It might seem a little incongruous in this hustling, bustling digital era to draw correlations between the present and the 1930s, but that’s what they’ve done for M.J. Bale’s Autumn 2017 collection.
There’s no doubt that the 1930s was a time of great hardship and pain — a tumultuous era characterised by the 1929 Stock Market Crash, Great Depression and onset of World War Two. However, in spite of the flux, or because of it, the 1930s was an era for men forever regarded as the ‘Golden Age of Elegance’.
Men at the time were polished, knew their manners and dressed with panache. They knew fabrics, patterns, details and cared deeply for tailoring. Whether it was pure escapism, coinciding with the rise of crooning, jazz and moving pictures, where leading men like Cary Grant and Fred Astaire lit up the silver screen, or simply because grit and resilience breeds character. Either way, the 1930s man dressed for respect: both self-respect and the respect they had for others. They dressed for the reality they wanted, rather the one they were presented with.
For us all 2017 ushers in an entirely new era, a time of global change. Can we advance humanity with the dignity and respect it deserves? Only time will tell. What’s for sure, each one of us will need character to prosper. Let’s have a gentlemen’s agreement to step it up in 2017. We all need to give each other something to believe in. We all need to be better men.