Decades before Chinatown, the Pianist, Oscar awards, and unfortunate scandals, Roman Polanski burst onto the global film scene in 1962 with Knife in the Water. The film, which only features three actors, and takes place almost entirely on a boat, became a smash hit, not only in Polanski’s native Poland, but across the world, garnering the first Academy Award nomination for a Polish film. Fifty-plus years later, and it remains not only one of the sexiest movies ever made, but also one of the best dressed. From the opening frame, the film simply oozes style. Read More »
I love Juniper Ridge. Like, almost to the point of obsession. My use of their products is so profuse, that at any given moment, you’re guaranteed to smell at least one of their fragrances wafting through the air in my home, though usually it’s more like two or three. I’ve simply never come across another brand that does what they do as well. The company’s incenses, soaps and room fresheners – all of which are made using sustainable ingredients from in and around the Pacific Northwest – capture the essences of those areas with such accuracy, that they’re basically the next best thing to being there.
Eric Heins, aka Corter Leather, is an easy guy to like. Affable, unassuming, and as down to earth as they come, he’s one of those people you just can’t help rooting for. That he’s also insanely talented doesn’t hurt either. Over the last three years, Heins – a self-taught designer, maker and company owner – has grown his one time bedroom-based business into a full-on, and highly respected, brand. And yet, despite his myriad achievements, he remains just as approachable as he ever was.
Isamu Noguchi was the organic answer to a design movement otherwise defined by pronounced lines and technological advancements. One of mid-century modern’s key figures, Noguchi’s nature-inspired pieces offered a stark contrast to the clean, seemingly mechanized creations of his peers. He began his career as a sculptor in the 1920’s, working with wood, metals, stone and plaster to create beautiful shapes that balanced hard edges with curved forms. In 1947, Noguchi took on another role as a furniture designer for the illustrious Herman Miller company, producing a variety of items including what is now his most recognizable work, the Noguchi table. With so much on his plate, the artist spent most of his days in his studio. Read More »
For over 100 years, Pella has been making outerwear that’s as long-lasting as the company itself. Founded in 1907 in Pella, Iowa, the brand specializes in clothes that take a while to break in; jackets and coveralls that practically stand on their own when they first leave the factory. But, the harder you wear ‘em, and the more hell you put ‘em through, the more amenable they get, until, eventually, they become trusted go-tos. Garments you count on, and care about, and happily return to year after year. Pieces you form a relationship with.
Welcome to the 2012 Well Spent Holiday Gift Guide. Like the 40 Under $40 guide from last year, and the 25 Under $25 guide from the year before that, the following is a collection of goods that are not only affordable and US / first-world made, but also offer some utility, and will last. Hopefully it’ll help you cross a few people off your shopping list. Here’s to a healthy and sane holiday season.
Sir Ian Fleming was the sort of man that James Bond would have come across in the smoke-filled rooms of his stories. It’s easy to imagine Fleming sitting at a bar, dressed to the nines, dragging on a wispy cigarette, while sipping from a martini glass and chatting up his nightly arm candy. It only took Fleming, a former British naval intelligence officer, two months to pen Casino Royale, the first Bond book in 1952. Bond was never meant to be autobiographical, but he was certainly created in Fleming’s image. Spinning his tales of covert missions into full-blown spy thrillers, Fleming reinvented the espionage genre by making 007 as dashing as he was death-defying. And looking at how Fleming carried himself, it’s no wonder where the inspiration for Bond’s attitude and appearance came from. Read More »
Thinking back on this past Saturday’s NorthernGRADE Chicago pop-up, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude to the vendors for participating in it. Gratitude to the bloggers and publications that helped promote it. And, above all, gratitude to every person that came to be a part of it. I’ve always liked NorthernGRADE more than the other menswear events because of how laid back it is. It’s an easy place to strike up a conversation with a stranger, and actually enjoy it. And I think that carried through in Chicago. It seemed like everyone was having a pretty good time. I know I was. A few of the many people and products that made the day what it was are after the jump. Hat tip to Nathan Michael for the photos.
Let’s face it, buying American rarely means buying affordable. Due to our country’s (very necessary) laws and regulations regarding compensation, factory conditions, environmental impact, etc., producing goods here costs more, which means the products do too. Add to that the expense of quality materials and fabrications, and prices can go from high to downright prohibitive. However, there are still bargains out there. Durable items that are made in America by workers paid an equitable wage, but don’t require a bank loan to buy. And now, thanks to the newly launched e-tailer Inland Clothing, those items have never been easier to find.
It’s been over thirty-five years since The Band played their Last Waltz, but their music sounds as relevant today as ever. Levon, Rick, Richard, Garth, and Robbie first came together in Canada as a backing band for established artists in the late fifties. But, it wasn’t until 1965, when the group went on tour with Bob Dylan, that they got the jump start they needed to move into the spotlight. Throughout the late sixties and seventies The Band’s free flowing, folk-meets-rock sound garnered them much critical acclaim, and left an influence that’s still felt today. Read More »