Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for July, 2006

Unpaid Spokesmodel for the Performance Wool Industry

July 24th, 2006

At the last moment–Sara and I were granted to the opportunity to sport free customized all wool cycling jerseys from Portland Cyclewear for the annual Seattle-to-Portland bike ride. The catch: we had to distribute little business cards for PC each time someone inquired about our jerseys. I’m not sure whether the marketing strategy worked since most people assumed we were wearing hand-me-down duds from the golden years of cycling or one of our mothers’ prized vintage jerseys from ’77 STP ride (hey, what year is that cycling sweater from, was a typical inquiry). Nevertheless–we managed to pass out all but four of our business cards. I’m hoping this experience will lead to future gigs as an unpaid unsolicited spokesmodel for other regional garment manufacturers. I’m already dolling up some business cards and a shoulder patch for Filson outfit I plan to wear to work tomorrow.

Since I’m still shilling for my jersey, here’s the Portland Cyclewear link:

Shopping From the Movies: National Velvet

July 7th, 2006

A day later, I find myself browsing through the classic horse melodrama, National Velvet, shopping for summer outfits and home decorating inspiration. First, I’m caught offguard by the film’s challenging confluence of animal barn and guest bedroom. The Pie’s itinerant trainer, played by Mickey Rooney, lives in a tidy room which curiously merges with the space of a horse stable (making it possible for Elizabeth Tailor to dash in by horseback for an animated chat about The Pie’s prospects for the Grand National).

Most enticing for this vintage shoe nut are Elizabeth “Velvet” Tailor’s riding loafers (a genre of shoe which I believe should be promptly reissued by major department stores).

Ultimately, I’m drawn to the wintery barn togs Tailor and Rooney sport during their efforts to revive The Pie from a fatal horse malaise using the surefire curatives of whiskey, blankets and earrubs (since I’m fastforwarding through the the film I’m not bothered by the characters’ abrupt transition from summer to winter wardrobes)(four seasons worth of JCREW catalogues stapled together).

Shopping From the Movies: A Woman Under the Influence

July 6th, 2006

Netflix ought to facilitate a way for people to purchase props and costumes directly out of a film scene. Tonight we’re watching John Cassavetes’ brilliant Gena Rowlands vehicle, A Woman Under the Influence.

Since we’ve seen this film at least ten times we’re primarily focusing on Gena Rowland (rather, Mabel Longhetti)’s hand gestures (for future imitation) and wardrobe. Though most people would immediately purchase Mabel’s first outfit–a paisley cocktail tunic–we’re holding out for the film’s second offering–a sporty grey knit zip cardigan and miniskirt combo which she wears while waiting for her children to arrive home by schoolbus (we’d actually keep the cardigan and return the mini).

Of course, we shun the second tier discount rack offerings sported by the unhelpful “bird” or biddy woman who shares the scene with Mabel (refusing to give her the literal time of day).

Ranch U.S.A.

July 6th, 2006

In Charlesville-Messier France (where one catches the smirk of the locals by flying the EU flag on your rental penichette) I found an amazing workwear/clothing shop called Ranch US (not sure if the “A” dropped off the marquee). Though the front windows display a typical army surplus assortment of cammo bags, combat knives and paisley bandanas, the shop itself–staffed by five floor clerks–sells a staggering array of purpose specific work clothing, from butcher’s aprons to shopgirl smocks to school mistress teaching frocks french equivalent of american workwear. But here, carharts and denim coveralls were replaced by delicate string tied