The Edwardian Cowboy | What Are You Wearing? | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » What Are You Wearing?

The Edwardian Cowboy


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Lawrence Peters, 40, drums for the psychedelic band Plastic Crimewave Sound and plays washboard and sings in the country act Hardscrabble.

Heather Kenny: You're known in the local music scene for the way you dress. When did you start paying attention to clothes?

Lawrence Peters: My mom was pretty liberal--she let me dress myself. There are some funny photographs of myself in a leopard-print vest and red-and-white-striped pants.

HK: When you play country, you really look the part.

LP: The country garb I really like is more 50s and 60s honky-tonk, with the fringe and shiny stuff. When I wear it, I really have to live up to it. It's a little extra incentive to cut loose and do your best job representing country music.

HK: But some of your clothes are kind of dandyish.

LP: I like that Edwardian look--tight striped pants, a vest. Back then people got clothes made for them or made them themselves. I used to go to thrift stores, but they don't have a lot of what I like anymore. When I decided to get some clothes made, I went to Dame Couture. I showed them painter's pants--I like the fit and the pocket on the side. The first pair they made was beautiful, but the fabric stretched. So the second pair I had made really tight. I had a pocket put on the side, a utility pocket for keeping rulers or pliers. I keep a pencil or my watch in it. It was really exciting to have them just right.

HK: So do you yearn to live in a kinder, gentler time?

LP: I don't want this to be 1958 at all. It's prefeminism, and racially it was not a time I would have wanted to be born into. For me it's a style thing. If you're willing to dress like a weirdo, let your freak flag fly, you're more likely to be open to other stuff, more likely to be honest about other stuff. But not everyone has the luxury of being a musician and wearing whatever they want.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Saverio Truglia.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment