France | A Continuous Lean.

Orcival | Breton Stripes Done Right

Aug 5th, 2014 | Categories: France, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Style | by Jake Gallagher

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Americans have blue jeans, the French have Breton stripes.

No item is more fundamental to French style than the blue and white striped shirt, and there’s certainly no shortage of them to go around. The appeal of a Breton tee is simple, they’re tailored through the body with an open “boat-neck,” but relaxed in the sleeve and are generally one of the most comfortable garments you can wear. It’s often the most basic items that are the easiest to screw up though and there are countless “close but no cigar” iterations of the Breton tee out there. Which brings us to Orcival, the seventy-five year old purveyors of an authentic Breton stripe tee.

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Arpenteur | France’s Past is Present

Jul 15th, 2014 | Categories: France, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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Blue, white, and yellow. Three simple colors that make up Arpenteur’s collections. Sure, there’s shades of blue tossed in there, some of which border right up next to grey, and sometimes green or red will surface, but generally Arpenteur’s designers Marc and Laurent Bourven keep their palate as refined as possible. In fact, this understated approach runs consistently throughout all facets of Arpenteur’s collections, which update, but do not radicalize classic French workwear designs.

For a pair of young designers the Bourven’s (who are cousins, not siblings) are armed with an enormous respect for their French heritage. And that’s heritage in terms of both clothing and history alike. Their designs are simple, coastal inspired workwear pieces, including pullover fisherman smocks, Breton striped shirts, and bright yellow parkas with matching bucket hats. To produce these items the Lyon based brand has utilizies traditional factories across France to ensure that their collections not only mirror the look of classic French workwear, but the durability as well.





Just the right amount of change at Saint James.

Aug 28th, 2012 | Categories: France, Menswear, Uncategorized | by Michael Williams

The knitwear from Saint James has remained much the same since 1848. The colors, patterns and materials all draw directly back to what the company was doing over a century ago. It’s the French brand’s consistency that is the allure. This week though, there’s a ripple of newness in the storied company’s seas as a special capsule collection from France’s Saint James arrives exclusively at Barneys New York. The small knitwear range consists of eight pieces that were inspired by a take on classic-American-sportswear-meets-Brittany with elements like the Ivy League shall collar and the Henley shirt mixed with traditional French design details like Breton stripes. Rest assured, all still made in the company’s factory in Normandy.

The new styles build upon the original simplicity of two favorite Saint James classics, the striped side-buttoned fisherman sweater, “Matelot”, and the ecru-navy long sleeve jersey, “Meridien” and sticks to the traditional Saint James color palate of red, navy and natural. Everything was designed by Martin Carvajal, who previously worked at Freeman’s Sporting Club. I have to say, Martin did a good job of making it different without, well, fucking it up. It’s about as adventurous as I would really want to see Saint James get, which basically says to me that this is a success. It’s like my old man says: “change is Bad.” In this case, a slight change is welcomed and even appreciated.





As it Happened | Côte d’Azur

Jun 13th, 2011 | Categories: As it happened, France | by Michael Williams

Work had me in Europe for meetings and I tacked on a few days of R&R in the South of France, one of my favorite places in the world. All photos with the Fujifilm X100 + some post production.





Day Trip to Calais 1967

Apr 18th, 2011 | Categories: England, France, Video | by Michael Williams