There’s something about the swing era that continues to fascinate. Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington–the names of the giants are still well known today. The songs and tunes are familiar to virtually everyone: “Begin the Beguine,” “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” “And the Angels Sing” (I’m partial to Della Reese’s pre-”Touched by an Angel” cover myself). Designer Versu Richelieu of VR Phlux (currently in transition from the original name, VR Designs) has recently taken inspiration from the era and created several new outfits with vintage styling. We hope you enjoy this joint review–I’m covering three outfits, and Cat is reviewing two others. And don’t dwell on the fact that the location for my pictures is entirely period-inappropriate–that was more for fun than anything.
The “Leo” outfit you see here includes two shirts with necktie (one with long sleeves, another with rolled sleeves), high-waisted striped trousers, braces, brown prim pork pie hat, and simple two-tone shoes. The shirts are provided on the shirt layer, with the braces on the jacket layer. This not only allows the braces to overlay the shirt properly, it gives you the option of wearing the shirt without the braces, or vice versa if you are so inclined. The shirt color, bold tie pattern and striped trousers all come together in a bit of sartorial harmony you just don’t see every day–this is probably my personal favorite of these five outfits. Although that may only last until I look again at one of the others. “Leo” is priced at L$200.
The shoes included with these outfits are a combination of system shoes with a two-tone pattern and simple prim soles. It’s a great touch to include period-appropriate footwear essentially at no charge, but to me the beautiful clothing really cries out for top-quality prim shoes. I’ve matched each outfit with a pair of Dress Oxfords by Eponymous Trenchmouth, available at Jeepers Creepers. These shoes are just gorgeous–take a look, and I pretty much guarantee that you’ll take home a pair or two.
“Rudy” includes vest and trousers in a classic windowpane check pattern, shirt with tie, braces, black prim pork pie hat, and simple two-tone shoes. This time, the shirt is on the undershirt layer, suspenders on the shirt layer, and vest on the jacket layer, all to accommodate natural layering. The bold check pattern works very well–the white lines stand out smartly from the black background. The vest backing is smooth grey satin, with a simple ribbon cinch. A long, eye-catching silver watch chain falls gracefully along the right trouser leg, almost to the knee, a bright visual accent to the dark fabric. This is a perfect ensemble for the sharp-dressed man out to catch an eye or two. The “Rudy” set is available for L$250.
“I don’t think I have a design philosophy other than, I make what I like, what looks good to me and hope other people like it as well. It is not about making as many outfits as I can to generate as much income as I can. I only make an outfit if I am inspired to do so.”
She went on to say, “I find when I am making something, whether it is an outfit or a building, if it does not appeal to me personally I lose interest in it and it becomes drudge work. RL has plenty of that, I don’t need it in SL too!”
Don’t think that Versu’s collection has nothing for dressier, even formal occasions. The “Rick” tux, worthy of Bogart himself, comes with double-breasted jacket, shirt with bowtie, braces, trousers and simple shoes. Once again the various clothing pieces are designed for natural layering and flexbile wear: jacket on the jacket layer (with skirt extension), shirt on the undershirt layer, braces on the shirt layer.
The jacket’s fabric texture is clean and smooth, with crisp black bowtie and shiny black studs. In classic fashion, the trouser legs are accented by a full-length satin stripe. A crimson pocket square provides a touch of color, drawing the eye like a rose blooming in the snow. This is the perfect ensemble for a special evening with your very own Ingrid Bergman. You can take it home for L$300.
All of these designs, along with a variety of other themed outfits by Versu, are available at VR Plux (phlux 169, 163, 35). The beautiful Deco-styled build is worth visiting for the architecture alone.
Photographed on location at the Sands Jazz Lounge (Sands Island 1 66, 17, 24).
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In a period when the government imposed production restrictions to fund World War II, the fashion industry wavered between exciting innovations like artificial fabrics such as rayon and the disheartening crush of shortages. Often, these scarcities directly influences resourceful new systems for creating clothing. Innovation was born out of necessity. Pre-war men’s suits consisted of a jacket, vest and two pairs of matching trousers. In the climate of the restrictive economic climate of the a world at war in the 1940s, practicality transformed the suit into a single vest or jacket and a pair of pants – a style convention that has remained ever since.
Men’s fashion during the decade is characterized by subdued colours, limited trimmings, fit-to-waist jacket cuts with wide lapels and waist pleated pants with center creasing. All aspects in Versu Richelieu’s new Swing Collection*. Male audiences are treated to several suits befitting of an era when big band music was in full swing, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman burned up the screen in Casablanca, and German starchitect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe brought his style of European design to North America.
VR Phlux revives the retroactive 1940′s man.
The Bugsy tuxedo (300L). Named after the infamous Austrian-American gangster, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel this double-breasted wool (possibly cheviot) tux tucked with white handkerchief would have customarily been worn to formal and semi-formal “black tie” events, which occurred after 5 P.M. (events after 6:00 P.M. warranted more elaborate “white tie” attire). The two-button tuxedo features framed velveteen notch lapels topped off by prim wing-tipped collar and silky bow tie for the fibery cotton dress shirt. The pleated trousers are vertically flanked by a lighter fabric along the outer pant leg. Wearing the pants with suspenders raises the waist to “Hollywood Waist” height as the confines of the pants layer alone does not allow for the high-cut waist that was the aesthetic of the day.
In this purchase set you will receive: tux jacket (jacket layer), suspenders (shirt layer), dress shirt (undershirt layer), tux skirting (skirt layer), tuxedo trousers (pants layer), prim collar and tie, and two-tone shoe (show layer) with prim soles
The Joe suit (200L). Casual in name and styling, this suit has a laid-back appeal this suit sans jacket would be a great choice for a night out at a local jazz bar or strolling along the boardwalk after work. The ensemble comes with silver cufflinked shirt with short collar. Pinstripes have always made a smart, chic fashion statement. The set pairs black pinstripe slacks with a jacquard-like dress shirt with pointed collar and two-button cuff. To accomplish the entire man-about-town appeal the dressed down outfit can be topped off by the simple felt pork pie hat with its characteristic flat top and small brim.
In this purchase set you will receive: suspenders (jacket layer), dress shirt with tie (shirt layer), pinstripe slacks (pants layer), pork pie hat (prim), two-tone shoe (shoe layer) with prim soles.
Suits have a charm that throws back to a time of lost innocence in the simple things in life. The Swing Collection uses minimal shading, relying primarily on the depth of the fabric itself to establish visual impact. To accommodate the high waist, the upper portion of the pants waist is attached to the suspenders. Each set is a complete outfit from head to toe, including a pair of two-toned textured shoes with prim soles which can be seen in the vendor ads in-store. As a prim shoe fascist my personal preference is to tie on a sharp pair of loafers or wingtips to complement the elegance of the collection.
Slick back your hair with Dapper Dan brand hair pomade, tuck your favourite 12″ Tommy Dorsey LP under your arm and head down toVersu’s flagship store at phlux (169, 163, 35) before heading to your sweetie’s house to start an evening of old timey romance.
* All items copy / mod / no transfer
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Model: Roberta Beauchamp