Archives for April 2012 | A Continuous Lean.

Further Assessments | Camoshita AW12

Apr 30th, 2012 | Categories: Further Assessments, Japan, Pitti Uomo January 2012 | by Michael Williams

A Japanese-designed, Italian-styled collection that is heavily appreciated on an American blog —Camoshita could potentially make the world explode, or at least the Internets. After a meeting in midtown the other day, I popped into Barneys to survey the new goods that had recently arrived. Low and behold, right there on the main men’s floor, was the Camoshita collection. It reminded me of these images from Pitti that have clearly been neglected for too long. Though, all is not lost because these clothes still have a few more months before they hit stores.

The Camoshita collection is designed and produced under the United Arrows umbrella by Yasuto Kamoshita (the UA creative director) in Japan, and the line beautifully represents the double-barreled Japanese commitments to craftsmanship and Italian tailoring.

SIGNALS | Special Manufacturing Edition

Apr 30th, 2012 | Categories: SIGNALS | by Michael Williams

— Shameless plugs: follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook. —

Photo: Republic Steel, Cleveland, Ohio 1949 via the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Maneuvers at Peekskill | N.Y. National Guard c.1915

Apr 30th, 2012 | Categories: History, Photography | by Michael Williams

 The Library of Congress never ceases to amaze me with its incredible archive of images. While going through a collection of newly digitized photographs, I came across this set from 1915 which documents a winter training maneuver of a New York National Guard unit in the Westchester County town of Peekskill, N.Y. Looking back, one could only assume that these soldiers ended up in Europe a few years later as part of the American Expeditionary Forces in the Great War.

That Spring Look | Wrapped up in Blue

Apr 27th, 2012 | Categories: That Spring Look | by Michael Williams

It’s been almost a year to the date since I have done one of these “looks,” and looking back, it seems these days I’m in a totally different head space. These posts, for whatever reason, take me forever to put together, but they are always rewarding at the end. This particular rig is probably the most conservative, and likely most expensive of any I have done thus far. The costliness of the arrangement is solely representative of the fact that, at a certain point, I came to the realization that it’s a lot more fun to dream up outfits that consist of really nicely made and expensive things. That’s it — so please tread lightly friends.

Mix and match as you wish. Take inspiration if you find it. Breakdown after the jump.


Apr 24th, 2012 | Categories: New York City, Retail, Watches | by Michael Williams

This could be dangerous…

IWC aficionados can rejoice, the Swiss watchmaker finally opened a New York store this week right in the heart of the menswear action on Madison Avenue. The shop is modeled most closely on the company’s outpost in Hong Kong, with each model family getting its own themed room and experience. Even though there are different environments for each collection, the rich wood that runs throughout the space serves to connect each area and creates a refined, yet unpretentious setting in which you avoid work while lusting over well-made watches. The expansive entrance — which is set up to be a sort of nautical looking lounge — beautifully houses the popular Portuguese collection. That main room also plays host to several steamer trunks that house the Portofino range.

Wants & Desires | Chris Craft Barrel Back

Apr 23rd, 2012 | Categories: Americana, Wants & Desires | by Michael Williams

The Chris Craft boats of the early 1940s could be the best looking pieces of American design ever. Well, that’s my feeling anyway. Imagine spending a sunny summer day on a lake in the upper Midwest cruising around in a beautiful wooden 1941 Chris Craft Barrel Back. What could possibly be more fun?

The lines and shape of the wood and chrome on the pre-WWII Barrel Backs are so incredibly good looking, I could imagine it would be tough to nominate something more quintessentially Americana. Note specifically the half moon styled stern on those bad boys, it is something truly magical.

Weekend Video | Blueprints of War

Apr 21st, 2012 | Categories: Video, WWII | by Michael Williams

If you are interested in WWII and industrial design, then this will definitely be the best hour of your week. The program takes a close look at the design and engineering of the instruments of the Second World War like the Sten gun, the famous German Tiger tank (a “luxury item”) with its massive 88mm armament and the game changing Liberty Ships. The examination of the differences in design philosophy of the German armor and the Russian and American tanks is especially interesting. It can be summed up in one statement: ”Quantity has a quality all its own.”

There’s also the interesting story of how Stalin, in the 1920s feeling the need to industrialize the Soviet Union, sent a team to Detroit to learn from the American automakers and then apply that mass production manufacturing knowledge back into Russia.

It’s a fascinating film — especially the Eames bit. Thanks to M. Coleman Horn for the tip.