Saturday, July 25, 2009

Coiled Pleasures returns...

...and is certainly worth a lick. Now if we can only get Ethan Desu back on the horse my 9-9:30AM will be entertaining again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

English haberdashery stands strong at The Collective

Drake's shantung regimentals

Drake's indian silk madras

Cufflinks should always be double faced

Inspiration found me in the form of English accessories at this year's Collective menswear show. They say that God is in the details and if that's true then Michael Drake is certainly a pious man. His 30 years young Drake's London epitomizes subtle elegance. The only gimmicks he utilizes in his tightly curated line are painstaking quality of make and unparalleled creativity in material usage. The silk madras and raw shantung give his Spring '10 collection a distinctly Indian feel. I can hardly wait a year to get my hands on that burgundy repp pictured above.

The other English show stopper was Smart Turnout. Their product runs the gamut from cricket sweaters to UPENN needlepoint pillows but their smartest turnout has to be their scarves, watchbands & hosiery. They've obtained the licensing for all the Ivy league colors (we all know I'm a sucker for this stuff) as well as a slew of Great Britain's regiments. This gives their offering the authenticity that their competitors lack. You know that Harvard letter sweater you went looking for at the COOP only to find that they stopped selling it some 30 years ago? Smart Turnout has you covered.

I want to say thanks to AC (A Fresh Take/Adam Christopher) for granting me access to some great product and even greater people. I'm going to be sitting down with him next week to get a wrap up on The Collective and his take on where he sees the men's industry in the future. Until then, enjoy the weekend.

Gant's right foot forward

The following press release was waiting for me in my inbox when I arrived at work today. This is a great step for Gant. I was just admiring the revival of some of their heritage pieces at The Collective the other day. With Michael at the helm "The Hugger" will really be the hugger and probably the best RTW woven shirt on the market.

"NEW YORK, JULY 22, 2009 – GANT announces today that Michael Bastian, the menswear designer who has lead the return to a new era of all-American style, will design a Fall 2010 men’s capsule collection for GANT, the originator of American sportswear since 1949. This exciting collaboration will be unveiled this winter in New York and other key international markets.

Michael Bastian commented, “I see my version of the GANT guy as the younger brother to the MICHAEL BASTIAN guy. He’s tailored, a bit sporty, and a little more athletic, with a modern edge that feels both approachable and sophisticated. Working with GANT will allow me to reach a larger audience, and together we will provide a modern and workable proposal for the perfect American guy’s wardrobe.”

The 50 piece collection will stand on its own as a symbol of American design ingenuity, a colorful and focused collection of wardrobe essentials that provide polished style at more accessible prices.

The line will encapsulate all classifications, including tailored clothing, outerwear, wovens, knits, jersey, pants, denim, and accessories. Inspiration will draw from GANT’s extensive archives and rich authentic history, fused with Mr. Bastian’s trademark modern take on the true essence of American sportswear. Clothing and accessories prices will be approximately 20% more than GANT’s existing labels.

Ari Hoffman, GANT’s US President and CEO stated, “We can think of no other designer that speaks the GANT language as closely as Michael Bastian does. His interpretation of American sportswear is quintessential. As GANT has grown into an international brand with a global focus, Michael Bastian will complete our journey back to the American sensibility of today’s GANT.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Jacob Reed man...

My parents came of age on the heels of the previous generation's save everything - waste nothing mentality. Their house, full of endlessly crammed closets & storage spaces, is a true reflection of this. Since my Father passed away, I have taken to trying to sift through one each time I return home. This past weekend I headed north up I-87 on the hunt for Vermont's best micro brew and for Dad's best college digs. I found my fair share of both. Pop's college shop was Jacob Reed's Sons, established in 1824. The building still stands on Chestnut St. in Center City but unfortunately the Clothier is long gone. As the story goes, my Grandmother set up a charge account there without Grandpop's knowledge so that Dad would look his best while he escorted "Candy" Bergen (and later my mother) to date functions at the Beta house...

Jacob Reed carried just what one might expect from an early 60's Ivy League outfitter: private label Gant "Hugger" oxfords, authentic bleeder sack jackets & grey chalkstripe flannel suits with a natural shoulder & a 3/2 roll. Above is a sampling of my father's JRS collection as well as my personal favorite find: His Sox Miller Co. half lined madras blazer. What I love the most about it is that its clear that Pop wore it religiously. Check that fraying around the collar. That's something a man must earn.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Strummer Sundays - Tom Snyder and the english civil war

They offered their records at discount prices and played until every last ticket holding fan got to see them. These are just a couple reasons why they are deservingly referred to as the only band that mattered.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

On the List - English rowing memorabilia

My recent interest in English rowing memorabilia has lead to the acquisition of the vintage crew seat pictured above from ebay uk as well as a whole host of inspiring images for apparel and home design. The balance of the photos above were pulled from the “Still Waters Run Deep” antiques exhibition at Manfred Schotten Antiques. Check out the link if this stuff excites you because its just the tip of the iceberg.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A decent way to spend your fourth...

Dickie & Freddie would do it on a boat off the coast of Mongi, I did it on the shores of the Navesink. I may be doing a whole lot more there soon but we'll just have to wait and see about that. I hope you all had a great weekend celebrating the day the brave founders of this country decided they were fed up with their absentee oppressive government. We could learn a thing or two from them as well.