11 September 2009

Knowing Where to Draw the Line

While driving home from school today a well-dressed mannequin standing in someone's front yard caught my eye. Behind her were piles of old clothes, accessories, luggage and a friendly woman welcoming people to peruse the collection. Nothing had price tags, but she (the woman, not the mannequin) said that she could part with most anything for under ten dollars. That seemed fair enough, so I dove in and soon discovered that Buffalo's best vintage store had sprouted up overnight in my residential neighborhood.

I found a few fashionable ties, two of which have tags from Buffalo retailers that outfitted the city's finest dressers in more prosperous times. One tie, for instance, came from the Kleinhans Company, which opened in 1893. My first Kleinhans find came from this AmVets about a year ago and it still makes me smile every time I see it in my closet. Needless to say, I was pretty happy to find another one today. I was also quite pleased to find a few fifties-looking sharkskin blazers and a couple of decent shirts. But by far, the most exciting find was a denim jacket with an embroidered caricature of Aerosmith on the back.

Can't believe your eyes? Here's a closer look.

A little Internet research revealed to me that the image comes from their fifth studio album, Draw the Line (1977). According to an uncited bit of trivia on the album's Wikipedia page, the band was so famous at that point that they didn't even need to put their name on the cover!

Indeed, the caricature came so close to the reality that Columbia execs felt confident in its instant recognizability.

In the end I admitted my failed confidence in the efficacy of ironic dress and left the jacket behind. C'est la vie, say the old folks. So obviously I'm not going to post Draw the Line here at Lucky Mon-gol, but if you get a hankering to hear the strange sounds of a Yankee blues rock and 70s glam train wreck, you can find it at the blog of a dedicated fan. I will, however, leave you with one last intriguing photo to ponder.

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