I ask you– what is better than a shop that combines vintage bikes, service and supplies, and pairs it with selvedge denim and greaser-style gear?
Marlon Brando and James Dean were contemporaries– with a very contemptuous relationship. The were often compared, and neither one was appreciative. Brando publicly ridiculed Dean, accusing him of “wearing my last year’s wardrobe and using my last year’s talents…” Dean later responded– “I was riding a motorcycle long before I heard of Mr. Brando.” To Newsweek Dean said– “People were telling me I behaved like Brando before I knew who Brando was. I am neither disturbed by the comparison, nor am I flattered by it. I have my own personal rebellions and don’t have to rely on Brando’s.”
James Dean’s New York City apartment
What’s better than a piece about classic Hollywood Icons and their old pads?
The bull horns and matador cape were of special meaning to Dean. He had read the novel Matador by Barnaby Conrad, and for a while was obsessed with dramatizing it as an internal monologue without words, using just a few props. Dean also loved to play his bongo drum along to jazz records late into the night. He hung with a small, close-knit circle of actor/artist friends. Among them was a young Martin Landau.
I don’t know if you can tell from some of my recent posts– but I really need to hit the open road. Soon. This picture makes me especially itchy. Must. Get. Out.
When I was a boy there were certain things that were just cool to you. Tents, campers, convertibles, BB guns, slot cars, Indian arrowheads, Zippo lighters, hermit crabs, anything to do with a CO2 cartridge… well, you get the picture. But if I had to pick just one thing, it would probably be a motorcycle with a sidecar. Continue reading
I guess you either like Mickey Rourke, or you don’t. I am a huge fan of his early work– Diner, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Rumblefish and Barfly. Rourke had an intensity and edge that wasn’t an act or a persona, you felt it was really him. He made people uncomfortable and still does– only in a different way now. But somewhere along the way, we lost Mickey– or he lost us. He got squirrelly, and his face started morphing faster than Jiffy Pop over a campfire– and he started hanging out with the likes of Dennis Rodman and Jean Claude Van Damme– what’s that all about? I hope the old “birds of a feather” saying isn’t always true for your sake, brother.
Christopher Walken interviews Rourke (the crazy leading the crazy) for Interview magazine. Lots of good nuggets to mine–
MR: I was so nervous working with you. I think you had already won your Academy Award forThe Deer Hunter .
CW: Just, like, a month before we started shooting. I was probably really obnoxious at the time.
MR: Well, you were actors’ royalty, brother. I mean, you were someone we all looked up to.
CW: No, I was probably a pain in the ass.
MR: Well, you were always, like, this strange being from another place. Continue reading
Purple is certainly very regal & chic. But, I don’t know what to say… overall I am pretty underwhelmed with this entire collection. Looks like someone has designer’s-block. Very Ralph Lauren Purple Label– only gets you so far. What is Bamford & Sons P.O.V.? Continue reading
I’m writing this because of a recent experience I had. A friend that is an avid antique collector handed me an old I.D. tag and said– “check this out.” I wasn’t ready for the emotion and humility that overcame me as I held the old tarnished tag in my hand. I realized it was much more than a piece of stamped metal– it was someone’s personal story of sacrifice, for whom I may very well absolutely owe my own freedom too. I stood there for a second, unable to speak.
It was humbling to say the least.
The image above was taken in 1945, and shows American infantrymen lining up to drop their personal belongings (pictures and letters from loved ones back home, wallets, etc.) into boxes for safe keeping, and in accordance with regulations. Any items (except dog tags) that could identify a soldier were strictly forbidden on special missions. The soldiers here were stationed in Italy and preparing to embark on a night raid of German positions. Continue reading
You won’t fide a whole lot of actual shade at The Shady Dell, but you will find an artsy, desert haven down in Bisbee AZ. If I had the dough, I’d pack up and head there right now to escape my winter blues. Once New Year’s has come and gone, I am officially over it and ready for the sun.
The Shady Dell is run by a young, retro couple with a passion for 50s vintage living. There are 9 fully-restored campers ranging from a ’49 Airstream to a ’57 El Ray– often mistaken for an Airstream, but actually more rare and coveted.
Nestled perfectly within walking distance from each trailer is Dot’s Diner. Built in the 1950s by the pride of Wichita Kansas, The Valentine Manufacturing Company, this authentic diner was originally purchased by John Hart in 1957 and delivered to the corner of Ventura and Topanga Canyon Blvd in Los Angeles. The diner was transported by flatbed truck to the Shady Dell in November, 1996.
The twins put on a show that looked like ‘old world’ tailored formalwear meets Rock ‘n’ Roll rebel. The looks were very strong, when they stayed on message.
The ruggedly handsome leather & shearling outerwear was stunning, but left you wondering if the story really was ‘Estaire does denim’ or ‘tough country squire’?
The layered looks are great, and take a page straight out of Ralph Lauren’s book. If anything at all, Ralph is the true master at consistency of message and focus. Dean & Dan Caten should have taken that page too.
President Obama, we welcome you with open arms and heavy hearts.
The country is in a funk that many of us have never lived through before, and we’re in desperate need of a true hero to lead this great country.
You’ve talked the talk, now you must walk the walk.
The now iconic image of Barack Obama by Shepard Fairey, has become a piece of American history in itself, that captures perhaps better than anything, how the passion of youth (and youthful spirt), people of all cultures, and the arts have embraced Barack and helped to overturn the old guard.
“Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change…” --Barack Obama
Eddie Bauer is credited for inventing and patenting the first quilted down jacket in America, back in 1940. However, Moncler is synonymous with ‘down for the jet set’, and for Fall 2009 they unveiled Gamme Blue– a collection designed by Thom Browne. The looks are classic Thom Browne in terms of tailoring, and the very ‘tight and trad’ color story echoes Moncler’s heritage. Some of the looks are very editorial, and therefore down-right silly. Others are just what you expect when you think Thom Browne + Moncler.
Moncler’s story goes back to 1952 when they started producing technical mountain sports gear. They say their first down jacket came about when the Moncler workers made them for their own wearing inside the factory during the colder months. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
Meet the F131 Hellcat Combat.
I have big dreams of getting a bike. It’s a dream that most likely won’t be realized. I read an article that stated the average age of a guy that dies in a bike wreck is– well, let’s just say he’s my age. I thought for sure it would be the kid you see screaming by at insane speeds in a t-shirt and sneakers. Nope. Try the slightly older guy who wants to prove he can still keep up. He has the money to indulge, so he treats himself to something special and soon finds out that his ambition outweighs his ability– and he’s toast. I thought that was too big a sign to ignore. The man upstairs is trying to tell me something and I’d be stupid not to listen. Too bad– I had my ass-less chaps all picked out.
Founded in 1991 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by Matt Chambers, Confederate Motor Company set out to create machines utilizing a holistic, avant-garde process for celebrating the art of rebellion. American rebellion is adopted as fundamental to the pursuit of personal empowerment. They remain forever determined to challenge the establishmentarian view of what honest “new world” American industrial and mechanical design can be.
This has always been one of my favorite shots of James Dean. We’re used to seeing him highly-stylized, flawless and in technicolor– but here he’s just a guy hanging out like anyone else. There are some shots of Dean that I can’t even look at. In Giant, his character ages over the course of the story, so they shaved into his hairline to make it appear receding, and gave him a creepy (and very Sean Penn-like) mustache.
When James Dean was killed in that horrible crash, he had just finished filming Giant and his natural hairline hadn’t grown back in– so he looked older than he actually was when he died. That always seemed ironic and troubling to me.
Steve Mcqueen is an icon– and I still don’t think we appreciate this guy enough for all that he did in his lifetime. McQueen personified the “anti-hero”. A true man’s man who raced cars and motorcycles, and had a very enviable collection of both. He even flew his own plane, for cryin’ out loud. What a life this guy had. He ran away from home at 14- joined the circus- joined the U.S.M.C.- went AWOL- was eventually honorably discharged- worked in a brothel- on an oil rigger- and was even a lumberjack. Later he was an avid martial artist and friends with Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. It was McQueen that convinced Norris to take acting lessons, which could be considered a somewhat dubious distinction, but one that I’m sure Chuck greatly appreciates to this day.
As seen above, McQueen was no stranger to the workout room and had an exercise regimen of two hours a day, everyday. I love this shot for two reasons- McQueen of course, and his irrepressible charm- but also for it’s statement on simplicity. It reminds me of life when things were simpler, and in my humble opinion- better. To workout all you needed was an exercise bike, free-weights, jumprope, a chin-up bar and of course- a rope hanging from the ceiling.
I remember when this was a part of phys. ed. class. All of us anxiously lined-up in our tube socks, waiting our turn to try to pull ourselves up that rope. If you could, you were the man, and if you couldn’t, well… And look at what else- he’s wearing simple, classic grey sweatpants and they fit. No fancy– wicking, moisture management, antimicrobial blah, blah, blah. Cotton was the original, and still the best performance fabric.
Steve McQueen was, and still is the one that every guy wants to be, and that every gal wants to be with. Sometimes you just can’t improve upon the classics.
I love everything about this shot. The cast of characters lined-up on their stripped-down bikes getting ready to tear it up, and the guys behind them buying coffee from the food truck all huddled together in their jeans, pea coats (which were probably their own from when they were discharged) and engineer boots. BTW- the term “pea coat” is derived from pilot cloth or P-cloth, a coarse type of blue twill cloth with a napped face from which they were made.
I don’t see any gals around– must have been too cold.