Monthly Archives: February 2009

Oh, Grandpa! Redux

lou-reed

Image c/o Hypebeast

In response to a post from two weeks ago, it’s clear that respecting your elders is hip, and I couldn’t be happier. In SoHo yesterday, I noticed American Rock Icon, Lou Reed, in ads for Supreme, and I came home to a J. Crew catalogue dripping with a resplendent Max Blagg, English-born writer and performer, who recently penned a book for them, What a Man Should Know. Grandpa’s back, and he’s cooler than ever.blagg-1

blagg-21Images c/o J. Crew

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Gitman Bros. Showroom

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Last night, I visited the Gitman Bros. showroom in midtown Manhattan. Master shirtmakers of Ashland, Pennsylvania, they produce goods for brands as different as Thom Browne and Apolis Activism. Mr. Chris Olberding, their VP of sales, was kind enough to let me have a look at his company’s vintage line.git-2

“I think of it like denim. You can find different washes and weights of denim,” he said of this thick drill-weight cotton. Heavier than it looks, this shirt will wear well for years.

swatch-cardDusting off swatch cards from the early 80s he found at the factory, Chris is reproducing shirts in patterns and fabrics unlike anything else available today. It’s hard to stress how literally I mean that. See how the “Grey Plaid” swatch in the photo corresponds with the shirt below. grey-plaidBeing the fan of plaid that I am, I was swollen with excitement as I flipped through two of the  inch-thick books of swatches. plaidNotice how nicely the yellow in the plaid above aligns itself around the collar’s buttons, a sign of a well-made shirt. paisley1As I examined this paisley, we both chuckled and, at virtually the same time, fondly reminisced about the similar shirts we sported as kids. A bold print, the forest green really pops when examined close-up.

I am really looking forward to owning their plaid, knee-length pajama top. As I understand it, they’re using a pattern from deep within their archives. It’s reminiscent of a shirt Jeff Bridges wore in The Door in the Floor, but with more structure – namely buttons and a collar. jbridges

Like Mr. Bridges, Gitman is a true original.

Special thanks to Mr. Mordechai Rubinstein for all his beautiful photos.

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Secret Forts

“This collection of things is me. And this is my secret fort.” – Jamessecret-fortsIf Steve Zissou’s crew took over filming for History Channel’s Ax Men, James from Secret Forts would be their foreman. Last night, I had the distinguished pleasure of meeting the man and the woman behind him, and could not help but marvel at his get-up. With his bushy beard, red cap au Zissou, large-framed pair of Lemtosh, heavy navy shawl collar cardigan, Engineered Garments Chambray, garment dyed jeans, a pair of Desert Boots, and a well-worn Filson Tin Cloth, another onlooker said it best, “you look like your blog.” And a smart-looking blog it is.

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Wild Man

wild-manFoster Huntington of A Restless Transplant posted some excellent photos of Harry McCotty, stone foreman, wood splitter, Vermonter, and apparent fan of plaid.

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The Brothers Parton & Apolis Activism

apolis1Saturday, at the Rendez-Vous tradeshow, I met Raan and Shea Parton, two of the brains behind brilliant menswear line, Apolis Activism. Alongside their brother Stenn, these Southern California boys founded a company whose ethics are as sturdy as its garment construction. Taking a page from the book Let My People Go Surfing, they’ve developed a brand whose name and mission stand for more than just the latest trend.

apolis22In classical literature, apolis means “citiless” or “without city.” They’ve taken it to mean a citizen of no country. Developing their mission, as Shea tells it, “We began thinking about the obvious communality of people across the world wearing clothes, and jokingly caught ourselves saying, ‘Humanity has a common thread.’ Before we knew it, a phrase lead us to believe that humanity — not flags or borders — is the common thread that binds us.” (EBR)

apolis_katinWorking with charitable organizations like Invisible Children and CITTA, Apolis is devoted to sourcing materials from developing nations — cashmere from a women’s cooperative in Nepal, cotton canvas from Uganda — while waxwear, nylon board shorts, and shirting are sourced right here in the USA. As their trademark, they’ve chosen the symbol of the red cross. You’ll find it embroidered on everything from Nepalese cashmere hats and sweaters to waxwear jackets produced in New York state, from nylon board shorts made by classic SoCal surfwear company Katin, to briefcases made with Ugandan canvas but assembled by Seattle-based purveyor of outdoor gear Filson.

apolis-by-filsonWith the passing of each season, these guys continue to prove that ethically made clothes profit everyone.

All images c/o Apolis Activism.

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Caveland

cavelandA family in Festus, Missouri built their home inside a cave, and for $300,000, it can be yours! It sits on acreage that was once used as a concert venue and roller rink. Imagine sleeping on the stage where Tina Turner shook her tailfeather, Ted Nugent shook his raccoon tail, and The MC5 shook just about everything else.

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Leblogski

dudemobilesnow

This is what happens, Larry. This is what happens when you find a stranger in the alps.

Announcing the commencement of the one blog I might call religion. Assuming its creators aren’t overcome with apathy, Leblogski, launched by the brains behind Lebowskifest, will be the place for all things Dude. If, like me, you regularly rock Pendleton’s cowichan sweaters, Vuarnets, and jellies (that and a pair of testicles), check it out. It’s a good blog… and thorough.

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