Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Today we come bearing great news for Angelenos in need of a new pair of shades. (On our count, that would be every last single one of you.)
Because Warby Parker is planting its first West Coast roots in a brightly lit corner of the Standard in Hollywood this weekend—according to our pals on the inside at UrbanDaddy Los Angeles.
That’s right, an honest-to-God brick-and-mortar shop that will be stocked with all of the same vintage-y, socially conscious, thick-framed handsomeness you’ve been pining for from afar… but real, graspable, set-upon-the-bridge-of-your-nose-able. Which means you can ensure the best fit without any online guessing—they’ll even take your pupillary distance measurements for you. (Think of it as a tailor for your face.)
Friday night saw one of the better parties LA’s had in quite some time: a pop-up of burlesque club The Box, on the west coast for one night only.
The man behind it, commissioned by Belvedere Red, was the magnificently bearded Simon Hammerstein—proprietor and creative director of the Box. Naturally, he brought out his best suit and his best pair of Barker Black slippers for the occasion. He even pulled off the oft-maligned French blue shirt, to the chagrin of bloggers everywhere. It’s a lesson: if you keep your clothes simple and your fabrics dark, there’s nothing scary about a more vivid shade of blue.
And given that the crowd included Jon Hamm, Andre Balazs and Lydia Hearst, coming away as the best-dressed of the night was no small feat.
We try not to get too worked up about the slankets of the world, but a newly arrived item in LA’s Kitson Robertson seems dangerous enough to require immediate action.
Ladies and gentlemen, the fair isle onesie. Look upon it, and despair.
It’s basically a full-body hoodie (or if you prefer, a footless footie), the kind of thing you wear to broadcast the fact that you’ve stopped trying to interact with anyone who isn’t a cat. Sure it’s comfortable; that’s why it’s dangerous. That sweatpantsy indulgence is what leads intelligent, capable members of society into a life of indolence, shame, and blogging about microwaved foods.
Also, while it’s not mechanically impossible to have sex while wearing a onesie, it does seem unlikely.
You’ve been warned.
As it happens, one of our New Year’s resolutions was to read more noir. And while we weren’t looking, the clever folks at Vintage Crime have obliged us.
Back in December, they let loose a crop of four previously out-of-print Ross MacDonald novels that will be enough to keep us busy well into February. He’s not as literary as Chandler, but he casts the same eye towards an even stranger West Coast scene—roughly speaking, hippies and runaways instead of oil men and gangsters.
In other words, they’re the detective-novel equivalent of a Neil Young album, dressed up in a winding plot and a pulpy cover. Count us in.
As artistic muses go, you could do a lot worse than Bill Murray.
To that end, LA’s R&R Gallery is holding an all out Murrayfest, a collection of the best Murray-themed work the west coast has to offer, and quite possibly the most bemused art show you’ll see all year. Highlights include a recreation of the infamous family portrait from Rushmore, a photographic gangfight between his more famous roles and, for some reason, a full-frontal nude.
We’re not critics…but we know what we like.
Band of Outsiders fans should be having a very good day. The west coast brand just debuted a new set of pajamas and their first line of shoes at LA’s Opening Ceremony, and it’s pretty fantastic stuff. The pajamas are every bit as whimsy-soaked as you’d guess from their East Coast cousins—which is good news for anyone who couldn’t make it over to the Ace Hotel to pick up a pair in the past few months.
You can find the rest at the Opening Ceremony web shop, including a new set of staid button-downs and our favorite item of the bunch, this Belmondo-style trench coat.
We were perfectly happy being a Twilight-free blog up until now, but certain suits simply cannot be denied. This maroon Gucci number, shown off at his latest LA premiere, is one of them.
The blood color might come off as a tad obvious at first but Mr. Pattinson pulls it off more like an English nobleman than a dinner-theater Dracula. Paired with a subtle gray shirt and tie, the getup is worlds ahead of most red carpet fashion. And given that the gentleman in question is all of 24 years old, it’s only right that he take a few risks.
As for the hair…that’s probably a post all its own.
Somehow, we managed to get through all of awards season without seeing a genuinely awesome tuxedo. To be honest, we’re not sure how it happened, but luckily last night’s Met Ball was able to correct the situation.
There are lots of reasons to stay away from the L.A. denim world—for one, we just plain don’t like distressed clothes—but if you get past any lingering style reservations, it can be a pretty fascinating scene. Particularly if you’ve got a camera handy.
Sundance recently took a trek into the dark heart of Ed Hardy-ness and came away with Dirty Denim, a 15-minute series of web shorts that convince us it’s worse than we ever imagined. Small labels scramble over distressing techniques, play hardball with buyers, and try to keep their styles safe from the eight other labels they share a washhouse with—and just about everyone’s scrapping.
Of course, the real horror is what they do to the jeans. Potassium sprays, paint splatters and rotary grinders are all turned against defenseless raw denim with little to no remorse. The rest isn’t too different from the mind-boggling hustle of the rest of Hollywood—but it should give pause to anyone who’s day-dreamed about starting up their own denim line.
As you may have heard, Roman Polanski was arrested this weekend at the Zurich Film Festival, as part of an extradition planned by L.A. prosecutors. It’s a remarkable moment, for anyone who had grown used to Polanski’s French exile. Without defending the man, or appealing to traumatic life or his work as an excuse, it’s remarkable how much desire there still is in the L.A. prosecuter’s office to finally bring him to sentencing.
Fame works very differently in 2009 than it did in 1977, but a celebrity trial is still a celebrity trial. And if there’s one in the offing, not even 30 years and 6000 miles will stop it.
The phrase “style icon” gets thrown around quite a bit, but it’s important to make sure you really mean it. Otherwise you run the risk of leaving the house dressed like this.
So we were a little troubled to see Lenny Kravitz getting the style icon treatment from AskMen. We’re sure he’d make a great male model and we admire his mother’s stage work, but can’t we all agree that this is no way for a grown man to dress? Like the flying V guitar, Lenny’s look is way too flashy to be trusted. Even when he isn’t sporting something as embarrassing as this, he exudes a level of lounge-lizard sleaze that should be enough to scare off any self-respecting gentleman of style. It’s gear like this that gives L. A. a bad name.
For the unfamiliar, they’re tailoring seams, and they go a long way to explaining why the cut is so trim, and why the item looks as much like a lapel-less blazer as a cardigan.
Ever since the new bespoke movement took off, we’ve been seeing tailoring toucheslike this sneak into casual clothes. This is as good an example as we’ve seen so far—but we’re hoping to see far better before the year is out.
Is anyone out there brave enough to put a set of buttonholes on the cuffs of their hoodie?
The dive bar is one of the few constants across the country. You could find the same neon Budweiser sign in a window Akron, Juarez and either Portland, give or take a sports team or two. Of course, what really counts is what’s inside…
Matthew Scott has devoted the past few years to documenting the dive bar in all its glory, with shots of the best dive bars Los Angeles has to offer. Those in search of inspiration, take note: well drinks are the new cocktails.
Men.Style’s Material Interest alerted us to WWD’s latest poll ranking cities on menswear spending and the results are a little staggering. Perennially hip, Austin comes in first, closely followed by the loose thread that is Las Vegas. Southern California takes up the next three spots, while the New York area barely makes the list.
Network television is a fickle mistress, and no network knows it better than NBC. The last ten years have seen them plummet from being the network of Seinfeld, Friends and Law & Order to a withered husk of remakes and reality shows. While the new golden age of television marches forward on basic cable channels like AMC, FX and the Sci-Fi Channel, the peacock looks like it’s sitting this one out.
The Washington Post ran a column this week cataloging the network’s woes and, while the column never names him, most of the blame clearly falls at the feet of Ben Silverman, the wunderkind co-chairman who shepherded through most of the network’s recently-axed new programs.
Nautical duds are nothing new, but we’re always glad to see a good idea take root.
In this case, that means Mister Freedom, a Paris-by-way-of-Los-Angeles marque, is releasing a line based on the ten years their mascot spent sailing the Indian Ocean. It’s all fiction, naturally, but they go as far as titling the line “The Last Cruise, the Salty Years,” which certainly rolls off the tongue better than “spring/summer ’09.”
As you might imagine, the clothes are pretty thoroughly broken in, but they’re also impressively well-chosen, ranging from peacoats circa 1910 to replicated U.S. Navy “jungle cloth” that was phased out in 1950. Not bad for archival work, but we still can’t see a deck hat without thinking of Gilligan…
Among all the rising greenery, mopeds may have been lost in the shuffle. Without the Mediterranean charm of a Vespa or the simian appeal of the Segway, we’d almost forgotten they were out there. Luckily, a clever designer was out there to remind us.
This Derringer model sprung from the mind of Adrian Van Anz, modeled off the board track racing motorcycles of the 1920s. After a few extra modernist curves and angles, he ended up with a Parisian style peddler that just happens to get 150 mpg. Of course, like Segways, this gadget is primarily a West Coast operation, so if you want one you’ll have to head out to their shop in West Hollywood.
Industrial squalor has been gaining a lot of credence as a look lately, so we thought we’d dig up some matching furniture.
As usual, the master strokes are in the materials. While the outer shell is stained steel, the drawers are fashioned from more brittle tin, giving the piece a subtle bit of contrast.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can pick it up at Cleveland Art, but otherwise you may have to resort to shipping.
Don’t worry. It’s not fragile. Just make sure you’ve had your tetanus shots.
Idol Radec has been kicking around the Los Angeles scene for a few seasons now, but thanks to their casual approach to web design, we’ve had trouble getting a close look at their goods. Luckily, Fashionisto got their hands on the spring collection so we could see for ourselves.
It’s nothing mind-blowing—in fact, didn’t we see that tie in the window at Banana Republic?—but there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe. We’re always glad to see a contrast shawl collar and pair of Newport Reds…even if we already know where to get them.
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