Jake Gallagher | A Continuous Lean.

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.

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Ralph Lauren and The Boy Scouts of Nippon.

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

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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.”

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Why the Knick is TV’s Most Stylish Show.

Oct 17th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Menswear, TV | by Jake Gallagher

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Don Draper is not the best dressed man on TV.

There, I said it and I meant it. Now, the FCC might kick down my door at any second for speaking ill of the holy Don Draper, but I just can’t hold my tongue any longer. Mad Men is not the most stylish show on TV, The Knick is.

Now before you start crying out that this statement is sacrilege, allow me to explain. After seven seasons the slim-suited, slicked-haired, tie-barred “Mad Men Look” is just plain boring. When Mad Men premiered in 2007 (2007!), it was nothing short of a sensation. Don Draper’s sharp flannel suits, pressed white shirts and narrow ties were undeniably cool. The style of the show was clean, modern, and pretty much still worked just as well in ‘07 as it did in ‘67. Suddenly, everywhere you looked, whether it was a glossy magazine editorial or your standard suburban office building, you could find a Don Draper lookalike. With the detached gaze to boot.

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Dim The Lights | NYC’s Bygone Music Venues

Oct 16th, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Music, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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On any given night within New York’s incalculable array of musical venues, you can find pretty much every act imaginable. From whisper quiet jazz quartets, to over-distorted art rockers, to spoken word slam poets backed by garbage can percussionists, the nightly roster of musical acts can be as diverse as the city itself.

Regardless of your melodic tastes, there’s bound to be a show each night that you’ll find at the very least amusing, but honestly the venues themselves all fall a bit flat. Music clubs in New York used to have as much (if not far more) character as the bands that played in them, but nowadays, these venues just sort of blend together. Whether big or small they all just feel boring, if not altogether sterile. So let’s reset the record and raise a glass, or at least raise the volume to New York’s rowdy, raucous, rough-around-the-edges clubs of yore.





The Surprisingly Stylish Side of Hugh Hefner.

Oct 13th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Jake Gallagher, Magazines, Style | by Jake Gallagher

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Hugh Hefner is one of those rare individuals that appears to exist in a universe all his own. Sure, there’s the physical “universe” of the Mansion, the Bunnies, and the never-ending party that is Playboy, but there’s also something much deeper. Hefner has made a career out of the sort of images that you wouldn’t want your boss, girlfriend, mother, or fellow straphanger to catch you looking at, and yet, Hef still manages to come across as a gentleman at every turn. Of course, there is something slightly off about a nearly-ninety year old man that wears robes in public and is married to a women sixty years his junior, which is why we prefer to remember Hef for his younger, more presentable years.

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Brooklyn’s Japanese Textile Mecca.

Oct 9th, 2014 | Categories: Brooklyn, Jake Gallagher, Japan | by Jake Gallagher

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The first thing Stephen Szczepanek pointed out after I arrived at his 1,200 square foot at the tip of McCarren Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was that the various stacks of fabric thoughtfully laid out throughout his apartment were organized by type. As he explained that he’d just returned from Japan this past month, Stephen pointed at the neat piles, listing off names like Shibori, Sashiko, and Kasuri. In two minutes he had casually rambled off more information about antique textiles than most so-called clothing connoisseurs could amass in their entire lives, but as I discovered over the next hour, this was just a glimpse of Stephen’s nearly encyclopedic knowledge on ancient fabrics, which has manifest itself as Sri Threads.

Sri was born during the last gasp of the booming early aughts, after Stephen decided that it was time to turn his love for Japanese fabrics into something more than a passion project. Prior to Sri, Stephen had worked as an art curator, overseeing a private collection of, among other pieces, Asian art, which gave him a first hand introduction to the world of Far East fabrics. After growing weary of his curatorial position, Stephen started his own business in early 2001, opting for the optimistic name Sri, which is a title for the Hindu goddess of prosperity. Unfortunately, in the wake of 9/11 the U.S. economy plummeted, and Stephen struggled with levering the weak dollar against the yen, but he persevered, and over the next decade both his stock and client roster rose steadily.

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On the Hunt for the Perfect Fall Jacket.

Oct 8th, 2014 | Categories: Italy, Jake Gallagher, Made in Italy, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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The Valstar story could be divided up into two distinct eras: Before-Valstarino and After-Valstarino. B.V. Valstar was a completely different brand, one that had been founded in the late eighteen-hundreds as “English Fashion Waterproof” with a focus upon raincoats. In 1911, this company moved their offices to Milan to become Italy’s first rainwear company, dropping their convoluted name along the way in favor of the more streamlined Valstar moniker. For the next twenty-four years they continued to churn out effective, if not ordinary, trench coats, until the creation of the Valstarino in 1935. With its cropped body, knit collar and unstructured design, the Valstarino was a revolution, not just for Valstar, but for Italian style as a whole.