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J.Crew Goes to Italy, GQ Dives into Spring and Predicting the Papal Conclave

  • Kempt Staff


Crew Love: J.Crew visits the legendary family-run Vitale Barberis wool mill—suppliers of their finest Ludlow suit fabrics—and rounds up 10 more historic mills.

Slideshow and Tell: And now, for the 211 spring trends that matter, according to GQ’s Jim Moore.

Insta-phonogram: Gizmodo contemplates the staying power of the vinyl LP and how their unique sound is derived by how they’re made.

Dark Horse: In case our papal conclave predictions weren’t as rooted in history as you’d like, here’s a rundown of which past scenarios could predict this one.

The Analog Crown Jewels


Count on Tom Waits to dig up both an all-but disappeared species of creole jazz and an all-but-disappeared record player to play it on. Sometimes, you just have to go for the full anachronism.

As part of a benefit for Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Tom Waits teamed up with the house band for a recording of two classic Mardi Gras chants circa 1947, but they’re only being sold as limited edition 78-rpm records, just like back in the day. If you spring for the deluxe package, they’ll even throw in a custom-made 78-rpm phonograph to play it on. It might be the crown jewel of a vinyl culture based on tactile authenticity…or just a really cool party favor.

Miru Kim has Naked Friends in High Places

mirukim_crop.jpgvia WBE

Between Stations: The next time you’re passing through Narita Airport, you may want to stop by the United Arrows shop for some duty-free button-downs. [Hypebeast]

Start with Husbands: An online doc provides a surprisingly rich guide to John Cassavetes, one of the 70s most prolific badasses. If you’ve ever yelled at one of your friends while drunk, you were ripping him off. [SlamxHype]

Magic Eye: An assembly of some of the longest-exposure photographs in history, including the skeleton of MoMA as it was being assembled. Well played. [ItchyI]

Warning: May Be More Trouble Than It’s Worth: A gentleman’s guide to copying vinyl records. [Mike Sense]

Round and Round


Tomorrow marks the celebration of wistful anachronism that is Record Store Day, observed by heading out to your local vinyl outlet and picking up a platter or two. Normally we wouldn’t fall for such a transparent marketing gimmick, but, well…it’ll make you cooler.

There. We said it.

Of course, you’ll also need a turntable handy (and a pre-amp, and a receiver), but given the amount of energy a gentleman expends on keeping up appearances, that’s really not that much to ask. You don’t have to ditch your iTunes account or anything, but it’s nice to have a few albums you can hold in your hands. Think of them as crackly, analog special editions.

Liu Wen is Honored Just to be Nominated


Greatest of All Month: Liu Wen is Fashion Gone Rogue’s model of the month. [Fashion Gone Rogue]

Don’t Call it a Comeback: Kanye returns to his first love, the barely coherent, ridiculously emotional all-caps blog rant. It’s good to have you back, buddy. [Kanye West]

Vinyl Forever: An electron microscope picture of an LP groove instantly converts us to analog. [Gizmodo]

People are Strange, When You’re a Stranger: Details guides you through America’s quirkiest sex conventions. [DETAILS]

The Return of the Platter


Old tech is usually left to the limbo of the semi-vintage market—VHS tapes for a quarter, anyone?—but the nice thing about limbo is that there’s usually a way out.

Case in point: Best Buy may be getting back into the vinyl game. The vinyl resurgence isn’t news, but no one expected it to get this far into the mainstream. Of course, that’s what happens when the only positive parts of the music industry’s balance sheet are digital downloads and 33s. Best Buy has to justify shelf space just like anyone else, and they certainly can’t fill it with mp3s.

Does this mean they’ll be stocking turntables too?

Into the Woods


Vinyl obsessives tend to be pretty retro-minded, but going back to our lumberjack ancestors may be pushing it. Then again, maybe not.

Audiowood (via NotCot) specializes in turntables made from raw slices of wood. You don’t see much bark outside of ski lodges, but given that you probably had to dig up most of your records from inclement conditions, it’s only fitting that your player get a little rustic.

So far they’re all one-of-a-kind…but let us know if you see them in any DJ booths.

See more Audiowoods»

Thrown Together


Our friends at UrbanDaddy just turned us on to Assembly New York, a new vintage-plus boutique on the Lower East Side. Like their neighbors Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons, Assembly stocks a healthy selection of random objects to back up their more than formidable rack fodder. Our favorites include a ram-shaped bolo tie, four-eyed Chinese masks (an artifact of an earlier time, we’re sure), and enormous (but surprisingly sturdy) vintage corkscrews.

More pics and info on Assembly New York»