Dr. David Thorpe and Zack Parsons journey through the time portal back to the fashion magazine advertisements of the 1960s and 70s. Will they survive? Find out in this nail-biting edition of Fashion SWAT.
Dr. Thorpe:The beauty of practically anything relating to popular culture is that it looks absolutely stupid in thirty or forty years. The cases you're about to see, though, were probably stupid to begin with. Their ridiculousness has only been compounded by time.

Zack:It's important to keep in mind that high fashion always attempts to walk the fine line between silly and suave, usually ending up well in the silly territory. However, in the case of these advertisements from old British magazines we're talking about regular fashion. Commercial fashion. There's just no excusing this crap.

Zack:When in a vague suggestion of Rome do as the Romans and wear giant Aztec belt buckles.

Dr. Thorpe:This photo shows Don Johnson and his prized magical belt buckle. And his stoic gentleman-friend who shall soon find the true magic beneath it.

Zack:Yeah, the guy on the right desperately needs a cane. Maybe the kind with a naked woman rendered in pure silver on top.

Dr. Thorpe:Those haircuts are a thing of marvel. Do you ever look at ruins of Greek architecture and think "man could never do that now?" Well, those haircuts give me that same feeling.

Zack:Oh, I think we have the technology for those haircuts still. We just use it more responsibly in the aftermath of Chernobyl.

Dr. Thorpe:It's sort of cute how they try to look like badasses while dressed like white versions of Shaft.

Zack:What about the belt buckle with the sweater? Who wears a goddamn belt buckle with a sweater? Some sort of 1960's detective from the Deep South. Cletus Mandrake, PI.

Dr. Thorpe:That statue in the background looks embarrassed to be there, frankly.

Zack:The text at the bottom confuses me. I think it's "MAN AT C&A" but the lack of spacing keeps making me think "MANATCA!" which seems a fitting quasi-word for this image.

Dr. Thorpe:Notice how you can't see where the guy on the right's hand is. And now, having seen that, the tall one's expression takes on a new significance: "Yeah, Zack? What are you going to do about it?"

Zack:"Nothing, bold warrior king MANATCA! I tremble in your presence!"

Dr. Thorpe:"Does this offend your futuristic American conservative morals? Well, eat belt buckle, sorcerer!"

Zack:I am a Connecticut Yankee in King MANATCA's court.

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About This Column

Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.

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