As a nice mid-week diversion, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to discover that the brothers Ovadia had updated their website to include their Spring 2013 offerings. The collection was enough to temporarily soothe the insatiable appetite of the menswear masses, expectedly full of unexpected gems across the board including this indigo seersucker suit, this hand-dyed oxford, and this vintage inspired combat jacket. Although, if you ask me, the real treasure of this latest collection from Ovadia & Sons lies in the shoe department, which is quickly becoming what I would deem to be the most exciting area of Ariel and Shimon’s portfolio.
Nearing the end of Serpico there’s a scene where the title character, played by Al Pacino, arrives at a park to confront the rest of his precinct, up the hill comes Serpico and all handful or so men in front of him all rise to meet him. The intensity of this scene is palpable, the blistering heat of summer in New York City matched only by the unwavering stares of Serpico’s colleagues. Right in the middle of it all, is the man himself, wearing a pulled down hat that’s closest relative would have to be a lampshade (a common motif throughout the film), a billowy tunic, a beard that could looks ripped from an Appalachian mugshot, and a soft but stoic expression. Serpico looks to be the anti-cop, and yet he’s simultaneously of far greater worth than the other badged men that stand before him. Serpico’s appearance runs parallel to the films storyline, pitting him as the sole undercover officer willing to go as far as his job necessitates. His style is an amalgam of his Italian upbringing, his military tenure, his Greenwich Village residence, and the badge that’s stowed in his pocket. As the scenes shift, so does Serpico’s attire, flowing between undercover costumes (including a blood stained butcher’s apron, and the full regalia of an orthodox Jew), a Navy issue peacoat and watch cap, and a campus ready polo shirt and matching coaches jacket. Beneath all those layers was just a man who knew he was doing the right thing, and so outwardly, no one could pull off a disguise like Serpico.
Growing up, as I remember it, my parents had these matching belts from Singapore, or maybe Spain, or maybe it was even Argentina. As you can tell, I can’t recall the specifics all that well, but I do remember as a kid that I’d look up and see that multi-colored motif of mother’s beaded belt staring down at me. That was the memory that came back to me this past week, as I opened up a package from La Matera, a Brooklyn based accessories start up, and saw the green and gold pattern of their Bariloche belt.
I finally got my film processed from New York Fashion Week, so here are my photos from the inside last week.
This post could be summed up with one simple sentence – go buy Michael Hainey’s new book “After Visiting Friends.” There’s your Cliff Notes, I just saved you reading my next couple hundred words by giving you a few hundred pages to read. But in all sincerity, read this post (I’m not crazy enough to drive away my audience just yet), then go buy the book, it’s an incredible story, and the prose is exactly what you’d expect from someone as talented as Michael. For now though, at risk of giving too much away, I’m going to leave the book for you all to discover on your own and shift focus towards Hainey and his houndstooth jacket.
In the wake of Fashion Week, these past few days have been marked by a significant amount of chatter across the internet on the state of the feeding frenzy that is street style, including two somewhat opposing yet equally as convincing pieces from Suzy Menkes and Leandra Medine. While the debate rages on as to whether or not we’re heading towards a full blown, three ring circus of bloggers perpetually out doing each other in gratis garb for the sake of a supposedly organic image, I thought it necessary to shed some light on a man who embraced the absurdism of literal style on the streets over a century ago – Leslie Ward, better known as “Spy.”
Like overindulging at the Thanksgiving dinner table and slipping comfortably into a two day food coma, in the wake of Fashion Week here in the city I feel stricken with a serious case of clothing fatigue. For the past few days it’s been much of the same – same shirt, same sweater, same pants, same jacket, same shoes. It’s not that everything I saw this week was that great, it’s just that it was at least something and after a while that many little things add up until it’s tough to determine where the good ends and the bad begins. I saw blackwatch parkas, corduroy robes, exploded houndstooth, velvet moto jackets, and flecked cable knits and when you add all that (and far more not worth writing about) together it’s a lot easier to just turn your brain off then try to make sense where there just might not be any.
There’s certain holidays that just seem to necessitate an excess of articles on how they relate to men’s style - Independence Day, Christmas, Inauguration Day, Veteran’s Day, Winter Solstice, the list goes on and on. And then there’s Valentine’s Day. Sure, I could sit here and give you all my incredibly last minute gift guide on what you can can buy your girlfriend from the bodega around the corner, or I could opine on my current “love affair” with Prince of Wales check suits, but when it comes to February 14th, the only fair reference I can make is to one little pocket square.
I’ve come to realize, over the past year or so, that all “premium” (read: expensive) cable channels adhere to this cyclical schedule wherein each month they pick a handful of new releases and proceed to air them to absolute death. While normally only one of this films is watching, (if that) fortunately for me, February’s crop includes one of my favorite movies of the past year or so – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
So with this past week being one of the most hectic of the year I’ve found myself coming home at all hours of the night and tuning into David Fincher’s 2011 adaptation of the first installation of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series, which has led me to two conclusions – one this is a terrible movie to fall asleep to and two Daniel Craig’s character has the most enviable shawl collar cardigan collection I’ve ever seen.
At this point, thanks to tumblr, Twitter, Google Reader, and Instagram (if you think I left anything out there, well then god help us all) I’d venture to guess that on any given day I must flip through nearly a thousand photos, which is a revelation that’s simultaneously awesome and horrifying. Of these photos though, probably only ten or so will end up striking enough of chord that I remember them the next day, and from there, probably only one will ever have a lasting enough impact to inspire some idea in my head, but sometimes that’s all it takes. As the weather turned a couple months ago, one image in particular jumped back to the top of my mental queue: this shot by the Sartorialist from just over two years ago now. Published during Scott Schuman’s prime of producing images that were actually informing the budding menswear community, you could take any part of this outfit and make a case for why it’s inspiring, but for me this shot remains all important for one reason – the jacket.