Dressing your way into Mordor?

A continuation of my tentative foray into fashion writing.

In the post-Sopranos era of HBO-style drama ubiquity, TV shows seem to be dramatically improving in their general quality and in their calibre. Where once TV was seen as a “less intelligent” form of entertainment, novellesque shows like The Wire are starting to actually outshine the printed word in their literary value.

Naturally, these shows have the ability to create cultural phenomena and pop-culture does seem to follow the idolised characters. While real people in the popular conscience tend to be intensely scrutinised to the point where everyone who follows their lives are inevitably aware of their many flaws, fictional characters can still hold a great deal of mystique and provide inspiration to cultural movements.

In fashion, this has seen some very positive developments (in my opinion) — with Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire inspiring men everywhere to drop the daggy look that society had been sliding into and rather suit-up like champions. See the below article for more on this, or just look at Boardwalk‘s sharp-looking motherfuckers.

How Mad Men became a style guide | Television & radio | guardian.co.uk

The most prominent example of the Mad Men effect is the return of the suit. Some of the influence is subtle (higher waistbands, shorter jackets) while others are near rip-offs of the designs.


That said, the success of last year’s Game of Thrones — which takes the fantasy genre and uses it to not only create a drama with compelling and relatable characters, but also give a political critique of sorts — has resulted in something a little less sharp (well, perhaps a little more, depending on how you look at it). In what Selectism has branded “Black Metal Serfware“, the fantasy-warrior look, once the purview of underground goth clubs and not much else, seems to be slowly entering the mainstream.

As a reformed angry 13-year-old boy, I did once flirt a little with the “dark side” of teen culture (read: wore a lot of black), but thankfully I never crossed over into axe-wielding territory. I’m not sure how I feel about the “I’m going to save the princess from the evil wizard, just after I finish brooding” look catching-on again.

That said, these aren’t all bad. I actually ordered this The Only Son shirt because I really liked what was going on around the collar, even if they have the worst UI that I have seen on a website for a while.

Also, Lars Andersson definitely got something right:

Rochambeau on the other hand… well, nothing that can be described as “part Matrix, part Wild Wild West” could ever be good…


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  1. #1 by Comic Book Seeker on March 4, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Hello Majorkarnage,
    Interesting Post, ’cause after my friends and I see Avatar We were thinking about going to Mordor… we’ll already be dressed for the occasion and it’s kind of close.
    I’ll be back to read more next time

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