The Shorts of Summer: Old Bull Lee

204 laydown The Shorts of Summer: Old Bull Lee

The last time we told you about Old Bull Lee, we made it clear that their shorts were some of our absolute favorites. Lee is committed to make the best shorts possible and approaches his craft as both an artist and technician. They were perfect.

It turns out he’s not done.

Lee sent along some of his new and improved shorts and we have spent the last month checking them out.  They are a bit shorter and trimmer, but still the built-to-last quality we remember. First, some details on the material and build.

The shorts are made from heavy Duck cloth, which is essentially canvas. Sourced from the finest Japanese mill (he won’t divulge exactly which one), the fabric starts out a bit stiff, but eases into a comfortable, personalized fit.

They are dyed and assembled in America using a wet “vat” process that is softer and longer lasting than dry pigment dying. The pocketing and waistband are made from a soft and smooth poplin and the button fly has been replaced with a zipper. Lastly, the shorts are pre-shrunk using water and dryers only, not chemical shrinkage.

205 laydown The Shorts of Summer: Old Bull LeeAs Lee likes to point out, everyone is trying to sell “your favorite pair of shorts,” but the truth is that it doesn’t work that way. The ones that come, “brand new, but lived in,” have actually been beat into that condition by chemicals. As a result, these pre-lived-in garments often start to disintegrate after a season or two; and not eloquently either.

A real favorite pair shorts has been around for a while. They just sort of know your body; it’s a relationship that takes time to develop. Because the Duck fabric lasts so long, they gave the color a little extra pop so that down the road when they are broken in, the short will still carry those fragile tones with which they started.

In fact, to accurately convey the fabric’s eventual color change, the website’s laydown shots are intentionally dull. Lee said, “it’s not to be misleading, but we feel that we are telling the truth by averaging the color out over it’s lifetime.

This guy lives and breaths shorts. They do pretty cool tees as well, but at it’s heart, Old Bull Lee is trying to turn shorts into a science.

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Paul Stuart Opening in DC, Spring 2015

PS dc store rendering Paul Stuart Opening in DC, Spring 2015
Paul Stuart, the venerable Manhattan-based luxury apparel retailer, announced that it will be opening a new store in Washington, D.C.

Scheduled for early Spring 2015, the new store is set to occupy a prominent location in the heart of the District at the new CityCenterDC project, a 2.5 million square foot neighborhood development enlivened with a vibrant mix of condominiums, apartments, offices, public spaces, hotels, restaurants and shops. The new store will join the Madison Avenue flagship and two outposts in Chicago as the fourth destination for the company within the U.S. market.

CapitolNightjackmcguire Paul Stuart Opening in DC, Spring 2015The fact that such a storied menswear brand is setting up shop in DC – and a good sized shop at that – speaks to the ongoing emergence of the nation’s capital as a strong menswear and luxury goods market that appreciates quality, craftsmanship, and history.

The nearly 10,000 square foot store is being designed by Charles Sparks + Company, which created both Paul Stuart locations in Chicago. The firm boasts a client list that includes Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, the MOMA Design Store and The Art Institute of Chicago.

The new space will be executed in a clean, contemporary vernacular with an abundance of open space, glass, bronze, marble and zebrano wood.

Paul Stuart has long considered Washington, D.C. a logical location for expansion. According to President and CEO, Michael Ostrove, “D.C. makes perfect sense for us; it is a city that values style, refinement, and sophistication over the constantly shifting vagaries of fashion. We believe that our unique and definitive approach to Anglo-American menswear—and the fact that we value quality and substance in every aspect of our business—will be particularly well received in the District.”

new york style paul stuart custom 1 Paul Stuart Opening in DC, Spring 2015The primary focus of Paul Stuart’s product mix in the new store will encompass the company’s long-standing affinity for classic British-inspired fabrics and silhouettes—but viewed through a decidedly Paul Stuart prism.

Located just east of the White House (on the 10-acre footprint of Washington, D.C.’s former convention center), and close to the region’s best cultural destinations, two of the city’s busiest Metro stations and the new Convention Center, the location stands to become the undisputed centerpiece of Downtown D.C.

In addition to Paul Stuart, the center will be home to a virtual ‘who’s who’ of leading luxury brands.

For additional information please visit paulstuart.com/dc.

 

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Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence

President Obama Frank Clegg Bag Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence
Today, we are excited to announce that master leather craftsman Frank Clegg has launched a completely new website.  With a clean new look that highlights his exceptional collection of handcrafted leather goods, Frank’s new site is a study in focus and clarity.

Frank Clegg has been in the luxury goods business for more than 40 years and makes some of the best leather travel bags, briefcases, and classic totes, and accessories on the market.  While Frank and his small team of craftsmen design and build elegant leather goods under the Frank Clegg name, the workshop also produces outstanding products for some of the most revered of American luxury labels.

Frank is an artist of the old school; he learned craft over time and understands that when true luxury is involved, less is definitely more.  What makes Frank particularly unique is that he is both a designer and a craftsman.  Everything sold by Frank Clegg was designed by him and made in-house.

Black Ziptop Frank Clegg Frank Clegg Launches New Web PresenceIn fact, he is held in such high esteem that when the White House went looking for a made-in-America personal briefcase for President Obama, they turned to Frank.  That Zip-Top Briefcase next to the Resolute Desk in the photo above, Frank made that himself.

You only need to examine a Frank Clegg product to know that he doesn’t just make leather bags; he crafts heirlooms, one at a time, by hand.  Luxury leather work is a deceivingly complex craft. Even the modern conveniences of machines and computerized design must bow to the master of time, because it still takes time to create such durable beauty.

Indeed, Frank may practice an age-old craft, but this creative innovator is very much on the pulse of today’s luxury goods market.

To that end, the new website also showcases a few new bags, including the moderne Diablo Briefcase and a Suede Shield Duffle Bag that is part of his collection with designer Michael Bastain, both below:

Frank Clegg Diablo Briefcase Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence

Frank Clegg Michael Bastian Suede Duffle Frank Clegg Launches New Web Presence

 

James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

Jame Prosek Bonneville Trout James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

James Prosek first gained notoriety back in 1996, when, as 19 year-old student at Yale University, he published Trout: An Illustrated History. Prosek’s ability to bring vibrancy and life to his watercolors, and his obsession with contextual and anatomical accuracy, won him quick comparisons to famed naturalist John James Audubon.  These accolades were no lighthearted atta-boys; Prosek was rightly identified as a truly gifted artist whose deeply felt connection with nature was both genuine and finely-tuned.

James Prosek in his Studio James Prosek: The Audubon of FishA Connective native, in many ways, he embodies the East Coast Ivy League ethos of intellectual meaningfulness.  James Prosek took a love of fly fishing, art, nature, history, and environmental awareness and created both a career and a movement that has influenced and motivated others.  His art is already included in the permanent collections of several museums.  And Prosek’s work is sought after by many a prep, complete with wall space in a suitable wood paneled, leather sofa-ed study-cum-office.

In the intervening years since his Ivy League days, Prosek has been a busy and prolific young man.

In 2003, he won a Peabody Award for his documentary on 17th-century author and angler Izzal Walton and his seminal book The Complete Angler, well-known to any fan of fishing.  In addition to the publication of several more books,  Prosek remains an accomplished artist, author, and naturalist.  He is a fellow of the Vermont Studio Center, and a visiting artist for the Yale Summer School of Art.  Prosek is also a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale (where I spent many a grade school field trip), and a member of the board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

Along with Patagonia co-founder, Yvon Chouinard, he also co-founded World Trout, an initiative that supports individuals and groups who protect native cold water fish and their habitats.  And, at a mere 38 years old, Prosek still has a long way to go.

 

James Prosek Brown Trout James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

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James Prosek Brown Trout on Line James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

Elizabethan Club of Yale James Prosek James Prosek: The Audubon of Fish

 

Ignatious Joseph’s 2014

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Ignatious Joseph, while the consummate gentleman, is not at all a subtle man.  The designer, known for his colorful, elegant, and distinctive style of dress, particularly his ubiquitous red shoes, makes some of the finest dress shirts available.  As we enter 2014, he is also poised to introduce an expanded line of custom clothing founded on his own signature style.

His shirting, based on those from the 1930s, when the soft collar first swept through the menswear world, is coveted by bankers and traders from London to New York, Milan to Brussels.  Up until now, shirts, and only shirts, were what he made; that signature soft collar and vibrant color schemes being brand’s calling cards.

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Now, his look, truly unique and elegant in its individuality, can be yours.  You can contact him directly to learn more, but the expanding Ignatious Joseph collection now includes suiting, ties, cufflinks, and even grooming products.

And, unlike other designers whose products are of exceptional quality yet are nonetheless somewhat interchangeable, these garments and furnishings bear the characteristic hallmarks of Mr. Joseph’s personality.  Jackets with broad lapel, roped shoulder, and single button closure and sharply tapered trousers with no break and a deep, emphatic cuff.

Cufflinks 8 1 300x200 Ignatious Josephs 2014His idiosyncratic cufflinks are beautifully crafted and the ties are handmade seven-fold and constructed from a single piece of flawless silk.

And, of course, there are the shirts.  The philosophy behind his shirts is simple: they are luxury shirts for everyday wear; or to put it another way, a modern sense of spirit derived from traditional craftsmanship. Ignatious Joseph shirts are what might be called semi-handmade and there is a reason for that.  The bodies are constructed to an obsessive level of detail using modern sewing machinery – efficient and replicable perfection.  However, the collars are constructed each by hand entirely as no machine is capable of the detail and complexity.

The decision of what to do by hand and what to do by machine must be taken with a view to the product as a whole, and based on the skill and experience of the master shirt maker.  It’s a blend of economics and craft.

IngJoseph Sartorialist 682x1024 Ignatious Josephs 2014If Ignatious seems somehow familiar to you, it is likely because his distinctive countenance is often captured among the world’s leading style makers.

In fact, this photograph, taken by Scott Schumann, a.k.a. “The Sartorialist,” was included in Schumann’s first book.  Resplendent in a bowler hat, elegantly bundled scarf, tailored overcoat and those famous red shoes from his Viennese shoemaker, Mr. Joseph is in his natural element.

On the subject of those famous red shoes he says, “I like red shoes and have many pair, and after a while they became my calling card – it’s how people remember me. ‘Oh, you are the gentleman with the red shoes!’”

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