Clothes

good advice

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do one thing well

Whilst perusing the Comm Arts “webpick of the day” page (in order to keep tabs on the competition, graphic design-wise, you understand) I noticed a little site for a little company called Hiut Denim. Naturally, because the site was so prettily made, I poked around. And the more I poked around, the more I fell in deep admiration of the company, its founders and its mission. As if it’s not enough to say “We’d like to make the best jeans in the world, with the best textiles.” Instead, why not, as your company mission, declare, “Let’s make the best jeans in the world, and revive a dead industry in our town of 4,000.”  From their site:

Cardigan is a small town of 4,000 good people. 400 of them used to make jeans. They made 35,000 pairs a week. For three decades. Then one day the factory closed. It left town. But all that skill and knowhow remained. Without any way of showing the world what they could do. That’s why we have started The Hiut Denim Company. To bring manufacturing back home. To use all that skill on our doorstep. And to breathe new life into our town.As one of the Grand Masters said to me when I was interviewing: “This is what I know how to do. This is what I do best.” I just sat there thinking I have to make this work. So yes, our town is going to make jeans again. Here goes.

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Grand Master Elin

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Elation. The perfect confluence of care about the community, care about the product and care for the consumer. I feel respected because these people, who make these jeans, want to provide me with a product that won’t fall apart, is classic enough that I can wear it over time and supports the very people whose skill make the product possible.

Hey, guys at Hiut Denim. I’m rooting for you.

scarves — a perennial obsession; pt. 1

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Because I live in the Bay Area, I am allowed to indulge in my passion for scarves.  I’ve discovered two new purveyors of my favorite accessory recently, and both compelling for very different reasons.

The first of these finds are the asburdly soft scarves by Fibre Tibet.  Apart from using top-notch cashmere (yes, it’s Grade A; yes, it’s organic and undyed), Fibre Tibet keeps the manufacturing local in Kathmandu, Nepal. Alberto Zanone ensures a beautiful — and compassionate — product is the result. Monica Garry, the founder of Fibre Tibet isn’t just interested in sustainable fashion, however. She’s been actively involved in supporting and growing local Tibetan economies since 199 via her not-for-profit The Bridge Fund, and has mobilized over $30,000,000 in its service during that time.

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As far as luxury goes, this pulls all the threads together nicely: beautifully crafted and kind to both the consumer and the producer.

Countess Markievicz, 19th century Irish revolutionary, dispensing eternally relevant fashion advice

dresssuitably

ulyana

Less than 2 years ago, I stumbled upon the work of Ulyana Sergeenko on Pinterest. I hadn’t seen anything quite like it. Definitely Russian, yes, and playful, sexy and prim all at once. A defiantly aristocratic approach to dressing. Makes me want to grab the first flight to St. Petersberg and run around the Hermitage a la Sokurov’s Russian Ark.

Ulyana herself cuts a dashing, high-society figure.

fash-n-chips.com Ulyana Sergeenko #PFW

Some images from her debut collection:

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And some from her latest S/S 2013 collection.

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While I don’t manage to ever pull off this extreme femininity, I do aspire, at times, to it.

the equestrienne

I came to horses more or less as an adult. Two things conspired to get me in the saddle. The first was a familial purchase of a small ranch in Colorado that could house a large number of quarter horses. The second was an unexpected four-year stop in Kentucky…Lexington to be precise. Thoroughbred horse ground zero. Different styles of riding, to be sure, but both left me with a strong love of the smell of hay and the joy of trying to be with a horse. There is a certain restraint and mindfulness required to get an animal as large and sensitive as a horse to have a conversation with you. It’s humbling and exhilirating…and while I don’t do it nearly enough anymore, I still appreciate the skill required to work with a horse.

I also developed a strong attachment to equestrian style. It makes perfect functional sense in the context of trying to coax a thoroughbred over a fence, but it also, frankly, just looks great.

Some of my favorite images that I’ve uncovered via Pinterest:

19th century equestrienne

 

so elegant

 

audrey on horseback

 

true riding

 

 

And some lovely equestrian-inspired things to add to the closet:

 

the most beautiful cognac boot

 

so chic, and at Matches, London.

saddle bag by Cuyana.com

 

My friend Brian Clamp, proprietor at Clamp Art has a new show up illustrating the beauty of the equine form. It’s most certainly worth checking out if you happen to be in New York City!

Jill Greenberg, Horses, Romero 1177

the white shirt

I have always believed there are some Platonic ideals in the world of fashion: jeans, perfectly tailored black pants, the fisherman’s sweater that makes one look adorably cute and petite and sexy, and not as if one is carrying an extra 20 pounds. Another, I must confess, is the perfect white shirt. They are tricky devils, these white shirts. They can’t be synthetic (good grief, no!) as they will make you sweat to the nth degree. They can’t be too structured, lest you look like the matriarch at a wedding. They must have enough substance, however, to allow one to wear it without feeling as if one is about to reveal the darkest secrets of the lingerie drawer to the world.

But it’s a worthwhile search. The perfect white search gives the face a bright lift, removes years, and has a modern|classic look that is almost impossible to refute. Think Audrey in Funny Face. Think Sharon Stone at the Oscars. Think Charlotte Gainsbourg just being herself.

That said, one knows it will be a heartbreaking relationship. We all know that the most tragic aspect of the white shirt is its inevitable and quick demise. They get dirty, and, well, to not put too fine a point on it, sweat in. And then, frankly, they’re unwearable. So owning the perfect white shirt is always, at best, a very short term victory. It’s ephemeral. A moment in the sun. Because it’s pristine-ness, it’s cleanliness, it very whiteness ensures the brevity of its stay in your closet. And so the search is ever on.