I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and what could be a better present to top if off than with a look at the Engineered Garments Spring–Summer 2010 collection. After two of the strongest collections on the market in 2009, Engineered Garments now give us a look at what's to come in the next few months. The focus as usual starts with fabrics for Mr. Suzuki as the collection features the stable of great chambrays, most notably the blue that was featured on a lot more than just the work shirts. Another new fabric this spring is the metallic cotton that comes in a bit of a stone/olive tone, which can be seen in the image with the large duffle bag. The material has a starchy feel to it and gives an interesting look in certain lighting. Although it wasn't my favorite part of the collection, it's always interesting to see the brand experiment with different materials. I thought the variety of prints on both camp shirts, club collars and fleece all came out perfectly and offered a great array of more casual garments, which of course come in handy during summer months. The lightweight cotton plaids featured on the 19th Century BDs look perfect and are sure to be a popular item for those accustom to the block. While the shirting and lightweight jackets are always strong – especially the linen Bedford jackets - I felt that the spring’s pant offerings were really great. The red slacks and the off-white flecked camp pants were both on my personal order for the spring and I'm looking forward to them more than ever. The drawstring bottom has carried over from the fall pants, which adds a nice option, although I will more than likely stick to my rolling ways. Finally, the coveted work shirt will be out in full force. It comes in a variety of patterns; cottons, open weave and chambray – but my top choices are a white herringbone, green chambray and an exclusive red chambray that will apparently only be available at Drinkwater's, Odin and The Bureau. — The collection will being delivering in North America and Europe within the first couple weeks of January and has already hit shelves in Japan with limited pieces. You can be sure we'll be featuring our favorite pieces over the next few months on the updates and in editorial form. The styling by EG is not always for everyone, but it communicates the collection's feeling and overall approach. The selection is so deep, and there are many styles not seen here, so as usual it will take some digging and personal interpretation to make it yours - which is the fun part.
As the year comes to an end, I want to say thank you to everybody for reading and supporting Inventory magazine, and h(y)r collective previously. It’s been a fairly fast couple of years and we continue to learn and progress everyday with a goal of constant improvement and providing genuine content on things we personally care about. I’m not sure if everyone pays attention to the comments, but there have been some mixed reviews on our writing, direction and depth of insight recently – some rude, some constructive and some very positive. I'd personally like to say thank you for the latter two - regular feedback is important and definitely helps as we move forwards. We began blogging because we thought there were a lot of great people, brands and products out there; many of them weren’t getting the attention they deserved, and we thought we might curate the products in a fresh way with our own perspective and insight. Whether that comes from Japanese online shops or factories down the street, the common theme is products that we like. We never thought we should do it to make money, to get free clothing or that one day we could work with the brands we loved. We did it because we love doing it, because we were already searching for and putting these things together everyday – why not document that and share it? I do apologize if some of the posts have felt like impersonal press releases recently. That's something we really don't want - a personal perspective is something we always want to get across. We are really busy on a daily basis now and perhaps I’ve neglected to put in the time each post deserves. I will personally make every effort to produce the best, most genuine, and insightful information I can everyday. That’s really all I can do. I’m not looking for sympathy against the haters, I just wanted to make it known that Simon, Owen and I are doing this because we love it, and will continue to do it for the same reasons as we started, hopefully you’ll continue to read and follow us into the new year with open minds, positive ideas and continued support. — Thanks again to everyone. We’ll be back in blogging form on December 26th with a look at the Engineered Garments Spring–Summer 2010 collection. Happy holidays from Inventory.
An unexpected collaboration between Steven Alan and Sophnet has made some news recently and I'm quite into it. The mix-matched plaid shirting is something I generally like from afar and wouldn't likely wear myself, but on Steven Alan's single needle BD shirts it came together nicely. The down vest is one of my favorite items this fall and using the shirting fabric to line these vests was a nice touch, particularly to tie this small package together. Soph seem to be teaming up with a lot of the best brands these days, so as Steven Alan continues its push in Japan, the capsule collection may not be a total surprise. —
If this were a standard issue shirt for an off duty naval officer today I might be inclined to enlist. Probably not, but the shirt is that good. It's perfect storm of hand finished detailing, old world tailoring, and perfect materials. The result is a familiar one from Mr Freedom, an amazingly cool shirt that I could wear 5 days a week. The Japanese selvedge cotton is a good all season weight and has a great subtle check pattern to it. It's nice and soft, yet holds it's shape well. The details come in the form of an inner passport pocket, slanted selvedge line chest pocket, tab collar and gussets. In trying it on, the fit was true to it's uniform description in that it was a snug one (a good thing for a pinner like me though). It also comes in a really nice off-white version with navy stitching. Admittedly, the shirt is way out of my price range but after trying the shirt on and feeling the materials I understand why it warrants the steep tag (which is a great stenciled hand tag). — Available at J.Crew's mens shop at the Liquor Store.
Nigel Cabourn's website has just been relaunched and among other things, it features a full preview of his Spring/Summer collection. I won't say too much about it now as I'm sure we'll be highlighting many of these things in detail over the next few months. Overall though, it's based on the contents of Nigel's father's army handbook. He used this as a diary in Burma and India between 1942 and 1945. Many of the new pieces are inspired by photographs he took and the clothing he wore at the time. The rest of the site provides all the information you'd expect with trademark attention to detail. The imagery is well chosen and beautifully presented, the product shots are great and there's several interesting sections under development. The highlight though has to be the glimpses we're given of Nigel's vintage collection. There's five pieces featured at the moment, but I'd imagine this section will gradually be updated, providing rare insight into the inspiration behind the brand. On a side note, I'd also like to thank Nigel, Drew, Ali and everyone else at Cabourn for using my words and James' photography as part of the biography. To be included is a massive honour, not only for us personally but for Inventory as a whole. — Nigel Cabourn Spring–Summer '10 Collection Nigel Cabourn Vintage Collection Pieces
Engineered Garments Spring collection have started landing in selection Japanese stores so it's time to start previewing some of the items we'll soon be lusting after locally. One of the items I seemed to have missed in the showroom was the polka dot club collar shirt. I especially like the white with black dots, which are a little bigger and have a bit more space to float around. I've seen a number of white shirts I'm quite fond of coming for spring and I'd expect that to be a sign of things to come, or things I'll be wearing. The size of the collar on EG's club style is the perfect size. It works great with a bow tie; looks very natural and tidy alone, and with the nice pattern would look great with a number of spring ensembles. I believe these shirts are on the same block as the tab collar shirts from this fall, not the 19th Century - which I like in terms of placket and buttons, but hopefully they will be cut a bit smaller this spring - I'm officially excited for spring now by the way.
We don't really like to encourage the early sale season that now starts before Christmas. It sort of hurts the industry as a whole, and of course it doesn't start anywhere earlier than in North America. That said, we're consumers through and through and while I'd love to see retailers, brands and agencies all do well together - I'm not about to turn down a good deal. The sales have hit at Odin, Roden Gray, South Willard and over at Superdenim. Sure they've hit a million other places, but these shops still have some great items from brands like Post Overalls, Band of Outsiders, Wings+Horns, Engineered Garments and more. I often like to use sales to pick up an item that might be a little more off-key that I might not feel confident about at full retail. Whether it's a crazy print, or heavy outerwear or just some basics - it's usually a good feeling to make one or two steals before spring arrives (in the next blog post).
It's no surprise I'm highlighting fatigue pants here as they've been showing up on the blog regularly for months now - from both Simon and myself. I feel like they are one of the best looking casual pants I could wear. I love the obvious military reference but with no big cargo pockets, they are much easier to mix into your daily wardrobe and get lots of wear from. Whether you pair them up with moccasins, boots or white bucks - as I plan doing regularly this spring - the fatigue pant is quite diverse and is well worth having on hand. The tough part can be finding a good pair however. Although they don't show up online, J.Crew apparently have a good offering and for the price it's probably thee easiest option. I have their fatigue shorts and am a big fan of those. I personally really like the Workaday version Engineered Garments have made this fall. The sateen twill was a nice fabric choice, but I wasn't in love with it until I saw the version pictured after the link. It was put through a single wash cycle with an unknown chemical to give the cotton a little bit more of a rough feeling. They came out perfectly and you can see them in action in our latest online issue, Fall Edits. Above you can see that Daiki is truly a fan of the pant as well - these are his choice outfits to pair up with his array of army green pants. There does seem to be a similar theme on top, but you can see the aesthetic and casual nature the pants lend themselves to quite nicely. —