• Parisian Time Capsule

    Style | Culture  

    I have this recurring fantasy where I fly home for the holidays, pull-up to my childhood home, and fish my bags out of the trunk amidst a light snowfall. The warm glow in each window a flickering neon "vacancy" sign after a long stretch of flight delays. Floating into my old room, it's exactly how I left it in 1999. The plastic trophies, acoustic guitars, foosball table, love notes, and trading cards—all waiting for me like old friends. Here, the 17 year-old me never ages, immune to the years, months, and days. Weezer's Blue Album is on compact disc while My So-Called Life reruns (I secretly wanted to be Jordan Catalano) flicker on my television. Time just…stands.

    The reality was something different altogether. While I spent the entirety of my boyhood under one roof, my little brother took up squatting before the Sharpie could dry on my college boxes. The shrine of my adolescence brought low in a single afternoon. Hardly tragic in the moment. But, as the years pass, the nostalgia cakes thick like the old dust that should have donned such an alter. The museum of a suburban adolescent left only to exhibit in the recesses of a thirty-something's fading memory.

    Imagine the relapse of my golden age syndrome when the “Untouched Paris Apartment Discovered after 70 Years” news broke earlier this year. Abandoned during the second great war, the opulent flat belonged to the granddaughter of the late Parisian socialite and actress Marthe de Florian. She fled for the south of France to avoid the Nazi raid. She’d never return.

    The discovery came at the hands of her executor after she died in 2010. Under lock and key since 1939, rent diligently paid, and left utterly untouched, the 9th arrondissement flat is literally a Parisian time capsule. A stuffed ostrich, lavish heirloom furniture, Persian rugs, and a scad of oil paintings were among the inventory taken. Among the gems unearthed from the strata of dust, a Giovanni Boldini oil on canvas portrait of Marthe de Florian that later fetched 3.4 million at auction (a record price for the 19th century Italian artist). However, the real find lies inside the love letters exchanged between Boldini and his subject. That's what time capsules should be, as rich in secrets as it is with possessions.

    Dec 15, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • Lazy Brim Fedoras with Makins Hats

    Style  

    Makins Hats was started by Marsha Akins in 1974 in her one-room, 4th floor walk-up in New York's East Village. Using a Jiffy Steamer, she molded the raw hat bodies over her own specially designed wood blocks and then baked the hats dry in the apartment oven before trimming them. Now, more than 40 years later, Makins still makes all of their hats the old fashioned way...by hand. Under the new ownership of Satya Twena (a new near and dear friend), Makins Hats still takes great pride in their craft and hard work, making the finest handmade hats in New York.

    We pitched camp in the Garment District factory for a couple days talking iconic silhouettes, playing with 50 year-old hat blocks, and grooving to Frank Ocean. Indiana Jones served as a huge inspiration—the Boy Scout turned college professor turned treasure hunting archeologist feels as good now as it did when we were kids. We felt like we could get into some trouble in these and escape with the Cross of Coronado...or at the very least our dignity. The brim is a little wider than a traditional fedora, kept on the lazier side, and finished off with vintage military laundry pins, pheasant feathers, varsity pins, 70s union buttons, and military ribbons.

    Available at the 111 Charles Street pop-up shop in Boston's Beacon Hill, the capsule collection ranges from $297-$397 and is available in olive, chocolate, camel, and grey.

    Dec 10, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • Technically Speaking

    Style  

    Technical outerwear is having a moment, a shining moment...literally. In fact, the shinier the better. We like that it pairs really well with the hardy tweeds, scruffy herringbones, and woolly flannels we're wearing this winter. While goose down parkas and puffer vests over tailored clothing isn't necessarily virgin territory, what seems to be feeling really good right now is layering on a lacquered piece.

    Moncler, known for its signature lacquered nylon (you know, the down jackets you can practically see your reflection in), has been preaching this gospel for some time now. RLX has been following suit. Uniquely positioned at the intersection of high design and technical peak performance apparel, their commitment to technical performance wear as of late is impressive.

    Photograph by Andrew Arceri

    If for only layering, like this lightweight down vest, opt for a bright hue. It's just at home under your jacket as it is over it (and don't worry about your jacket peeking out from under the vest). Just keep it low profile and fitted, but not tight. The matte and luster contrast creates an interesting dynamic with visual depth that highlights your rig, not hijacks it. Shine on.

    Nov 18, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • JACK SPADE x GapKids

    Style  

    There is no better play date happening right now in kids fashion than the one between Jack Spade, Kate Spade, and GapKids. The quirk and childlike imagination inherent in the Spades' DNA are a natural fit for the American brand that is singlehandedly dressing kids like grown-ups with timely design at accessible price points. The boys and I loaded up in a '70s Ford Bronco for a top down autumn afternoon with Fletcher, the Westie (who happens to be a fan of the hand scarf). While the entire limited edition collection* channels the Spade ethos, highlights for the boys include the geo camo jacket and the coated backpacks.

    *courtesy of GapKids

    Oct 30, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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  • Chukka Boots

    Style  

    The provenance of the chukka boot hails from the fields of polo, as early models were akin to the boots worn by British polo players after matches. The moniker was adopted from the seven minute period of play of the same name. While hugely popular in the 1940s and 1950s as casual wear, modern iterations have rebooted (pun intended) the boot's popularity and timeless appeal.

    Photograph by Kat Harris

    We like this pair from Allen Edmonds. Cut from premium suede with a studded rubber Dainite sole and crafted in America with a Goodyear welt*, it is readily apparent—these are chukka boots for grown-ups. Classic and understated, they're more refined than your crepe-soled desert boots. And compliments of the unlined suede uppers (which mold to the contours of your foot), they are just as comfortable. We're into the snuff suede right now, which goes with...pretty much everything. From cutoff jeans to a suit, these have you covered. Of course, lace 'em up without socks as long as you can.

    Ready to grab a pair for yourself? You're in luck. Allen Edmonds is currently running their Rediscover America Sale through October 21st. What's more? We're giving away a pair of Allen Edmonds chukkas** ($295) to one of you.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    *because they're Goodyear welted, the boots can be resoled through Allen Edmonds' very own Recrafting® process. Complete recreafting from toe to heel starts at $125.

    **courtesy of Allen Edmonds

    Oct 16, 2014 | Permalink (0) View/Leave Comments

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