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Rianne ten Haken Is Keeping the Doctor Away

  • Kempt Staff

Politics as Usual: More blowback from the Olympic ceremony uniforms—this time from politicians “outraged” that Ralph Lauren’s making the duds in China. [Washington Post]

A Little Bit Country: A breakdown of Loro Piano’s mastery of the “citified casual” look. [Die Workwear]

Guy Behind the Guy: The Atlanticreveals the faces behind some of television’s most important faceless characters. [The Atlantic]

Hustle and Flow: NPR has a handy flowchart to help you decide, once and for all, whether you live in a “real city” or not. (Those living in places that begin with an “M” and end in “anhattan” need not apply.) [NPR]

I’ve Made a Huge Mistake

Errors in Production

Like most menswear bloggers, we’ve got a soft spot for factories. The flow of the assembly line, the rhythmic whir of the machines, the forward march of materials being made into goods.

It’s not perfect, though. For every 10,000 identical Coke cans that roll off the assembly line, there’ll be a couple that are a little off the mark. Or better yet, a lot off the mark. And now there’s a blog devoted to sharing them with the world.

It’s called Errors in Production, and it hosts everything from mutant gummi bears to a double-handled espresso cup. It’s arty, make no mistake, but there’s something funny and more than a little poignant about seeing all those castoffs in one place.

And most importantly, they’re taking submissions—so that misshapen Grolsch bottle can finally be put to good use.

In Disguise

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As your RSS feed can testify, Blue-collar nostalgia has gotten pretty hot lately. But while actual domestic production may be restricted to a smaller clique of labels, the iconography can still take you places.

Exhibit A: the latest line from BBlessing, a set of henleyed pullovers, dour pea coats, and appropriately gritty fingerless gloves. The sweaters especially bring out the spirit of declinist angst, but on a few items—the plaid dress shirts and tweed-y pants in particular—the BBlessing boys give away their twee origins. Not that we're complaining; in fact, they're to be some of the collection's strongest pieces.

As for the industrial setting, it makes for a pretty striking photoset, but we doubt they’ll be cornering the dockworker demographic any time soon.

See the rest of the line»

The Tin Man

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For all our gushing about ACL’s American List, we’re more interested in how things are made than where. Of course, it’s easier to keep an eye on things if they’re domestic, but really we just want to see what those factories really look like.

Patagonia is giving us the next best thing with their latest site, the Tin Shed (via Josh Spear). It’s not exactly complete transparency, but it gives a peek into the early history of the brand, which turns out to look a little different than you’d expect.

More on the Tin Shed»

Jingling Spurrs

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Simon Spurr turned out yet another solid collection for fashion week—you can see it behind him if you feel like straining, or see our pictures after the jump—but the surprise this time around isn’t the swagger but the source.

This time around, Spurr is assuring customers that 90% of the product is manufactured in Italy, using the finest materials possible. It’s a bold statement, and a sign of how seriously manufacturing is being taken these days, at least by some designers. And if it’s not in line with his current stated inspiration—the movie 2001—we won’t complain too loudly.

Anything that gets us a few more Mimosa-hued parkas is ok with us.

See more of Spurr's latest line»

This Land is Your Land

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American manufacturing has been hit pretty hard lately, but boutique brands have a little more flexibility…and at least some of them are staying put.

Of course, it’s hard to know for sure, so A Continuous Lean has put together The American List, a handy guide to which brands are manufactured stateside, and it’s required reading for anyone interested in modern Americana. It's also a surprisingly short list.

Our favorites are Red Wing, Billykirk, and Engineered Garments, but it’s striking how much they all have in common. There’s a lot of denim, a lot of flannel, and a lot of weathered fabrics; it’s what you might call the American style.

At least, the part of it that isn’t made in China.