Take off your coat, and stay awhile…

Archive for March, 2011

Perpetual Buzz | BaselWorld 2011

As the ticking minds in Basel, Switzerland convene for another day of BASELWORLD 2011, TGT brings you the digested details of the most anticipated trade-show in the watchmaking industry.

The Hublots, Cartiers, and Jaeger LeCoultres are all present, however it is the revelations of a select few that grasp our attention. Those contenders are Rolex, Bell & Ross and Patek Phillipe.

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The Viewing Room | Boardwalk Empire Threads

With the unexpected hiatus of Mad Men, it is safe to say Don Draper has taken yet another unexpected leave of absence from the offices of Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce. This said, we maintain that the man on celluloid to be directing the style trends of the year, may well be the second best dressed man on television – Nucky Thompson.

The expertly designed costumes of Scorsese’s hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire, are brought to life by the wiry edge of Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson. As the cast of Mad Men step aside, Nucky takes center with his muscle close behind, or even, dare we say –  side by side. Michael Pitt embodies the character of Jimmy Darmody, a troubled Great War vet and tenacious young man enlisted as the muscle of prohibitioner Nucky Thompson. Fueled by his desire for success at all costs, he soon develops the taste for the bespoke suits of his successful contemporaries. In effect, the production has found itself with a late-bloomer of types, for the stylistically savvy duo to direct men’s style trends. (more…)


The Man Behind The Camera | The Sartorialist


For those of you who don’t know who Scott Schuman is, he is the chap behind the camera and popular internet publication known as the Sartorialist. Frequently inking a column for GQ, Mr. Schuman uses a discerning eye to highlight individuals with the gate and flare afforded by personal style. His subjects range from the disheveled bohemian to the tired road worker catching a break on a shady Neapolitan curb; they span the globe. All and all, the following is a piece on a fascinating photographer and observing life through the lens; people watching.

Most interestingly though, is his philosophy on starting something with limited knowledge. I’m fairly confident that every one of ourselves, can say the same about at least one important thing in our lives. Cheers.


Shaken, Not Stirred | Maratac Zulu & NATO Straps

Fifty years ago, Sean Connery emerged from the Jamaican waters on the set of Dr. No with his Submariner 6538 and complimenting nylon NATO strap. Ladies abound and Martini in hand, the humble pairing would markedly be dubbed the James Bond watch. However, with the passing of time, the cinematic union of NATO strap and time piece would fall into the dusty recesses of the forgotten, kept alive only in the community of watch connoisseurs and Bond fans.

Fortunately, due to the resurgence of military themed functionality and economically efficient style trends, the NATO strap has ridden the wave back to the shore of the public conscious and can be seen virtually everywhere. Enter Maratac Straps.

Hailed as the premier strap manufacturer among the watch collecting community, Maratac engineers their straps to MIL SPEC standards and the UK’s Ministry of Defense qualifications. Designed for rough and tumble reliability and quality, the Maratac strap of today would have prompted James Bond himself from switching out his ill-fitting 18mm strap for a properly fitting strap.

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The Ivy Corner | The Cut Locker Loop

Today we introduce a new niche of TGT; one fashioned in tweed, khaki and oxford cloth resting on the laurels of scholarly origin  – The Ivy Corner.

The Ivy Corner stands to be a discussion of the style sensibilities promoted by the appearance, demeanor, and tradition of the collegiate contender. Having a style that wavers from disheveled and meditated to put-together and methodical. The Ive Leaguer look is of many facets, but ultimately relies on simplicity and tradition. And as such, we begin our discussion about a little tradition.

To piggyback on our most recent discussion on the oxford shirt, it only seemed to be fitting to start with a peculiarity of Ivy Style which now sits in ephemera. Above you see the back of the oxford shirt which commonly is adorned by the Locker Loop. For those wondering what to call that loop all these years, consider that quandary settled. In this case however, the locker loop has been removed.

Apparently, as a way to signal that a man was spoken-for to the campus’ female cohort, the young man would cut his Locker Loop on his oxford or remove it all together and wear it proudly so. Seems simple enough and straight forward, but in my honest opinion it sounds like a waste of a perfectly good shirt.

Either way, with the resurgence of all things prep these days, the cut locker loop isn’t all too uncommon to spot in the post-atomic age. We aren’t saying that we now have guys mangling their shirts at home, but rather that they are coming from retailers with the “going-steady” symbol of the prep days.

For those who aren’t handy enough to mark yourself a taken man with a pair of scissors, you can procure such a shirt at Gant Rugger or patiently wait for the opening of the Gant Yale Co-Op at its original New Haven location.


The Perfect Oxford | Gitman Brothers Oxford

Any man of good sartorial sensibilities knows the frustration of finding the right Oxford shirt. With varying ranges of width and length, and shirts promising a Slim Fit, clothiers do their honest best, while their marketing department promises you a little more. Your search for a trim and fit cut may well be over.

Quite simply put, it is the perfect oxford. The heavy basketweave cotton fabric of Gitman Brothers shirts have the right weight and the right cut to keep you looking good at least twice as long as the average oxford. Employing a significantly more weighty cotton than traditional oxfords, the Gitman Brothers oxford hold those good looking creases and folds that say more about your affinity for pre-war American motorcycles and swiss horological devices, than a notion that you may not own an iron.

Do not expect the traditional tent fit, but expect the equivalent of slipping into the cockpit of a P-40 customized to hug you in all the right places.

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Fret Buzz | The Pedal That Rocked The World

The Sound of Clapton, Hendrix and Zappa. Brought to my attention from a close guitar aficionado friend of mine, is the new release of the short on the pedal that made rock history. The iconic Cry Baby, or the wah-wah pedal as it is also commonly known as, was the revolutionary sound behind the guitar of the 60s. Hendrix rocked his foot on it in London and made history in ’66. Many others followed. It was then that funk on the guitar was decidedly here to stay. Crank it up to 11, and enjoy the feedback.

Within is the video release in HD, complete with a video of Hendrix’s rendition of Voo Doo Child, for a textbook sample of the pedal and guitar’s eponymous voice.

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The Rite | Rewaxing A Barbour Jacket


It was said that Steve Mcqueen once gave up a night with his moviestar girlfriend at the time to re-wax his wax cotton Belstaff jacket. As classic and iconic as it is, the waxed cotton jacket commands the respect it deserves as one of the tried and true pillars of a man’s wardrobe to weather the elements. Lark in Vancouver has put together a short clip on the tradition of maintaining the Barbour jacket as it will most likely require a waxing in its long-life by your side.

Follow the Vimeo link through for all necessary credits on the production of the video.


Friday | Doing It Right

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The Beat | Craftsmanship at Billykirk

The hard working hands at Billykirk have  a way of taking new materials and giving them the quality that recalls better times. At the helm of Billykirk, the brotherly duo Chris and Kirk Bray are the creative talent behind the remarkably crafted belts, bags, wallets, and other accouterments. Nostalgic for the belongings of a world where you weren’t already wondering when an item you were to purchase would come to break, they had the idea of bringing back something that was distinctly American – Craftsmanship.  With the aid of the handed down know-how of a third generation leather maker and the skillful Amish, something old was born again.

Be sure to check them out at Billykirk.com, where you can order there, or at BlackbirdBallard.com, or Polyvore.com, where the occasional rarity not featured on their main page can be found. If you need someone to stand behind their word, I will say confidently that I own two of their belts and they are built to last, like things should.


1935 | The Work Progress Administration Initiative

SAWPA1938s

In 1935, Franklin Delano Roosevelt slated the creation of the New Deal’s Work Progress Administration. It was the agency’s task to create large scale public works projects to stimulate growth and employ millions in a time where uncertainty was ever present. The projects would range from the construction of roads and bridges, to the management of creative programs to bring cultural significance to American communities. An already ambitious undertaking, FDR created the arm of the WPA known as the Federal Arts Project, and  entrusted them with the responsibility of improving awareness and visibility of the program. (more…)


Weathered | The Bausch & Lomb Ray Ban Aviators

In 1937, Bausch & Lomb was the first manufacturer to be commissioned to create the aviator style sunglasses. Faced with the need to better equip pilot’s of the modern day against the prolonged exposure of the intense blue and white hues of the sky, Bausch and Lomb was asked to create protective eye-wear for the pilot’s eyes. They had the task of creating a lightweight  pair of sunglasses that conformed to the contours of the wearer’s eye sockets, while allowing minimal light to enter during prolonged flight.

Starting out as a medical equipment manufacturer based in Rochester, New York, Bausch & Lomb would soon become the world renown makers of these iconic symbols of aviation and style. After 62 years, the creator of the Ray Ban Aviator G-15 Sunglasses found itself in a position of dwindling sales as the markets tastes shifted to prefer more modern sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb was forced to sell Ray Ban to Italian sunglass giant Luxottica.

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The Color and The Shape | How Ink Is Made

The folks at the Printing Ink Company have put together a beautifully composed video short on the making of ink. Wildly under appreciated, ink is the mode with which shape and color takes place; and to those with a discerning eye, or should I say tact, we can find texture. In today’s world of speedy production, a humdrum knack for efficiency and progress, we observe that texture in printing is a quality that has slowly become irrelevant, especially in books. As a consequence of our own lifestyles we forget that not only can the written word touch our lives, but we can also touch it. For those who need reminding, an old book that belonged to your great grandfather will be reassure of its presence. For now, we watch the art and immensely personal experience that is the creation of shape and color.

Watch it here, as UMG will not allow embedding.


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