ART IMITATES LIFE & VICE VERSA

To compensate for the volume of shoe-centric pieces lately, I thought I’d throw up some more film inspired stuff on here. In terms of traffic, a little less potent, but for the few of you who check this site out semi regularly, I’ll be presumptuous and assume it’s relevant to your interests. If you’re here and haven’t seen ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and you’re over the age of 20, you’re one of those characters who I don’t want to be seated next to at a wedding dinner. Pacino in a role that’s shouty but nuanced (those phone call scenes are pretty much as good as ’70s cinema gets), the amazing and much-missed John Cazale and an excellent Chris Sarandon on support and…fuck it, there’s no point even trying to talk it up, because if you know, you know. I knew it was based on a true story; P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore’s ‘The Boys in the Bank’ from a September 1972 issue of ‘LIFE’ about the John Wojtowicz case, but I forgot how much of that article (and the accompanying imagery) is in Frank Pierson’s screenplay and the final film, rather than Scorsese loosely channeling the doom atmosphere of Larry Clark’s ‘Tulsa’ for ‘Taxi Driver. For all the drama and panicked humour, it’s a strange, sad story really.

This Ain’t It Cool News conversation between Jason Schwartzman and Quint is a fun tangent from the usual press junket topics and Quint breaks out some close up shots of the University of Texas’s De Niro donations. I’d seen the ‘Taxi Driver’ “King Kong Company” tank jacket and shirt before, but Sam Rothstein’s burnt post-car bomb jacket from ‘Casino’? Insane.

Images taken from here.

I had the pleasure of talking to Jerry Cohen, founder of Ebbets Field Flannels recently. There’s a lot I wanted to ask him with regards to sportswear’s lost brands and techniques, but it’s heartening to see a man who is obviously obsessed with the subject of old sports making a career out of it and on his own terms. Go visit POST/NEW for the whole thing, but beyond the talk of several cities having their own hat shape as well as their own logos and colours, Jerry also schooled me on the difference between a varsity jacket and baseball jacket. To tie this to the talk above, Ebbets make a replica of Robert Redford’s New York Knights jacket from ‘The Natural’ (I think the OG was made by Maple Authentic Sportswear who made the film’s flannels too). Word to Wonderboy…

GW: On the jackets, is there a difference between baseball jackets and the more commonplace varsity jacket?

JC: Absolutely. Nobody asks me that because they assume they’re the same. The big difference is length. Varsity jackets went up on the waist but baseball jackets went longer. They were meant to be worn to warm up in, so the shoulders were cut different too. They used to make them tailored and varsity jackets were more bulky — Wilson made the best ones and I have a few originals.

GW: Are they from the 1950s?

JC: Yep, the 1950s. The Wilson jackets were beautiful, with a zipper or buttoned front and they just had a certain drape to them that was just gorgeous. That’s what we try to replicate. The wool isn’t as heavy. A varsity jacket used a Melton wool , but baseball jackets used an 18 or 19oz wool rather than the 24oz.

0 thoughts on “ART IMITATES LIFE & VICE VERSA

  1. crazy interesting piece! and now you got me thinking…i wonder how many people were influenced by harvey keitel’s character “sport” in taxi driver & how he was dressed? 😉