Kempt

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The Reentry: October 31

Public swimming pool in Suining, China

Halloween is hardly the scariest thing going on today.

At some point in the next couple of hours, the world’s population will top 7 billion people. The United Nations has gone out on a limb and predicted that the milestone baby will be born somewhere in India, where an average of 51 women give birth every minute.

Nearly four times as many people now inhabit the earth than did in 1930. As New England shovels its way out of the most severe October snow storm since the Civil War and the western world continues to weather the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, it’s worth asking the question: How much does overpopulation have to do with all of the very worst things affecting us today? And what does 7 billion people look like?»

The Barbershop Book

Barber

All things change except barbers, the ways of barbers, and the surroundings of barbers. These never change. —Mark Twain

Jay Seldin gets it. His new tome, The Barbershop Book, is a sort of No Reservations-style look at barbershops in some of the most remote corners of India, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Haiti and Cuba. Seldin, an “environmental portrait photographer,” steps out of the way and lets the grooming rituals do the talking. The Barbershop Book is a fascinating glimpse into one of man’s oldest and most common rituals: a haircut and shave at the local barbershop—some of which boast nothing more than a wooden plank, a semi-sharp blade and a couple of chickens frolicking about.

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Seldin about The Barbershop Book...»

Mikael Kennedy is Always This Sepia-Toned

The World’s Greatest: For the benefit of mankind, Will Oldham interviews R. Kelly. [Interview Magazine]

Romancing the Knit Tie: A gentleman’s guide to dressing like Michael Douglas. [Details]

An Indian City Has Been Painted Blue: The title kind of says it all. [Kuriositas]

Today’s Grand Addition to the Internet…: …is the Google Art Project, which offers virtual tours of the great museums of the world. [Google Art Project]

The Rise of Indian Denim

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Industry of All Nations is mostly known for their fair-trade espadrilles, but they’ve spent 2010 cooking up something a good deal more exciting. Next week, they'll be bringing a batch of Indian artisanal denim to Ron Herman at Fred Segal. We’re not sure if it’s the local dyeing process, their rickety loom or the notable absence of deep indigo, but it comes out looking softer than anything you'd see out of Japan. And the factory’s certainly unlike anything we’ve seen stateside. Check it out after the jump:

Take a factory tour»

Heritage Goes Worldwide

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So far the big luxury houses have mostly sat out the heritage movement, but it looks like they may have a few factory-minded tricks up their sleeve.

Prada recently launched their “Made in…” project, focused on digging up the heritage items from around the world. In particular that means alpaca sweaters from Peru, tartan kilts from Scotland, and Chikan embroidery from India, all handmade locally by artisans born into the craft, arriving in stores next year. It’s good stuff—and the kind of thing you’d normally be hard-pressed to find without leaving the continent.

And for anyone looking to move beyond waxed cotton and work boots without losing touch with the way their clothes are made, it’s a pretty good place to start.

The Pitch

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One of the pleasures of gentlemanly life is the opportunity to watch obscure sports—particularly the ones with high laundry bills. Which is why we’re thrilled to hear that Indian Premier League cricket is making its way to YouTube. Matches will start live-streaming when the season begins in March, giving you just enough time to do some reading and pick up a few white polos.

If you’re not familiar, here’s a refresher: It’s a heavier, slower version of baseball, which means it has the capacity to stretch out mid-afternoon lounging for days on end. And, providing you choose the right team to root for, you might be in for some pretty spectacular cricket whites. If you feel the need to join in, you might pick up one of these, but no pressure.

Here’s hoping polo’s next up.

The International Tramp

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We’ve always held Charlie Chaplin in high esteem—if only as an early aficionado of the bowler hat—so we were surprised to find the tramp as the subject of some belated controversy in India.

Chaplin’s already the subject of twelve different statues throughout the world, but when Indian filmmaker Hemanth Hegde tried to erect a thirteenth statue at Maravanthe Beach for an upcoming film, he provoked furious protests from crowds that saw the tramp as a symbol of the colonial legacy of oppression.

In our capacity as international moderators, we have a suggestion»

On the Raj

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The Britons have been doing pretty well for themselves lately, but we’re surprised to see the latest trend coming from a corner of history we overlooked. Remember the Raj? Apparently Savile Row forgot too.

The empire may not have worked out so well, but certain designers are indulging in a little Kinks-y nostalgia. Duncan Quinn—whom you may know from a MOTH or two—just unveiled his latest line of ready-to-wear ties, inspired by the British Raj, and paired with a few of our favorite helmets, in case you need protective headgear to go with your new look.

We can’t imagine Waris is very happy about the new colonial chic—and actually, we can’t say we blame him—but who are we to [question Mr. Quinn](http://www.urbandaddy.com/nyc/189/Duncan_Quinn_(UD_Profile)?

Check out Quinn’s launch party in New York»

Cons, Sweatshops, DJs and Muskoxes

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Chuck Rock: The collision of Converse and gabba-gabba-hey. [The Guardian]

Labor Pains: That BR sweater you're wearing for casual Friday might have blood on it. [One World]

Along Came a Spider: We knew a kid in High School who drove an Alfa Romeo, which was so cool because it was as sexy as a Porsche but cost less than our used Saab SE. We don't know what to think about this new one. [Luxist]

Deal Alert: Suit up for your next expedition at Freeman's Sporting Club and then stop in for a cut and shave. Tell Van we sent you. [Racked]

Hairy Beast: Arctic Muskox is the new hotness, dontcha know. [A Suitable Wardrobe]

Outside The Lines: Martin Greenfield shares his craft with Band of Outsiders. [Men.Style]

Screen Shots: DJ/Designer Matt Creed professes his love for Gawker - meaning it's only mere moments before they sully his good name. [VanityFair.com]