It’s been hard to get excited about some of the early spring and summer gear that’s begun trickling into shops when it still feels like winter out...
But here’s something you can actually start wearing now: the new collection of sunglasses from NYC’s retro opticians at Moscot. The designs are all based on archives from their heyday in the earlier half of the century (they’re coming up on their 100th anniversary in a couple years) and have been inspired by the stories of their neighborhood’s denizens—our favorite pair of the bunch, shown above, was named for the family lawyer, Zev.
You whittled the neighbor’s kid an Andy Warhol big wheel for no particular reason, so it’s safe to say his parents will be keeping a closer eye on you, and you’ve been patiently waiting for just the right woman to come along who will appreciate that Andy Warhol dress you’ve been storing in mothballs for years, along with the hip, snappy alternative, if such a thing exists in the world of old-timey soup can apparel. The problem, of course, is that dates have been ending prematurely of late, ever since you dropped the hammer on the duvet-slash-bedside lamp combo.
This is all to say: take a pass on the Andy Warhol range hood. We’re begging you. Because the Campbell’s Soup schwag is in grave danger of doing to Mr. Warhol what Evita and the Che Guevara shirt did for badass Cubans everywhere.
Richard Gere’s given us a lot over the years—including ringing in last generation’s Italian style revolution. So we thought we’d take a moment to appreciate five high points in the man’s style, from American Gigolo to what might be the preppiest photo we’ve ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, buckle up.
For a movie getting a lavish update, the original Tron’s been pretty quiet. There was talk of a Blu-Ray release earlier in the year, but it disappeared almost as soon as it was announced. Last week saw a pretty good guess as to why: it’s embarassing. The CGI is all neon grids and pre-Pixar geometry, the lost-in-a-computer storyline feels obsolete in an age of smartphones, and the live-action elements stick out like a forehead tattoo reading “1982.” An HD release would only emphasize the awful truth: this is how we thought computers worked back then.
Which is to say, it’s pretty fantastic—as long as you’re not the type to be embarrassed about the past.
If we had to guess the year this gentleman was striding boldly into, we'd probably place it somewhere in the hazy era of the late 70s. Something about the feathery hair, the billowing pocket square and the cableknit-corduroy combo makes it seem like he's probably humming an Abba song.
But as it turns out, it's all coming back to the present tense. (That includes Abba.) In fact, this gentleman is part of Tommy HIlfiger's Fall/Winter offering for 2010, red pants and all. It's a pretty striking wardrobe, and we're excited to see if this takes off—if only because our years spent stockpiling blazers might finally pay some dividends. We're not sure about the turtleneck sweaters...but you can't have everything.
We’re no pilots, but we’re also not above a little light co-opting when the moment calls for it.
This hand-sewn pilot’s cap comes from Bentley with a design that’s straight from the 20’s. It might be a bit more costume-y than our usual objects of desire, and we’re not sure we’d drop $200 on something that’s almost impossible to wear outside of a cockpit.
But if you’re looking for something to wear to your pilots exam, this is it.
Telegram Stop is a virtual telegram operator, taking missives over the internet and mailing them out in historically impeccable typewritten packages. The question of why one would want to sent a telegram in 2009 is left to the imagination, but one imagines retro enthusiasm has something to do with it. Personally, we draw the line at anything that fakes a postmark, but anyone looking to recreate the carefree Gilded Age should take notice.
Retro style can be a powerful force, but you’re still only getting things second hand. The genuine article can be a bit harder to come by.
Luckily, Cleveland’s Ohio Knitting Mills (via Uncrate) has a stash of 22 models dating all the way back to 1947, and they’re just now putting it on sale.
Finds include this red mohair sweater, a pitch-perfect acrylic polo from the 50s, and cardigans from the same factory that outfitted Mr. Rogers. It’s mostly what you’d expect from digging through a local vintage shop…only you’d be pretty lucky to find all this in one pile.
In beer, as in all things, we have a fondness for the past.
So we were glad to run across this set of old school blue-collar beer cans, dug up from flickr by a few diligent design-heads. Most of them are discolored, misshapen, and generally corroded to the point of collapse, but we don’t mind too much. It’s amazing to see what a beer looked like 70 years ago.
Anyone who happens to be in the design business should take notes: this is what beer cans should look like.
If the shades on the top look familiar, they should. But they just got a whole lot less vintage.
As a response to the popularity of their vintage gear, Carrera dug into their archive for a set of their best old styles, and brought the resulting models back into production. Naturally, it’s still better to get the Real McCoy, but for a couple hundred dollars less, the revival isn’t too bad either.
Carrera’s newer styles haven’t done too much to catch our eye, but this reboot might be just what the brand needs to get its legs back. If they can jump back to 1986 and start over from there, they may start digging up a lot more than just nostalgia.
Remember Barbasol? You probably saw a can or two on your grandfather’s dresser at some point, but we bet you can’t remember the last time you saw it in a store, much less picked up a can. These days the can is more common as a hollowed-out hideaway than an actual source for shaving cream.
But barbershops never stopped using it—it’s classic for a reason, after all—and you probably didn’t realize it was going for $1.30 a can these days…
We noticed the fine folks at PSFK are going wild for retro packaging, and it got us thinking. An old school box of Wheaties is fine now and then, but what we’d really like to see is a return to form for advertising.
These days, it’s all retouched models and space age backgrounds, but back in the day all you needed was a catchy slogan, a blocky font and a good place to put the sign. Hi-tech meant screenprinting Mary Pickford’s face above a bottle of mouthwash. Nowadays, we’re too overstimulated for blocks of text to make much of an impression, but a simple logo and a simple phrase still carry an impact.
And if your sign looks like 1927, it may make more of an impression than all the models in L.A.
Now that we've got digital displays everywhere we look, the old mantle of clock is going to have to go a few steps beyond analog if it's going to stay relevant. In other words, the pendulum is ripe for a resurgence.
Yasuki Takamori's 269 Clock is a pretty good example of what it looks like when it's done right. The walnut plywood keeps things minimal and organic, but the real highlight is the pendulum swinging behind the bottom window. It's amazing what a little movement does to put you in tune with the daily passage of time—especially when it's not on a digital display.
Pennsylvania’s Bollman Hat Company is celebrating their 140th anniversary with a stroll through the preferred headgear of the last 14 decades. From the fads (the fez of the 1870s and the porkpie of the 1940s) to the classics (the fedora), it’s a pretty good primer on what hats have to offer.
As you might guess, our choice is the bowler, conveniently situated in the 1890s. It may not keep your ears warm or your eyes shaded, but a little sun never hurt anyone.
Red Hook modernists Standard41 whipped up six different models—including this one, aptly named “Big Boy”—to assuage their own 60s nostalgia. One of the other types includes a wine rack, but we’re happy just to have a few drawers, some sliding panels, and an alternative to buying something that was actually made in 1961.
Ladies and gentleman, your arduous credenza search is over.