The trade shows in Las Vegas were all that much more painful coming off of my recent trip to CIFF in Copenhagen where fashion trade shows are done right. Even comparing the experience in Copenhagen to that of Vegas is basically a crime in and of itself. It hasn’t taken me many visits to Scandinavia to truly recognize it as one of my favorite parts of the world. Copenhagen itself is wonderful in so many ways: the food, the people (nice and all good looking), the laid back vibe of the country, the unmatched ability to speak English (sorry world, us Muricans value that because we are inherently selfish and terrible), the active lifestyle and lastly the efficiency that can be found everywhere. Add in a bunch of international brands with good clothes and the recipe is perfect.
There’s something magical about a bagel and lox. A bite of crisp, chewy bagel and cream cheese draped with silky sheets of smoked salmon (and maybe some sliced tomato) provides one of the most satisfying flavor and texture combinations of all time. No wonder the sandwich has secured its place among legendary New York City foods like the pizza slice and pastrami on rye. Don’t get me wrong, I love a plain old bagel and cream cheese, but it’s only ever improved by lox.
So naturally, in a city where lox can be found every few blocks, New Yorkers have a lot of opinions about where to get the best. The largest smoked fish factory in the country, Acme Smoked Fish was founded in Brooklyn in 1954 and has been family-owned for four generations. Acme supplies smoked and cured fish to some of the city’s favorite fish counters including Zabar’s, Barney Greengrass, and my go-to spot, which prefers to maintain some mystery about its purveyors. They also ship hundreds of thousands of of vacuum-sealed packages of fish around the country every year. Chances are high that if you’ve ever eaten smoked salmon, it came from Acme.
Why are things the way they are? What goes into the things I use in my everyday life. Those the questions that drive both my life and this website. The menswear landscape itself is littered with iconic items that each have their own story and purpose for why the way things are the way they are. Think work wear or anything derivative of military clothing. That’s the great part of men’s clothing, everything is really born out of use and function. It’s all very linear. To me, I’m just as interested in the people and the process of how the magazines I read come together as I am for the shoes I wear, the suits I buy or anything else. This week GQ unveiled a new fall style book called What to Wear Now (which hits newsstands on August 27th) and I saw it as a great opportunity to sit down with GQ Senior Editor Will Welch (a man who I hold in high regard and respect greatly) to talk personal uniforms, fall fashion and the making of one of GQ’s most stylish special editions ever.
ACL: How does What to Wear Now fit into the world of GQ style coverage?
Will Welch: It feels like that the more style stuff we do, like we have now done the Style Bible for two years…but that’s April. And then October, we’re working now on the second Style Playbook, so that’s kind of a spring and fall issue where the look of the cover is different and the style quotient is kind of amped up. And there have been three covers for all of those – three cover stars. And it feels like there’s no end to the hunger for more style stuff.
ACL: Yeah, it seems like this is something pushed mostly from the interest from the reader. Do you think guys are getting more interested in fashion now than they were?
WW: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s a lot of things happening. There’s more interesting stuff going on in men’s style. Guys are more interested in it, and are also okay with being…it increasingly. I think we’re almost past the point where there’s anything weird about being interested in style, you know? It’s like…it doesn’t seem less manly to want to know how your car runs, or how your suit is made. All of that, I think there’s a certain very organic “how shit works” aspect to the way men think in the stuff that we “nerd out” about. And now, style has just been added to the list. I think for a lot of guys, it was always there.
Simple, modern and classic all together in one place. Hancock is the rare expression color and style communicated through vulcanization, an old world construction technique that provides protection from the rain. All of these coats are made by hand in Scotland, using traditional methods. This concept sort of makes me think the Japanese got a hold of Mackintosh, when in actuality the Japanese do actually own Mackintosh (which is a good thing actually, they will protect it and continue to see that production is done in the U.K. where it belongs) but I think they are a bit too nervous to do anything as drastic and contemporary as this.
Last year at Pitti, Hancock was brand new and it was by far the most interesting new arrival at the show. This year, it had shaken off the newness, but it still shined. In addition to the several different outerwear styles (there’s a pea coat, a city coat, a DB, a trench and a sportcoat) the offering works through a beautiful exercise in color theory. No where (save maybe Japan) will you encounter color deployed with such deftness and ease.
In addition to the outerwear, last season Hancock collaborated with Globe Trotter to make a very handsome limited edition case. Coming for spring summer 2014, (hitting stores January-ish) are these equally appealing collaboration Jack Purcell sneakers. Each is made from the same fabrics that comprise the Hancock jackets and in the same terrific color scale. These sneakers evoke much of the same feeling I get when I look at Hancock: classic shapes in great colors made of interesting materials. Sign me up. Now we all just need to figure out how to get our hands on this stuff.
The Event: Wedding at the famed Four Seasons Restaurant in Manhattan.
Dress: Black Tie
The wedding was planned for a Saturday. On a Wednesday I realized that the attire was black tie and I do not own a tuxedo, at least one that I would be caught dead in. I needed to solve this problem, and do it quickly. This I don’t believe, is an isolated incident for men in the prime of wedding season.
Okay, tuxedo options, this is not going to be pretty. I could always rent a tux, right? I’m gonna look good –- that guy with the beard guarantees it, right? No way, I can’t go the Men’s Warehouse route. Too much disgusting fabric. Too painful. Anyway, the timing did not allow for renting a tux. Not even close. Damn-you planning ahead. Then I realized that the best option for me just a few blocks away at the J.Crew Ludlow Shop in TriBeCa. Boom. Game changer. Even Mr. Impossible Cool agrees.
- A handsome trove of American made furniture [Valet]
- The allure of the legendary albino Rolex Daytona. [Hodinkee]
- Filson’s prudent product evolution. [Esquire]
- The search for Civil War era beach chairs is finally over. [10 Engines]
- A beautiful look inside Sunspel’s English factory [Sunspel] [Pictured]