Extra Mustard On My Lindenberger S'il Vous Plait

Spring's face is almost upon us and its absolutely smeared with mustard. J. Lindenberg dives into the color trend with a pair of smart narrow trousers for your consumption. He also has seen fit to supply this washed voille shirt in another color I'm fond of: indigo. The washed, crumpled look may not be for everyone but that's why Jesus created steamers. Mr. Lindenberg is also serving up these sateen shorts in black. All items are available to order now at Oak.


Peter Bjorn and John

This is a meager offering in my digital drought. As I complained in a tweet my laptop adaptor/battery issues are keeping me a low-key presence. I beg your apologies and offer Japanese Teddyboys for peace and mutual understanding.

Nothing to Worry About (download the song here)

Lay it Down

A few violent themes seem to be emerging as signs of a tough guy narrative to run consitently through the soon to be released PB&J record "Living Now". If "Living now" is as consistent as their last effort this Swede trio deserves to blow way up.


Mangina Attack

It doesn't matter what season it is. The label name (in this case Yiga Azrouel) doesn't matter. The cool cuff detail is irrelevant. The quirky pocket doesn't matter. This pant has a khaki vagina. Priced at $360 USD, its the cheapest sex-change for your buck. If you can live with a khaki vagina.


American Double Vision: Thom Browne & Ralph Lauren

I completely missed the memo on Thom Browne venturing into womenswear with Black Fleece but Cintra Wilson visited his shop for a review. Her conclusion is muted optimism but what really interests me is the contrast she draws between New York designers Ralph Lauren and Mr. Browne, their aesthetic and their ideal suited male.

It’s a slightly gothic twist on the Old Money Athletic Club look, originally reified into postmodern absurdity when Ralph Lauren stuck crusty leather bridles and yellowing crew-team photos on mahogany paneling and pronounced it a lifestyle.

But Black Fleece appears too sensitive for sports. Mr. Browne, like Mr. Lauren, nurtures a fetish for the trappings of Old School Preppy, but the Thom Browne alumnus seems to be a bit more pale, less muscular and more (ahem) eccentric. Picture a cross between Pee-wee Herman and Nurse Ratched, only more obsessive-compulsive

Its a fair observation, though I do not share Wilson's apparent antipathy for Ralph Lauren's perspective, it does serve to highlight the radically different take on American sportswear that Browne has carved out. His niche doesn't glamorize Americana as Lauren is prone to do through amber tinted lenses, instead Browne fetishizes Ivy League exaggerating quirky features into stylish neurosis and turns 60s white collar garb into ritual costume.

Two looks from Ralph and Thom's SS09 collections

Ralph Lauren built an empire on wide ties, elitist country club imagery, and snapshots of sporting memories. He built the power look of the 80s, and his suits remain popular with corporate customers. He carved out an entire narrative for his brand. Personally I find it rather admirable that the Ralph Lauren man can go from the ranch, to the bar, and to the office at the drop of the hat. I sadly hear a lot of young people find Ralph Lauren boring but for me there's nothing boring about buttoning into a Purple Label suit. Call me crazy.

Conversely, it's not surprising that many traditional tailors oppose Browne the designer. Browne says uniformity, not individuality, is the definition of beauty. However, his consistent preoccupation with the quirky accidental and his mechanized view of beauty is very different from the system of a men's clothier. But furthermore, Browne is deeply attatched to off-beat superficial artifacts of preppiness. This was more than apparent in his SS09 "tennis" collection. On the otherhand what is strangely alluring about Browne is just that, the odd subversion of conventional American sportswear circa 1960 into a sometimes uncomfortable mix of pageantry, kitsch, compulsive habit, and asphyxia.

two looks from Thom Browne's Moncler Gamme Bleu collection

While Browne and Lauren couldn't be more different, I feel completely at home with both creators, and I've been inspired by both. There is no reason why gender-bending arty design and more subtle elegant design can't exist in the same world. American fashion, particularly in New York, needs to be able to press forward and express itself more liberally, but there's no reason why certain standards and hallmarks can't be enjoyed simultaneously.


Hipsters In Space

"Someone's infringing on our theme"

Honestly, its the funniest thing I've seen in ages.


The Ever-Stylish Coal Guy

I've spoken a bit before about how I don't quite get the workwear trend pushers though I appreciate their enthusiasm for style in general. A Continuous Lean, Get Kempt, Jack Davis, and their readers have a deep appreciation for American made clothes and have done well to promote neglected brands. The latest issue of Newsweek even spotlighted ACL author Michael Williams and I believe the attention is well-deserved.

However, the overall look promoted to me is not visually classic, its rugged but also rather shapeless. Its a kind of anti-fashion trend and in someways reminiscent of the grunge era. It incorporates suburban work elements, but instead of doing so out of necessity and connoting middle-class youth apathy and sexual curiosity, workwear cobbles earthy traditional maculinity with practicality. However, I've never been a fan of the lumberjack look since it first started emerging years ago on the streets of new york. I'm fine with plaids and checks, sure. But the combo of workboots, a beard, and a flannel shirt was jarring to see on fashionistas. It seems strange to romanticize the mundane daily grind of American industrial workers into a style guide. The Trad shares a similar thought
There's a whole lot going on over at Michael William's blog, "A Continuous Lean." Michael's a good kid. He's a smart kid. And if you read the comment page about his recent quote in Newsweek Magazine you'll discover he's a, "take no crap" kid. Check it out. I'll wait.

So you see... Michael has this thing for work clothes that I don't really understand. I busted my ass for 20 years so I wouldn't have to wear the clothes he loves so much.

Mad Men Costume Designer To Dress Non-Fictional Characters? Me? You?

From Glamour

STF: Designers from Michael Kors to Thom Browne have acknowledged that your work on the show has inspired them...um, how does that feel!?
JB: Last night I met Anne Hathaway [at the SAG awards] because one of my best friends does her makeup. And I was with January Jones and she said "Oh Anne this is Janie, she does the clothes for Mad Men," and Anne Hathaway was like, “How does it feel to be responsible for changing the face of fashion?” and I was like, “It feels pretty damn good, thanks Anne!” It has been incredible, and I’m just glad that it’s really touched and inspired so many people. That’s really the gift.

sTF: Can we expect to see a line of clothing come out of this, or a collection inspired by the show? What kinds of projects do you have going on for the future?
JB: I’m working on some things right now…I hate to be so mysterious but I can't really say! It would have my name attached to it though.

Whatever the project is I will certainly be paying attention. Janie's care for detail could be put to good well in tailored looks for men or women. Hopefully men...not ladies...


Barbarian-Kara: Mihara Yasuhiro SS09

Mihara Yasuhiro has impressed me again, this time by blending tribal primitive simplicity with proper moto details. Incorporating disparate components into an attractive whole. The perforation on the boots and the steel toe on the sandals are both welcome surprises.

Something about the collection reminded me of a different sort of enterprising mind. T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia)
"All men dream; but not equally."
Certainly Mihara was dreaming of approaching a raw landscape, and meeting it with a careful strength. The pieces all have an acted upon, aged quality as well. Its a rare moment when something as straightforward as a boot can be transportive.