LA STYLE: MODERNIST CHAIRS

Having good style isn’t just about dressing well and wearing the right clothes. It’s about living a complete lifestyle, from knowing how to pick out a great bottle of wine, to playing a killer playlist while entertaining, to setting up your home with timeless, beautiful pieces. LA-based company Modernica has created a series of fiberglass chairs that trace their roots to the late 1940’s and furniture pioneer Sol Fingerhut. Using a high pressure fiberglass molding process, the result was an ultra strong industrial grade material with a beautiful depth of color and translucency that made this chair (more…)

CHARLES EAMES. THE MAN, THE LEGEND

By Leo Parker.

Charles Eames is a name which is synonymous with interior design, and though he lived and created over half a century ago, his pieces are just as relevant to today’s contemporary homes – a testament to the timeless nature of his vision and interior design aesthetic. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1907, Eames is invariably solely credited for his work, but a large proportion of his most iconic and celebrated designs were devised and created alongside his wife, Ray. Together they helped drive forward the modernist movement in furniture design and (more…)

SERGIO MENDES

 

For that spring playlist you might be working on, here’s a look back at legendary musician Sergio Mendes. Often lost in the shadow of his Brazilian countryman Antonio Carlos Jobim, Mendes emerged in the late 1950s just as bossa nova was becoming popular. This classic video below shows a young Eartha Kitt in 1967 introducing this “new sound.”  Fluid, beautiful and inspiring – ideal for imagining warmer days ahead. “Ma Que Nada” is perhaps Mendes’ most recognizable song. And unlike many legendary musicians, his career has had an incredibly long run, with a recent Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song in 2012 as co-writer of the song “Real In Rio” from the animated film Rio.

 

SPEED, STYLE & BEAUTY

Spotted at last night’s opening of the new Ralph Lauren Black Label shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, “Speed, Style, and Beauty: Cars from the Ralph Lauren Collection.” This is an incredible book that showcases some of the finest automobiles ever made, with Mr. Lauren’s private collection one of the best in the world. “This breathtaking volume features 29 of these wonders-from such unparalleled masterpieces as the 1930 Mercedes Benz “Count Trossi,” the 1938 Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia, and the 1938 Bugatti Atlantic Coupe to marvels from Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche and even a Ford “Woody”-each of these vehicles is lovingly photographed and presented with authoritative elegance. “$34, available at Barnes & Noble. More from the collection: (more…)

KELLY SLATER’S 50 WINS

 

Surfing legend Kelly Slater won his 50th ASP World Tour victory last month, further cementing his status as legendary big wave surfer. What began as an upstart career with his first big win at the Rip Curl Pro Landes in France in 1992, culminated in September at the Hurley Pro in San Clemente, California. Here’s a contest-to-contest slideshow look at all 50 wins, brought to you by Surfline.

PHOTOGRAPHER JIMMY CHIN

An incredible look at the life of mountaineer, climber and photographer Jimmy Chin as he shoots a feature story for National Geographic. Chin captures two world class climbers as they ascend “El Capitan” in Yosemite National Park. Shot on a Canon 5d by Renan Ozturk of Camp 4 Collective. Check out the stunning final image that graced the May 2011 cover. (more…)

YVES SAINT LAURENT

 

A brief, poignant interview with the iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent.

I AINT NEVER BY WEBB PIERCE

 

There’s something about old school country that makes it so much cooler than today’s pop warbling hybrid stuff. Webb Pierce was the man for two decades, recording no less than eight #1 hits in the 1950’s. This video is a look at another era, when country folk standing around shuffling to honky-tonk was entertainment. “I Ain’t Never” is a good one – best played in a flat bed pick up with dog riding shot gun. And check out Pierce’s bright red “Nudie Suit” – perhaps a precursor to Liberace’s outrageous style. “Nudie” is in reference to Nudie Cohn, an American tailor who designed decorative rhinestone-covered suits for some of the most famous celebrities of his era.

ONE TO KNOW: TAKEHARU SATO

Monocle Men’s Fashion Market Editor Takeharu Sato is a good person to know of. His work for the incredibly informative and always spot-on international digest covers many emerging brands you have yet to hear of, but should definitely keep an eye on. There is a smart functionality to Monocle’s fashion portfolios, with Mr. Sato largely responsible. Here is a lighthearted and brief interview with Mr. Sato, from the J.Crew website that includes some interesting tidbits, like his favorite city and the 5 things he loves (more…)

THE HISTORY OF THE TUXEDO

As New Year’s Eve approaches, it’s a good idea to know the history of the Tuxedo, even if your plans are low key. Remarkably, it was devised as a way to dress-down in England in the 1800’s for the stuffy social set needing a break from wearing coat tails and top hats. Once considering semi-formal, the tuxedo now often represents the highest level of dress for a gentleman, particularly in America. Here is the story: in 1860, Henry Poole & Co. (Savile Row’s founders), created a short smoking jacket that was spotted and worn by New York millionaire James Potter while on a trip to England. Potter then (more…)

A LEADING VOICE: JAY FIELDEN

When it comes to expanding your knowledge of what it is to be stylish – and that means more than just looking the part, but actually living it – Jay Fielden is at the very top of the list – someone to read, emulate and follow. I had the pleasure of meeting Jay many years ago in Milan while he was Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Vogue, and I the Director of Men’s PR for Prada tasked with coming up with three new front row seats for his team. Of course this was not a problem, anything with Vogue attached to it is well placed at the table. Following the magazines retirement in 2008 there was a quiet period, but fortunately for those who enjoy living well, or at the least like to daydream, Mr. Fielden returned this past summer to a perfectly suited position: the lofty stewardship of Town & Country. Since he took over, the magazine (more…)

LESS AND MORE BY DIETER RAMS

If you appreciate beautiful design then Dieter Rams is someone you should know of. Born in 1832 in Weisbeden, Germany, Rams is widely regarded as one of the preeminent designers of his day. Working as Chief of Design at Braun for 30+ years, many of his designs — coffee makers, calculators, radios, audio/visual equipment, consumer appliances and office products — have found a permanent home at many museums over the world, (more…)

TRIUMPH JAMES DEAN SE JACKET

The “James Dean SE” jacket from Triumph, is exactly that, a triumph. Licensed by the James Dean estate, the SE is inspired by vintage jackets worn by the young Hollywood icon in the 1950’s. It’s tough and durable, with double stitched seams and removable shoulder and elbow protectors. $450, available at Triumph.

STYLE ICONS: JOSEP GUARDIOLA

Vanity Fair’s annual “International Best-Dressed List” gets tons of press, despite being straight out boring and tame each year. How can you explain Justin Timberlake and Stavros Niarchos making the list? Maybe if it was “LA’s Best-Dressed-While-Going-Clubbing List,” but come on, you can do better. One person we’d add right up at the top would be (more…)

OPRAH GOES RANCHING

Oprah showed up at Ralph Lauren’s 17,000 acre Telluride Ranch yesterday and took a much heralded ‘first time ever’ television look at the ridiculously opulent retreat. “Rustic Perfect” would best describe the property, with lassos, cowboy hats and pine cones predominantly on display, but alas no dirt or dust anywhere to be seen. The opening of the video is pretty funny, and also a little awkward, you can tell the producers thought it would look cool (more…)

ICONS: ROBERT DE NIRO

It’s good to see Robert De Niro looking his absolute best at opening night of the Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals et des Congres, sporting a smartly tailored classic peak lapel tuxedo, medium size bow tie and point collar dress shirt. From his wry smile (more…)

TIMELESS STYLE: JAY Z AT THE MET

Jay Z gets it; when it comes to formalwear, a timeless and classic approach is the best route to take. Let the woman in your life risk looking ridiculous and uncomfortable, like Beyonce here.  A white tuxedo jacket, black bow tie and subtle black shoes are all you need to look dashing and sophisticated.  For the exact opposite of tasteful, check out this pic (more…)

THE UNKNOWN VOICE OF HARRY NILSSON

Quite possibly one of the best musicians you’ve never heard of.  Harry Nilsson was named by the Beatles as their favorite American artist when he was still a relatively unknown musician.

To understand their admiration, listen to the entire album “Nilsson Schmilsson” produced by Richard Perry.  If you want to skip to two of the best songs, listen to “Jump Into the Fire” & “Without You.”

For a more in depth look, watch the recently released documentary “Who is Harry Nilsson?”  A stark and depressing portrayal of Nilsson’s incredible talent and gradual self destruction.  Nilsson died in 1993 at age 52 of a heart attack.

MEN’S COVER TREND: TRUE GRIT

Esquire and V Man went with remarkably similar covers in both look and feel for their October and Fall issues.  Javier Bardem, shot by Nigel Parry, Josh Brolin shot by Hedi Slimane, both black and white, no frills portraits of strong, rough-around-the-edges leading men.  Maybe a nod to the popular movement in men’s fashion towards brands, designers and grooming products that put authenticity first.  Red Wing, Billy Reid & Kiehl’s are strong examples.  European men have always cared about how something is made, are American men finally catching up?

Look for Brolin this December in “True Grit” with Matt Damon & Jeff Bridges.  Directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen, the film follows a tough U.S. Marshall as he helps a young woman track down her father’s murderer.

BOB GUCCIONE, FOUNDER OF PENTHOUSE, DEAD AT 79

Wall Street Journal. Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse magazine, has died.  He was 79 years old.  According to a statement from his family, Guccione died on Wednesday at Plano Specialty Hospital in Plano, Texas, following a prolonged battle with cancer.

Penthouse, founded in 1965, was a kind of dirtier distant relation of the relatively classier Playboy.  While Playboy employed top writers to pen it’s articles, and lured leading female stars to pose in its pictorials, Penthouse was more focused on pure (and not so pure) sex.  To read the remainder of the article from the WSJ, click above.

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