Mainer, it’s not uncommon to listen to an ‘outsider’ (god I hate that word but what else can I say?) describe my state in the same terms they would describe a cave (cold, dreary, dark..etc.). It’s the equivalent of perpetuating any of the countless stereotypes about NYC. Without sounding like the Maine board of tourism, it’s really just an average, low key place like any other, just a little colder.
While a fashion designer will sometimes invoke their surrounding for inspiration, it is the countless other influences (music, movies, books, etc.) that ultimately shape the line. Saying that Rogues is a reflection of Maine is like inferring that Isaac Mizrahi must live inside of a rainbow. Rogues appears to be influenced more by the literary world (Jack London, Stephen King, etc.) and historical artifact of any kind than lobstering, logging, and lobster rolls at the Crab Shack in Kennebunkport. I mean one of the previous seasons saw General Custer as a print, and I’m pretty sure the Battle of Little Big Horn didn’t happen in Bangor.
In all, it’s fashion, regardless of how you feel about it there’s no denying that Alex has done a successful job of assembling all of his influences from Ralph, Abercrombie, and L.L.Bean into a clear, cohesive, relevant, and fresh perspective on menswear.
Kyle, your connection to the RG guys aside and while I love your passion for our great state, abh1wordpress is right. But in your defense, it’s a fashion line, whether is derives it’s inspiration from workwear or not it’s FASHION.
PS – Faith, if you’ve actually read this far, Rogues does have a women’s offering but I haven’t seen it available outside of the Portland, ME store.
PPS – In regards to the plummetting lobster prices: Around the holidays there was a huge push locally for people to eat lobster for Christmas dinner rather than the usual ham. Have any of you in “The City” ever had a lobsterbake for Christmas? I don’t think so. ;-)
One last thing: using the word ‘authentic’ to describe fashion gets under my skin. There is nothing authentic about fashion, everyone copies everyone. Unless you are the original like the Bass Weejun or the L.L.Bean Hunting Shoe (which are both Maine inventions I might add), you are not authentic.”