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Spielberg Takes On Napoleon, Meeting Hemingway’s Nemesis and Menswear Gets Knocked Off

  • Kempt Staff

Barnaby Conrad

After Abe: Reports are surfacing that Steven Spielberg’s next massive filmic undertaking will be repurposing Stanley Kubrick’s famously beleaguered Napoleon biopic.

Barnaby’s Jones: A chance meeting with Barnaby Conrad, the “bon vivantiest bon vivant writer” and bullfighter (and thorn in Hemingway’s side) makes for some fantastic yarn-spinning.

Willie’s World: If you weren’t already impressed by Put This On’s eBay-scouring skills, get a load of this trove of vintage menswear they found, owned by former SF mayor Willie Brown.

For the Soggy Gentleman: Four Pins uncovers menswear’s most impressive/egregious knockoff site—replete with faux Isaia choral pins.

The Stat Sheet: Endless Cable-Knit Scarf

  • Najib Benouar

As much as we appreciate a good scarf knot, there’s not always time for all that wrapping, knotting and tucking of loose ends.

A better way, possibly: this endless cable-knit scarf from Knowledge that’s just landed at the Three Leaves webshop. It’s a lot like a cable-knit turtleneck... without the sweater part. Which means it’s the most effortless way to add a layer of neck protection to anything you might be wearing—but also, a little tricky to pull off. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Story: Three Leaves, based in Brooklyn, opened up shop on the premise that you can still wear good-looking stuff while being conscious of how it was made—that means small knitting shops and organic cotton. Which is how they landed the US exclusive with Swedish knitting outfit Knowledge Cotton Apparel.

Who to Channel: Ernest Hemmingway in a turtleneck—from the shoulders up; a Japanese street-style photo; the model to the left here, who’s giving Workwear Jesus a run for his money with that rendition of Blue Steel.

When to Wear It: On days when you need to quickly add some neck protection to your winter coat, or turn your sweater into a temporary turtleneck. This is about convenient coziness above all else.

Degree of Difficulty: It seems to depend on how thick your beard is. The thicker, the less difficult.

Allow Papa Hemingway show you what we mean—from the shoulders up—after the jump.»

Hemingway’s Summer

  • Najib Benouar

On the heels of our interview with John Hemingway, Ernest’s grandson, we’ve got this snap of a mustachioed Papa after a rather successful sportfishing outing (h/t) exemplifying summer seawear at its finest: a chamois cotton polo and white shorts. (We’ll assume he ditched the soggy boat shoes once he hit dry land.) Take note, and make sure a rum-based drink isn’t too far behind.

Running with the Bulls with a Real-Life Hemingway

  • Staff

It’s no secret we’re big fans of legendary author, beard icon and daiquiri enthusiast Ernest Hemingway here at Kempt. Just invoking his name conjures visions of rum-soaked fishing trips, stoic prose and, of course, the running of the bulls.

And as we’ve just learned from our friends at UrbanDaddy Jetset, it didn’t all stop with Ernie. They’ve caught up with Ernest Hemingway’s grandson, John—who’s actually run the gauntlet, whether or not he’s convinced Gramps did—to get an invaluable lesson on how to run with the bulls. (It’s the sort of wisdom you’re born with.) So without further ado...

John Hemingway imparts his wisdom on running with the bulls.»

Vintage Britney Is Encouraging Patriotism

Britney USA

The Origin of the Parka: Secret Forts shows Sierra Designs some love. [Secret Forts]

Boot Up: A fond farewell to the inventor of the desert boot, Nathan Clark (as in Clark’s). [WWD]

Get Terse: A short-sentenced appreciation of Papa Hemingway, in honor of the 50th anniversary of his death. [Open Culture]

Made in New Jersey: A new crop of homegrown goods from Archival Clothing, including some NJ-made madras shirts. [Archival Clothing]

We’ll see you Tuesday.

Man at Work


Hemingway Days are well in the past, but we thought we’d check in with Ernest one last time. The occasion is the opening of Paris Review’s massive archive of interviews—great news if you want to hear Jack Kerouac talk about “Yeatsian semi-trance,” but also great news if you want to pick up a few of Hemingway’s drinkin’-and-writin’ stories.

Our favorite finds the great man in full myth-making mode, detailing how he wrote The Sun Also Rises, and giving the story of a one-night binge that produced three of his best shorts.

Hear the story, as Ernest tells it»

Man of the Year


This is the latest installment in our heroically gruff series on Hemingway Days, examining the charms of spare prose, sport fishing and all things Ernest.

As an epilogue to our magnum blog opus, we couldn’t help drawing your attention to Mr. Charles Bicht, cat lover and 2010’s Hemingway Lookalike of the Year. This was his 12th year going out for the prize, but apparently at 64 years old, he's now exactly the right age for it.

As a bonus, the prize fish was a 400-pound blue marlin (worth $25,000), and the running of the bulls was entirely mechanical.

Congratulations, gentlemen.

The Big Fish


This is the latest installment in our heroically gruff series on Hemingway Days, examining the charms of spare prose, sport fishing and all things Ernest.

The centerpiece of Hemingway Days kicked off yesterday in the form of the Key West Marlin Tournament, with dozens of boats taking to the Gulf in search of the largest Marlins they can haul in. It’s not quite as visible as that beard competition, but for our money this is the real show. It’s as bonafide as sport fishing gets, with an $1,800 entry fee and more than $50,000 in prize money on the table.

If you doubt how much of that “sport” tag is earned, consider this: the current record-holder hauled in a Blue Marlin weighing 570 pounds. We doubt the haul will be quite as big this year, thanks to BP, but it’s still one of the more spectacular long weekends the world has to offer.

A Young Man in the World


This is the latest installment in our heroically gruff series on Hemingway Days, examining the charms of spare prose, sport fishing and all things Ernest.

The novels get most of the attention, but our favorite book from Papa is something with a slightly smaller scale: a collection of posthumously compiled short works called The Nick Adams Stories.

Taken together the two dozen stories lead the eponymous hero from boyhood to manhood, with a war, a murder, and a lot of fear-soaked wanderlust lying in between. It’s Hemingway at his quickest, with some of the stories lasting no longer than a paragraph. It’s also Hemingway at his loosest, which means half-formed sketches sitting alongside more polished gems, adding up to an impressionistic portrait of a young man adrift in a turbulent world.

If you’re really sold, we suggest a vintage hardcover copy...but only if you don’t plan on taking it to the beach.

The Hemingway Beard: A Users Guide

  • Najib Benouar


This is the latest installment in our heroically gruff series on Hemingway Days, examining the charms of spare prose, sport fishing and all things Ernest.

Look at that beard. Just look at it.

It’s quite possibly the gold standard of over-50 facial hair, the envy of salty gentlemen across this great land of ours. To that end, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to cultivate a glorious muzzle of your own. Gentlemen, start your follicles.

Here’s what you do»

Hemingway Days Are Upon Us


You don’t get many chances to get drunk and do ridiculous things in the name of a literary icon, so when the chance comes along you’d better make the most of it.

In that spirit, we thought we’d bring your attention to a little festival called Hemingway Days, raging from July 20th to 25th in the Florida Keys. You’ve probably seen pictures of the lookalike contest but we prefer to focus on the more meditative aspects of the event, and just how great it is to grow out a snow-white beard, pack a few bottles of rum, swing through a reading and then go sport fishing. It would be pretentious if it weren’t so goofy…which isn’t such a bad place to find yourself.

So, in the spirit of the occasion, you’ll be seeing a lot of Papa on Kempt over the next couple weeks, including beard advice, overlooked works, and an introduction to something called the Conch Republic. And if you feel like pouring yourself a drink to celebrate, we’ve got one ready.

The Old Man


We’ve been seeing this gentleman around a lot lately, most recently on The Impossible Cool’s spinoff site, A Conversation on Cool. It’s all hunting gear and avuncular charm, possibly aided by a mojito or two—the kind of thing that made him the cheerful grandfather of hunting gear. What’s strange is, for all the Hemingway love, it’s always the old beard papa of Idaho and Cuba that you see, not the younger, tweedier bookworm of Paris. The next time he pops up on the photoblogs, we’re hoping it’s this picture.