Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Archive Work of Alan Lomax





calabrian fishermen lomax

I was aimlessly browsing the aisles of a record shop when the title of a somewhat unassuming CD caught my eye: Prison Songs, V. 1: Murderous Home. I didn’t know anything about Alan Lomax at that point, but the whole concept was captivating to me — a collection of field recordings of real-deal chain gang chants from 1947-48. I picked it up and bought it without a second thought. It was a life changer. Continue reading

Alden for Context, Roy Boots

If turning 30 earns me a pair of these then I’ll lose my 20’s every year…gladly.  My goodness, these are beautiful.

Cut and sewn from Horween’s Chromexcel leather, made on a Trubalance lastGoodyear welted to a plantation crepe sole, and available exclusively through Context in small batches.  Chromexcel is a pullup leather (meaning the oils, waxes, and dyes in the leather temporarily separate when pulled up on, bent, or stressed, creating great color texture) and is meticulously processed, going through something like 89 different processes and an entire month to produce.  It’s incredibly supple and will no doubt break in quickly and comfortably.  I believe the inside of the boots are lined with calf skin (?), again, incredibly soft, supple, pliable, and very comfortable.  This is my first experience with a Trubalance last, but it is heralded as being one of the most natural fitting lasts out there…so far, so good.  The crepe sole is a great touch and is a nice change from the leather or neocork soles more commonly found on Aldens. These things will break in beautifully in form and function.  I hope one of my kids ends up having the same size feet as me cause these are, no doubt, heirloom quality.

Apolis Activism by Katin Chambray Trunks

A box showed up on my doorstep with these bad boys in ’em.  Great cut that’s got a very classic silhouette. 5.5 oz chambray, fully lined, snap button fly replaces the now standard velcro closure (so much better).  Best trunks I’ve ever owned.  Highly recommend picking them up.  Thanks to Marc and the rest of the Apolis crew!

Check out this previous post for a video about the collab.

Destination | Present & Albam, London

Present was insane.  I’ve been to a lot of shops in my travels (some of which I document here) and Present is definitely one of the best I’ve seen.  Nigel Cabourn, Nanamica, Post Overalls, Heritage Research, Crescent Down Works, Lavenham, Wings + Horns, Gitman, the list goes on and on.  Amazing footwear collection with a whole selection of Trickers long wings with Vibram soles (very cool), Mark McNairy, Diemme, Yuketen, a slew of unique Vans, etc. etc.  One of my favorite things I saw was a Heritage Research button up parka in a waxed dark olive green.  I’d seen and drooled over it online before and was pretty excited to see it in person.  Oh, and it was marked down.  I bought.  LOVE it.  Did I mention the espresso bar right at the entrance?

Made our way over to the Old Spitalfields Market and dipped into Albam.  Once again, small but great shop stocked full of great Albam pieces.  Loved pretty much everything I saw in there.  Their denim line was pretty tempting.  Nice quality (Japanese I believe) raw selvage denim constructed with no frills and sold at a very fair price.  I did walk away with a pair of their chinos in an army green though.  Like their denim, no frills, great fabric, and great fit.  The weight of the chinos are just perfect.  Stoked, as I’ve been looking for a pair of good non-denim pants for a while now.  Of course they had a good few of their Quoddy for Albam mocs, all with their signature cross-stitching (but not so much now since Leffot is doing it too).

Present pics from here

Albam pics from here

Destination | Oliver Spencer & Folk, London

Oliver Spencer
Oliver Spencer has been one of those brands which I see around on the internet here and there, like what I see, but haven’t taken a specific interest in.  That all changed the moment I walked in the door.  I was immediately impressed with the simple yet crisp and refined looks his collection has.  There’s obvious cues taken from vintage military, hunting, and work gear but with a definite English flavor.  Their stuff really has to be seen and felt in person to appreciate, pictures online or even look books don’t do justice as far as I’m concerned.  There’s something about the clean lines and even refined (physical) feel of the garments that has to be experienced in person to fully appreciate.  At the risk of sounding lame…they feel expensive.  Or should I say, they feel quality.  Lots of great garments in there but I really fell in love with their waxed pullover parkas.  My only gripe with the store is that they didn’t have much of their footwear line at all, which I have admired from afar and was hoping to see in person.  They literally had just one pair of chukkas and one pair of Quoddy bluchers.  Perhaps they were in between restocks.  I ended up chatting with a couple of the guys working there and prior to leaving, was greeted with a courteous handshake and a “My name’s Oliver by the way, very nice to meet you”.  Upon which I of course figured out that I had been speaking to Oliver Spencer himself.  I love that.  That’s some ground level stuff.

I’ve been a fan of Folk and their unique take on menswear that somehow treads that incredibly fine line of quirky, unique, yet tasteful without being tacky.  Every piece of clothing has some kind of twist, often times subtle enough for the layman to not realize — like an arched yoke, odd shaped placket, or hidden buttons — but interesting and unique enough for nerds like myself to get excited about.  Some of my favorites from the store were their wonderfully colored blue Rain Mac, and their three color button up which I’ve had my sights on ever since I discovered the brand.
Both shops are located within a few yards of each other on Lamb’s Conduit street in the Bloomsbury area of London and are worthy of a visit if you’re nearby.  Special thanks to Brian Ferry for suggesting the visit.
Oliver Spencer shots from here and here
Folk shots from here
More from London upcoming…