Menswear designers new and old are tracing fashion roots and embracing brand heritage– whether it’s their own or borrowed. Ralph is the true master of classic American sportswear, and no one is more in their element at this time than him.
Most often when we’re talking about Ghurka, it’s in reference to fashion– the Gurkha pant (and short) and of course, the great American Ghurka bags and accessories. We seem to vaguely know that there’s a military influence going on– but to fully understand the story of the soldiers that originally bore the Gurkha name is mind-blowing.
U.S. Navy recruiting poster– circa 1917. She’s sporting standard naval issue enlisted dress blues– or “crackerjacks” as they were commonly called in reference to the sailor boy on the popular Cracker Jack box.
Women have served as an integral and invaluable part of the U.S. Navy since the establishment of the Nurse Corps in 1908. Nine years later, the Navy authorized the enlistment of women as “Yeomanettes.” In 1948, the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed, making it possible for women to officially enter the U.S. Navy in regular or reserve status.
It’s commonly thought that the “bell bottom” trouser was introduced in 1817 to permit men to roll them above the knee when washing down the decks– and to make it easier to remove them in a hurry when forced to abandon ship or when washed overboard. Old Navy folklore has suggested that they may have also been used as a life preserver– by knotting the legs at the opening and filling them with air.
Yesterday Racked NY scooped that the Thom Browne / Brooks Brothers long-awaited Black Fleece store on Bleecker was about to open any day. This morning, WWD announced that today would be the day– and in time for Fashion Week. Skinny fashionistas everywhere rejoice.
Recesionista is one of those buzzwords of 2008 that’s getting a little overplayed. In my small world, it’s feeling more like Great Depressionista— in regard to fashion and the economy. Looking at these pictures from the 40’s, they look like what you see in a lot of Soho shops & vintage Americana brands these days like– RRL, LVC, Warehouse, etc. There are great, rugged pieces, and little, honest details not to be missed– like our friend’s chambray workshirt (above) that’s been mended time and again over the years– out of necessity, not for fashion. That looks like a great old pair of Levi 501s. I like how the front belt-loops are placed nice and snug to the fly.
Junya Watanabe is still up to taking iconic American sportswear and giving it his signature funky twist– playing with texture, scale & functionality.
The Outsiders is a movie I grew up on– a tight-knit group of greaser misfits from Tulsa, Oklahoma (circa 1966) just trying to survive the only way they knew how. The film was originally released to mixed reviews– a lot of people seemed upset that Coppola would choose to do a movie about teen angst– but Coppola never truly meant it to be about that at all — his intensions were probably not what you’d think. What inspired Coppola was, believe it or not, a middle school class (who were fans of The Godfather) that wrote to him about making a new sort of gangster film — based on novel they had read, The Outsiders. Coppola read the book himself, and was moved to not only do The Outsiders– he also adapted Rumble Fish, starring Micket Rourke and Matt Dillon, into a movie the year after. It’s a classic that launched a lot of guy’s careers. It’s also a must-see for vintage, tough as nails, greaser-style, denim looks.
In the scene where the boys are in the street getting excited for the rumble, Tom Cruise does a standing back tuck off of the top of a truck. Patrick Swayze coached him beforehand on how to do it. Right before the scene was to be filmed, Cruise nervously approached writer S.E. Hinton and said he was afraid he was not going to be able to do it, because he felt nauseous from eating too much at lunch. Hinton asked if him if he thought he would feel better if he threw up, and Cruise said that he thought so. Hinton took him to the food truck and made him drink raw eggs until he threw up, resulting in Cruise feeling much better and doing the stunt without a problem.
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?
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?