Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks for a Good Year

With 2009 nearly over, I just wanted to post a quick note thanking all my readers. After spending the holidays with the family, I'm ready to start the new year with fresh material for my blog which is, as ever, a work in progress. Look out for a fresh post with new content January 4th, 2010.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gift Wishlist #3 - Mills Canvas Bags

Wm. J. Mills & Co. have quietly been making top quality canvas goods since the late 19th century. Based in Greenport, New York, they started out as sailmakers first and foremost. Today, sails comprise but a small portion of their business. What they make primarily now, is great items out of Whaler Canvas.

I have a small travel duffel in the red above; well, it's burgundy, to be specific. Made of their Sunmbrella marine canvas, it's a great useful bag for long weekend trips, or trips to gym, or...whatever. Pick one up and support a company that has 120 years of practice in making excellent gear.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Three Days of the Condor

When I think of 1975, let me tell you what I don't think about. Style. It's my opinion that, by and large, the mid to late 1970's, and well, much of the 1980's - well that was the time that style died. I know not everyone feels that way, but there's very little to like. So I was pleasantly surprised when I watched Three Days of the Condor.

Robert Redford looks pretty damn cool in it. Sure his blond hair is very 70's, but the outfit could easily be slightly updated today and still look great.

One thing immediately apparent when watching the movie; they just don't shoot a film this way anymore. Plenty of long shots, camera angles held for what seems to the modern attention span a long time, it's a different experience than a modern cut and jump film scene. But it manages to hold your attention. The long scenes with a static camera angle develop nicely, the scenery around the actors looms larger.

Oh yeah, and it has Max Von Sydow in it. Enough said.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gift Wish List #2 - The Hill-Side

With the Holidays right around the corner, everyone needs to start thinking about dressing their holiday best. I'm not talking awful sweaters with dreadful patterns; though I have been to an ironic terrible sweater holiday party or two in my day. I'm talking about busting out a nice outfit for a holiday dinner. And every man looks good (at least to Mom) in a tie.

And what do I want for Christmas? A tie, but not strictly speaking, a traditional tie. I want a tie made by the Hill-Side. While they are not a traditional looking tie, they have character by the bucket load. These aren't your usual silk or wool neckties. Made from interesting unique fabrics like selvage chambray from Japan or waxed canvas or selvage chino twill, they immediately stand out, stand above the usual tie. And I can't wait to get one. Or two. Or three.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wish List Gift #1 - Iron Ranger Boots

With the Holidays upon us, I thought I'd share some of what I hope someone is buying me for Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever. Simply for being me.

Red Wing Iron Ranger Boots -

I love these boots. Similar to the Russet Service shoe worn early in World War 2. The Iron Ranger has a cap toe much like it, but with speed laces, which I appreciate. Originally sold by Red Wing in 1953, the Iron Rangers are a welcome re-issue to their line up. The cap toe, and variety of leathers to chose from, makes picking up a pair of these an easy decision. Check 'em out below:

And here's this years limited model, for J. Crew:

Here's a picture of the Russet Service Shoe, which the Iron Ranger looks much like (Different sole):

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking Inventory

Previously an online only publication, Inventory Magazine released it's inaugural issue. The magazine is the literal manifestation of the vision of it's creative director, Ryan Willms. I was an avid reader of his first online offering, h(y)r collective, an online only men's magazine. The content was a great mix of reviews, music, and menswear, from a very American point of view. Which, I have to admit, is ironic given it's headquartered in Vancouver. So, let's say a North American point of view. H(y)r collective first morphed into Inventory online, and then finally the print edition which was just released. And it's off with a bang, with Interviews with Christophe Loiron, founder of Mister Freedom, Yuki Matsuda, from Yuketen.

One of the things that immediately impressed me with the magazine was the quality of the paper it was printed on - thick, textured flat paper which holds the ink for each line of text, each great photograph beautifully. The magazine is light on advertising, and heavy on content and presentation. It's full of good content with in-depth interviews and stuffed with beautiful images. Leave it on your coffee table and it's a focal point of conversation.

Not only does Inventory have a point of view, they are willing to put their money where their mouth is, with an online shop full of clothing picks, selected items which showcase their editorial aesthetic.

Order a copy today, you won't be disappointed.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Context IN the Press

A short and simple post today: Context is in the news. The store launched in 2005, and it's great to see it getting national attention. In the December 2009 issue of GQ, in their "Best Stuff 2009" feature their Alden collaboration Roy Boots made the list. Check them out:

These shoes are on their third pre-order, and this was before the national exposure.

Context was also featured in the December/January issue of Monocle; a magazine I've just discovered, and can't say enough good things about. Good journalism, a nice blend of content, and a great layout. Check out the "Local Heroes" on page 154. Hopefully this is just a sign of things to come.