Monday, February 28, 2011


Recently, I've become fascinated with the emergent Chinese 'scene', and this blog is a gem I discovered while doing some recon. is the work of Nels Frye, a Bostonian in Beijing, who's also the editor-in-Chief of China's LifeStyle magazine and the co-founder of Sen Li and Frye, a menswear and tailoring boutique in Beijing, (I know, kind of makes me feel like a chump). The blog itself, written in English and Chinese, is dedicated to the street style and fashion scene in Beijing. Given it's Sartorialist-like quality, Stylites is, as one might expect, full of interesting characters.  However, unlike other street photogs, Frye tends to dwell on his subjects a bit longer, revealing more narrative about the people, events, or trends that he's focused on, (like this post where he chases the leopard print trend through Beijing).

Frye's talent as a photographer and the Chinese style scene make for a refreshing and engrossing read.  I won't pretend to have any experience within China's fashion scene, but if this blog is any indication, it seems fearless but also quite classy.  I've posted a few of my favorite shots below, and recommend adding Stylites to your Reeder [sic] for daily dose of something off the beaten path. - M




Saturday, February 26, 2011

A WEEK'S SVPPLY | No. 03: FEB 19 - FEB 25

Things that caught my eye this week, (from left to right):
  1. Eland Pants, Wood Wood
    I had the pleasure of checking these pants out last time I was in Denmark and can report that they're incredibly soft, well made and come in a ton of colors. I'll admit they're a unique fit - very generous up top and tapered at the ankles - but I find it refreshing; somehow they just work.
  2. Hunting Overshirt, YMC
    Indigo dyed cotton with tan leather elbow patches. Plus contrast buttons of any kind really get me, especially when fully buttoned, and this shirt does it particularly well.
  3. Tote, Chester Wallace
    Hand made in Portland by a dude. Apparently, the inspiration for this bag was to have something big enough to carry two six packs.  I'm sure it does that very well, but it also just looks mighty fine.  These come in a huge amount of colorways, too, makes me want four.
  4. Herringbone Necktie, Ernest Alexander
    There's everything to love about a good herringbone/plaid combo.  Especially if it's hand made in NYC, which this one is.
  5. Crosby Shoe, Common People
    Most shoes of this ilk can come off as kind of clunky, but these manage to be elegant. They look like they could be the best spring shoe ever and comfy as slippers.  Complete steal, at about $100/£85.
  6. MacBook Pro Sleeve, Charbonize
    Obligatory nod to the most talked about product this week. This is an Etsy find unearthed by my coworker Mara. It's wool, leather and can be monogrammed. $67 is a better price than whatever Jake Spade nonsense most people are buying.
  7. MK II Vantage Watch for Epaulet
    This came out a month ago, but somehow I just found it last week. MKII is a Swiss watch manufacturer that made this especially for Epaulet in BK/LES. It's a 'real' watch (read: not just a pretty Timex) so it's pricey, but very reasonable given other watches of its kind.
  8. Shopper Tote, Common Projects
    Just a simple leather tote for spring. It's got well situated pockets inside, too. Made in Italy, found via Selectism.
  9. Coaches Jacket, McNairy for Run Of The Mill
    While the rest of the world was focused on the ROTM double monks, I was quite taken with this jacket. Described as "a less rugged take on the classic Barbour jacket", I like it for its understated-ness. Color is great for spring and/or fall, too.
Clearly, gray and tan were out in full force on the internet this week (or maybe it was just me?). I've also noticed things took a turn from rugged to finished, (or at least a little more finished). A very, very welcome change and one which is reflected in this week's collection. Way to grow up a bit, interwebs, more of that please. - M

Found after posting: Looks like Bill Cunningham also noticed the gray and tan palette this week on the street. Funny how that works. 

Friday, February 25, 2011


So happy to see another piece by duo Tom Rand (of the Scout) and director Brennan Woods.  Last season, they teamed up with Gant to capture a  backstage view of Bastian's collection, and I'm happy the partnership has continued into Fall. In my opinion, these two make some of the best videos on the internet, and this one is no exception. Definitely take a minute to check out their work on craftsmen here. Congrats, Tom and Brennan on another class act! - M

Monday, February 21, 2011


Preamble: I realized yesterday that President's Day has been a greatly overlooked moment for style appreciation. Like them or not, the American presidents have been at the center of the nation's - and the world's - consciousness for over 200 years. With all eyes on their every move, one can assume that even in the era of powder wigs, the style choices of these First Men were no afterthought, (after all, if there is anything politicians know it is the art of self presentation). From Washington to Roosevelt, Kennedy to Obama, one cannot deny that presidential style has impacted the national menswear zeitgeist (and vice versa).

In celebration of this national holiday, I was curious to trace the trends and personalities of the American presidency, from founding fathers to today so I scoured the internet for images of each president with an eye to their personal style.

I won't lie, finding these images took a hell of a lot longer than I expected but I was fascinated to see the introduction, ebb and flow of trends. Bow ties for example continuously go in and out of favor, beards make a strong showing post-civil war, and there's a period of amazing hats around Calvin Coolidge. I'll be honest, in the end I actually came to appreciate these guys in a whole new light.  Anyway, check out our 44 rather dapper presidents after the jump and happy holiday. - M

**Editors Note**
This project was inspired
in part by N'East Style's
excellent post on Teddy Roosevent
- many thanks Christine!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A WEEK'S SVPPLY | No. 02: FEB. 14 - FEB. 18

Things that caught my eye this week: (from left to right)
  1. Terry Fleece Hoodie, Left Field NYC
    Gold. Zipper. Need I say more.
  2. Blue Oxford Popover, Gant Rugger
    Popovers can either be very, very right or very, very wrong. This one of course is of the former category, and they just came in at Epaulet for you NYers that want a closer look.
  3. New Amsterdam Oxford Derby, Marc McNairy
    I'm generally skeptical of McNairy, but the playfulness of these just won me over.  Not over the top either. Very nice.
  4. Blastivo Jacket, Billionaire Boys Club
    Speaking of over the top, this jacket is so wonderfully insane that it must be recognized merely for existing. Warning: For super advanced players only – I could see the Kissi's and the Gumbs' of the world pulling it off and not many others. It will be available in the US March 1st. Mark your cals, daring sirs.
  5. Field Watch, Timex for Club Monaco
    Simple, classic, cheap. I am happy to call this watch mine w/ nothing to complain about. It's $50 at Club Monaco or you can get the non-Monaco version at Kmart for $40. (h/t to Jonathan for that smart find).
  6. Denim and Floral Tie, The General Knot
    This is my favorite tie of the moment. It is just one of the very many fantastic ties GK has in store right now and this week they just dropped a lovely selection of bow ties too. Newly in love with this company.
  7. Bretton T-Shirt, Paul Smith
    Stripey, springy goodness. Could imagine it would provide a nice touch layered under a button down and a worn denim jacket.
  8. Vercors Cartigan, Sixpack France
    I feel like a nice cotton shawl collar is hard to come by, and this one looks like it's a winner. I don't know much about the company, but they make this John Lennon T-shirt too, which gives them points.
  9. Rockwool Vest, Penfield
    Sure, this is a fall piece, but it's probably on sale and if you need a down vest Penfield is a solid option. Also, check out their S/S lookbook if you like sailing or jackets or both.
This time around I ended up with kind of a schizophrenic collection - not surprising given the nature of my week. But, I'm wholeheartedly embracing the 'all over the place-ness'...all the way to the bar. Cheers, it's a three day weekend. - M

**Editor's Note**
If you're asking, 'what is A Week's Svpply?'
peep the week one post and an explanation here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Made proudly in America by Heritage Leather Company for Wood&Faulk.
Size: 20in x 6in x 16in, Weight: 5.5 lbs.

This bag is only $85. I repeat: This bag is only 85 bucks.

If the picture and the price tag aren't reason enough, here are some details: The Carpenter bag features No.10 cotton canvas with top grain moccasin leather bottom,  saddle-leather handles and straps, plus steel d-rings sewn into the handles, so you can add your own strap. It certainly appears sturdy enough for tools, but from the looks of it the bag has serious potential to translate well for the functionally-minded urbanite. The shape and colorway make it an especially nice option as a spring weekender.

The piece is part of a private label created by Wood & Faulk, a Seattle based project that documents one man's experiment in craft, woodworking and style. The W&F line is made in partnership with the Heritage Leather Company, a leather and work wear supply company, which crafts all their goods in America.

Whether or not the bag strikes your fancy, I suggest you check out the Wood & Faulk site.  Mike, the man behind the project, runs one of the best blogs I've had the pleasure to stumble across. I spent 40 minutes on it today and learned about everything from one man's vintage Barbour, to how to re-furbish a kitchen, to a really fantastic band called The Middle East.  Did I mention the bag is only 85 dollars? Hurrah for creative, crafty, stylish people.  - M


Oh, Moxy Creative, will you ever let us down? Probably not and that's ok. You might have seen my previous two posts on Moxy's other style inspired posters, (menswear and musicians) both of which got a very nice shout out on Apartment Therapy this week.  Anyway, this latest series is as great as the last two and deserving of its own little feature.  At this point as long as Moxy keeps making these posters I will keep blogging about them so here's to many more series to come. Get them here and See them all after the jump.
- M 

Friday, February 11, 2011

A WEEK'S SVPPLY | No. 01: FEB 7 - FEB 11

This post is part of a new series I'm trying out. The idea is really very simple: Each Friday I will check the latest eight items of my Svpply feed and post them as a quick look back at the week. A couple of reasons for this: 
  • I've wanted to do a weekly round up of sorts but can never decide between all the effing beautiful things out there.
  • I love Svpply. (Don't know what that is? See below)
So, with this approach, I end up cutting out the agony by letting Svpply make the tough decisions. It's not a perfect beast yet, but for now let's call it the first Sigother experiment.

A Week's Svpply No. 01
(from left to right)
  1. Gitman Brothers, Organic Stripe Button Down
  2. Makr Cary Goods, One Wallet
  3. Monitaly, Hooded Field Jacket
  4. Nigel Cabourn, Edgar Bag
  5. Dita Legends, Elan Glasses
  6. Woolrich Woolen Mills, DB Oxford
  7. Universal Works, Fell Jacket
  8. Apolis + Matteo, Stripe Linen Bandanna
This week, things definitely took a turn towards spring, not a big surprise given the timing (#NYFW anyone?).  As a whole, my feed is full of lighter colors, lighter fabrics, relaxed silhouettes and these top eight items are no exception, (even the Cabourn bag is begging for someplace warm and bright), and it's a welcome change. Sure, the weather outside isn't in agreement, but if Punx Phil is right, we'll be romping in linen bandannas soon enough. Fingers crossed.  - M


**Editors Note**
If you're asking yourself 'what is Svpply?' 
Think of it as a personal wishlistblog - a constant stream of beautiful things found by you, and other people and shops you follow.  Supremely addictive. I admit I'm a bit of a fangirl of this site, but honestly, just go to now. Thank me later.  - M

Monday, February 7, 2011


 Richard Avedon, 1951, (print insitu at SFMOMA exhibit)

While in San Francisco last week, I woke up on Saturday to a coldish, rainy morning. So I investigated my indoor options and decided on the San Francisco Modern Art Museum, satellite to the mothership, MOMA in NYC.  I trekked over, (under a ridiculously beautiful umbrella courtesy of the Huntington Hotel), and upon arriving knew I had been led there for a reason: a Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit was happily situated on the third floor, ready for me to indulge.

Bresson is one of my favorite photographers; renowned as the father of all photo journalists.  Born in 1908, he was one of the first to experiment with the mobile camera and his career is attributed to shaping how that technology is used and what we now know as photo reporting. If is work looks familiar, it should, he was the photographer responsible for a majority of LIFE magazine's success in the 50's and 60's.

Personally, I've considered his work to have paved the way for today's style and even street photography.  He's not known for it but I've admired Bresson, especially in his portraits of artists, for his incredible ability to capture men's style in a completely unpretentious way; spanning cultures, eras and settings. Perhaps the first to do so?

In any case, certainly worthy of a little post love, I thought. Below are some of my sartorially relevant favorites and see the rest here, on MOMA's interactive site.  - M

J.M.G Le Clezio, Paris, 1965
Albert Camus, Paris, 1947
Truman Capote (no, seriously), 1947
Saul Steinberg, Vermont, 1947
Julien Gracq, France, 1984
Alfred Stieglitz, New York, 1946
From The Bankers Trust Co. Commission, 1960
From The Bankers Trust Co. Commission, 1960
Cherry Pickers, France, 1957
Curragh Racecourse, Ireland, 1952
At Le Mans Auto Race, France, 1966
Richard Avedon (as above), New York, 1951
The Coronation of King George VI, London, 1937

The well appointed photographer himself, Cartier-Bresson, photographed by fellow photographer Arnold Newman, New York, 1946

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Today is a fantastic day, not least of all because the Symmetry Goods much anticipated S/S collection is finally available online.  Needless to say, I'm genuinely thrilled to write this post – I've been admiring this label for it's ethos, quality and spirit for quite some time now.

Symmetry Goods was founded in 2010 by LA based husband and wife team, Ted Byrnes and Gena Tuso. To read about their beginnings and their first collection, check out the great post by Brad of Commerce With A Conscience, whom I credit with introducing me to the brand in the first place.  In December I had the great pleasure of purchasing a piece for myself and I have yet to take it off, so I'm a first hand believer: Symmetry is the real deal.

I recently reached out to Ted with questions about the company and was impressed by his responses regarding their ethic, evolution and approach, so without further fanfare, check out the Q &A below and head on over to the shop to scope out the goods.  - M

Silverstone Scarf

The Sig Other: Your pieces are definitely modern but have a kind of timeless, traditional edge to them, do you mean to strike that balance? 
Ted Byrnes: Interesting question. We, like a lot of folks, respond to things that are timeless in aesthetic, but also things that solve problems in the way that design can. 
The brand was launched with the idea that we could make accessories 'function' better. It all started with the scarf - the idea that the wearer can customize the piece each time they wear it, pretty dramatically, and that the piece will stay put. It was an aesthetic thing as much as it was a practical one. The bulk of the aesthetic stuff lies in the manufacturing; i.e., what fabrics we decide to use, the hardware, color of the grommets, etc. I think the traditional element is that our collection really is all made by hand.

How does that approach translate into this collection?
Each piece is cut and sewn by one person. The leather to back the grommets is stamped out by one person, the grommets are put in one by one by the same person, and its usually me that ends up assembling the hardware I think folks can tell when something is really handmade. That's important to us. The idea of these pieces is that you'll have and wear them forever, and we want people to feel that. The fabric selection, especially for our debut season with the Woolrich fabrics definitely had a traditional feel; the fabrics lend themselves to that.

Belt w/ Hook
I love the hooks that were made for the spring season. Can you talk about what inspired them? And how they were made?
They are actually pretty common little hooks that usually have applications in leather goods We liked how super functional they look, and how the look with leather specifically, especially with the Dixon which turns into a tote bag. Kind of a play, (and very much a literal view), of hardware. They are cast here in the States. We also had some Pelican hooks hand cast for the small leather goods, and changed the scope and scale of them to make them much smaller than they usually tend to be.

What is your philosophy surrounding quality?
It's all about quality. I would say that's the benchmark of the brand. Working with like-minded people/companies that make things that last is literally of the utmost importance to us. We don't skimp on anything, and we take this very seriously.  Producing goods in this day and age you have to be very careful, which is why we either get everything custom-made or from very good sources.  
This is also how we live our lives just in general; we don't eat fast food, we shop very ethically and eat artisinally as much as humanly possible; we eat/drink very consciously, we support brands/people doing good and ethical stuff, always the small guy first. Our whole viewpoint of life is quality over quantity, and the business is really just an extension of that. 

The American design and craft scene is in a really exciting spot right now. As a part of it, what are your impressions?
I think it's awesome. the breadth of talent/brands/folks doing quality work is great - from Timo Weiland to Corter Leather and everyone in between. I think we are all trying to keep some tradition alive and also give America back some of its manufacturing. Some folks refer to it as a trend, we don't think its a trend -  it's consumers buying quality made goods made by people who love what they do and support ethical manufacturing.  Sure, some aspects of it might fall away, but the way that people are viewing the way that they buy/use things is changing, and for the better.

Cardew Kerchief

Any collaborations we should look out for, (fingers crossed!)?
yes, we are doing a collaboration with Layerxlayer here at some point soon. Really, really looking forward to it. We see a lot of ourselves in them in many ways and I think vice versa. Can't say enough good stuff about them and what they do. There may or may not be a couple other things in the works for this year that are very exciting. More on that as it develops!

Looking into the future, how do you see Symmetry line evolving?
In terms of evolution, we will stay with accessories, I don't see us moving into RTW at all. What we are aiming towards for next fall is having a collection where everything works together, in one capacity. There will be a very key hardware element that will transform into a variety of things and serve a lot of functions within the collection. We are incredibly excited about it. We can't wait for people to see it. 
**Editor's note**
If you're a lady, or buying for a lady, it's imperative that you check out the Dixon scarf (right) that doubles as a bag. I know, brilliant.
Finally, I want to give a huge thank you to Ted for taking the time to answer these Q's and for Gena for creating another inspired line.
Can't wait to see where Symmetry goes in 2011!