Unis has earned a lot of praise from the menswear set for their slim-cut, American-made Gio pants—and for good reason.
But instead of resting on their Italian-twill laurels, they’ve unveiled an all-new cut: the Ford.
It’s a big day for basketball, with March Madness finally kicking off this morning.
And it’s been a big week for basketball here on Kempt, with our own bracket pitting icons of the sidelines against one another in our quest to name the most stylish NCAA basketball coach ever. You can catch up on the first-round action here, the second-round action here and yesterday’s Final Four here. But you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the grand finale…
Jazz musicians are known for being a dapper and frequently recorded bunch, which is why becoming one of the most-recorded and best-dressed jazz musicians alive is no mean feat. And Ron Carter managed to do it all while standing behind an upright bass.
He came to fame as part of Miles Davis’s Second Great Quintet (where one Herbie Hancock also got his start)—and went on to record some 2,500 records on the double bass. Along the way, he played with everyone from Eric Dolphy to A Tribe Called Quest, won acclaim as a cellist, composed about 140 songs, taught at CUNY and Juilliard, and—just for good measure—developed a custom blend of pipe tobacco.
From time to time, we stumble upon a photograph from the past that simply defies logic. Take this tank suit ad published by Condé Nast in 1970, for example…
What we do know:
• Title: “Man Modeling Tank Suit”
• Photographer: Mark Patiky, of “Miles Davis Lounging on Bed of Skins with Unidentified Female” fame.
• Corbis Description: “A male model lounges on a beach in front of a jeep and a police officer wears a pair of aviator sunglasses, striped tank-suit with a high scoop neck made of ribbed acrylic fiber, by Drummond.”
What we do not know:
• The definition of “tank suit.”
• Why there is no mention in the Corbis description of a woman soft-shoeing down the beach in an evening gown.
• Whether this is a real police officer, since the only town he looks to be serving and protecting is Sodomyville.
We welcome your thoughts on the matter…
We’ve gushed quite a bit about Billy Reid’s taste in style, but he’s also the owner of a distinguished last.fm profile, which you may have seen linked from his online shop. So we thought we’d take a look at Mr. Reid’s fall/winter selection (arriving in stores this month), with an eye towards its musical inspirations. As it turns out, listening to that much Drive-By Truckers can have quite an effect…
For the decade or so before rock took off, jazz musicians were the epitome of subculture cool. (Not coincidentally, it was also the heyday of the porkpie hat.) Everyone knows Miles (even if we prefer his later phase), but AskMen’s recent roundup reminded us that his piano man was no slouch either.
The pianist in question is Bill Evans, the subject of a fair amount of recent obsession. The slicked-back hair and buttoned-up polo are both documents of the era, but our favorite part of this particular picture is the shades, which have since popped up on Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen more than a few times. With summer coming up, picking up a similar pair might not be a bad idea.
Piano lessons are optional.
Speaking of American classics, another one is coming up on its 50th anniversary. We’re talking about *Kind of Blue*, Miles Davis’ masterwork and the odds-on favorite for the greatest jazz album of all time. The album saw Davis working with arguably the best band of his career—including Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderly, and John Coltrane, for a start—exploring modal sketches to work out a new kind of downbeat jazz.
We’ve gushed about Miles Davis before, but fifty years down the line, it’s interesting to consider the album as a document of 1959. It was a bestseller on release, even though it cut against the grain of Eisenhower-era culture. The world of the gray flannel suit wasn’t available to Davis and his bandmates, and the new freedoms they were opening up were entirely musical, but they still looked more attractive than life in Connecticut. As mainstream America got less and less happy with the suburban dream, this was the sound of the underground.
While suit-makers look increasingly towards the accountants and ad men of the 50s and 60s, it’s amazing to think they’re overlooking one of the best subcultures of the era. Forget the twenties: the fifties and sixties were the real jazz age.
Miles Davis speaks for himself, but a whole generation of icons stood along with him, ditching the porkpie hats and traditional chord structures in favor of a new kind of music and a new kind of style. Taschen did us a favor rounding up 500 pages worth of album covers for their appropriately named *Jazz Covers*. We can’t think of a better window into the age…other than the albums, that is.
When the great Miles Davis was assembling his quintet in 1955 and chose a troubled young saxophonist named John Coltrane over more established and experienced players, many assumed the partnership wouldn’t last. While Davis was a reserved, dapper aesthete born to achievement, Coltrane was cut from coarser cloth but no less of a musical genius for that. Surely two such outsized talents were bound to clash, especially with the specter of Coltrane’s drug use looming overhead.
There were no pyrotechnics apart from the musical variety however, note Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington, authors of an illuminating book due out next week, Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever—because “Coltrane was too humble, and Miles was simply too cool.” And thank god for it, or they might never have gotten around to laying down *Kind of Blue*.
Our friends at UrbanDaddy put us onto this late 60s picture of Miles Davis—currently on sale in limited edition at New York’s Morrison Hotel Gallery—and it made us reconsider the man as an unlikely style icon.
For one, those sunglasses were custom-made, and should look familiar to anyone who’s walked around Los Angeles in the last few summers. (Then again, you probably mostly saw them on women.) Even if the afro-futurist look hasn’t caught on outside of a few Atlanta natives, Davis’ ideas about style deserve a lot more attention than they get.
Bill Cosby is a pretty unlikely style icon, but we’re willing to bite. He’s put three of his iconic sweaters up for auction on eBay, and so far no one’s taken the bait.
We have to admit, we’re a little surprised. These jazzy numbers pack more 80s baggage than all the Members Only jackets and guyliner in SoHo. And it’s to benefit the Cos’s education charity, so high-rollers shouldn’t balk at the four-figure price tag. Maybe M.I.A. wants one?
LinksUrbanDaddy DRIVEN A Continuous Lean A Headlong Dive A Suitable Wardrobe Archival Clothing Art of Manliness Blackbird Blog BULLETT The Choosy Beggar Coolhunting Cool Material DETAILS Die, Workwear! FashionBeans Four Pins GQ Hypebeast The Impossible Cool Jake Davis The Midwestyle Mister Mort The Moment Put This On Racked The Sartorialist The Selby Selectism Valet Vanity Fair Daily Vulture Wax Wane What I Saw Today Well Spent