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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

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Jack Carlson, author of the Dandy-favorite Rowing Blazers, has just launched his very own collection of rowing-inspired apparel line aptly named Rowing Blazers, and it looks AMAZING!

Comprised of classic rowing blazer styles and distressed shirts (all hand-made in the USA) as well as ties, belts, hats and wide range of vintage books and accessories, the collection blends classic ivy league style with a modern twist. The blazers have crossed-stitched latin motto’s hidden under the lapels, while the button down shirts have the same distressed look and feel as many of the blazers featured in Jack’s book. The tongue and cheek graphics used throughout the collection are spot on and I love the mixing of classic hip hop culture with vintage rowing books, pins and diving watches (more on that below).

As far as his inspiration behind the line, Jack has this to say:

” This collection is inspired by the traditions, myths, and rituals I discovered while writing the book Rowing Blazers. It’s also inspired by my collection of vintage blazers; my research in archaeology, heraldry, and classics; and my time at Oxford.

Today, virtually everyone owns a blazer. But few realize that the blazer has its origins in the sport of rowing. The original blazers-unlined flannel jackets with patch pockets, no vents and metal buttons-where the hoodies of their time. Everything about them served a practical function; even the loud colors were designed to help spectators tell which crew was which.

It was the one of these early rowing jackets – in “blazing” red – that gave us the word “blazer”. Early oarsmen developed an attachment to their blazers, and incorporated them into their daily dress on terra firm, where the were soon imitated by rugby players, cricket players and others. By the end of the 19th century, the blazer was s tape of any gentleman’s wardrobe.

Like the court liveries and armorial devices of medieval Europe, the street gang colors of Compton, and the patches and badges of the Hell’s Angels, rowing blazers are tribal totems. The are ceremonial vestments, worn to emphasize both community and difference: to impress, intimidate and influence.

Menswear is supposed to be meaningful,-every detail considered, nothing random. That’s how I approached this collection: meaningful, thoughtful, irreverent, cryptic.”

Take a look at some of the beautiful detailed shots and favorite pieces from his collection (which is already selling out) below. Seriously, this whole collection is fire. I want everything even though I’ve only ever rowed in Dragon Boat races. That counts, right?

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BuffaloDandyPublic

Buffalo Dandy had the honor of being featured in The Public’s latest fashion issue along with fellow Buffalo bloggers Morning Glory and Write.Stye.Travel. While I may be the “Veteran” of the group (does that mean old?) it’s nice to hear people still appreciating the blog after all these years. Pick up your copy today or read the article online here.

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I was sad to learn about the departure of Glen O’Brien from GQ Magazine as their resident “Style Guy”. His years of knowledge and experience in not only the fashion industry but also in the art of being a gentleman was always one of my favorite sections to read in GQ. No one seems to know why he left, but based off of his cryptic tweets a while back it appears there were some ill feelings and departure was less than amicable. But much like the passing of the torch with Jon Stewart from the Daily Show to his predecessor Trevor Noah, all things must change. Today GQ introduced their new Style Guy: Mark Anthony Green (or MAG as he’s known by the industry).

Spending the last few years under the tutelage of Sid Mashburn and absorbing all the style knowledge he could from Jim Moore and the GQ fashion team, Mark’s take on the Style Guide column is a much younger approach to sartorial conundrums. For those who saw Glen O’Briens views as too old school or catering to a different generation this could be a welcome change of pace. Personally, I will miss Glen’s articles but foresee a bright future for Mark as he tackles much more street-relevant trends while staying true to classic #menswear themes like finding the right glasses for your head shape, whether it’s right to button the bottom button of your suit and getting rid of unneccesary clothes in your closet. While his first post seems a bit elementary as far as style-advise goes, for an inaugural post like this perhaps its best to play it safe. What I do like, and I think a lot of other readers will identify with, is that Mark admits that he himself have gone through several style phases and “isn’t here to enforce the style rules of our grandfathers, nor to hype every fad. Like you, I’m just here to figure out how a man can look good now.” 

Check out the new GQ Style Guy article here.

UPDATE: Check out Fourpins.com exclusive interview with Glen O’Brian for more insight into his departure.

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Bodhi, the Shiba Inu behind the beloved blog Menswear Dog, is here to show you how to dress like a man. Organized seasonally, The New Classics highlights the timeless, can’t-go-wrong items every man needs in his wardrobe—from a chambray shirt to a perfectly fitted peacoat (all modeled by Bodhi, of course)—and shows how to mix and match them all year long.

Whatever your style dilemma, Menswear Dog’s got your back! Readers will learn what to wear to a summer wedding, when to splurge (on the perfect white dress shirt) and when to save (snag your military field jacket at a thrift store), the secrets to getting the right fit, the brands that stand the test of time, the basics of clothing care, and more. Sure to make a fine addition to any Dandy’s library.

$13.56

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ArtPepperAlbum
Part 3 in a series of blog posts by guest editor Mr. Ewy, in which he shares with us some of his favorite things.

Art Pepper was a sexual deviant. A convict. A cult member. A junkie. And those are his good traits. But man, that cat could blow!  He was born in 1925 in California.  His mother was a 14 year old runaway, his father a merchant marine.  Perhaps to escape his lot in life, he began playing saxophone at the ripe age of 13 and was soon gigging in the black nightclub district of Los Angeles.

He is often lumped in with the “Cool Jazz” scene of California, but really, his sound owes more to the Kansas City via New York sound of such virtuosos as Lester “Prez” Young and Charlie Parker. He had an incredible improvisational bent and a tone that is still one of the best.  In between bouts of rehab and jail, he produced one of the my favorite jazz records of all time, “Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section.”

Origin stories differ around this classic album.  Reportedly he played on a broken saxophone with reeds that weren’t his own. In Straight Life, Pepper purports that he hadn’t played in six months. The album liner notes say it was two, and other recordings he made around the same time, probably place it at five days. Regardless, it should be enjoyed on its own merits as an album with nary a note gone astray.

One thing that we do know as fact is that the rhythm section in question was Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.  Heard of them before? Probably because they were the rhythm section for the Miles Davis (another junkie) Quintet… and they showed up to play on that day. Some of the improv fills by the rhythm section are just as good as the improvs by Pepper himself. Listen to the interplay between Pepper’s sax and the brushes of Philly Joe Jones if you want to hear a tight rhythm section in action.

My favorite track is his rendition of Cole Porter’s “You’d be So Nice To Come Home To” (for another great rendition, check Chet Baker’s – one more junkie). One reason I love it so is because even though I had a tin ear and no rhythm, I once wanted to be a jazz saxophonist. My amazing teacher Kevin Burner had me transcribe the entire solo, note by note. I have an appreciation of the song beyond the ordinary and still find myself fingering along when I listen to it.

But back to Art. His was a fascinating life, even though tragic. His book Straight Life is another masterpiece and one that I have read several times. His account of being a musician, junkie, convict, cult member, and ultimately caring husband, is unrelenting and, often time shocking. I read it every couple of years as a reminder of the thin line between genius and madness.

Another thing about Art. Man, that cat could dress! Look at his get up on the cover of “Meets the Rhythm Section”. That color combo tho… the pink shirt, the tan patterned sportcoat combined with the brass of his sax is just stunning especially in relationship to the background. He must have liked that outfit as it is also the one on the original printing of his book. Look at other pictures of him and you can see that his style wasn’t just limited to music.

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Don’t trust me?  Just listen to the album on Spotify.  Better yet, buy it on vinyl, place the needle on the record, have a scotch and experience a singular work of art for the first time.

Ben Ewy is a gentleman of fortune and bon vivant living and working in Ann Arbor, MI. Follow more of his exploits on Instagram @benewy

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NYTimesMensStyle

This Friday The New York Times will debut their new “Men’s Style” section, which is the first time in 10 years that the paper has launched a new print section. With #menswear being so hot right now and after seeing a 30% increase in men’s related ads last year, the Times had to expand their initial 12-14 page issue to a whopping 32 pages after all the advertiser interest. While it’s sure to be quite ad-heavy, it’s nice to see this evolution happening in the men’s market and I’m excited to see what the section has in store.

The debut issue will include a mix of sartorial musings, travel, tech, and grooming. See the full issue on Friday or check out a preview feature here.

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EastdaneBooks

These frigid Buffalo days are a great time to cozy up inside and lose yourself in a good book. While Eastdane.com is highly regarded as a great online clothing resource, the site also offers a wide selection of books; many of which would make a fine edition to your Dandy library. The following books are currently at the top of my wish list:

Jazz: New York in the Roaring Twenties
It’s the Roaring Twenties, and New York is exploding with jazz fever. Designed, illustrated, and edited by Robert Nippoldt, this award-winning book pays homage to the era. An entertaining blend of illustrations, facts, and amusing anecdotes presents 24 leading lights of New York’s jazz scene in the 1920s, complete with a CD containing some of their best songs. The texts, contributed by Hans-Jürgen Schaal, give a vivid account of the club scene and the “band battles,” as well as the legendary recording sessions.

The Monocle Guide to Better Living
The Monocle Guide to Better living is a survey of products and ideas built to treasure and last. Monocle has created an intelligent publication that continually inspires a global readership that is interested in everything from diplomacy to design. This tome looks at one of the magazine’s core themes: how to live well. It’s a book designed to be an indispensable guidebook to contemporary life.

Jane & Serge: A Family Album
The highly public love affair of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkin captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. From the earliest days of Jane and Serge’s romance until their split in 1980, Jane’s brother Andrew Birkin was a frequent presence in their lives. An avid photographer, he snapped thousands of candid family photos during those years. Birkin’s pictures offer a rare view of daily life for the couple.

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Hemingwrite

Hemingwrite

As the saying goes: “Dress like JFK, Speak like Hemingway, work like Ralph Lauren and Party Like Gatsby”. While many of us may not have the gift of prose that Hemingway had, this new digital typewriter from Hemingwrite will at least help you look the part.

Inspired by the typewriters of old but updated with today’s technology, the Hemingwrite features a 6+ week battery life, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities that sync to your favorite cloud apps like Evernote and Google Docs and has a high contrast backlit E Ink screen that can be used inside or out, day or night. Looking to do for writing what Kindle did for reading, the Hemingwrite is a great product for those looking to unplug and write in a distraction-free environment. From the durable die-cast aluminum case, to the retro keyboard switches which offer the same tactile feedback of 90’s typewriters, the hipsters in Brooklyn are about to loose their damn minds over this thing. I have a feeling if Urban Outfitters starts selling these they wouldn’t be able to keep them on the shelf.

No word yet on pricing, but you can stay updated by checking out their website at Hemingwrite.com.

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RowingBlazers

A few weeks back I was contacted by Jack Carlson, who, after saying some very flattering words about Buffalo Dandy, cordially invited the wife and I to a release party for his new book: Rowing Blazers. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts we were unable to attend, but Jack was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review. Upon receiving it, my eyes widened at not only it’s size, but how exceptional the design and photography were. Utilizing the talents of preppy photog/blogger/gawd F.E Castleberry, the entire book looks like something out of a Ralph Lauren catalog. Accompanied by the photos is an insightful glimpse into the history of many of the world’s most prestigious rowing clubs and many of its most prominent (and famous) members. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (of The Social Network fame) are two such subjects and joined Jack for the launch party hosted at the Polo Ralph Lauren Flagship Store in NYC.

Honestly, I had a hard time putting the book down. It was a fun and fascinating read about not only the history of the clubs, but the many traditions and stories behind the blazers themselves. Specifically how many of the jackets are handed down from year to year, and aren’t allowed to be washed until a championship is won. These jackets are true badges of honor and it’s the pride of their wearers that make them look so fantastic. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that most of the people featured  in the book are really, really, really ridiculously good looking. Is that some sort of pre-requiset to making the team? Someone needs to look into this…

The book is, in my opinion, an instant preppy classic alongside such greats as Take Ivy and True Prep. Not only does it make a fine addition to your library, it also looks great displayed prominently on your coffee table just begging to be opened. I cannot recommend this book enough to my readers and would like to extend my congratulations to Jack and Fred for making such a fantastic book. Pick yours up here. $33

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[photos via facebook]

Check out some of these amazing photos from the launch party below. The outfits, as expected, did not disappoint.

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Hillflint1968

Pay homage to the  holy grail of #menswear literature with Hillflint’s Class of 1968 Sweater. Inspired by the iconic photography of Teruyoshi Hayashida in ‘Take Ivy’, this Australian merino wool varsity sweater is a one-of-a-kind authorized reproduction of the class sweater worn by Dartmouth ’68 Ed Heald in the book. Weighing in at nearly 1.5 lbs, the sweater has that classic bulk to it and will certainly receive a few nods of approval by upperclassmen and fellow preppy enthusiasts. As an added bonus, the sweater also includes of copy of Take Ivy just in case you didn’t already own it.

$128

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