It is obvious that David Neville and Marcus Wainwright — the guys behind Rag & Bone — have great taste. Practically all of the clothing the brand turns out ends up on my wish list and with the opening of the company’s new SoHo store, you can add art to that list. The Mercer Street shop is currently featuring an installation of photos titled “Workspace,” from photographer Joseph Holmes. The beautiful images center around — you guessed it — people’s desks, which often end up being cluttered workbenches and messy industrial nooks around New York City. Holmes (pictured here at the Rag & Bone party this past week with actress Sienna Miller and Messers Wainwright and Neville) grew up in a factory town in Pennsylvania and has a talent for showing the beauty in industrial aesthetics. The full Workspace exhibit can be seen online here, or take a walk over to Rag & Bone at 119 Mercer Street in New York.
A museum of vintage oxford shirts? You’d be hard pressed to put together something more appealing to me. With the launch of the new GANT Rugger shop-in-shop on the upper level of its Fifth Avenue flagship, GANT has assembled an exhibition of assorted vintage shirts from its archive. The classic woven shirts — are all co-labeled shirts from mens stores throughout the U.S. Awesome old places like the Yale Co-Op in New Haven and the Klothes Kloset in Spokane, Washington. Basically, everywhere I wish I could have shopped.
The exhibit and the new GANT Rugger shop are launching this coming Thursday (October 22nd) with a cocktail party at the company’s Flagship in New York. ACL readers are invited to stop by to check out the classic shirts, peruse the new GANT Rugger goods and mingle with like minded preppy connoisseurs.
Friday’s Times ran a photo of Lloyd Blankfein, chairman of Goldman Sachs, who’s perhaps the savviest, most well-connected money man in the country. The news was Goldman’s ice cold $3 billion third quarter profit, but what struck us was the sight of Mr. Blankfein leaving the last button of his suit cuff unbuttoned. Long favored by Italians all the way up the corporate chain of command, the deliberately unstudied style was embodied by Gianni Agnelli, the iconic head of Fiat. Though we’ve long felt that American CEO’s should learn at the Agnelli altar, the sight of Mr. Blankfein roused certain sartorial misgivings.
A dose of nostalgia and workwear for your weekend. This 1950s film about the development of the U.S. railroad system is a great looking little piece of history. “America is the living symbol of the miracle of modern production.” Well said Mr. Industrial Propaganda Film announcer. Check out those brand new Caterpillar dozers at the 2:03 mark, the plaid work shirt at 6:19 and all of those factory scenes. Great stuff.
Philadelphia… a city known for its notorious sports fans and a certain delicacy known as the cheesesteak. Last year entrepreneur Steve Grasse, the man behind Gyro Mart and Root liquor, injected a little a dose of welcomed style into the city with his shop Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. (And yes the name is inspired by the Walter Benjamin essay.) Whether you’re searching for the newest Billykirk piece, new scents from CB I Hate Perfume or tobacco for your prized briar pipe, this shop has you covered. Nestled in Old City, this perfectly curated store brings a refreshing mix previously one might have needed to take the trip up to SoHo for. Art in the Age also has monthly art shows curated by another Philly staple, Space 1026. Product can be ordered form their online store, but you’d be doing yourself a favor by taking the walk down N. 3rd and stopping by for a visit.—SEAN SULLIVAN
The case for the custom suit is well-known and irrefutable: It’s the last frontier of superior craftsmanship, entirely built by hand. The knowledge that goes into a Savile Row suit can rightly be deemed historic. Your cutter might have been taught by the man who cut suits for Winston Churchill. The sheer range of fabrics is just as astounding. You may think you know everything there is to know about tweed—think again. Some sheds in Scotland make only a handful of bolts of fabric a year. One of those bolts can be the yours.
That doesn’t make it any easier when the reckoning comes: it’s going to cost north of $4000, and you’re going to take it like a man. Once indoctrinated, however, there are few complaints. Rare is the man with only one handmade suit—he’ll do everything in his power to buy another.
That money does not go into an advertising campaign or a cologne destined for duty-free stores. Instead, it returns, as is right, to tailors who’ve apprenticed for years to become expert at what they do. In fact, the profit margins at Savile Row tailors are surprisingly small, and many have closed or left the Row. It takes clear thinking to run a traditional tailor in the modern age. Enter Patrick Grant of Norton & Sons. Grant purchased the venerable tailor (established 1821), in 2006, while still in his thirties. The Norton space at 16 Savile Row is a classic, but not everybody can be in London for the three requisite fittings. So Grant dispatches his head cutter, David Ward, to the US four times a year. ACL recently met with Mr. Ward in a midtown hotel, where he had taken a suite of rooms to conduct fittings.