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Not Even These Sweater Vests Could Save the Day

They’re calling it “The Miracle of Medinah”—one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, as Europe snuck the Ryder Cup away from the Americans, who had dominated the competition for most of the weekend.

It ended with Martin Kaymer jumping into the arms of his teammates, the singsong “Olé, olé, olé”echoing across Medinah Country Club.

A hat tip to the boys across the pond. But for God’s sake, it’s time to update that factory, son...

A Quick Update on This Euro 2012 Thing

  • Shawn Donnelly

Have you been following Euro 2012? The European soccer tournament taking place in Poland and Ukraine right now (and airing like crazy on ESPN and ESPN2)? If you haven’t, here’s what you missed: Spain embarrassed Ireland, underwear model/Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo scored a couple of nice goals, and Adidas ran a lot of commercials.

And now that the tourney has reached its eight-team knockout stage (aka Act Two), here’s a semi-in-depth look at what you can expect in the coming days.

Predictions and analysis, after the jump.»

A Quick Primer on This Euro 2012 Thing

  • Shawn Donnelly

Euro 2012—the European soccer tournament that starts today—is a big f**king deal, as Joe Biden would say. It’s basically the World Cup of Europe, and many soccer aficionados actually prefer it to the World Cup because it clears out some of the soccer riffraff from Africa, Asia and the Americas (yes, the US is still soccer riffraff at this point). Plus, all your European pals are going to be talking about it for the next month, and it’s just a fun thing to watch at the pubs.

So get pumped for it—and get informed about it—with this primer.»

A User’s Guide to the Pirate’s Life

Corto Maltese

Swashbuckling never goes out of style.

We’re thinking of Corto Maltese, the hero of a famous Italian comics series that swept through Europe alongside Fellini and Serge Gainsbourg. He’s basically an older, more rakish Tintin, dashing through the Pacific circa WWI, stirring up trouble.

The series never quite reached our side of the Atlantic, but between the nautical vibe and his easy continental charm, he’s inspired more than a few designers in his time. And more importantly, he’s mounting a comeback in the states. Maltese’s most famous book, The Ballad of the Salt Sea, gets a new edition from Rizzoli on Tuesday, complete with a fresh translation.

Fair warning: there will be male earrings.

Kempt Goes to Cannes

Cannes Red Carpet

After disappearing late last week without a peep, our intrepid editorial director Randy Goldberg finally resurfaced—telling stories of the Riviera and a close encounter with Sir Robert DeNiro. Of what really went on there, we have only this record… When our friends at Stella Artois asked if I had a couple of days to drop by Cannes, bunk down at Chez Jacques at the near-perfect Carlton Hotel, help close out the Festival and generally use the word Riviera as a verb, I obliged. I brought a tuxedo, a pair of trunks and an appetite for le destruction. As for what I found there, all the rumors are true: yachts made of solid gold, an endless fountain of truly mesmerizing creatures, gala-side dealmaking, Chanel breezes, 30-euro cocktails, le Palm D’Or, flashbulb sunburns, method acting during hotel lobby brawls (that would be Mr. Gosling), enough rose to drown a desperate housewife, and, of course, the gracious hospitality of Jacques D’Azur.

Below, a few passing shots of how I saw things…»

The Circular Loom

Circular Loom

Fair warning: this is one for the fabric nerds.

Tenue de Nimes dug up a century-old German cotton company called Merz B. Schwanen, and it’s lured us back into the world of intensely intricate fabric details. The clothes are all staples—sweatshirts, henleys, the occasional smock—but the real prize is how they stitch it together. Instead of the standard back-and-forth flat looms, these stitch together fabric around enormous circular molds.

That means no side seams under the arms, since the fabric comes off in circular sheets—a pretty neat trick if you manage to pull it off without a tailor. The shirts will be arriving at TdN next season, but in the meantime…there’s always factory pics.

Take a look at the legendary circular loom firsthand»

A Gentleman’s Guide to Bike Style


Around this time of year, a two-wheeled jaunt through the city starts to look pretty good—provided you can do it without looking like a bike messenger. To help you face down the considerable challenge of looking good on a bike, we sat down with Aldan Shank of Seattle’s Hub and Bespoke—a combination bike shop and boutique—for a primer on sophisticated bike style.

Wool shirts, slim jeans and the secrets of bike style…»

The Wild Swiss


We’ve found a new subculture of the week: Swiss greasers. Through the late 50s and 60s, they were terrorizing the country with greased pompadours, biker jackets and oversized belt buckles with pictures of Elvis on them—almost all of which looks pretty awesome in retrospect. Rebel Youth, a new book from Rizzoli New York (out February 8), takes a look at what the rockabillies of Switzerland were up to during those years. It turns out to have a lot more in common with punk than you might think. And being European, they naturally knew how to pull off a neckerchief.

The Icon: Serge Gainsbourg


Some people were born for the biopic treatment. In particular, we’re thinking of Serge Gainsbourg, the dirty old man of French pop. He spent most of the 60s and 70s creating the French pop star cliché: a sentimental crooner with impeccable suits, a heart-breakingly beautiful woman on his arm (Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin among others) and a protective cloud of cigarette smoke surrounding him at all times.

Unsurprisingly, he’s getting the lavish biopic treatment with the European flick Gainsbourg, but on the off chance you can’t make it to a Parisian movie theater any time soon, we thought we’d fill you in on some of the juicier details.

See the man in full»

The Alpine Boot


At this point, there may be more classic American boot brands than there are American feet. We can’t help but wonder what they’re wearing in the Alps, if only for variety’s sake.

What they’re wearing is pretty handsome, if these Seil Marschall “Mont Blanc” boots are any indication. They’re hiking boots not work boots, so you’ll skip the steel toe and make do with a lighter rubber sole, but they should hold up against wintry mix just fine.

And if you need a lingering touch of Americana, look at the grain on the upper—that’s bison leather, collected and tanned stateside.

The Milkmaid


Usually we share items because they’re handsome and useful, but this is flat out one of the strangest things we’ve ever seen.

Based on Vermeer’s “Het Melkmeisje,” this ceramic… item is, well… exactly what it looks like. It was commissioned by the Dutch Souvenier Project to capture the Low Countries’ unique mix of high culture and carnal pleasures.

If you were wondering about the cork at the bottom (we certainly were), you’re supposed to fill it with either hot water of ice water, depending on your tastes.

Also of journalistic note: it curves slightly to the left. That is all.

Logo Week: Brooks Brothers and the Order of the Golden Fleece


For the thrilling conclusion of logo week, we're tackling one of the strangest branding phenomenons we've ever encountered.

Somehow one of America's foremost preppy outfitter ended up lifting their logo from an medieval chivalric order. The icon in question is the Brooks Brothers sheep. It turns out, noblemen have been wearing that lamb around their necks for upwards of half a millennium—and it sounds like the Duke of Burgundy has a pretty legitimate beef…

The story starts in Bruges in 1430»

Naked Women and Existential Dread


The first crop of reviews for The American are coming in, and early signs indicate three of our favorite things: half-empty Italian villages, pervasive dread, and artfully framed European women unencumbered by clothing. (A recipe for success, if we ever heard one.) For the non film-majors, “Antonioni” is code for “long beautiful shots in which nothing happens”—but we don’t mind a little extra time to admire the scenery.