Well I just finished clicking through the highly extensive Buyers Guide for Spring 09 put together by Mens.Style.com and several of the top stores in the USA, from big to small. First off I would like to say thanks to Steven Torres for taking a lot of really nice product shots, along with the rest of team over there. It was well done for the most part. I guess my bone picking is more directed to the buyers featured in the article. Now I'm not running a store, not trying to pump up my own zebra pattern collaboration or buying for a huge department store, so my opinion is just that, my opinion. I do feel like I have a pretty good idea of what looks good and what I might actually think about buying. No I'm not in a huff because nobody picked anything by Engineered Garments. But I went through the whole feature and only pulled 8 out of the 60-something products. For the most part it was the smaller shops that had the items I liked, unsurprisingly. Odin, Blackbird, South Willard, Opening Ceremony and Jake all came through with an item or two. So what are the top picks that will save you clicking your mouse 73+ times? Woolrich Woolen Mills Upland jacket, Patrik Ervell grey blazer, Kolor double breasted blazer, Common Projects canvas safari boots, Quoddy blutchers, Our Legacy cable knit, Band of Outsiders plaid shorts and the blue corduroy YSL shorts. There you go, that's all you need this spring, notice how they all even look good together. ------------ Turns out Ryan and I wrote a post on the same thing at the same time, so for what it's worth here's how I feel about it. GQ's buyers guides are generally good. Their shop selection is good, each owner/buyer's picks are usually pretty good and it's always interesting to hear their forecasts. However, their latest installment for Spring is not bad, but slightly frustrating. Everyone knows the state of the economy, so I agree with quotes like these: "Spring 2009 is the next stage in the evolution of the modern, style-conscious man's wardrobe, and one that focuses on investment pieces." and, "...invest in must-have fashion that is memorable and adds value." They make sense, we as consumers should be buying smarter. Which is why I'm confused as to how one could consider a $275 deconstructed sweater (aka 2 sweaters cut in half and sewn back together) or a $1,715 blazer with paint splattered on it a good wardrobe investment. Unfortunately there are a handful of other not so great picks. I get that the guide is a marketing tool for these stores but it's not that hard to select items for promotion that are actually smart buys; just like most of the independent boutiques did. In addition to the stuff above, I don't mind the look of the Acne x Lanvin overcoat (but denim?) and the Marc Jacobs bomber (I'd rather a Baracuta though) for those inevitable spring showers. I'll give them half a point each to make it 9/64. -OP
If you hadn't already figured it out Beams is kind of awesome. They design and produce clothing, accessories, stationery and music while importing other items from overseas for their retail empire, and they seem to do it all well. The latest offering I'm impressed with by Beams (and another reason for me to go to Japan) are these 3-piece deck shoes. They're made of a pretty sturdy looking canvas and come in three great colourways all of which have the perfect accent colour just about the midsole. Other little details like the thin 'dress' laces and the 70's era heel decal also make them appealing to me. They look like the perfect spring sneaker for this Take Ivy look that myself and a lot of other people are probably going to be rocking 90% of the spring. If you aren't down with that look the classic simple design makes for such a useful shoe that you can co-ordinate easily with any other spring outfit. I think the beige is my favourite, but I've changed my mind 7 times since I started writing this, I love them all equally. They're available at zozotown for a very reasonable $100.
A-Z collection is designed by Dana Lee who has re-located from Vancouver to New York in the last couple seasons to further develop her work. Upon arriving in New York she had a somewhat different direction than what has become A-Z collection and we will soon see a new shift again. For the moment however, A-Z's spring collection is starting to land in select retailers with a couple great looking pieces. The color palette is one of my favorites with nice blues, greens and of course this salt and pepper cardigan. I love the buttons and the pockets quite a bit but my favorite part of the knitted sweater has to be the collar. It reminds me a lot of a varsity jacket with it's shape. I've always liked varsity jackets and specifically their collars for being so easy and nice to wear with both t shirts and button downs. This would definitely be a nice addition to any guy's closet, I just wouldn't recommend keeping it hung up in there. Thanks to Dana for making it and Secret Forts for supplying the images. You can also look forward to finding out more about Dana Lee in an upcoming h(y)r collective issue.
I have no idea what anything on this blog says but the outfits are great. Sam runs the blog from in Sweden but started in while attending school in the US. He thought the style blogs weren't hitting the mark back in his homeland so he decided to contribute to the cause. Now he's working on building the site in interesting directions and sounds pretty optimistic. I don't really love to send people away to other blogs all that much but since I don't usually put together outfits and Sam is doing a great job of it, I thought I would share the inspiration. I would say I am down with about 96% of the pieces and outfits he picks for the looks. I think the text covers some of the inspiration and idea behind the look, maybe with enough of a push, he might start writing a little English on there for us. I really like these two looks I choose but I particularly love the Patrik Ervell shirt in the latest outfit, so go have a look.
The collection has now arrived around the globe at a number of shops like Oki-ni and others. We are still happy to present the collection in its most complete form in the latest issue h(y)r collective. The shoes are again my favorite sneakers available. Not only do I love the OG achilles models but really like the soft gray color addition to the perforated achilles, tournament low and mid and safari boot. With a handful of beautiful and very wearable new models in the collection, Common Projects again delivers the stripped down classics with their minimal detailing and high quality construction. While I do admit I'm not a huge fan of the perforated mid top tournaments with the Velcro, there are a lot more positives than negatives as the brand continues to move forward. My top pics over all are the tournament lows in the soft grey, safari boots in both nappa leather and the canvas and the mid top with the white toe cap. I never wear chucks but I would wear these. Check the feature for the rest of the images and stockists for the spring.
It's up. That's right, 10 issues strong now. The double digits is a good step with oh so many more to take. This issue is a pretty good little one. I was excited to meet and interview Sam and Jeff from Shipley and Halmos. Also getting a deeper look at one of the nicest bag collections on the market with Mismo and of course the best sneaker brand on the market, Common Projects. I was also pretty interested in the interview with Eddie Cruz and James Bond from Undefeated. Thanks to Nu from Puma for helping out and giving us the opportunity. Take your time, take a read. I hope you enjoy the latest issue of h(y)r collective magazine.
If this steezy old chap doesn't look like he just wrapped a Band of Outsiders look-book then I don't know. I grew up watching Mr. Rogers and the trolley and all of the wonderful adventures of the fairly odd show. Little did I know I would be looking back over a decade later and the casual-preppy look being done better than I see it on the streets today. Maybe Mr. Rogers had a good stylist but I have a feeling he had a knack for that sneaker, nice button down oxfords, collegiate ties and perfectly colored cardigans. Even the cropped pleated chinos look pretty fresh. After looking through the photos from the last couple weeks of international fashion shows, I'd say that Fred would have been holding his weight in the off runway scene with a couple minor updates and a nice leather tote bag. His style didn't go unnoticed as he pulled in an Emmy, got a star in LA on the sidewalk and touched a lot of children with his show and work off the screen. There have probably been a couple designers looking at these pictures for the last couple seasons, and probably a few more that should have been.
Things have become very disposable in fashion in the last couple years and that is nothing new or unknown. Blogs are not entirely responsible for that as it's been happening for years, but they certainly haven't helped the cause. The fairly recent return to classic, hand made, made in the USA or Canada attention is a great thing. Unfortunately, even that has it's problems. As we've seen Quoddy's prices seem to have gone up substantially as the latest round of Rogues Gallery boots are coming in at $528 US => $655 Canadian. Now I'm not saying they are a rip-off or anything, I think they are great, but the price is no doubt hard to swallow. So here I am to remind you that here in Vancouver, BC are some really nice, hand made moccasins by Ken Diamond. Ken and Jolene source all of the materials themselves, most of it comes from here in the city and every hole and stitch is done in their small studio. You can choose your leather color from a really nice palette and have a pair of these beauties back to you in a matter of weeks. So while prices are on the rise, there are still relatively good deals to be had while getting something really special with a focus on the made by hand detailing Ken has perfected. Last I checked they were $320 Canadian for a custom/personally order. That's only about $255 US if my currency calculator is right. Contact email@example.com or 604 669 4179 for a pair.