The future of this blog.

I’m moving to my own hosting, and this blog will move too. I’m also changing up the content. Updates soon.

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Only in Japan: KATO` A/W 2010

KATO` is another one of those coveted Japanese brands that’s impossible to find in the States. Pending any trips to the island (or at least Yahoo.jp) I won’t be handling these garments any time soon. Here are select photographs from their current A/W collection. KATO` achieves that difficult design and material balance between equal parts rugged and comfortable. Continue reading

What I’m Reading: Made in Tokyo

Although this work is already a decade old (an eternity in Tokyo’s tear-it-down-and-build-it-up construction culture), it’s entirely new to me.  Written by partners in the Tokyo-based architecture firm, Atelier Bow Wow (I couldn’t have made that up), Made in Tokyo catalogs a range of anonymous buildings that provide a range functional programs without making reference to architectural form or discipline.  These structures, explain the authors, are “not concerned with the issues of scale, cultural worth or history, which architecture has depended on to date.  They appear out of greedy utilitarianism.”  They are thus labeled, “da-me architecture,” or “no-good architecture,” a term of equal parts affection and disdain.  The authors further suggest that understanding and appreciating these nameless da-me architectures is necessary to reveal the true and experienced nature of Tokyo’s built environment – more so than any architectural megastructure masterpiece.   Continue reading

Dad’s Closet: From the 1968 Summer Olympics

My father was a graduate of Yale University, class of ’69.  One of his roommates was a fellow named David Johnson from Wilmington, DE.  David was Yale’s star swimmer and starter in the individual medley.  Making the US Olympic Team as an alternate, he went to down to Mexico City in the summer of ’68.  During their qualifying meet, the Medley relay team nearly broke the world record.  One of the relay swimmers, however, came down with dysentery the day before the finals.  The culprit: Mexico City’s tap water.  David was inserted into the relay lineup, and with the strength and talent of his team members, all he had to do was fall into the pool, swim a leg, and collect a gold medal.

Disaster struck for David when his diarrhea kicked up the evening before the meet.  He spent the rest of the night on the porcelain throne and by morning he had lost nearly 12 lbs and could barely walk.  Unable to compete, David missed out on his chance for gold that summer.

The t-shirt was a gift to my father.  It is the absolute genuine article, made by Hanes expressly for members of the 1968 Olympic team.  The shirt is unbelievably soft, beautiful 100% cotton.  Raglan sleeves too.  Perfect, but it’s a little too precious to wear very often.

Gone Hunting: Part 2

This is a pair of NRA-branded hunting pants from the 1930’s.  The color, the cotton, and the craftsmanship are impeccable.  I will be hanging these on a wall in a few short weeks.

Super-high-rise, five button closure.  Short inseam (approx 25 inches) so that they rest atop tall hunting boots.

Something looks vaguely Klingon about this design.

Front pocket has a button closure.

Beautiful shell buttons.  Reinforced fly.

Locker loop.  Flap-pocket closure.

Recycled Tennis Racquet Pouch

This is a bit of an unusual post from me.  Today at Little Otsu in San Francisco, I acquired this charming little pouch made from re-purposed vintage tennis racquet cases.  The size makes it perfect for a point-and-shoot camera, small notebook, and an iPod.  Asymmetrical shape, different colored panels, a heavy-duty zipper, and a soft felt lining complete the package.

The artisan, Alissa Anderson, also sells her repurposed wallets at her etsy webstore.

Black side.

White side.

Inside.

Gone Hunting: Part 1

Vintage Woolrich Hunting Coat.  Purchased from a dealer in the Hudson Valley.  I have no idea how to date these things, but if I had to guess I’d say circa 1950’s.  If anyone can properly date don’t hesitate to chime in.

The ubiquitous Woolrich hunting coat is an undeniable classic.  The familiar red and black check is as much a symbol of Woolrich mills as it is an archetype of 20th century rugged America.  This particular iteration is beautifully constructed from some of the heaviest wool I’ve handled.  Four button closure, two slant hand pockets, and two front flap pockets.  A hidden game pocket is located on the bottom back of the jacket.

Despite its penchant for being “costumey,” urban lumberjack-esque, and a little bit heavy-handed on the Americana trend, I’ve resolved to wearing the coat more often in the cold upstate winters.  Check eBay or your local vintage dealer as they turn up quite often.

The tag has long since worn out.

Soft beige wool lining and interior cuffs.

Front pockets, beige wool facing, and cotton pocket bags.  Note the thick thread and reinforced stitching at the mouth of the pocket.

Vertical pockets give access to the hidden game pouch on the back of the coat.

Game pouch lined in green rubberized material.  My favorite detail.

Stick around for Part 2 coming soon.