Fates and Furies: How Well Can You Ever Know Another Person?
Here's What You Should Know.
Animal Traffic is having a sale this Saturday and Sunday in honor of Father's Day and will be offering 20% off all menswear. This includes Sierra Designs parkas and jackets, Forage neckties and bowties, Richer Poorer and Wigwam socks, and all vintage clothing. If you are still searching for a last minute Father's Day gift this sounds like the perfect place to do it.
DISCLAIMER: Obviously we should shop locally, and there are some terrific menswear lines right here in Portland... but that being said:
WE NEED A PENGUIN CLOTHING STORE HERE IN PORTLAND.
Backstory: So I recently visited Vegas, and while shopping I noticed a Penguin store in one of their malls—and I'm sorry but I love Penguin! Their super sporty shirts and shorts combos make me look like Don Draper at summer camp, AND I LIKE THAT. I ended up spending an hour or so trying on a ton of their wares and walked out with a big hole in my wallet, but looking like a million bucks. And yes, you can get a couple of Penguin products at Nordy's (and from what I hear Urban Outfitters) but nothing like the sweeping selection at a Penguin store. Check out some samples of their wares.
There are also button ups, tanks, suits, skirts, and myriad accessories... you know the drill.
The closest Penguin store is in Santa Clara, California (!!) and people, that's just not gonna cut it. We need a Penguin here in Portland stat!! (Somebody get a kickstarter going, or something.) Read more about the verrrry interesting history of Penguin by Munsingwear here!
Mad Men hit a season high this week on the fashion front—with Peggy, Don, and a new slenderized Betty trotting about in drool-worthy outfits... BUT! None can hold a candle to the still untrustworthy Bob Benson and his amazing must-have summer shorts.
MUST... WEAR... THESE.
Tanner Goods just dropped their latest collaboration with The Woodlands, and just in time for your upcoming summer trips! This small luggage collection features all the of bags you’d need whether your camping out at Sasquatch, hitting up the Coast, or just playing tourist in Seattle. Check out more deets below, and pick up your very own at The Woodlands before they’re gone.
It was only a matter of time. On Tuesday we posted the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video, which has taken the internet by storm this week, garnering both positive and negative feedback from a variety of people. Now someone has gone and done a parody of it, highlighting the fact that men often think they are more good-looking than they actually are. Pretty funny stuff.
Serial collaborator PINO has teamed up with Pattern People to produce limited edition printed silk bow ties, with proceeds benefiting PICA programs and artists. Only 100 of these were made, and with that stunning graphic print I can imagine these will sell pretty quickly. To purchase click here.
Varsity Jackets aren’t just for jocks anymore, just ask the guys over at The Woodlands. Golden Bear, out of San Francisco, produced a small run of traditional varsity jackets for The Woodlands Spring '13 collection in two equally rad colorways: burgundy, and loden. Perfect for Portland’s unpredictable weather patterns, this versatile jacket is a welcome staple for your existing coat collection. Check em’ out here.
On any given week there are at least a handful of enjoyable fashion/retail happenings in this city for women. Even though the options for men's clothing have improved dramatically, they just don't get as many parties. Tomorrow marks the second annual Two Faced, the second annual exception to that rule. Here's the deal: There will be limo rides shuttling between participating retailers Solestruck and Machus, with each shop offering a different set of fun times and bargains.
At Solestruck, you'll find 25% of all shoes, a Made in Hell-A Apparel pop-up shop, a photobooth, giveaways, and the requisite refreshments.
At Machus, take 20% off storewide, meet designer Daniel Patrick and his collection of limited editions, grab a gift back, listen to the DJ, and have another drink. Not bad for an otherwise ordinary Thursday.
Menswear boutique Woodlands just released a mini-look book of their new Spring/Summer arrivals from Creep, Norse Projects, Penfield, Reigning Champ, Tellason and Yuketen. Having has carved out a niche for themselves as one of the few menswear shops in town known for carrying cool, laid-back streetwear, they've stuck to their winning formula with this selection of camo and khaki worker pants, leather mocs and wesley style shirts.
Check out the goods:
I recently got a chance to sit down with Mike Hare and Julian Cerruti of men's neckwear line Natural Born Elegance, to discuss their new collection of jackets, their philosophies regarding design and production, and, well, life in general. While the company is headquartered in Portland, they use textiles created by Lanificio Cerruti, an innovative Italian mill that has been run by Cerruti's family since 1881. Fittingly, emphasis on great fabric is at the core of the company's vision, as is a staunch rejection of mass production. While the textile mill's clients include some major global fashion houses, they are not interested in what Cerruti refers to as "grandeurized mass market" (basically selling a bunch of homoginized shit produced in China and marking it up 500% because it has a fancy designer label). For each model of tie or bowtie the company designs, only upward of twenty copies are produced, and each piece has individualized details such as the lining and the band, making it one-of-a-kind.
The jackets, which are handcrafted with exquisite attention to detail, mark the company's first foray into wholesale (the neckwear is sold exclusively on their website). While this makes it virtually impossible to make each jacket one-of-a-kind, they are produced in small batches, with each of the five models coming in a range of fabrics and colors. The sillhouettes, which range from casual to formal, are pared down and classic, but include innovative surface design elements, like a totally rad crocodile print on cashmere, that make the jackets feel very modern and fashion-forward. Fibers such as wool, hemp, cotton and cashmere are often blended to make textiles that are durable and warm, but insanely light and breathable (I got to try a couple of the jackets on and did not want to give them back). Details like hand-sanded ridges in the sleeves give each jacket a bespoke quality.
Cerruti and Hare love Portland because of the emphasis here on the value of handcrafted goods, independant design and small scale production. Cerruti notes that in major fashion capitals like New York and Paris, it is becoming increasingly necessesary to have broad commercial appeal just to survive. As he points out, "In some of these cities, unless you sell 20,000 jackets they're not interested." This creates a dynamic in which fashion houses strive to become giant lifestyle brands that churn out as many different products as possible to meet the demand of a ridiculously accelerated fashion cycle. Natural Born Elegance, on the other hand, would rather make the very best of a small range of products, and produce them based on how people actually buy clothes, not the fashion calendar. As Cerutti puts it, "We're going back to real values; tangible values, sustainable values."
Check out some of the jackets:
Earlier this month I introduced you to Portland-HQ'd-via-Italy menswear company Natural Born Elegance's expansion from neckwear into jackets. Now they've released a bunch of new images of the designs, so commence Monday eye candy:
Back in October, I first caught wind of Natural Born Elegance, a Portland-headquartered menswear company with deep roots in Italy. At the time they were solely focused on neckwear, but they recently announced an expansion into jackets.... extremely nice men's jackets. MOD correspondent Toby Robboy has a forthcoming appointment with designer Julian Cerruti to see these beauties in person, but in the meantime peep the all the preview photos; they are really quite impressive.
The collaboration between branding/design firm OMFG Co. and apparel company Bridge & Burn, first mentioned on MOD here, has been released online, with an official launch taking place this Friday, 4-8 pm at the soon-to-be-permanent Bridge & Burn retail space (1112 SW Morrison). The two companies created a worker's uniform that includes a shop jacket, worker's shirt, work pants, and apron. The pieces were made with utility in mind, using sturdy cotton and linen, and run longer than standard Bridge & Burn fits. While the shop-worker purpose may cater to a somewhat limited customer base, I kinda think some of the pieces would be cool just to wear (is that too poseur-y?). The collection is now available for purchase on both companies' websites.
The menswear shows wrapped up in Paris last Saturday, with designers continuing to play with traditional concepts of masculinity and femininity. A wide range of trends showed up on the runways including leather, heavy layering, and some new takes on silhouette and texture.
One of the biggest leather proponents was Phillip Lim, whose biker themed collection had a lot of interesting striped jackets and pants:
The menswear Fall 2013 shows are under way in Milan as we speak, having started last week in London. In recent years menswear has become increasingly important to major fashion houses, which means we are seeing a lot more interesting, inventive looks on the runways. So far this season I have noticed two contradictory trends on the runways: a focus on classic menswear tailoring juxtaposed with some modern casualness, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, dramatic gender-bending looks inspired by womenswear from past seasons.
Fendi's Iceland inspired collection successfully embraced both these trends at once, starting the show with some beautifully constructed, conventionally masculine coats, and partially plaid shirts and ties.
As the show went on, designer Silvia Venturini Fendi introduced some scene stealing fur coats paired with and boots paired with leather skinny pants.
An afternoon a few weeks ago I walked into the two-car garage off of Alberta Street to ask Seth Neefus and Owen Johnson a few questions. Once used for storage, the garage has been gutted and re-purposed into the fully functional workshop and studio space for Portland-based line Red Clouds Collective. Industrial sewing machines, prototypes, drafting tables, and craftsman tools adorn the space. It's apparent: these fellows work hard. Neefus and Johnson represent two primary components of the 9-plus person Collective and after a few attempts to meet at local coffee shops, the pair ask if I'd just like to stop by the workshop. I, of course, obliged.
You see, I've visited their workshop before. Whether for summertime campfires, jam sessions, or new design exploration, the Red Clouds Collective home base seems to serve as a gathering place for friends and makers. This is because, at its base, the line is a natural extension of its community's lifestyle. In fact, Red Clouds first developed in response to this. From tool rolls, to backpacks, to iPhone cases, each design addresses a specific need encountered by Collective members. Neefus elaborates, “Products are constantly being developed as we go, out of necessity.”
I have also noticed a large degree of creative overlap within RCC that reaches far beyond product manufacturing. Mediums include photography, video, screen-printing, musical performance, sewing, leather working, and woodwork. The line functions as an amalgamation of these pursuits. “There are so many different elements of handmade things.” Neefus states, “We have done all of these things in our lives, so this brand was created as an outlet to bring that all together… Anything we enjoy doing can be brought into the brand.”
This emphasis on handmade methods is a driving force behind production. Owen Johnson has been a strong presence in Portland's bike messenger community for over a decade, and his handiwork reflects his experience. Each bag is skillfully and carefully crafted at the sewing machine where Johnson perpetually resides. Johnson emphasizes the importance of “quality, industrial machines that can sew through leather, canvas, and even your hand.”
The Collective's balance between hard labor, experience, and creative impulse results in products that are both superior in quality and design. Perhaps the line's most visible item is the Goodbook, an iPhone case developed to “consolidate the many items we carry in our pocket.” On its fifth incarnation, the Goodbook now offers a wallet, iPhone case, and sketchpad in a convenient fold-able design, and it is all executed in the highest caliber, hand-sewn leather.
Other RCC products include recent collaborations with Hand Eye Supply on a sailor's knife sheath and with Mama Bird Record Label on a limited run of magnetic beer koozies (for optimal beer access while working on motorcycles).
This spirit of collaboration runs through the entire line, like the Taylor Brubaker Apron Tool Roll, the David Wien t-shirt; each item grows from a “group of individuals whose lifestyles and creative energy inspire the products we create,” and it is all happening right here in a NE garage in Portland.
Find out where to find Red Clouds Collective locally here.
Oh boy, here we go: Love her, hate her, or blame her, Yoko Ono is... not boring. You know this already through her
unholy hooting and screeching music and art, but now you can look forward to her take on men's fashion, featuring such items as a boot with an attached incense container that smokes while you walk around. Hello, necessary.
Movember is now in full swing, and that means we will see many moustaches sprouting in order to raise awareness about men's health issues this month. TOMS has taken the initiative to collaborate with the Movember organization by creating a limited edition TOMS Movember shoe and launching them with parties around the world. In Portland the party will be at Blake and will feature a barber for a clean shave & start to the month, DJ Nature, food, a whiskey bar, and the opportunity to preview and purchase the Movember TOMS shoe. It's all happening tonight from 7-10 pm.
We've paid our dues.
We've followed our better halves to fashion events, drank boxed wine and gave feedback on high heels.
We've worn multiple hats as drink-fetchers, clutch-holders and iPhone photographers.
We've seen more avant garde dresses walk down local runways than we probably need to.
And now, it's our turn boys.
From 7pm to 11pm on November 2, both Solestruck's flagship location (417 SW 13th Ave) and menswear fashion boutique Machus (542 E Burnside) will offer in-store events and one-night-only promotions at both locations. A limousine shuttle will transport guests to and from each location every 30 minutes. Complimentary cuts/grooming by Bishops, beer and whiskey, a deco-paint shoe station, giveaways and, for the first time, a vast presentation of men's footwear options will be available at Solestruck. Machus will have exclusive one-night-only promotions, a limited quantity of 25 covetable gift bags, video installations, complimentary whiskey and a presentation of future merchandise.
Says Justin Machus, "Ty and Henry from Solestruck approached me a few months back about supplying them with clothing for various photo shoots. They have started to focus a lot of attention on men's shoes and this fall marks their big launch. Up until now they have mostly been known only for women's. We liked working together for those shoots and thought a party was in order that brought the two stores together. For our side of things we will be having drinks from New Deal Vodka, DJ Yohuckleberry, new video art by Solestruck and 25 special gift bags for first come first serve. We will also be having a promotion on the few shoes we carry and all our fragrances for that night only. (Nasomatto never goes on sale!)."
Things'll start shaking this Friday, 7 pm at both locations.
In a town known for an abundance of beards, I am pleased to announce an event focused on moustaches. Movember & Sons is an organization that aims to raise awareness and funds for men's health, specifically prostrate and testicular initiatives and, frankly, they make this issue sexy. Whether rugged or well-groomed, "generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts."
Backed by TOMS, the collaboration launches at Portland retailer Blake Nov. 6. You can sip on some fine bourbon in the whiskey lounge and tame any wild moustaches at the shave station. Tunes provided by DJ Nature, moustache eye candy provided by the handsome folks of Portland.
Festivities begin at 7.
In case you've been worried that it's been forgotten this year, fear not: The pre-holiday onslaught of pop-ups and group sales is steadily approaching. I freaking love these things. Far from a corny, namby pamby craft fair, the Portland standard is a clever, modern stylish affair where you can score thoughtful, locally produced gifts—often for a special deal. And frequently there's a theme. For instance on Nov 16 & 17, there's a men's-specializing event, called appropriately, Mr. Man happening at The Good Mod's new space at 1313 W Burnside. There are retailers, yes, including damn fine ones like Shwood, Hand-Eye Supply, Salvage Works, PINO, Reveille, and so many more.
However, Friday evening will also feature and art show by Rob Lewis, DIY workshops, beer, pizza, alcohol tastings, beard/mustache trims from Rudy's, and a motorcycle display by See See. All this bonus material means there's something of a catch, in that you need to purchase tickets ($7-10). Hit the break for the in-progress list of vendors.
Next time you feel like making the old argument about Portland's European aesthetic, and/or further taking down the moldy stereotype that everyone here dresses like a hippie, I present to you more fuel in the form of Natural Born Elegance, another company catering to an apparent demand for more formal men's clothing, neckwear in particular. (We're racking up a tidy local selection, with upstart specialists like this and PINO joining stalwarts like Duchess and Adam Arnold). NBE's base of operations is here in Portland, but their roots extend to Italy—specifically a wool and cashmere mill started in 1881 in Biella.
Even as more and more Portland designers become proficient and pledge to keep their production local, often utilizing groundbreaking small-run manufacturing firms like the Portland Garment Factory, the scales are, perhaps unfairly, if unsurprisingly, tipped far in favor of womenswear. So here's a bright spot for the men of Portland: Myelabl was founded in 2010 by Adam Fous, but has flown under the radar (or, at least, my radar) until now. A line of shirts and jackets produced entirely in the city, Myelabl is available locally at that bastion of understated, workwear inspired classics, Dunderdon.
NE Alberta's self-described alpha-male barbershop, The Modern Man, is expanding their territory—how masculine of them. The new location is at 4538 SE Hawthorne and is aimed at "more gentlemanly and scholarly types." But even if they've switched up their north side taxidermy for Southeast's specimen jars and bookcases, one important constant remains: whiskey. Friday night is the grand opening party (7-11 pm), at which they'll be pouring out complimentary Burnside Bourbon from Eastside Distilling, suds from Gilgamesh and door prizes like (ha) two tickets to see Portland Center Stage's Sweeney Todd. (Another pair will be given away to a winning customer who makes an appointment on Saturday, the first official day of business.)
Leanna NYC joined the growing crop of stores around town to add menswear to their mix last month, and I just got a chance to check out the goods. I'm a big fan of clothes that turn jean and hoodie styles into something special, so I was excited to see the selection of unique and interesting streetwear pieces from labels like Threads for Thought, Cafe Bleu, Bench Urbanwear and Fidelity Denim.
Store owner Leanna Carreon decided to expand to menswear in response to requests by male would-be customers for clothes that fit the fun, eclectic style, and reasonable price-range that the store is known for. "As soon as we opened, people started walking in asking for men's," she explains, "and we want to give our customers what they want!"
Check out some of my favorites: