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Head to Toe: Fair Isle

  • Najib Benouar


Fair Isle. It’s an actual place in Scotland.

And its inhabitants know a thing or two about knitting a festive sweater.

Nowadays the term “Fair Isle” denotes anything in the familiar multicolor intarsia knit—not just sweaters from the tiny island of 100 or so. And since ’tis the season, we’ve rounded up the finest examples of the look from the knit cap all the way down to your socks—in the event that you’d like to wear Fair Isle from head to toe. (Not that we’re saying you should. Or shouldn’t.)

Herewith, your head-to-toe guide to wearing Fair Isle.»

Take a Seat

  • Najib Benouar

In the eyes of Americana-fied menswear, the Brothers Corsillo can do no wrong. (We’re speaking of the fellows behind the celebrated clothing/general store, Hickoree’s Hard Goods and the selvage tie revolution known as the Hill-Side).

Continuing their pitch-perfect run, they’ve unveiled a multifaceted collaborative effort of epic proportions, the Hill-Side & Co. They’ve teamed up with nearly every buzzworthy brand to create one-off pieces that range from floral-patterned shirts to this set of blanket-upholstered chairs you see here. It’s easy to get excited about all of the clothes—there’s plenty of handsomeness to go around—but the chairs really struck us as the standout collaboration (with the fine folks at Sit & Read). Nowadays it seems every menswear brand is printing an “x” on every label they sew into a shirt or pair of pants they chose the fabric for—so it’s nice to see folks think beyond the clothes.

Gentlemen, this is the chair from which you should be reading Kempt.

Mitsuko Nagone Has Given Up On Socks

Sending Flowers: A photo guide to loud prints, courtesy of the Street Etiquette chaps. [Street Etiquette]

Checked: Woody Hines just got a Mantova blazer. Handsome stuff. [Men of Habit]

The Underneath: The world’s best summer undershirt, according to Valet. [Valet]

Game of Trads: Pattern matching, the Permanent Style way. We’d put the emphasis on texture and harmony, for what it’s worth. [Permanent Style]

Kempt Man of the Hour: Timo Weiland

Fashion week can tempt even the most staid gentlemen into costuminess, so it’s worth a nod when someone (a designer, no less) manages to pull off something interesting and stay within the bounds of normal human decorum. And if there’s a double-breasted blazer involved, all the better.

The gentleman designer in question is Timo Weiland—on his second trip into MOTHhood—and the jacket is a heathered 80s-inspired wonder teetering between notch and peak lapels. What stops him from teetering into Gecko territory is that casual extra-large check he’s wearing underneath. It’s the basic principle of pattern mixing, pushed to extremes: the largest pattern in the book, worn underneath the smallest.

And while leaving it unbuttoned isn’t strictly by the book, pulling off that kind of pattern makes him above the law.

Picking up the Check


Gingham is already a summer staple, but there are always a few new ways to do it. This Black Dollars Double Check is one of the best. The outer check is the kind of madras-flavored pattern that makes summer clothes worthwhile, but the gingham lining is the real treasure here. Look close and you’ll see it through the larger check, creating the kind of double-patterning Tom Ford is so into these days.

See detail shots after the jump»

Driving Ms. Bundchen, Checking The Time and Blinded by the Light


Vampira Lives: Alabaster exhibitionist Dita Von Teese avoids the sunlight. We'll share the darkness with her any time. [NY Daily News]

Time Travel: Men's Vogue cast their eyes forward to the Patek Philippe exhibition at Tiffany & Co, offering us some jaw-dropping preview images. [Men's Vogue]

Courting the Bro' Vote: There are conflicting reports about who placed those Abercrombie & Fitch jokers behind Barack Obama at a campaign speech. If, as reported, this was the Obama campaign's attempt to reach out to young voters, it redefines "going negative" in our opinion. [WWD]

Tomorrow Never Knows: The Moment stares into the future and, as Kempt icon Leonard Cohen says, it's murder. That, and chairs made of stuffed animals. [The Moment]

Rocky Road: Our Gisele pairs up with Sly Stallone to film a Volkswagen commercial for Brazilian television. We've been scratching our heads all day on this one. [NYPost]

Check List: Señor David Coleman takes on the whole plaid-on-plaid mishigas. [NYTimes]