...and in Paris, you should probably stop by this little concept showroom that will be open for the month of March - and spend the rest of your money. SNS Herning, Gitman Bros. and Mismo have come together to show their fall collections for the remainder of the buying season. Each of these brands are highly specialized and do their own product extremely well. I hope a concept for a showroom like this can work because I really like the idea of presenting the different elements of a wardrobe with a more cohesive feeling, rather than the 'this or that' you find in a lot of tradeshows and showrooms. With great sweaters, beautiful bags and perfect oxford shirts, it would seem there is room for footwear, a trouser and possibly some outerwear to join the ranks. I can think of a couple labels I'd like to see beside these brands, hopefully our market will be able to support good ideas and products.
Whether you want to double up on your madras shirt or go with a more subtle shirt, these ties by Engineered Garments are pretty good looking. The navy blues with red and white look really nice in these patterns, which could easily go with a number of oxford shirts. Gitman Vintage also make ties in most of the patterns and materials they make their shirts in, so you can be sure to find a tie version of that great short sleeve shirt out there somewhere as well. I think this spring could see a few bow ties and neck ties incorporated into a lot of looks. There aren't too many better options than seersucker and madras in my opinion.
Rag & Bone...it's good right? I have been tittering on the fence in the last couple months with how much I like the brand as a whole - since they won't email me back... I have found that there are usually quite a few pieces each season I like a fair bit, but they either don't fit quite perfect, or are a little bit more than I feel I want to spend on them. I guess that isn't a bad thing, I've just gone to potentially buy something a few times, and it never really works out, so maybe there is a jaded consumer in me somewhere. Either way, I've seen the collection look great in the real world mixed into classic wardrobes of friends and colleagues. I particularly like the cut of the short shawl cardigan. Their shirts are usually quite solid as well, and of course I like the selection of blues quite a bit - the more blues I see together, the more I like blue. Available at Nomad
I didn't really have the money for this right now, but I'll be getting paid in a couple days and I sold a couple things recently so that's my justification. That, and I've been thinking about this field parka by Engineered Garments for several months. I really decided I need a field/mountain parka last fall and just couldn't find the right color or model on eBay or anywhere else. I have always liked navy blue, but now more than ever. It goes with everything and always will. The heavy cotton jacket will definitely serve as an all-season light coat in BC weather for a few years to come. The toggles, the big buttons and the serious zipper make the jacket feel really solid too. I like having the waist draw string as well to cinch off once in awhile. The jacket follows the traditional stying as most of EG's collection does - four main front pockets with the vertical back pocket mean I won't run out of places to carry things, while the jacket still feels perfectly balanced and not over-pocketized, as we've seen a few pieces this season. All in all, I'm really happy with the parka, and I can stop wishing I had it and start enjoying it. Available at Jonathan+Olivia, Odin and Oi Polloi.
Russell Mocs are no stranger to making some nice leather footwear. This spring they've teamed up with UCS to come up with a little more sturdy looking moccasin than we're used to seeing by them. The strong off-white sole looks really nice with the black and brown uppers. The leather has a nice nice subtle treatment on both pairs, although I am leaning towards the nice texture the black pair seems to be showing. The shoes feel similar to the Red Wing Wabasha chukkas, but a little more stream-lined. I am really feeling this moccasin chukka style much more than the desert boot right now. The style is a bit different than you'll see on most people's feet and there is definitely a bit of a Japanese vibe to the model, which I'm often drawn to.
I haven't been 100% sure what I think about Garbstore until this past season. I'd never really seen it in person, I didn't really know who was making it, and honestly there were small details, like the logo, which I didn't particularly like. I got to met Ian Paley in Las Vegas last month and it was a pleasure. We got to share a cab and talk about what he's been doing, as well I had a nice look at the fall/winter collection. I am definitely on board now. Especially after seeing these really nice looks of the spring collection which I would imagine is now available in Garbstore, London. The photos are really nice, the styling is precisely what it should have been and the products look great. I really like the work coats, blazers, parka and shorts. The colors look really nice together, especially that rich khaki/brown and great blue. Just a good looking bunch of clothes, I'm not sure what else to say.
I have become addicted to The Monocle Weekly editions in the past month. Every Sunday, Tyler Brule, Robert Bound and the gang bring on a couple interesting people and talk about what's going on in the world. The show runs about 35-45 minutes long and touches on topics such as Tokyo's mission for the 2012 Olympic games, the development of cultures from Korea to Africa, and the state of retail for independents and large companies. This edition Olivier Spencer was a guest as they spoke about how well established and important the online retail scene is in the UK. It's interesting to hear the differences between North America and the UK in these aspects and to hear a designers take on it is kind of fresh. There is so much going on in the world these days, often too much to read and cover yourself, so I find the Monocle Weekly gives a nice little insight into some of the positives around the globe. Of course having a little sense of humor and nice taste in music doesn't hurt either. The editions are fresh, quick moving and really easy to digest, definitely a recommended at-work listen.
Our friend Jake Davis made a couple posts last week on the place of grey sweat pants in a man's wardrobe. They've been in front of our faces with spring and summer looks, but nobody has really talked about them or mentioned them like this. They do seem like a 'new thing' when paired up with a button down and a toggle coat, but when you see the athletic images of Mr. Ali running around in them, there is something more there. Both styles and looks are slightly different, but Jake's point of a truly stylish person taking their aesthetic to everything they do, whether it's the library, the gym or a date, is really interesting. I agree with Jake's comments on both the potential of great sweats the ease in which you can make them look really bad. It probably does take somebody with a extra good eye and taste to pull them off well, but you really should be able to make them look just as good when you're hitting the gym. So good luck to those who are willing to try it, check Jake's blog for more insight.