Archives for January 2008 | A Continuous Lean.

Sartorial Awakening | Southwick.

Jan 30th, 2008 | Categories: Design, Style, Suiting | by Michael Williams

This morning I saw the Autumn Winter 2008 collection from Southwick. The storied brand from Southwick, Mass. is one of the handful of companies still making suits in the United States. Just recently, the company brought in design consultant extraordinaire Mark McNairy to reinvigorate the classic New England brand. Southwick is known as the premier purveyor of the “soft shoulder” look. Below is imagery from the new AW08 collection. I love the very distinguished model, he is so classic-cool. The subtle details in the styling are inspiring, the tie-bars, cuff links and pocket squares are all very well-done. Not to mention the suits! This fall I will have to take a trip to Cable Car in San Francisco to get some of the new Southwick.

All photography by the very talented (and all around good-guy) Lee Clower.

Fashion Week Under the Influence | Where to Drink & Dine for the Shows.

Jan 30th, 2008 | Categories: Drinking, Fashion Week, New York City, Style | by Michael Williams

The best accessory to wear for fashion week? That’s easy, vodka rocks. New York Fashion Week is just around the corner and you are going to need to see and be seen. Even if you are practicing absence from the PR people and their editor friends, you can still make American Express think you were involved. I put together a few bar and restaurant tips for my favorite shows of the week. Being liquored might be the only answer.

Part One

Designer: Rag & Bone
Date: Friday, February 1st – 5PM

Show Location: 42nd Street | A.C.L. Recommends: Keens Steakhouse (72 W 36th Street nr. Sixth Ave).

The one-time hangout for all things Fairchild, Keens is a classic place to toast the always revered Rag & Bone collection. Keens is the perfect go-to spot for a non-pretentious drink and dinner should you desire. The crusty decor of thousands of clay pipes scream Fairfield County WASPy goodness.


Designer: Michael Bastian
Date: Saturday, February 2nd 10am-5pm

Show Location: W. 57th Street | A.C.L. Recommends: Café 745 (Bergdorf Goodman Men, 745 Fifth Avenue at 58th Street, third floor).

The Bergdorf Alum Bastian knows what simple luxury means. Stop by 745 for a noon-time snack after the presentation and enjoy the company of some of men’s most fashionable.

At Your Service | What's Good in Charticles.

Jan 28th, 2008 | Categories: Magazines, Media, Service, Style | by Michael Williams

At Your Service is a weekly round-up of helpful and interesting service journalism. Inspired by the “ultimate in service and style” Vitals magazine. I follow the media and keep you in the know. *(And yes, technically none of these are actually “charticles” but who is keeping track)

For the first installment of AYS, I take a look at Antenna, Esquire UK and Condé Nast’s newish business-title Portfolio.


Knowing that the new issue is fresh on newsstands I took the opportunity to feature the Winter 2008 issue of the sneaker and jeans centric men’s magazine. Antenna does an excellent job with their still-life product pages. This content makes up most of each issue (there was a cool Steven Alan profile in there too). I would compare their approach to the many product obsessed Japanese magazines (Including one that I have covered previously). The pharmacy still-life pages from this issue were amazing. In Antenna you find pages focused on tooth brushes for example, mixed right in the middle of pages with plaid shirts, puffer coats and electronics. I love it – very well done – bathroom reading for sure.

Antenna W08 CoverAntenna product page oneAntenna product page two

Pharrell the Blasonneur for Louis Vuitton.

Jan 26th, 2008 | Categories: Design, Luxury, Paris, Style | by Michael Williams

The only thing better than hiring a celebrity to wear your clothes or appear in an advertising campaign, is to have a celebrity wear your clothes, appear in an ad campaign and collaborate with the brand. When that marketing perfect storm emerges, you get Pharrell Williams’ new jewelry collection Blason. The luxury brand cum streetwear range has been generating buzz all over the internets, Kanye even blogged about it. LV and Pharrell recently held a party to celebrate the launch on the collection at the Paris shows.

Pharrel in Paris

FROM WWD: “Several years in the making, the collection — named Blason, the French word for coat of arms — is slated to arrive in 21 Vuitton stores in April, including locations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris and Tokyo. Retail prices are expected to range from about 1,400 euros, or $2,070 at current exchange, for a yellow gold ring to 420,000 euros, or $620,760, for a necklace in white gold and diamonds.”

I also thought this was interesting from the WWD piece:

“Meanwhile, having recently taken delivery of an Hermès Haut à Courroies bag Williams had custom-made in purple baby crocodile, he said handbags and watches are probably his next fashion project, though the rap star and producer couldn’t yet say for which brand.”

Some images from the collection and the promotional video after the jump.

Free & Easy | Mid-Century American Office Design via Japan.

Jan 25th, 2008 | Categories: Americana, Brooklyn, Design, Mid-Century Modern | by Michael Williams

Until recently I was not much of a fan of Mid-Century Modern design. The irony of my newfound-interest in throwback American office furniture is the source – a Japanese magazine called Free & Easy. The book is essentially a How-To guide to live like a preppy American guy. They go so far as to break down every material thing you would need to live “the lifestyle”. Watches, umbrellas, cars, suits, accessories and even dogs! All of it is distinctly East Coast preppy Americana. The Japanese have become in many ways, the holder of the key to many parts of the classic 21st century American lifestyle. Case in point, this Japanese blog devoted to Dazor and other vintage lighting. I see the trend mostly as a positive, the Japanese have become a sort of library of classic American brands and traditions. More on that later.

Free & Easy Cover

Book Report | The Dangerous Book for Boys.

Jan 22nd, 2008 | Categories: Books | by Michael Williams

When I was young I loved to purge – not my lunch – but my toys and other belongings. I would stockpile everything in a closet and then on a Saturday it would hit me and I would have to get rid of all the non-essentials. Everyone has that friend that obsesses over recreating the nostalgia of their childhood – assembling every toy and trinket. I’m not one of those people. Every time I find a GI Joe or whatever from when I was a kid they just aren’t as good or as fun as I remember. The one exception are Boy Scout guide books. I have been buying the old volumes from the 60′s and 70′s on eBay and they take me back to the days of freezing my ass-off in the Klondike Derby in the middle of an Ohio winter.

Enter the newly published The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn & Hal Iggulden. The manual contains everything a boy (read: a grown man) needs to know about everything that is good. It is a must own for anyone trying to connect with their discarded devious childhood.

DBB Cover

Steven Alan + The Strokes + Scott Sternberg = Vampire Weekend.

Jan 18th, 2008 | Categories: Media, New York City, Style | by Michael Williams

The new preppy “it” band Vampire Weekend has been popping up everywhere (Teen Vogue, GQ…cover of yet to be released major music magazine). Pictured below is the GQ “Music” section from the February issue – can you say Glenn O’Brien! The profile (by Mr. Will Welch) might as well be the Fashion Well, only styled in the GQ editors own clothes (don’t get me wrong – I dress just like these / those guys). It doesn’t really seem to be just a music profile. With songs like Oxford Comma and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa it is only a matter of time before these guys are going to be in an ad campaign.

By the way – how could I not mention that cover with Rachel Bilson?!?