Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for August, 2008

Shopping from the past: more Brady bags from Japan

August 29th, 2008

It’s deep August so I’m in far swing away from my principal Winter obsession: bag and jacket hunting (from the archives, movies or UK). Instead, I’m organizing my archive of old web shots from Japanese websites featuring US and UK products. Brady Bags (out of the UK) is a long way from offering teddy bears and shot glasses (although the new flashy Brady site does feature images of women in white linen and uses the word “fashion” in the main page copy). Here are a few Brady bags that got away from me two years ago. Several people have offered to help me place orders for items from Japan but I fear that this option would be as finacially devestating as being able to shop from 1930’s cinema (friend Tom B. knows that Rules of the Game would bankrupt me over the gamekeeper’s garb alone.

From the Archives: Maremanna game jacket

August 28th, 2008

In a frightening preview of Barbour in 2015, the John Ashfield brand of Italian hunting clothing has gone from pitching mossy moleskin Maremmana game jackets to pink logo tees, fleece jackets and beachwear. Grant Petersen of Rivendell claims that the first sign of an outdoor company in decline (namely, Filson or Patagonia) is the introduction of a women’s wear line. The first sign for me would be the availability of gifts, fragrances and teddy bears on the corporate website.

Though I’ve deaccessioned John Ashfield as an Archival Clothing brand I’m posting some photos of two Maremmana game jackets from the original Ashfield website.

One hour post-script: perhaps the first sign of decline is repeated references to your product in NYC menswear boutiques ala the reference to the “Filson bags piled in a mound in the corner” in the review of the Steve Alan Annex in today’s Critical Shopper column.

From the Archives: Arnys of France

August 27th, 2008

Sara is in Seville where she reports that high temperatures have driven her inside, limiting her consumer activity to late night window shopping (and daytime consumption of pork products). On her behalf, I’m crusing back through old travel photos from our 06 trip to France, lamenting retail temptations that I could not fund. Foremost was my window gawking pause at the Arnys menswear store in Paris. Of course, at my income level, my only access to Arnys will be via the glossy Arnys catalogue (better than a MOMA production) and a long ago library patron–an interior designer for high end restaurants in Portland–who actually owned a stunning corduroy Forestiere jacket.

For more, see The Sartorialist.

Shopping from 1981/82: Palo Alto Bicycles

August 22nd, 2008

Originally uploaded by zbillster

Birthday money in hand, I’ll be placing an order for some sueded Avocet touring shoes and hand crocheted, long fingered wool cycling gloves from the now defunct mail order company, Palo Alto Bicycles.

Thanks to zbillster for making vintage bike catalogues from Palo Alto Bicycles and Bikeology available through his flickr pages. Flipping through the endless selection of new old stock bike bits, I found an August clearance section with some questionable deals on Campagnolo Nuovo Record cranks (still spendy in 1976 @ 89.00 dollars) and Silca floor pumps (pricier in 1976 than now?).

Originally uploaded by zbillster

Shopping from the past: Daniel Hotel Supply

August 8th, 2008

One of our favorite local phantom businesses (window displayed merchandise but random, bi-yearly hours of operation), Daniel Hotel Supply, has finally formally closed up shop. Over the last ten years, we shopped at Daniel Hotel Supply perhaps five or six times. Purchases included several different vintage dish sets, oddball utensils and a massive pair of kitchen tongs.

More interesting than the stock merchandise was Mr. Daniel’s archaic shopping system.

Each object in his showroom had a little typed stock number that, in theory, corresponded to open stock in the back storage room. Mr. Daniel himself would retreat back into the storage room to search for the requested item/s.

Typically, Mr. Daniel would bring back a near match, for example, a bowl made of agatized wood rather than vitrified porcelain. We were so grateful that the frail Mr. Daniel had even come back from the storage room that we were grateful to purchase whatever he brought us.

Sara reports that she once waited in the main showroom for over twenty minutes. She ended up going home and phoning the store to check on the status of Mr. Daniel.

At the liquidation sale, we were finally able to walk back into the storage rooms and see what might have delayed Mr. Daniel on that day. Much of the original inventory was still packed in hundreds of cardboard boxes filled with hay and vintage newspapers from the 1960s. Sara obsessively searched for agatized wood salad bowls (never found) while I played with the sculptural flooring samples (which I’m still wishing I had brought back home for my archive).