Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for October, 2006

Shopping From Myself: Double Tin Filson Pants

October 29th, 2006

Renewing my austerity vows, I’m trying to locate items from my own home closet to sport for the new Fall fashion season. It helps that I’m an epic pack rat with still unopened boxes from my last two moves (souvenirs from 2001 trip to Tokyo or a genuine Rosie O’Donnell barbie doll w/prop microphone anyone?). For the most part, austerity shopping consists of visiting the laundry room and unpacking a new box. Today, I made two major purchases: one for me–a pair of double tin Filson waxed trousers, tags intact–and one for Sara–a barbour quilt vest with polarfleece lining. The Filson pants were purchased off ebay some time ago. I originally bid on them because the gallery image implied that they were the more user friendly, unwaxed, single tin version. I ended up winning the pants on a superlow bid because they were already ready tailored to my oddball dimensions: adult waist, childish length. Though I’ve never actually worn the pants I’ve kept them around, for one, because they’re lovely artifacts, and two, because they might have future use value under post-apocalyptic conditions (the fabric is so rigid, so profoundly two dimensional, almost thing-like, that it took me a full five minutes to work myself into both pant legs)(an experience akin to having a complete wax casting made of your lower body). Anyway, I’ve decided that for the sake of austerity I’m going to push forward and start wearing these pants (on a daily basis?) especially since they feel like body armor and clean up with a soapy sponge. In a future entry, I shall report on the futility of my austerity program in the likely event that I develop some sort of fatal waxed fabric friction rash.

The Shooting Party

October 23rd, 2006

This past weekend I had the curious experience of participating in what subscribers to the British country sports magazine The Field would term a shooting party. Along with friends I followed a Nissan Altima out to a patch of gravel in the aptly named “Shotgun Creek” wildnerness area to practice gun safety and take aim at a range of gentle targets: clay pigeons, cardboard boxes and an insulated drink cozy with an extra-terrestrial icon.

For the record, the primary appeal of this event was the opportunity to doll up in fine, purpose-specific hunting clothes (ideally, a tweed jacket and plus fours). Since the day was quite warm, however, I substituted a sporty red Engineered Garments cruiser jacket and distributed Filson and Hunting World hats to my fellow party members.

For the most part, I spent my time during this event (what I mentally termed a gun carnival) giggling at my fellow participants and marvelling at the strange, balanced coexistence between our own group, a secondary party of shooters (teens wearing “police” t-shirts and using long range deer rifles to shoot at paper targets from ten paces) and several motorcross riders who kept circling our impromptu shooting range and popping wheelies.

Shopping From the Movies: Fall 06 Preview

October 16th, 2006

Debuting our new Fall 2006 catalogue of archival clothing. This season we’re drawing on Hollywood runway talents Bette Davis, Elaine Stritch, Glen Ford and newcomer Anne Neagle to show off our line of new old stock styles.

(Note: Bette Davis appears courtesy of the Lil Hateful talent agency)

Inspiration for the collection comes from a broad range of sources including early female aviation, school marms, martha’s vinyard, hoola-hoops, vintage diners, fifties workwear, World War II, car trouble and lighthouse keeping.

Highlights of the collection include kicky, pre-smudged cotton jump suits, nautical tops, hot pants, ladies neckwear, “dress woolens” and all-season aviatrix shorts. Accessories like goggles, globes, sketch pads and hoola-hoops are currently in the works for the second printing of this catalogue.

Fabric samples and couture requests available upon written request.

Out of the Past

October 12th, 2006

From Irving Berlin’s lovely lyric, You Keep Coming Back Like a Song:

From out of the past where forgotten things belong
You keep coming back like a song

You keep coming back like a song
A song that keeps saying, remember

It’s too late for me to grow up in the nineteen forties–the historical site of all my celebrity obsessions, favorite fabrics, film score composers and vocal artists.

If People or In-Style magazine featured splashy profiles, breathless rumour-central reports or even grainy paparazzi snaps of Fred Astaire, Ida Lupino, Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Bette Davis or Judy Garland, I’d sign up for a two year subscription.

I’m well into a decade I cannot name but I console myself with my netflix queue and by attending concerts featuring living singers who seem to be channeling stage personas and vocal stylings from the past.

In the past four years I’ve hustled to see performances by the following singers: Barbara Cook, Betty Buckley, Wesla Whitfield, Sylvia McNair, Maude Maggart, Tony Bennett, Audra McDonald, Shirley Horn, Luciano Souza, Patty Lupone and Andrea Marcovicci (from whom I received my first ever celebrity autograph).

Alas, I missed a few cruial talents before they departed to the place where they make you go to bed at eleven: Rosemary Clooney, Bobby Short, Ella Fitzgerald and Susannah McCorkle (I can at least say that I read their obituaries in current editions of the New York Times).

On my current to-see before they perish list: Blossom Dearie, Bernadette Peters, Elaine Stritch, Charles Aznavour and of course, Liza Minnelli.

Apocalyptic Layering

October 10th, 2006

Mid-October. Official reintroduction of winter weight wool. When the cold comes my dress code is dictated by the idea that whatever I wear must be versatile enough to work as my permanent post-apocalyptic/nuclear winter outfit (think Fred Astaire’s safari suits and gentlemanly neckwear in On The Beach). I’m working out the details but the basic gist for my survivalist get-up is a pair of Filson whipcord trousers (substitute Levi 501s), layered Icebreaker or Ibex zip-ups and an outer layer of Filson “tin cloth” or Barbour waxed cotton (to which I would add crucial internal pocketing for matches, a manual camera and my make-do cuisine of unpeeled carrots). Still shopping from the movies (Flight of the Eagle, Indiana Jones, Alphaville,) for my shoes.