Go check out our little 2009 menswear wrap up collaboration with the folks over at Definitive Touch. Other contributors include– Drinkin & Dronin, Indigo & Cloth, Limited Hype, Mister Mort, Nooka, Put This On, Secret Forts, StyleFlavors, Valet Mag, and YVY Mag. See it here.
The Socorec family home was completed Saturday. There was a very moving ceremony to hand over the keys to Vicenta and the community joined in the celebration. The living structure itself is nothing that we would consider luxurious by our standards, but to them it is more than they could hope for– clean running water, (a spigot in the front room and a full sink in the back, as well as a toilet and shower!) full electric with a light and outlet in each room, and metal locking doors for piece of mind. It was a very joyful and emotional occasion. A neighbor or two were jealous and displayed their contempt by tossing rocks on the tin roof in an attempt to take away from the moment. To no avail, I might add. For Vicenta and her family it’s a new life, and I can say the same for me– being involved in this incredible experience has changed my heart and given me a new outlook on life.
You do see people taking pride here in Guatemala. Yeah, for a lot of them it’s all they can do to survive, but you do see glimpses where people make real efforts to beautify their little piece of the world– like this home/shop made of corrugated tin panels that was painted shades of blue, and kept very clean in comparison to what else is around. Can you imagine this being home sweet home? I have to tell you, this is pretty good for dump standards. There is much, much worse here.
My good friend Eric shared his thoughts on today and I think they are great– very succinct and honest. If it were me describing our first day working with the people who eek out a living in the stench and filth of the dump– it would read like War and Peace. Long.
We thought this was going to be the only beautiful thing in Guatemala and for the first 8 hours we were right.
The stylish menswear team at Ralph Lauren has been getting a lot of press time on the blog scene lately. Feels almost like a guerilla P.R. campaign.
Jerry Lauren is a legend in menswear and if you know him, you’ve heard the following Jerry-isms– “Regimentals for the gentiles” –pronounced regimentiles, as in regimental stripes & “The perfection is in the imperfection” –like the beauty and greatness of an old printed fabric is in the way that the screens are slightly off-register, giving it character and visual interest. Today, designers will often engineer prints to look off-register for that old world, authentic flavor. One of many tricks of the trade.
J.L. via Mister Mort. Can you name these other guys?
In the fashion biz, menswear is particularly cyclical in terms of trend. There are always the classic silhouettes and patterns that come back time and time again. Guys are creatures of habit–venturing out little by little, but ultimately always returning to what the know and trust. And if you’ve been around a few decades you see it all come full circle–sometimes producing an eerie sense of déjà vu, if you know what I mean.
According to Valet, it’s all about the plaid coat, turtleneck and belted outerwear for Fall 2009. And to me at least, it feels like some designers like Tommy Hilfiger are injecting a healthy dose of 1970’s sartorial magic.
This is exactly why I stopped buying American men’s fashion magazines. The content is so lean in terms of what is actually meaningful, and so full of off-topic pandering fluff pieces– I can mine any nuggets that may be there in about five minutes or less at the magazine rack, and save my four bucks for something useful. Case in point–
The magazine: GQ March 2009.
The title: The 10 Most Stylish Men in America, Starring Justin Timberlake.
My reaction: “You can not be serious. Hell, he’s not even a man, let alone stylish.”
GQ— short for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and once the gold standard for men’s style is now GQ— Getting Questionable. Yeah, your credibility takes a hit in my book when you’re consistently extolling the virtues of teeny-boppers and hip-hoppers. I think of those guys as trend-seeking, fashion-wagon opportunists, not icons of style. Weren’t they wearing white belts not too long ago? Give them their props somewhere else– not in GQ. I used to laugh at what rags FHM and Maxim were, but now everyone is starting to migrate to the shallow end of the style gene pool.
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.
The S0510XX uses 100% Texas cotton which is famous for being a “rough” cotton due to it’s high amount of short fibers. Normally, the short fibers are removed to make a smoother fabric, but Samurai adds more short cotton fibers to make the yarn even rougher. The result is a yarn that is highly uneven in size, making the woven fabric very “slubby” (irregular). Moreover, while most jean manufacturers mix different cottons from various areas, Samurai uses only 100% Texas cotton in the S0510XX. Even the thread is made of 100% Texas cotton. This creates a jean that captures the essence and spirit of this tough Texas denim.
Like all Samurai jeans, the S0510XX uses 100% pure indigo with no fillers, using the maximum amount of indigo that the yarn can hold. Weighing in at 15 ounces, Samurai also maximized the tension of the weave, so that after washing, the denim actually becomes even more stiff and the weave even tighter resulting in a jean with unprecedented “atari” (fading).
Link to buy at Blue in Green
It’s no coincidence or surprise at all, that the previous post on Mad Men got me thinking about Thom Browne…
There seems to be some activity over at the soon-to-be Black Fleece shop in the West Village. Thom Browne & Brooks Bros. acquired the space some time back, and workers are finally on the scene– painting walls and cleaning up. Let’s hope it opens soon. Thom Browne has given rise to an army of well-dressed men in their shrunken suits & bare ankles- I’m just not sure the look is for everyone. If I were a statuesque guy, I might feel like I was wearing my little brother’s suit. Know your limitations guys.