Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Watchbands from O'Connell's Clothing

O'Connell's Clothing is an institution. They're one of the very last true suppliers of trad and preppy garbs in the US. Which is probably why I sometime find myself spending hours upon hours browsing their huge assortment. You'll find everything there from good "shaggy" shetland sweaters to Harris Tweed blazers, and thank God they're based in the US and not some place closer to me, as I would be spending more money, that I don't have.

These watchbands are both fun, wearable, not-Nato and affordable. Oh, and they're made in the US.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Close Up and Private x After the Denim

One of the best things I've experienced since starting After the Denim is definitely getting to know some very interesting people both in Denmark and from around the world. And all happened because of the blog. I cherish every single correspondence that I've had with people and all the great persons I've met in person. One of the most inspiring persons I've met so far is Sergei Sviatchenko, the artist who also happens to run Close Up and Private, which I'm sure many of you guys also read religiously.

We may have a quite different approach to clothes and fashion in general, but I think, we share a mutual respect for each others work. Last time Sergei visited me, we talked for a long time about a lot of things, but mostly about ties as usual. Again, we are totally different, as I practically never wear a tie, and Sergei wears a tie on a daily basis. Still I like the tie as an object, event though it totally lacks function, but I enjoy the different fabrics - like elegant silks, heavy tweeds, sturdy chambray or delicate knits.

As stated before I rarely wear a tie, so it may seem like a paradox, that I probably have a couple of hundred ties stashed away. But knowing my hoarding tendencies it may not be a surprise after all. Sergei looked through most of my ties and hand picked some ties that he wanted to use for CUAP and at the same time, I could get some pictures for my blog. Beneficial for both of us so I lent him some ties, which has now resulted in some inspirational photos, that all have that instantly recognisable CUAP feeling.

All pictures by Sergei Sviatchenko and all words by Simon Tuntelder

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Centralia Knitting Mills - Varsity Jackets

A great thing about the internet fashion forums like Styleforum is that you can find people to share your interests and obsessions with. You discover, that you're not the only one digging Donegal tweed or tripping over some new South Korean streetwear collaboration. That's of course all good. But I get really excited, when I see it materialising every now and then, when people get together and buy a specialised product by some of the good makers as a group buy. It's democracy at its finest, especially when they vote over the details and create polls. Beautiful.

When I wrote about the Dehen 1920 varsity cardigan, I started thinking about the company Centralia Knitting Mills. They're a great company that makes great products. Their production is still specialized in making small batches of specialized products for sports teams for instance and nowadays they also cater to the picky Japanese market. 
For some odd reason I've passed on two consecutive group buys of custom made varsity jackets on Styleforum. I really don't know why, but I keep my finger's crossed that it will happen again, and when it happens I'll be the first one to sign up for it.

Here are some of the options that were available for the Styleforum group buy. They were a bit limited compared to the options that Japanese retailers/brands have. But still it shows a great number of options and endless combinations.

Here are some examples that I've found browsing Japanese webshops mostly. I think it really shows, what they're able to do.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dehen 1920 - Varsity Cardigan

Although I would probably go for a varsity cardigan from Centralia Knitting Mills - Or Skookum as it's also known - because I already own a varsity cardigan from them, and it has performed very well. Very well being an obvious understatement as the sweater is one hell of a sweater with an incredible heft and fit.

However the varsity cardigan that I have is purple with yellow stripes on the sleeves, which sounds a bit worse than it is. I still find it very wearable. But when I walked into the store Brund on my most recent trip to Copenhagen and saw this cardigan from Dehen 1920, I was thoroughly impressed by the quality and fit. It was on par with my Skookum, but the colours were definitely more wearable.

This sweater features a very heavy four end jersey knit and it's made of 100% worsted wool (which basically means it can double as a jacket). Other than that it features some really nice corozo nut buttons and as mentioned a hefty quality that you just don't get much nowadays.

I had my doubts about this company. These days a lot of old, defunct companies are being revamped and some of them aren't that impressive, when it comes down to their products and not just being nostalgic about a long and glorious history. But Dehen knows a thing or two about making a good, solid cardigan and varsity jacket that is for sure.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tory Leather - Hoof Pick Belt

It may seem strange, that I make leather goods myself, and still advocate for other makers, but I think it's all about making educated choices, when it comes to purchasing any sort of goods. That means deciding between different options based on your own knowledge and preferences, while taking other people's opinion into consideration.

Tory Leather belts are made in the USA of quite good materials. The leather is bridle leather and the hardware seems solid enough, although I don't think it's a solid brass belt buckle, as my own personal belt lost its golden brass luster and now looks like a nickle/steel buckle. But the belt itself is flawlessly made, albeit you definitely feel that it's not a handmade belt. What I like about it, is definitely the equestrian influence. The buckle is actually a foldable hoof pick (for cleaning the horse's hoof) which is used in a quite clever way. 

But here comes the very best part; It's cheap. It's actually dirt cheap. You can pick it up some places for around $40. So if you're on a budget, this is a good deal for a casual belt.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brady Bags - Severn and Gelderburn

Despite having a very good Filson 257 that has served me very well over the years, I often contemplate about buying a Brady messenger bag. Maybe it's the urge to own a piece from every good maker out there or maybe it's the anglo influence or maybe I'm just more into fishing than into hunting. At least I find myself looking at the beautifully made bags by Brady. I already own a very large tote from Brady, which is a limited edition tote made from raw selvage denim, but I would much rather have either the Severn or the Gelderburn because of their classic, almost iconic, design. 

The recipe is basically the same for all Brady bags. Expertly crafted in England using quality materials, such as bridle leather, solid brass hardware, cotton webbing and layered waterproof canvas. Which is probably also why they are so popular in Japan, and why Brady produce several bags, which are intended for the Japanese market only. Mr Mudd and Mr Gold in Stockholm used to carry some of the Japan-only models, but they seem to have seized their relationship with Brady unfortunately. Speaking of special editions; Nigel Cabourn has also used Brady to produce some bags in both Harris Tweed and if I remember correctly also some woolen fabric from Fox Brothers. But I wasn't, as fond of them, as the classic offerings from Brady.

The Severn

The Gelderburn

The Gelderburn is probably my favourite. Especially after seeing a picture of Michael Palin rocking it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unionmade Indigo Collection

Indigo dyed fabrics represents something very beautiful to me. Not only is it one of the best shades of blue, but because the dye itself isn't colorfast. Most indigo dyed garments bleed. To me that makes them perfect because the colour will fade and change according to you. You can see, how you affect your clothing. In a good way.

Unionmade is the type of store that you can only love. They are on top of their game and everything they do, they do extremely well. Their indigo collection is a testament of just that. They took some of the best, mostly American, makers, designers and brands and created a small capsule collection filled with perfect, indigo dyed garments.

These are my personal favourites. And if I were to name one stand out it would definitely be the blazer. It's just perfect. But the down shirt would also add a much welcomed layer.

Down shirt by Crescent Down Works

Crewneck sweat by Farm Tactics

Blazer by Golden Bear

Button down shirt by New England Shirt Company