Colonial behavio(u)r and a sleeve pitch
Western civilization set the standards of dress for colonizers in foreign outposts in a way that stereotyped the differences between colonizer and subject populations. For example, Westerners often made a point of dressing in full European attire (woolen suits for men, corseted dresses for women) when touring up-country in the African bush or the jungles of Java; they wished their willingness to endure discomfort for the sake of dressing “properly” to be viewed as evidence of moral and cultural superiority. Although some Europeans in early encounter situations adopted local elements of dress, for example loose-stitched gowns of cotton and silk in India, colonial dress practice became increasingly rigid and formal. As time went by, colonial dress codes regarded cultural cross-dressing (a sign of “going native”) to be an affront to the standards of the ruling group. Obsessions over dress extended to climate and disease. The British in India and Africa wore special underwear to guard themselves against sudden weather changes. They wore sola topis, flannel-lined solar helmets, to protect themselves against the dangerous rays of the sun. The fears associated with the physical environment provoked a form of a sometimes suicidal depression that contemporary medical doctors in east and southern Africa decribed as tropical neurasthenia.
A paragraph that I thought noteworthy and more or less applicable to the featured photoset of our favoured playboy prince. It is taken from a piece on the fashion of imperialism and the influence of imperialism of the fashions of the colonized. Specific topics also covered at length in the second episode Making Ourselves at Home of the 2012 BBC documentary series Empire, worth a watch if you happen to give a shit, read:your interest in textile and their history goes beyond the superficialities of lookbook reblogs. And if, big if for some, you are able to endure with Paxo’s personality, his narration and presentation.
Added images of Prince Bernhard obviously, a passionate imperialist and skeptic on most matters concerning democracy, swanking and swaggering in an off white summer suit displaying what may just be the perfect sleeve pitch. Damn. That’s the who and what question adressed. Now look at that sleeve pitch again. Let it sink in for a while. Go over it. Redress. Reassess. Oh boy. Now for the sake of completeness, a short where, when, by whom: Dutch former colony of Suriname, October 1965, by Hy-Vo from the Fotocollectie Anefo. I want that colonialist sleeve pitch, and you should too if know what’s good for you.