A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Thursday, November 20, 2014

John Lobb Spruces Up Its Classic Footwear (NYTimes)

An interesting article in The New York Times regarding the recent appointment of Paula Gerbase, a London-based fashion designer, as the first artistic director for John Lobb. This would be the RTW branch of the venerable shoemaker, currently owned by Herrmes, not the bespoke family-owned operation. One generally approaches these "evolutionary" appointments with some trepidation why exactly do the models needs sprucing up), although based on some of the images of the models shown, as well as the comments made  in the article, it sounds like Ms. Gerbase is drawing inspiration from the archives and perhaps simply revitalizing the color palette. In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing some of her creations :-)


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Back In Plaid: The Return of the Colorful Brioni

I posted around this time last year about the colorful brown Brioni jacket that I had picked up that spring and which I had hoped to wear last fall (you can view the original post here). Unfortunately, it always takes me a while to get around to these things, and it actually took me about a year to get this to a tailor. I took the jacket to Wilfred's in Manhattan, who I've been using for some time now for tailoring work that goes beyond a basic hem or sleeve alteration. If I recall correctly, the jacket was a bit tight around my stomach, and the sleeves needed to be shortened. I would need to check the invoice because I may be confusing this jacket with another article of clothing, but it may have also been shortened by about 3/4 of an inch.

[As an aside, I'm happy to say that I've generally been pleased with Wilfred's work. I'm usually comfortable waiting a week or two for the finished product, which may be an issue for others. On average, I'd say most work takes about a week. If there's any additional tweaking, that should probably take another 2-3 days. On average, I usually am able to get the piece back in about a week. I have found that, while Wilfred et al have their own preferences regarding trouser break, sleeve length, etc., they are happy to do whatever you like.]

There was an interesting discussion about the jacket at Ask Andy (you can find the original thread here), and I found most of the comments interesting and helpful when thinking about what I was hoping to alter and how it would look when I got it back. I'm a notoriously poor photographer, so I'm never quite sure how much of the commentary is due to the terrible images that I usually post (the images included here are not much better). Certainly, the jacket is quite colorful, but I was looking for a multi-hued brown tweed or check for some time, and the Brioni jacket fit the bill perfectly. While comments regarding the low button stance were probably on point  as well, I did not find it sinfully so and I was willing to live with that because I thought the fabric was unique. I still also find the darting at the front of the jacket to be less of a distraction than others.

In any event, I thought it was only fair to post new images for those who took the time to discuss the appearance of the jacket last year. As always, I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the images (as well as my rumpled business casual appearance, the direct result of a long afternoon spent with 5 toddlers), as well as my poor posture (as it seems that my "relaxed" position includes a slightly stooped right shoulder), but I hope they succeed in giving some idea as to how the jacket looks on me now (one year and about 20 pounds later).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Fall" In for Autumn!

Unfortunately for fans of fall like myself, the weather here in  the tri-state area has been unseasonably warm lately, with temperatures hovering in the 70s and little opportunity for autumnal layering. Yesterday, however, dipped just low enough for me to try out a few items that have been burning a hole in my closet for some time now.

The first item is a cashmere Holland & Holland 3-button jacket that I picked up years ago from the H&H store on 57th street between Park and Madison (it disappeared years ago). The jacket is a rust-colored affair with little specks of various colors woven into the fabric, large bishop patch pockets, and a single vent. If you're into the little details, the jacket's lining has a wonderful pattern consisting of dual shotgun shells at rest, a nod to the company's illustrious history as royal gun-makers.

I've generally worn the jacket for outdoor fall events with jeans or khakis, but I thought I'd try to put together a decent business casual outfit, for one of those days where I don't need a suit but want to look a little better dressed than what everyone else considers business casual these days.

Unfortunately, my terrible picture taking skills have only deteriorated over the years, so I will try to take better pictures next time, But I paired the jacket with with a red and brown checked dress shirt from Domenico Vacca under a neutral shetland fair crew-neck sweater isle from Brooks Brothers in various shades of green/beige/tan/brown/etc. I thought that all of that worked well with the London House/Rubinacci flat-front corduroys in a light beige/olive color that I picked up recently, with the Edward Green Brooksville longwings in chestnut antique for RL's Purple Label. 

 I had the sleeves taken in a bit but left the jacket a bit roomier than normal to wear with bulkier sweaters. I've had the Brooks Brothers fair isle sweater for a while, and I like the fabric and the pattern very much. I forget how I came by it, but I feel like it was gift purchased in my usual medium size, which at some point became too big for me in Brooks sizing because everything seems to be cut quite generously (if anyone can offer some suggestions on how to shrink it down a size, I'd love to hear them).

Of course, the next day temperatures were back in the low 70s, but I was pleased with the jacket even if I was only able to put it on for one day! I'm looking forward to wearing to cooler temperatures cool in the weeks ahead :-)