The Movement


(Sorry for the stock shot, finding a group photo of smartly dressed people isn’t as easy as it sounds. Click here for more Sartorialist inspiration but try and ignore the obviously inelegant.)
And if three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin’ a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out? They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day? I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
walking out. And friends they may think it’s a movement.

(Lyrics from “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie)

I’ve been reading about Allan Krapow (1927-2006) and his “happenings” of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Greatly influenced by Jackson Pollack’s gestural painting, the act of which he considered more important than the art it produced, Krapow aimed to blur the line between art and life. His happenings were the precursors to performance art. The pieces were concepted and set into motion, but they were unrehearsed. Art imitating life? Or life imitating art? Whatever you decide, his influence was far reaching. It can be argued that everything from Woodstock to the Flash Crowds and Smart Mobs of the early 2000’s are direct results of his philosophy.

And now, the Easy and Elegant Life International Smartly Dressed Scene.

June 7th, 2008 will mark the 230th anniversary of Beau Brummell’s birth. I propose that the 4,000 – 6,000 readers I have mark the event with a day of celebration of personal style. Our mis-en-scene will be the world at large.

Make it a point to gather several well-dressed friends (the more the merrier) and head for a local watering hole, museum, theatre or other public venue. Dress better than you have to. En mass, a statement will be made. Beauty will be in the eyes of the beholders and maybe, just maybe, someone will think it’s a movement. The news media will pick up on the sudden reëmergence of elegance. Strangers will be compelled to rethink the day’s shabby wardrobe choices. Long dormant manners will see the light of day. Heads will turn and polite smiles will be exchanged.

June 7th, 2008. The First Annual Easy and Elegant Life International Smartly Dressed Scene.

Please remember to take pictures and send them my way. I’ll publish any that you give me the right to display.

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