By Pete Anderson
Photos by Albert Thomas
We weren't able to go as in-depth as we would have liked with every line we saw in New York. Some we liked but just weren't feeling on that particular day, others haven't had the time or inclination to answer a million niggling styleforum-type questions. So for these four lines, we don't have full-on features, just briefs on what's new for fall/winter 2010. Let's face it, these posts are like Playboy--you're just flipping to the pictures anyway.
CREEP by Hiroshi Awai is a line that's maturing quickly. Awai's distribution is widening and his unfussy designs should find a receptive audience in people looking for a next thing that's neither heritage nor goth. Kudos to CREEP for generally taking a step outside. CREEP's cuts are slim, sure. But the silhouettes are not found widely outside of Awai's line. Probably the coolest part of CREEP's display was the lookbook, which was available on a credit-card-sized disk with a USB plug. Not only is that handy marketing, but the styling of the lookbook was more appealing than clothes on a rolling rack.
Let's worry less about wearability and bask in the fact that Hiroshi Awai has made us a union suit with a button down collar.
A blazer in a large weave fabric--you can sense the winds of sartorial change in the low notch on the collar.
Gray wool duffle
Surprise! I liked a plaid shirt. Awai told me that the wrinkle effect is achieved by sewing more fabric on the front than on the back, then pressing in the creases.
Like a Filson coat for the art school kids.
Hiroshi explains something to me. Maybe pleated pants. The suit he was wearing, in a vaguely floral print, treated cotton, is part of the line and was the most awesomest thing on his racks.
Temple Bag Company
The salvage process Steve Dubbeldam described to me as an early step in building bags for Temple seemed like a styleforum thrifter's dream. "It's crawling through a warehouse in LA with a headlamp on." Their ongoing treasure hunt has been fruitful--they've collected dozens of pieces of World War II, Army issue surplus that they've salvaged and transformed into durable modern bags with authenticity sewn in. Steve showed me a patch job on one weekend duffle bag. A sewer had expertly repaired a small hole with a small patch and zig zag stitching. "That's original. That's from the guy who owned it. That's not us."
As an avid thrifter, army/navy store shopper (I. Goldberg represent), and general eBay hound I admire Steve's tenacity in going straight to the source. I'm also amazed at the consistency of what they've put together. The salvage-cloth bags (they also offer the same models in new, black waxwear cloth) are not at all an Etsy-level craft job--they have clean lines and solid hardware. That may be due to Steve's experience in the clothing industry--Temple Bags is only his latest project. Iron Army was one of the first wave of raw denim, and was selling at Fred Segal Trend back in 2006 (that's a long time in clothing chronology).
Temple also offers the same styles in black waxwear, which are a durable, alternative to the jet-black designs of more ubiquitous brands like Tumi.
We're trying to get a Q+A together with the Temple guys, so stay tuned.
The Steves of Temple Bags were both outfitted in sincere-ass militaria.
Army green is the theme when salvage is the source.
The prints aren't new--they were already on the original fabrics.
The black bags are all bidness.
Some vintage wool fabrics are used too. What we didn't snap a picture of is Steve's own bag, which was a Temple shape but appeared to be made out of an old Bean Norwegian sweater.
We saw Universal Works at the Peregrine Showroom, which also works with Oliver Spencer. That makes a lot of sense. A newer line than most--founded in 2008--Universal Works fills the space somewhere between Spencer's Britishness and more work-oriented lines like Engineered Garments, complementing a strong British scene with other brands like MHL Margaret Howell, Heritage Research, and Albam. The fall/winter line features some of the same cuts they've done for the last couple of seasons--baker jackets, work sweater/jackets--and name fabrics from Millerain and Harris Tweed, with tres country details like leather-covered buttons and quilting on vests. Tones overall were quiet--khakis, washed blues, olives, with some reds popping.
This jacket was my favorite piece--water resistant fabric on the shoulders/sleeves, and a subtly colorful olive toned tweed in the body.
Plaid shirt with coordinating mismatched pocket.
A suprisingly quiet buffalo plaid on this slim quilted jacket.
A similar subtlety keeps this busy fair isle print wearable.
This fabric was used both in the shirt and a quilted vest.
Leather buttons and waxed cotton seem to be addictive for British lines.
A baker jacket--an unstructured blazer with a shirt-style collar--in comfortable knit cotton.
A quilted vest with a different, Barbour-esque style.
Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen
Formerly Shades of Greige, Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen (I'll resist the urge to call it SoGbMC) had one of the largest collections at (capsule). Sportcoats, sweaters, leather(ette) jackets--Shades of Grey had racks upon racks. It's notable that the re-introduction of the line features Micah's name, because the dude was also one of the nicest we met at the shows. Disarmingly open, helpful, excited to be talking about his line, etc. As before, Shades of Grey's designs are less groundbreaking than they are accessible and well-cut. For many of us, style is not about the hunt for the grail or completing a collection; it's about buying seasonal pieces that look sharp and worrying less about the provenance of every stitch and more about how you look when you're out hustlin.
Taking cues from all sorts of influences, Shades of Grey can outfit the most eclectic dresser, and do it at a reasonable cost. You could wear a double breasted plaid suit to your semi-creative day gig then change into a burgundy moto jacket with a knit collar and skinny jeans before happy hour.
Double-breasted (DB) for non-douchebags (db). Maybe wear with desert boots (Db)?
"Hrm, this looks nice. Albert, try this on."
"Let me help you with that." (that would be Micah)
Et voila! This photo narrative brought to you by Pete, courtesy Albert's camera.
It's a varsity, it's a blazer--it's both.
Quilting, work style pockets--Shades of Gray has every men's clothing theme covered cold.