Archives for February 2008 | A Continuous Lean.

Hickey | Disheveled Preppy for Fall

Feb 29th, 2008 | Categories: Americana, Preppy, Style | by Michael Williams

The AW08 collection from Hickey looks relaxed, disheveled and cool. The new offerings are my favorite collection from the Hickey Freeman spin-off since Mr. Tommy Fazio departed for the green pastures Bergdorf. I loved the very wearable selection of corduroy trousers, khaki pants, soft knits and wovens. The company even added raw denim jeans for the sake of merchandising and some great coated canvas outerwear in the classic Barbour style. In addition to the casual looks below, Hickey still includes a strong selection of suits and sport coats.

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Labour and Wait.

Feb 29th, 2008 | Categories: Design, London | by Michael Williams

I have moments where I want to live in a world before plastic. Before everything became branded and disposable. The 1940s would do the trick. When packages were wrapped in brown paper and twine. When your dust pan was steel and your breadbox (this is the 40s – you have a bread box) was enamel. Labour and Wait understands the charm of making things simple and clean like people did in the older days. So you can still live better through chemistry (no need to put the iMac away and live like you’re Amish) and still have some old school authenticity. Labour and Wait understands that basic is beautiful. I can’t help but to think of it as a British version of Muji, only better.

In addition to their original store in London, the company has a shop-in-shop in the fantastic Dover Street Market and a few “corners” in Japan, naturally.

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Mr. Rogers Never Wore Nike.

Feb 28th, 2008 | Categories: Media, Philadelphia, TV | by Michael Williams

As a PR guy I should be upset by that headline, but I’m not. I like to keep things pure and simple just as much as the public television station WHYY in Philadelphia.

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Kempt had a good item on national Mr. Rogers sweater day.





Post Card from Paris.

Feb 28th, 2008 | Categories: Fashion Week, Footwear, Media, Men's Stores, Men's wear, Paris, Style | by Michael Williams

Jonathan S. Paul, a friend of ACL, sent me this post card from Paris. He’s there covering women’s fashion for The Moment blog.

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Hello from Paris, where women’s fashion has taken the city hostage. As a magazine editor with mostly men’s fashion on my c.v., I’ll say that I’m enjoying the experience here — and the preponderance of beautiful, decked-out girls. But after two nights of group dinners, drinks and dancing with fashion editors — where I was the only guy at the table — tonight I decided to take some time for myself. That meant: dinner alone, a bottle of Bordeaux — just me and two of my favorite men’s magazines, GQ and Men’s Vogue. I needed a shot of testosterone to clear my head of chiffon and lace. I first started thinking of A Continuous Lean when I read Michael Walker’s piece, “Anything, Anywhere, Anytime” in M.V. Somehow it managed to glamorize the work of cargo pilots (“freight dogs”). I suspect ACL’s readers would appreciate all the aviation jargon (“shooting an approach”) and factoids (shutting down a GM assembly line costs $42,000 per minute), which compensated for the piece’s overwriting and belly-flop ending.





Mordechai Likes Old Man Style.

Feb 27th, 2008 | Categories: Men's wear, New York City, Street Style, Style | by Michael Williams

All around cool-guy and Jack Spade PR extraordinaire Mordechai Rubinstein loves to shoot NYC old man style for his Flickr stream. Some of my favorites below.

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Only in New York | Luxury Moving.

Feb 26th, 2008 | Categories: Luxury, Media, New York City, Real Estate, Service | by Michael Williams

fre2.pngNew York is the capital of the service universe. If you have a crazy idea for a company, New York City is the one place that has enough people with the disposable income to make it a success. With everything in the world being “luxury” these days, companies have to work hard to find new services that distinguish themselves to the 10021 set. Enter Flatrate Elite, the high-end moving company that provides the world’s only true luxury moving experience. The company professes to have thought of everything, from providing you with your own private “elite liaison”, to setting up all of your electronics, to moving your rare wine collection. This really seems like something Michael Shvo would think up. How long until Flatrate Elite is the official mover of the W New York Downtown? Also, how has this not been covered in New York Magazine?

Literally, all you need is a Centurion Card and a lot of nice stuff that needs moving. You barely have to know your address. Okay, all you have to know is your name and how to use your cell phone. That’s it!

More info from the company’s website.

“Led by your personal Elite Liaison, we’ll handle everything you need for your move from start to finish. From planning and logistics, to unpacking and setup, we’ll move you to your new home while beautifully managing and protecting your art, antiques, wine collection, pianos, buildings, and more in the process.”





Book Report | Gang Leader for a Day.

Feb 25th, 2008 | Categories: Books, Media | by Michael Williams

51ymk3gkql_ss500_.jpgI posses a natural tendency to be a very curious person. I want to know what makes the world work. My curiosities extend to include the root causes of historical events and social movements. Out of the many topics that I am interested in, there are a few random subjects that for some reason I am completely infatuated with. Some of the most random subjects are things like commercial aviation, Richard Nixon, the 1960s, hydraulic equipment, world war two and strangely enough, the inner-city crack epidemic of the 1980s and 90s. Recently the book Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh piqued my interest. The author recounts his fascinating past as a University of Chicago graduate student doing research at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes during the crack-fueled days of the 1990s. Over the seven years Venkatesh spent with the people of the housing project, he managed to earn the trust of a mid-level gang leader that ran the crack trade in and around Robert Taylor. This unprecedented access to the inner-workings of one of the largest housing developments in the country gave Venkatesh admission to a hidden world of crime, poverty and government corruption. The author goes to great length to painstakingly detail the economics of the crack game and the black-market hustle that takes place all over inner-city America. Sudhir Venkatesh first gained recognition for his contributions to Stephen Dubner’s book Freakonomics.

“Sudhir Venkatesh was born with two abnormalities,” says Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner, “an overdeveloped curiosity and an underdeveloped sense of fear. A lot of writing about the poor tends to reduce living, breathing, joking, struggling, sensual, moral human beings to dupes who are shoved about by invisible forces. This book … shows, day by day and dollar by dollar, how the crack dealers, tenant leaders … cops, and Venkatesh himself tried to construct a good life out of substandard materials.”