Friday, February 05, 2010

Style Profile: Norman Rockwell

Currently, I am enjoying looking back in time to how people dressed.  Understanding what truly is meant by vintage, beyond just what is spoon feed us by retailers and designers, but instead what the people of a time period really wore. Or at least what they wore in pictures and in paintings.  Norman Rockwell is a perfect place to look for an honest representation of a time period. His artwork may be idealized in themes and concepts but certainly not in his representation of people's looks and clothes. A few things about Rockwell jump out at me as I studied his artwork and him.

First off, I was impressed with his own personal style. I think that is part of the reason he represented other peoples style in such a flattering way.  He wore appropriately sized suits, great overcoats and hats.  A well dressed man for sure.

Even more impressive is his representations of other people's style.  Take for example the Freedom of speech picture at the top of the blog.  The gentleman in the picture has a vivid blue plaid shirt and well tailored jacket.  He represents the weather patina on the jacket, distinguishing it realizing the style in the man's outfit.  He looks like the man next door, with inherent style.  Take a notice at the gentleman in suits on either side of the protagonist, they both have nice suits worn in a stylish manner.

Take the picture of college student Willie Gillis.  He is casually relaxing in his dorm window reading a book and smoking a pipe.  He has a crew neck long sleeve shirt, brown pants and loafers, a very nice combination that fits him well.  To give the outfit a kick, Rockwell gives Gillis a pair of striped socks.  The reds, yellows, blacks and whites of the sock are the pop that takes the outfit from plain to stylish.

Lastly, take a look at the picture entitled, The Lineman.  Rockwell represents a power line worker in fall or winter in the middle of a repair.  The worker is quite stylish in his work clothes, utilitarian and stylish.  The buffalo check jacket with a hint of a blue workshirt popping out from the collar.  The brown khaki work pants, brown boots and matching leather gloves.  On top of his head is a navy wool cap, keeping hi head warm.  This is an effortless outfit, but still quite stylish.  Amazingly, the outfit feels modern, even now.

Norman Rockwell definitely has style.

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