Archives for June 2014 | A Continuous Lean.

An Ode to Beat Up White Bucks.

Jun 30th, 2014 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Jake Gallagher, Shoes, Shoes of Summer | by Jake Gallagher

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White bucks are the blank canvas of menswear. Each year, as the temperature rises, they reemerge like red soled birds flying south for the season, primed in a flat white coat that will be marked up, dinged out, and just plain dirty come Fall. There’s something unnatural about a pristine white buck – it’s too clean, too pristine, not worn in enough. On the other hand a beat-up buck proves that you’ve been living, and living well. Each pockmark and spot on a pair of bucks is earned and from that first time you nick up a fresh pair of bucks, you’ll be recording a seasons worth of wear and tear. As designer, and legendary buck wearer (seriously he’s been wearing them for over forty years straight) JP Williams puts it “they take on your personality.” So, here’s to a season of worth of grass stains and spilled cocktails, because a beat up buck is just a better buck.





Simplicity is Beauty.

Jun 29th, 2014 | Categories: Made in England, Video | by Michael Williams

The idea of “simplicity” seems to get thrown around quite a bit. It’s something Apple has used to build a literal mountain of cash (that and 10,000 other genius ideas — lest we get carried away here) and it’s a concept that everyone seems to rally around regardless if their business is making cheap fast fashion or high-end luxury. At the same time, it’s something that lies at the core of ACL, but simple is not the only thing I’m looking for. It’s when simple is combined with tradition, consistency and quality that things really become an obsession.

What does this have to do with a film about scissors? Everything.





Wash, Wear, Repeat | The Return of the Easy Wearing Suit

Jun 27th, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Suiting | by Jake Gallagher

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On a summer morning in 1946, while attending a convention in Florida, Joseph Haspel Sr. donned one his company’s signature seersucker suits and waded out into the Atlantic Ocean, all the way up to his neck. As stunned beachgoers watched on, Mr. Haspel reappeared on shore, soaked to the stripes, and returned to his hotel room, where he hung up the suit to dry. Just a few hours later he resurfaced at a banquet in that he very same outfit, causing quite a stir amongst the attendees.

Founded in New Orleans in 1909, Haspel was one of the first brands to utilize cotton and seersucker for their tailored collections, forgoing the standard mohair and wool fabrics that were far too cumbersome for the heat of a southern summer. Sr.’s seaside stunt was in line with the brand’s unorthodox approach to summerweight suits, and it was the initial step in Haspel’s evolution towards the wash and wear suit.





Pining for the Newport Folk Festival.

Jun 26th, 2014 | Categories: History, Music | by Michael Williams

It’s about the time of year for the Newport Folk Festival, what has become my most liked musical outing of the year. While it doesn’t seem like I am going to make it this year (the damn thing sells out pretty quickly these days — as does the town), I got to thinking about Newport Folk recently and dug my way into these great old clips from the golden age of the festival, the heady days of 1960s.

The modern festival stands on its own with an excellently selected cast of old and new acts, a bill that is perennially stacked with classic performers and emerging artists. The crowd is a great mix as well, with a beautiful cross-section of people. It’s a respectful bunch too, helping to cement the modern 3-day music fest’s place at the top of its class.





In Defense of the Shirt Monogram.

Jun 24th, 2014 | Categories: American Psycho, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Shirts, Style | by Jake Gallagher

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The most polarizing word in menswear isn’t even a full word, it’s the three (or maybe two) letters that make up a set of initials. Nothing stirs the pot quite like a good old debate about monograms. Classicists have long labeled them as gauche and ostentatious while their contemporaries counter that they’re one of the rare ways in which a man can truly personalize his everyday attire. We’d venture to say that both sides are correct – yes, monograms are flashy but they’re also highly personal, and can help demarcate not just your shirt but you as a whole.





A Garden Grows in an East Village Storefront.

Jun 23rd, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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As anyone who has ever received a potted present can tell you, caring for plants is a far more difficult feat than it seems. Each fern, seedling, and shrubbery requires its own delicate formula of water and sunlight. Tread too far in any direction, or worse neglect your greenery altogether, and your lush compadres will wind up as little more than a pile of scorched petals.

I can’t imagine Satoshi Kawamoto, a botanist, or as he likes to call himself a “garden stylist,” has ever had such troubles with his greenery. Kawamoto operates out of a quaint space on First Street in New York City, tending to his various plants and inventing new arrangements both for his shop and an array of clients both in New York and in his native Tokyo (where he operates five other locations.) As I enter his shop, which carries the apt moniker “Green Fingers,” on one of this winter’s first below freezing nights, I feel as if I’ve crossed into a Japanese garden rather than a faded East Village storefront.





Russ & Daughters Returns To Orchard Street.

Jun 19th, 2014 | Categories: Food, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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“That’s the thing, to eat Nova, drink seltzer, and talk about life.”

Larry, the jovial waiter in command of the front half of Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street seems to have it all figured out. As he glides from table to table dispensing not just heaping plates of smoked salmon, but his own unique brand of fish-centric philosophy, Larry does so with an easy smile which indicates that there’s no other place he’d rather be. This is his home, and he wants nothing more than to welcome you right on in.

The effortless, unironic hospitality that Larry and the rest of the Russ & Daughters team convey is so hard to find these days, especially in New York, that it’s almost jarring at first. Having opened this past month to much fanfare, the Cafe is bustling with people and there’s a wait at all hours of the day, but once I’m seated, the R&D team implores me to simply relax and smell the Nova. After all it took Russ & Daughters almost a century to return to Orchard Street, so why would they start rushing now?