The scene consists of cars and vintage style of every stripe. The Goodwood Revival in England is like nothing I have ever seen. I’ve been to vintage clothing centric events and I’ve been to amazing car gatherings, but this blows everything I have seen out of the water. Earlier this year I went to The Quail in Carmel, California and to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and neither give off the nice vibes that Goodwood does. I’ve frankly never been to anything in America that is like this event. If you are someone who likes vintage style, beautiful rare autos and the spectacular surroundings of Chichester, England, then mark this on your list.
At this point it seems that the only reason anyone ever mentions the adage “no white after Labor Day” is to demonstrate just how outdated it has become. If anything, the pendulum has now swung in the opposite direction and the notion of “winter whites” has become as prevalent as anything in those months post September 1st. While some may advocate for white denim, the thought of wearing jeans with a sport coat is a bit too much for many, and so I personally favor pale-toned flannels this time of year.
As these sketches from Apparel Arts show, cream and ivory flannel were incredibly popular trouser options throughout the thirties and forties back, when men were getting their clothes made for them as opposed to buying them off the rack. Thanks to the rise of ready to wear though, snowy flannels fell out of favor because for most men they were far too ostentatious and so you’d be hard pressed to find a pair of white flannels in any post-mid century menswear collection.
Contemporarily though, as designers have looked to the dirty thirties for inspiration, lighter colored flannel trousers have made their way into collections once again. Traditionally white pants are associated with warmer months, but a heavier weight flannel trouser plays quite nicely off the colorfully patterned tweed and houndstooth sport coats that are common in these cooler months. So go ahead, be bold, and go for blank.
What we call “southwestern style” no longer belongs to the southwest. Take a lap through any department store, or for that matter any mall, in America and you’ll be sure to find everything from beacon printed overshirts, to moccasin style loafers, to densely patterned “Navajo” blankets. Once unmistakable signs of authentic southwestern style, these garments now bear “Made in China” labels, faux vintage patina, and questionable quality.
Yet, the question remains, what is happening to the actual southwest? That answer lies in a visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Shiprock Gallery, a shop that’s as authentic as it is innovative. Founded by Jed Foutz a fifth generation art dealer over two decades ago, Shiprock is a modern extension of Jed’s family’s heritage as traders on a Navajo reservation. The gallery deftly places that well-known trading post style alongside an eclectic selection of wares from across not just the region, but also the world.
Tucked away in an industrial neighborhood on the south side of Santa Fe, New Mexico lies Santa Fe Vintage, the most impressive vintage showroom this side (or let’s face it any side) of the Mississippi. (Tokyo, though, is another story.) The shop’s remote location is not one that many visitors to Santa Fe get to see, but as its proprietor Scott Corey tells me, it suits the business just fine.
According to Corey, a seasoned vintage veteran who is as humble as he is informative, the majority of the showroom’s customers are found through word of mouth as the shop is by appointment only. Of course when those mouths happen to belong to some of the world’s biggest designers and vintage buyers, it’s better to be a destination than a store you simply pass on through. Although, after spending an afternoon at Santa Fe Vintage, I couldn’t imagine anyone just breezing on through Corey’s two thousand plus square foot showroom without feeling compelled to dive headfirst into a pile of dead stock denim and loopwheeled sweatshirts.
It is a space that is both startling unpretentious (especially in comparison to many urban vintage outlets with smug salesmen and eye-popping prices) and spectacularly well put together. Truthfully, the showroom feels more like a museum than a gallery, and I’d say that the true reward of Santa Fe Vintage is not one individual piece but the experience of the space as a whole.
It’s always on my calendar, the first day of the first Brimfield flea market of the year. At this point we have a plan in place. Drive up Monday night to get a hotel, wake up early and have breakfast in Palmer and then we do the show for exactly one day. By late afternoon we head back —this time making a detour to see Mr. Frank Pepe— and then back home. Easy as can be, and just enough Brimfield until next year.
Two things to say about this year’s outing: 1. the weather was perfect, good temps and no rain. 2. I didn’t buy one thing. That’s never happened to me before, but it doesn’t really bother me either. I enjoyed just being out there and seeing the people and all of that old stuff. This time around it felt like I was having plenty of fun just taking pictures. No promises for next year when I’m sure I will be back to my old tricks.
Go to Brimfield at least once in your life. Walk around, be at a field when it opens, eat a Pilgrim sandwich and maybe even find some treasures to buy.
Not surprisingly, one of the most interesting things I saw in Tokyo was an old pair of jeans from Levi’s at Pueblo. I’ve seen similar jeans like this before, but not specifically anything co-labeled like these 501s were. Judging from the detailing seen here, these jeans were made specifically for Brooks Brothers anywhere from 1937 to 1942. Pueblo’s owner and resident vintage hunter, Eiji Asakawa told me that before he found these specific jeans he has never seen another pair like them. I’m not a Levi’s vintage expert (though, full disclosure, we do work with Levi’s on several projects) I too have never seen or heard of jeans like these, which is pretty amazing thing to happen in San Francisco or Tokyo.
So much of Tokyo is tucked away in a small alleyways or hidden upstairs in a plain-looking office buildings that if you aren’t actively looking for things you probably won’t find the really good stuff. Part of this is because Tokyo rents are amazingly expensive, and part of it seems to be based on the thrill of the hunt. Such is the case for the vintage shop Pueblo. The owner Eiji Asakawa keeps a sign out front, but unless you know what you are looking for or are an adventurous sort you are probably going to miss the place. There are so many randomly named places in Harajuku that if you were to check everything out you would probably just spend most of your day discovering hair salons. The Japanese obsession with hair is something I can’t even begin to understand. The Japanese obsession with vintage Americana, that I have a better idea about.