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.
My stepdad was a biker, and not exactly a warm and fuzzy guy. He rode a classic ’79 Harley-Davidson Lowrider, and his little friend was always along for the ride– a .44 magnum strapped to his leg “for all the honest world to feel” (as Townes Van Zandt would say). Sounds cool, but like a lot of things– you tend to idealize it when you’re on the outside looking in. We didn’t exactly fit into the norm, nor did we to care to. Let’s just say it wasn’t a typical childhood, and we got a lot of stares. I was not invited to a lot of sleep-overs either.
Easyriders magazine was a part of growing up, and exposed me to a lot of… you know, art. Yeah, there’s other stuff in there too that a kid shouldn’t see, but I was fascinated with the illustrations by Dave Mann– and still am. They’re incredible.
Dave Mann’s dad was a lifelong illustrator and active member of the Society of Scribes in London. The younger Mann was born in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1957 he first drew pencil sketches of hot rods while feigning attention in high school. His crude sketches opened the door for Dave’s first job, pinstriping cars for Doug Thompson and Ray Hetrick’s custom car shop in Kansas City. The wild allure of the West Coast drew Dave and buddy Al Burnett to Santa Monica, California. While cruising the seaside community he stumbled across Bay Area Muffler, an area custom car house, and there discovered completely insane chopped Harleys. The bikes drove him wild. They projected freedom, power and mobility with every chromed curve. He was immediately hooked.
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
This is just an incredible read from the January issue of Outside magazine. It’s all about mining for the vintage denim and duds of old miners!
Brit Eaton is the best of a curious breed of fortune hunters combing old mine shafts and barns across the West for vintage denim. He’s discovered $50,000 worth of clothes in a single day, and his clients include Ralph Lauren and Levi’s.
--Carl Chiara, design director LEVI'S CAPITAL E and RED COLLECTIONS
“I like the process- from a brand-new unwashed pair of jeans until they’re ready for burial. I really do wear them hard. I start off by doing a lot of squats to get the wrinkles in nicely. But the number one trick is wearing your jeans every single day and letting your sweat and oils start to morph the denim, so it becomes a very personal shape. I think the key difference with the 501 is that it fits around your body. I like the way that 501’s don’t follow your every curve; they evolve to fit your body. Also, as they move along, I repair them so I can get more wear out of them. They really do become a part of you. Once you break a pair in, there’s no alternative. You just can’t put on another pair of jeans.”
– Carl Chiara, design director LEVI’S CAPITAL E and RED COLLECTIONS