Loose Ends 2.27.09

Five things we learned today

- Not only does he have great taste in suits and women, Nicolas Sarkozy is apparently something of a closet hipster—he was using MGMT songs during his campaign. Unfortunately, he was doing so without permission, and now the band is demanding compensation.
- Closer to home, our friends at Jean Shop have just opened an e-commerce site.
- As part of his ongoing quest to uncover every great American clothing brand, Michael Williams points us toward New Jersey's Individualized, makers of some excellent-looking button-downs.
- Coming next month to Geneva: the Ferrari 599XX (pictured). Don't get out your wallet just yet, though—models will only be available to longtime Ferrari owners. (Another case of the rich getting richer, we guess.)
- And finally, the Coen brothers have made an anti-clean-coal ad for a new environmental coalition. Hardly their best work, but it's still better than Intolerable Cruelty. Watch below:

Photo: Courtesy of Ferrari

How to smell Fantastic

Fantastic Man has always taken a holistic approach to men's style, so it's little surprise that founders and editors Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom are now addressing their readership's scent. (This is a duo that published a fashion editorial on the breath check, after all.) In collaboration with Ben Gorham of Byredo, they're launching the first Fantastic Man eau de cologne at Colette on March 9. "The initial idea was to create a classic cologne with a very modern feel," Gorham told us of the fragrance, which mingles bergamot with incense, lavender, and patchouli. Up next: a candle collaboration with Acne, to be released next month. Are more Byredo partnerships in the works? Hopefully, Gorham says. We hope so, too—just as long as he passes on crafting an olfactory experience for Gert and Jop's other magazine.
Price TBA, Fantastic Man eau de cologne, available March 9 at Colette, 213 rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, 011-33-1-55-35-33-90, colette.fr, and in a few weeks, exclusively at Barneys New York, barneys.com

Photo: Colette
Tags: Grooming, Media

It takes two to Mango

Arriving in stores this weekend: Adam for HE, a new collaboration between Adam Lippes and Mango, the popular Spain-based retailer. As with the designer's own line, the focus is on basics, from airy, lightweight striped knits to cotton woven suiting. The collection's close silhouettes—think shorter shorts and shirts with high armholes—also seem culled from the ADAM by Adam Lippes playbook. One thing that isn't, however, is the price: Everything in the limited-edition range goes for less than $200.

Photo: Courtesy of Mango
Tags: Fashion

By George

"My clothes have no tricks, no bells, no whistles," says designer George McCracken of his one-year-old eponymous label. "It's bad when clothes get too tricky." He started with khakis, jeans, and T-shirts, but this fall, McCracken is expanding into suiting. Like his jeans (coming soon in a covetable greenish putty color), the suits sport no obvious signature design flourishes—even the pick stitching is only on the inside. Instead, the lapel's a little wide, the break's a little low, and the body is slim but not skinny—in short, uncommonly wearable. The new offerings also include a waxed-cotton parka, a Loro Piana Storm System blazer, and clean button-front shirts, all available from Scoop and McCracken's former employer, Bergdorf Goodman. But don't let the modest aesthetic fool you—McCracken is ambitious. "Eventually, I want this to be like old Helmut, old Jil Sander," he says.

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Tags: Fashion

More James than Elizabeth

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen have famously turned their focus to fashion, creating the upmarket-minimal The Row (named for Savile, though the tailors there might not quite see the resemblance), and the more casual Elizabeth and James. To date, the latter has focused on womenswear for the imagined "Elizabeth," an uptown girl who isn't averse to borrowing some downtown style, but now "James," her downtown artist paramour, is getting a wardrobe, too. His closet, it turns out, is true to the below-14th Street mold—full of slouchy, pleated flannel trousers (styled into today's requisite open boots), easy cardigans and Henleys, and even suiting (for, we assume, the occasionally mandated gallery opening). That's not to say that James doesn't make it uptown now and then: The men's line will debut at Barneys New York later this year. (According to a WWD report, the label is also in talks with Odin, but nothing could be confirmed at press time.)
Seattle sweater, $495; St. Denis tee, $195; washed flannel Hudson pants, $265

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth and James
Tags: Fashion

E. Tautz Fall/Winter '09

Earlier this week, London fashion week's afternoon devoted to menswear gave us a foretaste of tomorrow, but the day actually ended with a long, loving look at yesterday. It came courtesy of Patrick Grant, the bearded young gent (below) who has resuscitated the old tailoring business E. Tautz. Grant is the driving force behind Savile Row's Norton & Sons, which absorbed the original Tautz business back in the sixties, but he feels the time is right to push it out on its own again. Why? "Because it's authentically English and beautifully made," he says. But isn't just about everything on Savile Row? Well, it's especially true for Tautz. All materials are from the U.K. (except the calf, which comes from the same tannery Hermès uses), and they're the kind that will look best when your grandson or godson gets his hands on them. Sweaters are in Shetland wool, rather than a less manly cashmere; ties are knit, rather than silk. Heritage obsessives will be thrilled by the haute Hollywood clientele (Cary Grant, of course); the holy relics like Winston Churchill's first order, framed on the place's wall ("1 pr dress pants with gold lace"?); and the photos of the Duke of Windsor all Tautz-ed up and ready to rock. Those were the days, weren't they?

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Tags: Fashion

Datebook: 2.27.09

Five things worth knowing today

- Peat and smoke lovers flock to London for Whisky Live, one of the U.K.'s most prestigious tasting events, featuring distiller-led master classes, food-and-whisky pairings, and a charity auction. Drinking and bidding—perhaps not the best combination for your wallet, but certainly as good as it gets for charity.
- Meanwhile, clearer-headed connoisseurs can head to New York's art fair for drawings, prints, and more from Old Master to contemporary.
- Mike Watt, Lee Ranaldo, and Raymond Pettibon's band The NicheMakers (side note: Raymond Pettibon has a band) play L.A.'s Spaceland in celebration of Robert Berman Gallery's Rock Paper Scissors, a show of hybrid music-and-art works by Daniel Johnston, Pettibon himself, and Sonic Youth's Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, and Thurston Moore.
- Today in 1986, the U.S. Senate approved telecasts of its debates. The coincident milestone: Today in 1986, senators resumed the long-discarded practice of wearing pants to their debates.
- And today in 1902, novelist John Steinbeck was born. Sure, he may have been more interested in social justice than sartorial choices, but in our current age of workwear fixation, who looks more modern than he does? Below, a clip from The Grapes of Wrath—let's hope the only way we'll be reliving those times is via celluloid.

Tags: Datebook

Loose Ends 2.26.09

Five things we learned today

- The Times devoted 1,000 words this morning to men wearing pants that fit. Slow news day, we guess.
- In news you can actually use, Gizmodo delves into why your camera's lens is the most important factor in taking great photos.
- Next month's J.Crew menswear catalog will have an "America the Beautiful" theme. Translation: lots of shots along Route 66. (No complaints here.)
- Jerry Seinfeld is returning to television with (what else?) a reality show. NBC's The Marriage Ref, air date TBA, "will feature opinionated celebrities, comedians, and sports stars offering commentary and advice to real-life couples enduring 'classic marital disputes.' " Gulp.
- And finally, Fox has ordered two more seasons of The Simpsons, thus guaranteeing it will pass Gunsmoke as the longest-running prime-time show in U.S. history. Sure, the country's favorite cartoon has been less funny in recent years, but it can still elicit a chuckle, and the animation remains top-notch. Below, a vintage clip from one of the best-ever episodes, "Lisa the Vegetarian":


New photos of a hot topless model

The lads at GQ U.K. (fresh off their site's full redesign) have posted some early pics of Aston Martin's new convertible, the DBS Volante, which premieres next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The name means "moving with light rapidity," and evidently the designers took that term literally: The V12-powered coupe tops out at 191 miles an hour, and goes from 0 to 60 in just 4.3 seconds. (Well, not too literally—it's actually about 200 pounds heavier than the hardtop original.) There's also a 13-speaker sound system from Bang & Olufsen, which comes standard. Whether you test it by blasting the Bond theme is up to you.
Price TBD, astonmartin.com

Photo: Courtesy of Aston Martin
Tags: Cars

Stuff We Like: The Four Corners hat


Hats are having what they call a moment. I credit—some might say blame—Alexander McQueen, who topped the terrific Victorian bruiser looks in his Fall 2009 menswear collection in Milan with a terrific Victorian bruiser's take on a homburg. Not entirely street-legal for '09, perhaps, but it looked great on the runway. Then, two weeks later in New York, the stylists at Z Zegna and Diesel Black Gold offered their own variations on the trend with oversize bowlers. But, as Godfrey Deeny points out in the Financial Times, it's not just a catwalk thing. The ever-vigilant Deeny spotted no fewer than seven hats on the dance floor of Beatrice Inn.

The question is, why now?

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