Thom Browne for Moncler, Fall 2009.

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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. 

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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?

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Link to Gamme Blue story and images

Link to Moncler.com

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COOL HAND LUKE | SOMETIMES A CHORE COAT CAN BE A REAL COOL HAND

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Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman is a classic film, and without a doubt one of my favorites.  It’s Newman’s greatest performance, in a film loaded with powerhouse acting.  You’ve got George Kennedy, Dennis Hopper, Harry Dean Stanton, Jo Van Fleet, Strother Martin (What we’ve got here is “failure to communicate”) and Dick Davalos, to name a few.  Don’t know who Dick Davalos is?  He played Blind Dick, and is best remembered as Aaron Trask, opposite James Dean’s Cal Trask in East of Eden.

Speaking of James Dean– the role of Lucas Jackson would more than likely been his– not Newman’s, had he not been killed in a fatal car crash.  Dean would have starred in The Left Handed GunSomebody Up There Likes Me and probably Hud as well.  Not to take anything away from Paul Newman, but Dean was definitely the bigger star back then, and his passing gave Newman a clear path to instant stardom.

26469_2Cool Hand Luke is visually rich with incredibly authentic sets, cultural cues, wardrobe and styling. I wanted to live in that prison bunkhouse.  What was so bad?  They got to hang-out, enjoy cold drinks, eat eggs and such.

I became obsessed with the old chain-gang garb, and own several beat-up, RRL denim chore coats because of it.  Chore coats are an iconically American piece– worn by laborers, convicts, artists and plain everyday folk.  And another American icon– the classic chambray workshirt is in there too.

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There was nothing not to like in this film– even the hair.  Carr the floor walker, and Blind Dick had very cool D.A.’s.  And what about the incredible score, Harry Dean Stanton’s crooning, and Paul Newman singing and playing banjo on Plastic Jesus?  The film is pregnant with comparisons of Luke to Jesus. Luke is their leader– his crucifixion pose after eating the eggs– “stop feeding off of me!” alluding to communion– Dragline as ‘Judas’ bringing the cops to Luke in the final scene– on and on.  There are some many famous lines in Cool Hand Luke that I could be here all day– “shaking it up here boss!”

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New York Haberdashery Show

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I had a blast “getting my Redd on” with friends at the Warwick Hotel today.  The Haberdashery Show starts Saturday in NYC, so all of us Redd extended family members” put in a fun day of folding shirts, dressing rigs and pinning boards to get ready for the event.  It’s personally rewarding to be a part of something special like Robert Redd.  I regret forgetting my camera, but Carol saved the day and snapped a few pics while we were setting up.  The photo above was taken in the afternoon before we were completely done, but you’ll get the idea.

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Known for their signature knit shirts in a breadth of color- Robert Redd  has now expanded their product range to include sportshirts, sweaters and accessories that are sure to please diehard followers along with adding some new.  Robert Redd is based in Charlottesville, VA and run by a couple of great guys- owner Robert Matheson and Eric Jones.  It’s a brand that believes in telling their story through beautiful product more than selling you their mark- there are no logos on Robert Redd shirts.  I know I’ve said this before, but they do a great knit shirt with a self-collar and open sleeve- The Charles.  

Robert Redd is definitely a brand  whose time has come– so you have my permission to get a Redd on for the ladies.

Link to Robert Redd “Charles” shirt

Samurai 15oz 10 Year Anniversary Jeans

Samurai 15oz 10 Year Jeans

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.

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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

The Day-Glo House of Sprouse.

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Above– For Fall 2006, Marc Jacobs utilized Sprouse’s 1987 graffiti leopard images for handbags, shoes, and scarves for Louis Vuitton, which sold-out instantly.

The continuing celebration of Stephen Sprouse’s incredible art and fashion legacy hosted by Louis Vuitton, and launch of  the new The Stephen Sprouse Book by Rizzoli, has everyone a-glow.  

Sprouse’s career started in he late ’70s, when after working for Halston, he moved to a warehouse on the Bowery, and started making outfits for his neighbor, Debbie Harry to wear onstage.  The fashion world quickly embraced his innovative, culturally relevant sensibility and downtown edge.  But Sprouse’s inability to compromise his artistic vision for the rigid fashion business compromised his commercial success, and his career was ultimately cut short by his tragic death in 2004, at the age of 50.  

-From the synopsis of The Stephen Sprouse Book published by Rizzoli.

The Stephen Sprouse Book

Link to We Love Sprouse

Link to The Moment story

GAP on PANTONE.

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When did design get so trendy?  Seems like everyone I know now– even the garbage man, for cryin’ out loud— knows about Pantone.  The world is getting smaller every minute, people.  Anyhow– The Gap’s Patrick Robinson brings very wearable color, and a welcome fun, graphic punch into The Gap, with this cool– even if it isn’t quite original– Pantone partnership.

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Link to Gap Pantone shop story from The Moment

Black Fleece on Bleecker.

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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.