History | A Continuous Lean.

The Escape Artist | Dennis Hopper in Taos.

Sep 21st, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, Movies | by Jake Gallagher

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It’s become a standard Hollywood story: an actor gets burnt out by the scene and decides that they need to get out of L.A. for a little. They disappear to Marfa, or Capri, or Burning Man only to make a public re-immersion a month or so later, capped off by an interview about how “refreshing” their sabbatical was. Even vacations are punctuated by press releases these days.

The roots of these restorative respites can be traced back to Dennis Hopper, who in 1970 decamped to Taos, New Mexico. Unlike his contemporaries Hopper was driven not by his public image, but by a genuine desire to escape. After fifteen years on the silver screen – beginning with Rebel Without a Cause and concluding with his period-defining masterpiece, Easy Rider, Hopper was in need of a change of scenery. When he had arrived in Hollywood in 1955, he was a straight-laced, baby-faced kid that hadn’t even reached his twentieth birthday yet. In his polo shirts, traddy suits, and slim ties, Hopper had the clean-cut look that execs were looking for, but unfortunately, so did countless other young actors just like him.

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Less, But Better | Principles of Good Design.

Sep 4th, 2014 | Categories: Art, Design, History, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Dieter Rams never needed his own company.

Throughout his career, Rams brought Braun and Vitsoe to the forefront of modern design, becoming a household name in his own right along the way. And he did this without ever having to step out on his own. The German born industrial designer was larger than any one company, and in fact Rams’ legacy is really larger than any single product that he designed throughout his forty year career. Rams’ minimal and practical products were a vital part of post mid-century design, but he saw the tides changing around him during the late seventies. Design was becoming too busy, too muddled, and too overwrought for Rams’ taste, and so he decided to articulate his design philosophy in an attempt to right the ship. Rams began with the question: “is my design good design,” and the “Ten Principles of Good Design” that followed were as straightforward and useful as his inventions. To this day Rams’ ten commandments are a valuable reminder that less is always better.





Having Some Fun (Shirts).

Aug 21st, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher

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“Those are some fun shirts.”

During a visit to one of his company’s shirt factories in the seventies Ash Wall, the vice president and great-great-great-grandson of Brooks Brothers founder Henry Sand Brooks, picked up a discarded “practice” sport shirt off the assembly line and tossed it on. As he did so, he uttered the above statement in reference to the ten or so different fabric scraps that had been haphazardly stitched together to form this button-up.





A Casino in Central Park.

Aug 12th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, Cocktails, History, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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After an unfortunate five year hiatus, The Tavern on the Green threw open its doors once again on April 24th of this year, restoring some of that old New York charm to Central Park West. While the return of The Tavern on the Green is no doubt a triumphant one, the venerable restaurant, which was built eighty years ago, is not in our opinion Central Park’s most legendary restaurant, that title belongs to the long forgotten Central Park Casino.

Situated on the opposite side of the Park from where The Tavern on the Green sits today, The Casino was a rambling cottage style restaurant that bustled nightly with the sounds of upbeat jazz bands and chatter from the tuxedoed clientele. Though it was first constructed in 1864 as a rest stop for the single women who would stroll through the Park, it wasn’t until 1929 that The Casino hit its (sadly short-lived) stride.





Required Viewing | The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Aug 1st, 2014 | Categories: ACL Films, History, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Hey, remember when sports were fun? You know, back before we started obsessing over trade deadlines, bloated contract deals, and whiny star players? It’s easy to forget that athletics were once valued above business, but fortunately this past month Netflix debuted The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a documentary that both makes you love Bing Russell and also reminds us a time when having fun was more important than making the big bucks.





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.