History | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

A True People’s Champ.

Feb 24th, 2015 | Categories: History, Menswear, Sports, Style | by ACL Editors


In the ring Muhammed Ali was a monster. He would grab hold of each match, dancing his way around the ring until just the right moment and then BAM, his fist, as big as a loaf of bread and as weighty as Thor’s hammer, would shoot forth so as to inflict the maximum amount of damage upon his adversary.

Despite his brutal blows, Ali was not fueled by anger. Fighting was his job, and he was damn well good at it. But outside the ring, he was known for his big personality – a man who could be caring and controversial in equal measure. Never one to hold back, Ali would often play to the camera, as seen in his famous Esquire cover and photo shoot with The Beatles. He was also a pretty sharp dresser, especially for a guy of his size. Ali wasn’t so much a gentle giant, as he was a giant gentleman, which is why his battle with Parkinson’s disease, and his subsequent deteriorating state later in life, has been so painful to watch. And so it’s best to remember Ali as he was in his glorious heyday – as the true people’s champ.


Kubrick the Kid Captures the City

Feb 19th, 2015 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher


Long before Stanley Kubrick became the revered auteur responsible for films like A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Full Metal Jacket, he was just a kid with a camera. And he truly was a kid. Kubrick was just seventeen when was hired as a staff photographer by the now defunct Look Magazine. As a native of the Bronx, Kubrick was a keen observer of the intricacies of the city, and throughout his five year career behind the lens, he portrayed the ins and outs of ordinary life in New York. From clubs to classrooms, from street corners to circuses, from boxing rings to bars, Kubrick shot society at all levels, capturing the collective frenzy of New York City in the late 1940’s. Below are just a smattering of the more than fifteen thousand images which Kubrick amassed from 1945 to 1950, but all of them can be found online at the website of the Museum of the City of New York.


MG Autos | The Midgets of the Track

Feb 10th, 2015 | Categories: Cars, History, Jake Gallagher, Motorsports | by Jake Gallagher


American cars of the 1960′s can be summed up in one word: big. Big engines, big hoods, big windows, big benches, even big headlights. The American road was strewn with these glimmering metallic behemoths throughout the sixties, but across the pond, things were quite different. There were British companies like Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, and Bentley that aimed for luxury, creating an automotive experience that was akin to an ultra-cushy carriage ride, and then there were companies like MG. While their competitors were busy inserting plush leather seats and squishy handling into their rides, MG was playing out on the track, producing compact cars that epitomized English speed. Their coupes were designed to hug sharp turns, leap off the line, and dart around corners, setting the benchmark for the British sports car for decades to come.


The Raccoon Coat | Have Some Fun Dammit!

Jan 6th, 2015 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Outerwear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher


With all the rules and lists and “wear this, don’t wear that” articles that get lobbed our way, it’s easy to forget that clothing should never be taken too seriously. If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you smile, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Sometimes though, we all need to be reminded of this, and so in the spirit of fun, let’s give it up to the ol’ raccoon coat. As a staple of East Coast style that popped up during the roaring twenties, the raccoon coat is ostentatious, gaudy, and downright fun. Undergrads wore them on game day and blue bloods tossed them over their tuxes. The raccoon coat said, “I’m dressed better than and I know it.” Just look at these guys, they’re dressed ridiculous, and they’re loving it. As styles have changed, today that message reads more like, “I’m trying way too hard to be Jay Gatsby,” but at least we have these photos to remind us that if you’re having fun, you can pull off just about anything.


The Original Ugly Holiday Sweater.

Dec 23rd, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher


“Who let that guy in?”

If we look at winter as one giant holiday party, then fair isle is the perennial gatecrasher. Tweed? Corduroy? Flannel? Sure, they’re on the list. But fair isle? Who let that guy in? Yes, fair isle has its heritage, and the tiny Scottish island from which it derives should certainly be proud of how their signature style has gone, but I for one am I surprised by the endurance of fair isle. It’s both goofy and garish in equal measure. Certain fair isles appear as outdated as your grandmother’s curtains, while others can be as blindingly bright as overdone Christmas lights. So really what is it about fair isle that brings us back to this absurd pattern year after year? It’s the green-bean casserole of the knitwear world – a reliable seasonal stalwart that will always have a place at the table. It’s not the best, most attractive winter pattern, but it just wouldn’t be winter without it.

An Ode to the Original Six.

Oct 22nd, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Sports | by Jake Gallagher

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Hockey is America’s biggest little sport. In the post-lockout era, hockey games are harder to find on TV and the average American probably couldn’t name five current players without the aid of ESPN. But for true hockey fans, the sport is as enthralling as ever and it still is far and away the best professional sport to watch live. Though, most professional leagues are now as polished as a freshly minted trophy, but hockey still feels endearingly ragtag in a way, though much of that is disappearing by the season. Yes, part of this stems from the sport’s lack of true mainstream superstars (in comparison to the NBA or NFL), and the aggressive, often manic gameplay, and of course the fights. But, a large part of it has to do with the jerseys. Tune into a hockey game today and you’ll see many of the same (or close enough to the same) jerseys that players have worn for decades.


Ralph Lauren and The Boy Scouts of Nippon.

Oct 20th, 2014 | Categories: Camping, History, Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher


There are vintage finds that make you cry tears of joy. There are vintage finds (mostly of the stained variety) that make you weep for what could have been. And then there are vintage finds that simply leave you scratching your head. A few weeks back, in a downtown consignment store I came upon a vintage find so confounding, so downright unexpected that it has sent me on a quest. The shirt itself was nothing out of the ordinary. Two front pockets, patches on each sleeve, epaulettes up top, really, it looked like any old scouting shirt. Which is why I was drawn to it. Why was this shirt here? Why would a store that sells everything Thom Browne, Rick Owens, and Junya Watanabe be selling a regular old Boy scout shirt? And then I saw the tag. “Boy Scouts of Nippon Designed By Ralph Lauren.”