Nicole and I (Lesli) had a terrific time at the Chicago edition of NorthernGRADE, a “made in USA” market organized by AC friend and Well Spent blogger, Brad Bennett. The Archival booth was situated on the main floor of the beautiful Open Secret Studios space between two esteemed makers – Tellason (San Francisco denim) and Portland General Store (Maine apothecary). The highlight of the event for me was meeting so many Archival readers (and Flickr contacts) who have been following us since we started our blog in 2006. During pauses in the show, I wandered around taking snaps and greetings fellow vendors. Overall, going to NorthernGRADE gave me a chance to admire how all the gents (and a few women!) are styling their heritage ensembles (mixing vintage and contemporary, layering performance fabrics over woolens, etc). I did my best Bill Cunningham impersonation and documented many of the well appointed folks wandering in the vicinity of the Archival booth.
I spent a long time at the Oak Street Bootmakers booth chatting with George, the proprietor, about their growing line of loafers, moccasins and boots. My principal interest, of course, is in seeing Oak Street release their stunning, Horween made beefroll penny loafers in sizes for women. Since Oak Street is now selling to Japan, I’m optimistic that they will eventually size their line down to fit the smaller feet of Japanese customers, American women and me.
My favorite fashion punctum of the day was style writer Nick Grant’s quick fix patch repair on his luxe, SNS Herning Stark cardigan.
Lauren and Tomo, two delightful graphic designers from Columbus, OH