Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.
S3E28: Aesthetic Moments with JJ Lee

Colin Marshall sits down in Vancouver's Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden with JJ Lee, menswear writer, broadcaster, and author of The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit. They discuss where to buy pocket squares in Vancouver (and whether to just have your kids make some); what to wear during the city's "false start summer"; his own uses of color, and his gradual approach toward "weird clothes"; our coming age of wide-open, postmodern suit-wearing, a recovery from men getting stupid about dressing in the sixties and seventies; his own early dislike of suits, when they to him represented all that went wrong in society; his father's quick rise, painful fall, and the undiagnosed, self-medicated depression that laid under it; his realization that people are highly aesthetic beings, always creating aesthetic moments; the adoption of tragic versus comic narratives, and which one led his father to stop dressing well; the way precision has replaced instinct for well-dressed men; Montreal and its status as Canada's style capital; his favorable impression of Toronto's dress, textbook though it may be; Vancouver's athleticism-influenced casualness and its limitations; how he starts conversations with clothes, even in New York; the lie behind the idea of "truth" in dress; how men now wear suits, but often defensively, out of fear; the decline of Chinatown tailoring culture; the way men today don't quite know how to be in a tailor shop, never having had that sort of interaction before; and his current project of essays on fatherhood, and the importance of leaving a legacy of ideas for his sons.

Direct download: NCC_S3E28_JJ_Lee.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:22pm UTC