Your new recession strategy: Shop the closet of some other guy

There's never been a better time to be hitting the vintage market (and not just because so many formerly rich dudes are unloading their wardrobes to raise cash). Several noted women's dealers are now expanding their men's selections or offering clothes for bargain-minded gents for the first time. Juliana Cairone, who owns RARE Vintage in New York, is dipping her toe into the men's market with a series of pristine pieces from important designers and seasons—all from a single collection. Items range from an American Gigolo-era Armani power suit to a three-button Prada from the label's first techno-fabric collection. (Though guys who wear a 38 regular should be warned: The anonymous seller wasn't a small guy.)

Meanwhile, the L.A.-based consignment shop Decadestwo, run by Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos, is also venturing to New York for its first men's sale. Decades, like RARE, has a long history of dressing the stars, and, apparently, of getting their castoffs. A pair of Vuitton Chelsea boots (pictured, above left), size 40, once belonged to a diminutive Oscar nominee. They won't say who. (Xenu might know, but he'll never tell.) And though there's more consignment to be had than real "vintage"—unless you consider a recent Rag & Bone cutaway coat to be vintage—there's no arguing with the quality of the stuff. Semantics aside, where else are you going to find a pristine Gucci cardigan for $195? (One place you won't: a Gucci store.)

Then there's INA (that's eye-na, but you knew that). The New York mini-empire of designer consignment reopened its men's store in a larger Prince Street location, and there's now more stuff than ever. On a recent trip, we found a Helmut Lang-designed three-button suit; a perfectly preserved eighties-era Montana leather bomber; and a Woolrich duck-print sweater that'd be equally apropos for a well-seasoned duck hunter or a young fashion editor.

Click here for a slideshow of highlights >

RARE Vintage New York's men's sale begins October 5 at 24 W. 57th St., (212) 581-7273, rarevintage.com; Decadestwo runs from October 1-4 at Kiki de Montparnasse, 79 Greene St., NYC, (212) 965-8070, decadestwo.com; INA Men, 19 Prince St., NYC, (212) 334-2210, inanyc.com

Photo: Corrie Vierregger
Tags: Fashion

Gant's birthday, your presents

Trawling the archives for inspiration is a common tactic for design teams these days, but Gant has got a richer history than most. The company marks its 60th birthday this year and is celebrating with six limited-edition shirts inspired by its lengthy back catalog. They're contemporary updates on vintage designs rather than slavish re-creations, but some do tend more in one direction than the other. On the vintage tip, there's the Pullover (top left), based on a shirt from the late forties, and the Rugger (top right), inspired by the seventies-founded sub-line of the same name. On the more current end, today's craze for fabric geekery is indulged with the Sea Island (above left), made of ultrafine West Indian cotton, and the Cashmere (above right), which updates an old woolen model with a cotton-cashmere blend. And then there are those (bottom) that combine the old and new: two slim-cut options—a fit we'd call "contemporary" if it weren't based on body-hugging cuts from the sixties—called by their original nickname, the Hugger. Hmm, maybe that's one instance where a little revisionist history might've been justified.
$135 to $295, available at Gant, 645 Fifth Ave., NYC, (212) 813-9170, gant.com, and at Barneys New York's Madison Ave., Beverly Hills, and Chicago locations (for store info, visit barneys.com)

Photos: Courtesy of Gant

Tags: Fashion

Jil at home, +J in the world

Jilsander_v

Jil Sander is the latest brand to let you shop in your underwear: Starting tomorrow, e-commerce comes to jilsander.com. The new site will be powered by Yoox (incidentally, as good a platform as any we've come across) and will ship menswear (including suiting, knitwear, and the line's covetable from-the-runway coats) as well as accessories, eyewear, and fragrances worldwide. As for Jil the woman, not the brand, she's coming to retail this week, too. The first Sander-designed Uniqlo collection, +J (which we previewed back in August), hits Uniqlo's Soho flagship this Thursday at 10 a.m. For that, though, you'll have to actually hoof it to the store.

Photo: Jil Sander
Tags: Fashion
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Covering the coverage: The Crosby Street Hotel

Break out the Platinum Card: The much-trumpeted, much-anticipated Crosby Street Hotel—the first U.S. property for London's Firmdale Hotels—opens October 1. (Hotel Chatter clues us in that the opening was pushed back from today, thanks to an electrical problem.) Its introductory offer: $495 a night. In the Crosby's favor: A good pedigree (owners Tim and Kit Kemp's London hotels, including the Haymarket and the Knightsbridge, are some of that city's finest); a great location (on Crosby between Prince and Spring); a tidal wave of buzz. Against it: $495 a night. What will that buy you? The usual amenities, of course—and then some. Let's take a look:

- Attention to detail, from the macro (40 different design schemes for 86 rooms) to the micro (the hotel logo re-created as a pattern on the staff's ties), says The Moment.

- Cohabitation with commissioned works of art, like hand-forged, 700-pound steel gates (says Curbed); a 10-foot-tall Jaume Plensa steel sculpture of a human head made from alphabet letters, in the lobby; and The Reconstruction of My Views, a short film by Jean Roman Seyfried chronicling the changing NYC landscape (and the building of the hotel).

- A (temporary) piece of Soho Ascendant. The hotel is part of the city's "new downtown," says Travel + Leisure —which, admittedly, has been new since the mid-eighties. But before that, Soho was all dark alleys, à la Scorsese's '85 leave-before-dark black comedy After Hours, shot in the neighborhood.

- A 99-seat screening room with Poltrona Frau chairs and wool-lined walls.

- A clean conscience. The hotel is aiming for Gold LEED certification.

- Aromatherapy. The hotel has its own scent, Le Jardin 10012 (its ZIP code), created by British perfumer Lyn Harris for its bath products and candles. This particular jardin smells of bergamot, rosemary, thyme, and cedar.

Photos: Courtesy of the Crosby Street Hotel

This Just In: Margaret Howell at South Willard

Surrey-born, London-based designer Margaret Howell has several stores in Europe (the latest opened in Paris this year), 66(!) in Japan, and exactly zero in the United States. But as of this week, you can pick up her wares on U.S. soil, thanks to Ryan Conder of the Los Angeles men's shop South Willard, who just picked up Howell's main and secondary MHL lines. What do all those Japanese dudes know that we don't? To start with, that Howell's designs are finely crafted but unassuming—fashion with a lowercase f. (There's an unfussy, workmanlike quality to her details and fabrics, like the blocky chest pockets on a twill overshirt, pictured left.) Tailored shirting, jackets, and knits are cut loose, in a palate that'll look plenty familiar to fans of Christopher Bailey's last few collections for Burberry. Not very L.A., perhaps, but then, as Conder will attest, not everyone in town wears Ed Hardy.
MHL scoured twill overshirt, $216, and chambray flannel shirt, $183, available at South Willard, 8038 W. 3rd St., L.A., (323) 653-6153, southwillard.com

Photos: South Willard

Where Filson meets a French 75

PDT proprietor Jim Meehan—recently voted best bartender in America at New Orleans' Tales of the Cocktail mixologists' convention—spends a lot of time traveling the world for bartending tutorials, competitions, and other high-test boozing functions. Nice job, if you can get it. But when your trade requires a selection of tools and supplies that ranges from the Dickensian to the Jetsonian, the old notion of "traveling in style" goes out the window. "For years, I've used equipment designed for cooks, along with backpacks and standard luggage," Meehan says. "And frankly, I was tired of looking like I was ready to board a plane when I arrived." So Meehan called up the leather artisans at Virginia's Moore & Giles and designed the bag he needed. After months of wear-testing (and pour-testing) various prototypes, Meehan has settled on a final version, which he's proclaimed the best possible thing to lift your spirits. The modular Meehan Utility Bag and Bar Roll-Up fits a cutting board, a couple of bitters bottles, and a full bartender's tool kit of knives and function-specific tools within the roll-up component. Whether you need all those accoutrements for the average weekend trip is up for debate—but the bag will just as easily fit a 15-inch laptop, your passport, and a few days' worth of clothes. So you're not a professional bartender…yet. With the Meehan bag, you'll be ready to pursue that as Plan B. We'll drink to that.
Meehan Utility Bag, $660, and Bar Roll-Up, $150 ($740 when purchased together), available tomorrow, mooreandgilesinc.com/bags

Photo: Courtesy of Moore & Giles
Tags: Drink, Fashion

London, rain or shine

Christopher Raeburn's natty outerwear is nothing if not ready for the elements. His pop-out parka has a shell made from recycled military parachutes and a reversible, button-out interior jacket (top) that's faced with British wool and Cold War-era German camouflage print. We're told the piece has been flying off the racks at Liberty of London, Raeburn's exclusive retailer for menswear. Turns out the military aesthetic is practical in more ways than one. "The thing about the military is that the stuff is incredibly durable, and they have to overproduce, so there's a lot of dead stock floating around," he says. (Even so, we're pretty sure the orange of his Spring 2010 anorak [middle] was never intended for combat.)

The designer has been attracting the attention of others, too. London fashion week found his goods on the runway of up-and-comer Tim Soar, who collaborated with Raeburn on a few waterproof items made from that same parachuting material. Soar seems to be in a collaborative state of mind. His Spring 2010 show also featured the debut of sunglasses co-designed with Linda Farrow, a half-rimless style that riffs on the Japanese Matsuda shapes that were huge in the eighties (below). Prepared for rain but hoping for sun? Maybe there's a little optimism in the British air.

Libertyoflondon.co.uk, christopherraeburn.co.uk; soar-london.com

Photos: Courtesy of Christopher Raeburn; FirstView
Tags: Fashion

La fete le Fooding

Snail_v

"We know that New York is the best city in the world," says Alexandre Cammas, founder of the Parisian dining-guide-cum-advocacy-group Le Fooding. For good eating—and a good party—we've got no argument. NYC's dining scene boasts Momofuku's David Chang, Minetta Tavern's Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, WD-50's Wylie Dufresne, and Daniel Boulud. All of them—and more—will be cooking over the course of Le Fooding's first-ever U.S. event, Le Fooding d'Amour Paris-New York, which begins tonight at P.S. 1. In the spirit of internationalism, they'll be joined by some less-familiar names from Paris: William Ledeuil from Ze Kitchen Galerie, Stéphane Jégo from L'Ami Jean, Inaki Aizpitarte from Le Chateaubriand. (Again, just a selection.) Because man does not live by bread (and meat) alone, there's more: cocktails courtesy of the guys from Dutch Kills and Le Plaza Athénée; DJ sets from Paul Sevigny, André, and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy. If the whole thing sounds more like a heavy night on the town than a white-napkin dinner, that's no accident. Le Fooding's express mission is to shake up the traditional, hidebound world of French dining—to celebrate creative young talent and bring the party to the table. (Hence the neologistic name: "food" + "feeling.") "Paris was very sleepy," Cammas says. "You [still] see all the service"—the proper tablecloths, the dusty formality—"à la française. Maybe New York is fed up with that." At last night's preview dinner at Brooklyn's Vinegar Hill House, Chang held court at a table of chefs as they were serenaded by an electric accordionist with a light-up instrument—Piaf on acid. Toward the end of the night, Boulud ambled out to say hello and found himself wearing an elaborately constructed balloon-animal hat. Maybe it was anti-service. Or maybe it was all the Veuve Clicquot.

Le Fooding d'Amour Paris-New York, September 25 and 26, P.S. 1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, (718) 784-2084, ps1.org; tickets, $30 to $60, available at the door; lefoodingdamour.com

Photo: lefooding.com
Tags: Drink, Media

What makes a pair of A.P.C. x Supreme jeans different from a pair of A.P.C. jeans?

This embroidered invective (inset). And for those keeping score, they're the New Standard cut.
$198, available October 1 at A.P.C. stores and Supreme stores; for locations, visit apc.fr and supremenewyork.com

[via High Snobiety]

Photo: A.P.C.
Tags: Fashion

"Rosebud."

One guy's last word—my first. The air around here is starting to get chilly, and when a colleague asked what was the first thing I'd be buying for fall (well, aside from the Dries suit I picked up last month), I told him it was a no-brainer: lip balm. Specifically, Smith's Rosebud Salve. Sexy, it's not; but then, neither are bleeding, cracked lips. Okay, they're sort of bad-ass-looking after a bar fight (make that a bar fight you won), but otherwise it's just not a great look. Rosebud's been around for over a hundred years, and it's made of natural ingredients right here in the U.S.A. More importantly, the shit keeps the old kisser chap-free no matter how cold it gets outside. For years it flew under the radar, and I'll admit the indie snob in me was bummed to see it had been picked up by places like Urban Outfitters and Sephora a while back. But when you're talking about something this essential, I'll take accessibility over coolness any day.
$6 to $8, available at sephora.com and urbanoutfitters.com (note: Urban Outfitters stocks only the mint version; I prefer the original flavor)

Photo: sephora.com
Tags: Grooming
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