February 12, 2013
Finding, curating, and selling quality goods, while educating guys on what it is they're actually buying, is Bureau of Trade's mission and one they do quite well. On the eve of the site's relaunch, BoT takes a look back at the man who dressed Elvis.
It was 1952, and though WWII was over, America now faced a threat from within. Bankrolled by postwar prosperity, a cultural McCarthyism had taken hold of our youth and infected our land with a pestilential squareness. Buzzcutted Biffs prowled the halls of our high schools looking for nonconformists to wedgie. Our nation was in grave danger.
Just in the nick of time, luckily, a greasy pompadour appeared at Bernard Lansky's shop window.
Lansky Brothers was on Beale Street in Memphis, the very bosom of the American blues, and by the 50's, a dicey track of juke joints, cathouses, and ad-hoc casinos. It was a place that ran on pure swagger, which Lansky -- face of a Polish Jew, heart of a Memphis hustler -- provided in the form of the raffish, tailor-made mohair, sharkskin, and silk suits a young Elvis was now ogling. That swagger is what would save us all.
Elvis had a sparkle in his eye, a bunch of amazing ideas he stole from black people, and a voice that could drench the loins of a softball coach, but he was nothing without the clothes. Lansky put Elvis in the black suits with the pink piping. Lansky floated him gold lamé blazers when times were tough. And only in Lansky's wrapping does Elvis become the cultural big bang, the unstoppable, irresistible force that shimmies into America's living room on the Ed Sullivan show and frees our children from a horrifically bland Archie Comic existence.
Lansky clothed Elvis throughout his life, apart from, tellingly, his days as a bloated pillhead sweating to death in a polyester cape-neck jumpsuit -- those came from a costume designer. Lansky died in November at the age of 85.
R.I.P Bernard Lansky: Elvis' clothier, American hero, and a mensch. - Patrick Heig
Read More http://www.gq.com/style/blogs/the-gq-eye/2013/02/the-king-maker-meet-the-man-who-fashioned-elvis-and-saved-america.html#ixzz2LqoPfMZZ