This weekend, during a nine passenger cargo van type fieldtrip to SFMOMA, I made a brief detour to Rivendell Headquarters in Walnut Creek, Ca. With no specific consumer agenda, I ended up purchasing a lovely beta version of the Nigel Smythe “country bag” and test riding a few stock frames (our helpful Rivendell rep pointed out that he had helped fit a past President and his wife for a pair of matching Rivendell mixtes). My friend and travelling companion, Lauren, chitchatted with one of the Riv staffers and–in the brief flash of the final seconds of our visit–traded one of her belly button photographs (to be exhibited next Spring in her terminal BFA show) for a lovely rusted Rivendell lug.
Archive for 2006
Ever since I saw Liza Minnelli perform the Bye Bye Blackbird number in Liza with a Z, I’ve had knickers (or more accurately, plus twos or britches or breeks) on the brain. Now, as it turns out, knickers are re-emerging as a major fashion item on the cycling/bike messenger scene. On bike listservs like the I-bob list, references to knickers (knicker glories, knicker styling, knicker fabric selection/preferences) abound. Folks are sporting italian military issue “alpine trousers” scored at army surplus depots and a fine fellow in Los Angeles is designing a new, all gabardine, “dress” knicker manufactured just for him by an LA garment maker.
I’ve always liked the idea of knickers but shied away from actually wearing a pair due to my short height (fearing that the plus two or plus four look–two or four inches below the knee) might have the optical effect of cutting me into funny tear- away pieces. But now, emboldened by all this internet chatter and fixed gear hipster posturing, I’m breaking out my own carefully archived stockpile of wool and cord breeks (plus purchasing the necessary color neutral knee high socks to wear underneath). Today, I shall honor tin cloth Mondays by sporting a pair of vintage Filson ladies Whipcord climbing breeches (a necessary transgression since Filson didn’t bother to manufacturer tin cloth trousers in plus two or four dimensions).
Sunday night, during a screening of The Queen, I lamented not bringing along my camera for a little video catalogue piracy (not for self aggrandizing You-Tube uploads–mind you–but rather–to fill out my Archival Clothing imprint with shots of Helen Mirren in her Barbour/Hermes country clothing). Thanks to a recent NYTimes article, I can now put a name to the Fall fashion look which has me encouraging coworkers to sport brogues and/or wellingtons with knickered pants to work: “doughty field and stream style”. Here, I would note to my naysayers that I’m TOTALLY rejecting all of Mirren/The Queen’s indoor clothing ensembles(especially her sweater sets and that awful mohair/alpaca bed jacket). Side note: I did like the fact that The Queen had indoor/outdoor specific dog breeds (Black Labs for stalking the moors and Corgis for talky hallway walks)
In other waxed fabric news: tin cloth Mondays was overshadowed this week by a recent turn of events regarding my Barbour bucket hat. Last week, on this very day, I re-encountered my hat (not even knowing that it was lost) in a crosswalk five blocks from my house. As it were, the hat must have been been run over by twitchy eugene bike and car INTERSECTION traffic and exposed to rain for at least five days. In true prattling catalogue prose, I can report that the waxed cotton material survived the crunch. However, I’m also sad to report that the hat has shrunk down to a small child or chimp’s head size. Revival efforts and reports to come. Watch this space!
If Norman Maine had never tracked down Esther Blodgett (and Esther Blodgett had never been rebadged as Vicki Lester), I’m sure Esther/Judy would have done just fine for herself singing jingles on the radio and decorating up her furnished single apartment at the Oleander Arms. I hybridize my version of the story peppering Esther’s apartment with interior design details from her more successful story world: white leather Barcelona chairs, zebra skin rugs and an indoor aviary. Esther maintains her weight by eating hearty sandwiches made for her by her elderly landlord, an Ann Miller look-alike.
In prep for a short work week (and inspired by a recent screening of the documentary American Hardcore), I kept things simple today with a collapsible, uninsulated, short billed Filson cap (noted here in its original three step origami fold). Since I spent most of the day in meetings I have no additional notes on the character-buidling properties of tin cloth (disclaimer: I did not actually wear this cap on my head today–it simply rode around with me, coin purse style, in my coat pocket). A related Filson workplace moment: three coworkers exited the library tonight sporting three different styles of Filson field bags (two in tan twill, one in olive). Wunderbar!
Ever since a friend commented that my snappy lace-up ankle boots looked like a pair her father wore to correct for a clubfoot condition I’ve started to look into purchasing footware through medical/surgical supply markets. My first fashion find was a pair of surgical boots from Alden of New England. In lieu of the usual catalogue prose about winterproof suede and breathable sock liners, the Alden cataloge makes the following, straightforward performance promise: “For use in post-operative cases, fractures, arthritic or gout swelling, contracted feet, vascular edema, etc. Heavy outsole and insole give secure foundation for attachment of bracework.” Though I’m fearful that these boots might actually cause gout (or somesuch vintage toe smashing malady) I’m completely smitten with their vintage look: the down-to-the-toe lacing system and simple, charlie chaplinesque black leather hightop boot styling. A more sinister medical footware option is the optimistically named “ambulatory boot” or “amboot” which “eliminates chafing at the back of the patient’s leg in the prone position during night splint work or similar situations.”
Friend Erin sent me a link to one the most sadly missed styles of headwear in the history of wool, the balaclava helmet.
As unpaid rep for CC Filson, I’ve done very well for “my company” this week.
My indirect sales report:
One Filson Shelter cloth waterfowl hat
One Filson small carry-on bag
Note: purchases were made by non-woodsy, bookish, urban folk supporting their local timber/logging supply store, Roberts (rumor has it that we might even be in line for a special Christmas eve party at Roberts–details to follow).
Until Filson introduces a new product line for women, I’m relying on tin cloth Mondays to reignite my excitement over the Filson family of waxed fabric brands.
Today, I sported my classic tin jacket w/wool facing collar (a discontinued garment, I think). Though I’d love to report on the rain deflecting properties of this garment–my own lapsed rewaxing regimen caused the shoulder seams to leak. Scheduling a special viewing of the five disc Criterion edition of Fanny and Alexander so I can motivate myself to rewax the whole coat (a complicated process involving a blow dryer, old rags, an ironing board and a tin of wax warmed in a double boiler on the stove).