California | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

A Visit to the Mohawk General Store

Oct 18th, 2010 | Categories: California, Los Angeles, Menswear, Mid-Century Modern, Shopping | by Michael Williams

After my trip to the Rose Bowl flea I headed over to check out the recently relocated Mohawk General Store on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake. The shop is owned by Kevin Carney (who is also co-founder of Generic Man) and his wife Bo. The menswear and vintage stereos are Kevin’s responsibility the ladies clothing is handled by Bo and the furniture is courtesy of Amsterdam Modern. Mohawk creates a unique mix of European mid-century modern furniture and a strong selection of good menswear from brands like Post Overalls, Engineered Garments, Tellason, Baxter of California, Tanner Goods, Our Legacy, Eastland Shoe, Earnest Alexander, The Hill-Side, Gitman Bros. Vintage, Yuketen, Moscot and of course The Generic Man. I really wanted to buy a set of Dutch stacking chairs that are set up near the entrance, but I erred on the side of owning less chairs. Especially since I have been so successful on Craigslist recently. If you are in LA, check out Mohawk’s new space and maybe pick up some Dutch stacking school chairs or a pair of jeans; whatever you may need or want. [Mohawk General Store]

Archival Imagery | Orange County Calif. USA

Jul 2nd, 2010 | Categories: California, Photography | by Michael Williams

Celery harvest at Wintersburg, 1898

Horse on Verdugo St., San Juan Capistrano, circa 1960

Pacific Ave., Sunset Beach and Surfside, April 1966

100 E. Central Ave., La Habra, 1965

Spoils of the Rose Bowl | Deadstock U.S. Gov’t Towels

Jun 16th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, California, Rose Bowl | by Michael Williams

In a beautiful episode of good timing, my trip to Los Angeles had me in town for Rose Bowl Sunday. A few friends and I went out to Pasadena to peruse all of the good vintage clothing, furniture and objects. The trip reminded me that the Rose Bowl is different than other flea markets I normally attend out East. Even compared to Brimfield, the Rose Bowl is all business, especially the clothing section. Those people are there for one reason only, and they take that shit seriously. I’m not saying it is bad — and you can totally find a deal here or there — I’m just saying the whole undertaking is just business. As long as you go into it with that mindset, you are okay. One vendor in particular was a total dick to me for taking pictures of his booth, which sort of set the tone for the whole day. But I understand how people are weary of folks at those shows. You never know who is who. Plus, every asshole with a camera and a computer has a “blog” now. Whatever the hell those things are.

Beast of Burden | International Travelall

Apr 19th, 2010 | Categories: Automobiles, California | by Michael Williams

The only thing this beast can’t pass is a gas station.

Driving with my buddy in L.A. this past week and I spotted this late 1960s International Harvester Travelall and couldn’t resist pulling a Nick Maggio (sans bag of iPhone-photo-app-trickery) on this monster. I couldn’t even imagine driving these back in the day when they first came out — before everyone drove an SUV.

A Santa Barbara State of Mind

Mar 10th, 2010 | Categories: California, Men's wear, Style | by Michael Williams

The new California brand Riviera Club came together as three friends — Joe Sadler, Derek Buse and Greg Ullery — combined their individual strengths to create something new. The launch collection (which is seen in the images below) is inspired by the real life adventures of surfer and wayward rich-kid Bunker Spreckels and the company’s home base of Santa Barbara, California.

I first met Joe, Derek and Greg a few months ago and was impressed by the clothing — not to mention the people. While the guys were in NYC we ended up hanging out, having a few beers and talking about how everything started and how the line is coming along. It all goes back to something I have said before, good people making good things. Since my first opportunity to see the line I have been telling people it is one of the best new brands I have seen in a long time. The line is wearable, made from great fabrics, has good detailing and smart fits. The kicker is, all of it is made in California. As far as prices go, the shirting retails for $155; outerwear from $175 – $195; shorts range from $115 – $155.

Since the focus of ACL can drift to seasons far away, I decided to wait to do a post about Riviera Club until it was actually hitting stores — even if that meant seeing it on some other blogs. I really like the clothes, as well as the gentlemen involved and hope they do well with their new endeavor. You can check out Riviera Club at Saturdays in NYC, Blackbird in Seattle and Ron Herman in sunny L.A.

Asked & Answered | Levi Strauss & Co.

Aug 24th, 2009 | Categories: California, Denim, History | by Michael Williams

Not too long ago — in an effort to insult yours truly — someone accused ACL of becoming “The History Channel’s” blog. The commenter was attempting to offend, but the remark accomplished only the opposite. I can think of a lot of worse things this site could be. History is the basis for everything that is ACL. With that said, when the opportunity arose to spend the afternoon with Lynn Downey the Levi Strauss & Co. archivist and historian, I could imagine of no better way to enjoy a summer day.


A pair of vintage jeans c.1901-1922 from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives

ACL: It seems like you have a pretty amazing Job, how does this come about, how do you end up becoming the archivist for Levi’s?

Lynn Downey: Sheer amazing luck. I heard that the company was hiring an archivist for the first time in 1989, and my bachelors degree is in History and my masters degree is in Library and Information Science, but I specialized in archival administration and I applied for the job and I got it in December of ’89.

Wants & Desires | SeaVees Pantone White

Jun 19th, 2009 | Categories: California, Collaborations, Footwear, Style | by Michael Williams

There are a lot of options out there for canvas sneakers these days. Seeing as I tend to be resistant to change, I have continued to buy and wear Sperry Stripers. The one brand that has caught my eye and made me want to update my footwear game is California’s SeaVees. The company recently collaborated with industry color specialists on a special group of simple Pantone inspired designs. Ironically the new Pantone White release — which celebrates the Summer solstice — is devoid of all color. Just like I like it.