Western Style

A vernacular fashion. It triggered the most powerful peaceful revolution ever seen in the field of clothing. Blue jeans are the item of clothing that only a few people on earth have decided not to include in their wardrobe. They are also the first example of mass “dressing down” that became a tacitly accepted rule, in which the middle class adopted the clothing of the working class. If, along the span of the 1950s, jeans and “dressing down” expanded into the middle class, the western style, almost in form of compensation, evolved increasingly toward an ornate and glamorous elegance. For that matter, from the very beginning, the figure of the cowboy (as in the many Hollywood movies featuring singing cowboys in the 1930s and 1940s) is a figure from the mass imagination, rather than a genuine depiction of reality, the reality of the hard manual labor of the prairies. In this sense the Las Vegas version of the cowboy, dressed in rhinestones and lamé, is the natural consequence of the process of self-legitimizaiton in stylistic terms. Nudie Cohen was one of the masterminds of this process. Much of the glamorous excesses, from Gene Autry and Roy Rogers to Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton, were the products of his inventive mind. He made an important contribution to the appropriation of an imaginative style as evident proof of success.