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  • Writer's pictureEvan Wolkenstein

Mash It Up: Cold, Warm – Low, High

Cozy top. Cold toes.

Cozy top. Cold toes.

Two equal and opposite rules apply in all areas of the aesthetic.

Observe the categories.

Mash up the categories.


Wisconsin Captiol Building (Madison) Observes the Categories

Part of what makes this building attractive to the eye, for example, is the purity of the design. To a student of architecture, sure, the neoclassical design contains elements of various historical periods. But to my rather untrained eye,  the constancy, the balance, and the univocality of the building is what pleases my eye.

[That, and the fact that this building is about two blocks from the Great Dane;  this beacon of democracy actually resuscitates fond memories of undergraduate drinking and the eating of too many onion rings.]


The Contemporary Jewish Museum, SF, Mashes Up the Categories

On the other hand, this building, located in my second-favorite city, intentionally blends straight lines with shocking angles. A re-purposed electrical station is mashed up with an avante-garde Borg-like cube.


The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Western Wing: Resistance is Futile

It’s not as pretty. But it’s more fun to look at. While it’s clear that the first building is a place where committees argue over policies, the second building intrigues us,  makes us wonder what’s inside.

From Buildings to your Style

don draper

When putting an outfit together, you can observe either principal. Honor to the rules, perfectly. That’s what people mean when they say a suit (or someone’s taste) is flawless. He is or she is a vessel for age-old awesomeness to reside within.

Mash It Up

On the other hand, you can mash it up. As I mentioned last week, you can wear a tie to the park. If you do it right.

You can wear a snuggly-looking sweater with summery-looking chinos. 


A tie, cut from rough-textured canvas can sport classic, almost stuffy patterns – like paisley.

Sneakers can be made from Harris Tweed.

And altogether, you get a Libeskind-esque mash-up of old, new, high, low, serious, fun,

And all around awesome.

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