Friday, July 30

quotable -so i married an axe murderer

Ranger John 'Vicky' Johnson: .... ... ...... ..... ... ...... ocular cavities.

I love Vicky. He's the best.

Thursday, July 29

junya watanabe via yvgeny

Remember those Carhartt chore coats from last year that were reworked by Junya Watanabe? Awesome. I guess he has been doing "reconstructed workwear" for a few years, collaborating with iconic (usually American) brands and resewing, overdying, adding -generally fantastigating the items. The British shopping site Yvgeny has a bunch of these (and other v cool) pieces and they have kindly given permission to reproduce their shots below. Thx Eugene. Yes, pricetags in the high NorthPole region. Further reading over at Interview.

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons Man x Brooks Brothers

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons x Post O'Alls

eYe Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons x Lee 91J Loco Jacket

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons x Baracuta Jacket

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garçons x Pointer

mojo goes tom waits crazy

I am heading out to get this as soon as I click POST. Tom Waits guest edited the 200th issue (July 2010) of MOJO magazine.

FREE CD! STEP RIGHT UP!: A 15-track musical journey compiled and sequenced exclusively for MOJO by Tom Waits! Starring Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Cliff Edwards, Big Mama Thornton, Prisonaires, Hank Williams and many, many more.

HARRY BELAFONTE: In this month’s MOJO Interview, one of Waits’ lifelong heroes talks marching with Dr King, being taught by Leadbelly and giving Bob Dylan his first break. “His contribution to the world of music has been like a great river,” says your guest editor. Superstar producer Joe Henry is granted a rare audience with Harry Belafonte.

HANK WILLIAMS III: Relive this exclusive encounter between Tom Waits and the legendary, guitar-slinging outlaw of country music’s first family. Up for discussion: reconciling musical personalities, how to create “a death metal hillbilly invasion”, meeting Minnie Pearl, haunted houses and why Hank Senior must be reinstated as a member of The Grand Ole Opry.

TOM’S ULTIMATE PICKS: A huge, carefully compiled selection of the man’s essential songs, films and books. Featuring James Brown, Alex Chilton, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, James Dean, David Lynch and many more!

MORE WAITS! His favourite one-hit wonders! His ultimate Buried Treasures! MOJO’s guide to all his albums!

parenting -ice cuuuubes

The above has become the latest routine. Fill the tray w/ toys in the morning then watch the cubes/guys melt in sink-water that night. In the winter we left the trays outside to see how long it took to make ice (sneeky science project alert) but adding the knickknacks is a new twist.

The Lincoln Log fireman looks creepy here... Sidenote, did you know Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wrights' son? 'Course you did. This game would be prime for Batman vs. Mr. Freeze...

Wednesday, July 28

saucony -vegan low profile jazz

Post title really said it all... this shoe contains no animal products, by-products or derivatives. Saucony released this last year w/ more colors recently. Canvas and hemp used to create this Saucony Lo-Pro. Not swayed by homegrownvegan or whatnot myself -just like the texture here rather than usual nylon. They don't have them at the Cambridge (MA) outlet yet (just checked) but maybe by this fall. Anyway, MSRP $55.

Tuesday, July 27

orvis -us patent

You can follow the bouncing ball on these USPatent posts but got my hands on a copy of the catalog and wanted to share my 2cents.

Quick backstory, this special catalog from Orvis, the famed rod/gun/outfitter, is entirely made up of US-made products. Some are iconic (Schott Peacoat) some are more niche (Stronghold gear, Gitman shirts), some were specially made (Miner's pant). Full disclosure; note that I grew up near Manchester, VT so v familiar w/ Orvis and tangentially know some employees there.

Not going to lie, most of the collection is a little rich for me but have to admire the thinking that has gone into this. Also glad Orvis kept the copy relatively jingo-free. Available in August.

Vintage 1951 Ford F-1. This vintage pickup truck was subjected to a meticulous frameoff restoration resulting in a truck that looks exactly as it did when it rolled off the assembly line nearly 60 years ago. Sheridan blue/gray. Fully restored V-8 engine, solid oak bed boards. $67,500. [this is in the dictionary under don't sleep or maybe lottery]

Whipcord Trousers. Tailored in Greenpoint, New York, these poly/wool whipcord pants [love whipcord] have a forward facing pleated front with an additional interior French-tab closure [not usually a pleats fan but the watch pocket almost negates them here]. Pockets have leather trim [love that -ed.], button-through rear pockets. $298

The Stronghold, one of the original American denim-workwear companies, was founded in 1895 —when The Orvis Company was just 39 years old... The Stronghold® Denim Chore Coat is crafted from sturdy 11.5-oz. herringbone (aka fisher stripe) pure cotton denim; features four front pockets, a pen slot, and one interior pocket. Adjustable cuffs. $445.

Flannel Shirt. Crafted in Fall River, Massachusetts —once home to a thriving garment industry where vacant factories are gradually returning to life. Soft-brushed flannel and casual styling. Spread collar. [have never seen a gingham flannel -ed.] $149

Rising Sun Miner’s Pants. [These might be the most pined for item already; hit the image to see it way bigger. Can't confirm it in b&w but assume RisingSunJeans are behind this]. Crafted in Pasadena, CA using American cotton denim twill, these work pants are given a thoroughly broken-in look. [cue obligatory backstory -ed.] A pair of early 20thC pants found in a California mining camp provided inspiration for traditional details, including front and rear patch pockets, button fly, and adjustable-buckle back. Right-front coin pocket. Denim-lined waistband. Wheat color. $189. #nails.

Oxford-Cloth Tartan Shirt. Made in Ashland, PA by The Gitman Company (1948). Garment washed. Chest pocket. Single-button cuff. [like that navy/white/yellow] $149.

Hill Climber Jacket. Taylor Supply® crafts this heirloom-quality waxed pure cotton jacket. Shawl collar with soft wool lining, four outside pockets, adjustable waist and back straps, button front closure, and adjustable gusseted cuffs. Fully lined. Wool cuff and pocket-flap linings. Runs small. Wipe clean with damp sponge. $495 [this is actually available now]

Monday, July 26

north star glove co.

There are several aged American canvas-work-gloves manufacturers still in existence today (e.g. Galeton, Brookville), but July marked the centennial of Washington state's North Star Glove Company.

North Star produces “cut & sewn” types of canvas and/or leather work gloves in a multitude of patterns and variations. This selection of USA made gloves gets sold predominantly in the western states, Alaska and Canada, and the Southeastern lumber producing states. The family-owned, Tacoma WA-based company manufactured its first pair of gloves on July 9, 1910 and recently celebrated its centennial, quietly. They graciously answered my request for more info and some images; which I have paraphrased below.

The company was founded by Albert Wekell (seen above), a sturdy and adventurous Swede. Wekell arrived in Tacoma from Sweden around 1890 and ventured out to Alaska and the Yukon in the early 1900s Gold Rush. He didn't find his wealth there, however struck it rich by playing cards on the riverboats and steamers with successful miners and ship captains on his return to Seattle.

With that start, young Albert bought some machines and material to start North Star Manufacturing in Tacoma. Serving mostly the logging trade of the area, he would ride the local trolley car to the commercial wilderness out along McKinley Avenue where the logging camps started and sell his gloves to the merchants set up nearby. With that money he would return to town and buy new material to make even more gloves; thus pushing his selling territory out further and further.

Fast forward to 2010; the company remains in the family managed by corporate President Rob Wekell and brother Tom -Albert’s grandnephews. Further reading.

Over the past century, America could count at least a thousand glove manufacturers. Today, according to Rob Wekell, there are now barely a hundred – as small plants have been subsumed by larger companies, or moved offshore where labor and materials were cheaper, or simply closed.

“World War I was the first hit,” said Rob. “In World War II, we didn’t have enough people to work.” In 1944, the company opened a manufacturing plant in Orting and hired local women to sew and assemble gloves. Said Tom, “If you couldn’t make money in the Fifties, you shouldn’t have been in business.”

Thousands of jobs have disappeared in the last 10 years in the Northwest. That includes aluminium, lumber and plywood jobs. “During a recession, we go back to our basic product lines. People go back to the basics.”, Rob says. That means basic products; for example their White Ox brand canvas glove, produced since 1933.

Billed as The most popular glove in the Pacific Northwest The White Ox work glove has been used by loggers and woodsman has known for over 70 years.

  • 100% cotton; fourchette pattern (material sewn between the fingers)
  • Double ply quilted palm equates to construction from 22oz canvas
  • 10 oz. canvas smooth back; knitwrist
  • Fuzzy nap both inside and outside
Why so popular though? Part of the reason is price (around $7 a pair); the intelligently configured cotton affords near leather safety, but for the price of canvas. Some also prefer cotton to leather as they feel it grips better in the wet conditions of the NW. Sidenote: really like the classic stamped-red, simple branding on these and other gloves of their ilk (more). An updated version has a red wrist strap, as below.

Fun fact: Due to various factors, including hiring practices, glove sizes have changed over the past 100 years. Where the U.S. Forest Service once ordered gloves in two sizes – Big and Bigger – the agency now buys seven sizes, including small.

Again, thx to Rob Wekell (and Sherry) for providing text and images.

take engines -vt edition

Take Engines is the cutesy phrase I've been using for 10e's woodsy/preppy posts; a reference to a certain book that has been reissued recently, but you got that right?

Long/short: attended church to celebrate the 80th birthday of a local legend in Peru, VT -the mostly retired JP Kermit Reilly. Woodsy (the term I co-opted above) is his term; meaning "not living in town". If the halfstarved, barefoot kids at the rural 1-room schoolhouse are calling you woodsy, then times must really be tough. He compared his forceps assisted birth in 1930 to pulling a block of ice out of the frozen mill pond. He has a million other pearls like that. Absolute gem of a man.

The church was packed. Sis snapped the above, and a lot going on in the background but just resurrected this muted madras jacket (old Pops number) and it is ftw. The old boy in seersucker ahead had blue/white topsiders down below -fantastic. Others rocked Sunday SOP khakis/oxford etc. Wilbur goes hi/lo with personalized steel buckle. The prelude was "Feed the Birds" and the first hymn was "I'll Fly Away" -cue waterworks...

Rest of the w/e was spent feeding animals, fishing, and a lobster feast to visit w/ Uncle Bob.

The blueberries were picked that morning. Not bad...