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Elevating Down to Art: Crescent Down Works at Capsule New York

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Elevating Down to Art: Crescent Down Works at Capsule New York
Words by Ben P.

Crescent Down Works doesn’t have seasons like most brands at Capsule – instead, each season they offer various set styles (vests, bomber jackets, down jackets) with a changing lineup of possible fabric and lining options. In a sense, their presence at the tradeshow was just a convenient way for stores to place orders: you get to see some samples in person, and some great visual options of possible fabric and style options, although there are literally hundreds of possible, made-to-order options. Bearing this in mind, I approached the booth differently than other brands.

I’ve always been a fan of Crescent Down Works, ever since I first heard about the brand in 2008 when South Willard first started carrying their vests. Until then most of their pieces, despite being entirely manufactured in the United States by a small team of sewers and stuffers, were exported to Japan and sold to the voracious Japanese workwear market. From the start, I was impressed by the obvious quality: from high stitching counts to excellent fabric options, and, perhaps best of all, traditional leather backed buttons that look absolutely bulletproof.

Seeing the products in person, though, is an entirely different story. CDW outwear is weighty. Manufactured in the tradition off classic Northwest mountaineering brands, the vests are designed to stand up to bitter rain and subzero temperatures, and it shows in their construction. It reminds me of high-end restaurant reviews I’ve read. Reviewers often describe mouth-feel when grading, say, a ten-course tasting menu, and here I almost feel ‘fabric-feel’ is the appropriate way to really appreciate the exceptional clothing CDW produces.

I was especially drawn to their shirt jackets and down sweaters, here sampled in several heavyweight tweeds and indigo dyed nylons. Don’t let the names fool you: these “sweaters” and “shirt jackets” are warmer than most parkas I’ve seen, and look straight out of an expedition setting out to climb Mt. Rainier. For those in more temperate climates, CDW offers a traditional 60/40 parka, with both wool-lined and nylon-lined options. I also enjoyed their child-sized jackets, although I don’t know if I’d be able to spend that much on a piece of clothing that would be outgrown in a matter of months.

At the end of the day, though, CDW’s clothes aren’t especially exciting or, to be entirely fair, terribly original. Where the brand does excel, though, is elevating these classic styles to an art. You can buy vests that look similar to what CDW offers at dozens or different stores, but those vests lack something essential that CDW captures so effortlessly.


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Edited by Teger - 5/7/14 at 6:00am
post #2 of 50
short and sweet, good feature ben

what fabric is the vest with purple liner and the one below it?
post #3 of 50
Info on the varsity looking thing, I have never seen that model before.
post #4 of 50
That leaf-green green wool-lined 60/40 is pretty sweet. I don't really care for that style but with the right fabric it works.

CDW is just about the last company to make top-quailty (i.e. something you'd take out in the field) down vests/shirt jacs. Eddie Bauer/REI/EMS/LLB etc. stopped around the late 70s/early 80s.
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jet View Post

short and sweet, good feature ben

what fabric is the vest with purple liner and the one below it?

I have their line sheets and can check when I get home. IIRC they're both Italian wools though - the purple lined vest is an indigo dyed wool, the other is a black.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Find Finn View Post

Info on the varsity looking thing, I have never seen that model before.

It's a bomber jacket. Fits very big. I'm a 40 and I fit a small.
post #6 of 50

where can you find those tweed sweater jackets?

post #7 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusticchasm View Post

where can you find those tweed sweater jackets?

CDW basically operates like a MTO business. Most of their clients are stores who will choose fabric and style options, and CDW will produce a run for them. They do take individual orders, but attach a significant upcharge. Your best bet is to hope that a store placed an order for a similar looking shirt jacket for F/W 14.
post #8 of 50

I'm sorta hoping to do a Styleforummarket group buy.  Offer them to the community at a very reasonably price (i.e. we will not charge you as though we are a high end mens boutique.

 

You guys interested?  I'm thinking of doing one with a little less fill (so that they can be worn without you breaking into a continuous sweat if you don't live in Nunvut).  I was thinking that a nice herringbone tweed might be cool for this coming winter.  What say you all?

 

Cheers,

 

Fok.

post #9 of 50
Absolutely interested in a vest. Something like that blue tweed that SW had.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

I was thinking that a nice herringbone tweed might be cool for this coming winter.  What say you all?

Union made had a grey herringbone last winter, personally I really like that copper tweed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusticchasm View Post

where can you find those tweed sweater jackets?

Union made, the bureau etc. had some special make ups this winter, I believe bureau still have some grey ones.
post #11 of 50

i would be in for a group buy pending the price point and design

post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusticchasm View Post

i would be in for a group buy pending the price point and design

You realize that you just asked me to maximize the selling price, right?
post #13 of 50
I'd be interested.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

I was thinking that a nice herringbone tweed might be cool for this coming winter.  What say you all?

Yes Yes Yes. The brown herringbone in the first photo please?
post #15 of 50
I also might be interested....
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