Sunday, March 27, 2011

Paolo Alavian: Philanthropically Inclined

My good friend Antonio was nice enough to drop by Sart Inc to let everyone in on a good cause, some good food and some inspiring personal style to boot.

"If you are from the NY area and you’ve spent much time in SoHo, you may recognize the man below.  He can usually be found in bright hued pants and a sharply tailored jacket on the corner of Spring and Sullivan St. in front of Ristorante Savore, the neighborhood’s long time go-to for quintessential Tuscan fare.  His name is Paolo Alavian and he is the proprietor of Savore & Chicca, the mind-blowingly fantastic brick oven pizza spot just down the street.  Like his restaurants, Paolo is a neighborhood staple - a fixture of downtown Manhattan.  His unique style and sense of duty to his community and others are as transcendent as his roasted branzino with thyme, fennel and sliced

In the wake of 9/11, Savore opened its doors and its kitchen to the many involved in the rescue effort.  More recently, when the economy took a turn for the worst, he gave free meals to those in the neighborhood who had lost their jobs.  It wasn’t long after the earthquake hit Japan that Paolo decided to get involved.  This Wednesday he is holding an event aptly deemed Dine Out for Japan.  The idea is simple - come and enjoy a sublime lunch or dinner (or both) at Savore or Chicca, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross’ relief fund for Japan.  All dishes and wine will have a suggested
donation price of 1 dollar but donors can give as much as they choose.

Please join the Savore/Chicca family on Wednesday.  Whether you’re interested in giving to a worthy cause, trying a new restaurant or just experiencing the awesomeness that is Paolo, it’s an event you
won’t want to miss."


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grown Man Crocs

It seems that things get more polarizing on Sart Inc with every single post so I figured I might as well go for broke sooner rather than later.  So, obviously, Crocs suck.  No one is going to deny that - solidarity, folks.  Their practicality and comfort are no excuse for how flat out terrible they look.  But what if someone was to take the idea behind Crocs and make something not absolutely terrible?  Well, Shudy, an Italian based shoe company, has done just that.  Shudy will tell you that their "First" (named that because it was literally their first product ever produced) is some supreme meeting of art and object that redefines our idea of shoes.  I'd tell you that's nonsense and that Shudy's plastic driving mocs are simply another viable option for S/S footwear.  If you find yourself running with the "we off that Americana" set, these are your L.L. Bean boot mocs.  Shudy isn't necessarily hard to get your hands on (read: Google), but it isn't exactly easy either.  Bluefly has navy and Yoox has black.  I can't personally pay more than $60 for these in good conscience so I'd recommend checking Yoox periodically for their seasonal restocks.  A friend of mine loves his and swears by them so there is at least one testimonial floating out there in the ether.  However, I'm still trying to track down someone to vouch for the Shudy Timbs.


Monday, March 21, 2011

A Single Serving Of Spring Outerwear

Since spring is, well, spring you're not going to need too many pieces of outerwear.  In fact, if you play your cards right you can pretty much get by with just one.  You may already have this one perfect piece of spring outerwear, but if you don't I'd like to make a case in favor of the Barbour Liddesdale.  This lightweight yet warm jacket can take a beating and holds up great in any spring weather short of a monsoon.  Style wise it's pretty much as on point as anything Barbour designs.  There is a corduroy collar, snap closure side vents (most commonly seen on Barbour's Bedale model) and comes in a ton of colors.  You can grab something subtle in a neutral color (i.e. olive or navy) or go bold in some of the bright options for S/S 2011 (i.e. orange, red, royal blue).  Now, on to fit.  Most people I know, and myself included, have sized down.  I pretty much wear a medium in everything and a size small Liddesdale fits me perfectly.  It's easy to layer over or under my tailored clothing and other casual jackets I have for spring.  For example, this weekend I threw it over an old Engineered Garments field jacket.  The Liddesdale also features something so many other jackets fail to capitalize on - trim sleeves.  Overall, you're getting a ridiculously versatile jacket that is going to be your go to all season long for, at most, $150.  In my mind, it's the perfect single serving of spring outerwear anyone could ask for.

[Last two images courtesy of The Sartorialist.]


Friday, March 18, 2011

Luciano Barbera's Style Tips

I know, I know.  There is so much advice floating around the blogosphere.  Every where you look there is someone telling you what you should or shouldn't do.  I don't necessarily have a problem with this, but the credibility of the person giving said advice can be quite the elephant in the room, which is why I would like to direct you to some of the most credible advice I have ever read - that of Luciano Barbera.  You've seen him on The Sartorialist countless times and the phrase "living legend" doesn't even remotely do him justice to be honest.  His website is required reading as are his musings (no, truths) on style.  Read 'em.  Learn 'em.  Love 'em.  Break 'em.

"It’s not enough to have beautiful clothes. Lots of people have beautiful clothes. In fact, some people have too many. What is important is what you do with them. On the following pages I share some comments on how I dress and what I have taught my sons. Of course, they do not always take my advice. But that is the point. Neither should you. Look, listen, learn, and discard where appropriate.

The Jacket
A suit tells the world you are ready for business. A jacket tells the world you are open to fun. For me the ideal jacket should have soft and natural lines and balanced proportions. It should fit you but not constrict you. I do not believe in stiff shoulder pads. That is vanity, not style. Do not make it too tight. If it’s too tight, you will look like a matador. Any time I see a man playing golf or tennis in his jacket, I know he and I could be friends.

There are many schools on trouser length. In America they are often worn so that the pant leg tumbles over the shoes. Many Europeans now wear them quite short. You even show a little sock. What can I say? Perhaps we Europeans are secretly afraid of flash floods. The picture at right shows, quite literally, where I stand. I call this the Mid-Atlantic Solution since it is halfway between Europe and America. The pants just breaking lightly on the shoe. I do not want to see your socks, but I do want to see your shoes.

The Shirt 
I know I have said you can have too many clothes. But I take that back where shirts are concerned. The shirt is a triumph of modern life, like the automobile or the web. It is easy to put on and take off, quick to wash and easy to store. Plus, shirts look great. A man should own as many shirts as he wishes - the more the better.
I personally have so many shirts that I sometimes walk into my closet, pull one out, and think to myself, “Now where did that come from?” Having lots of shirts will allow you to surprise yourself with your own good taste.

The Tie
The tie follows the culture. In the 50s I wore a bow tie. In the 60s I tied a Windsor. In the 70s I went open-necked. In the 80s I had a big aggressive knot that said, do not mess with me. Now I find that what I want is a less-fussed-over-knot with a soft pleating. It is simple. It is declarative. It feels right. How will I wear my tie in the next decade? Who knows? Ask me then.

Everyone knows you wear wool in the winter, linen in the summer, and a straw hat from June 15th to Labor Day. Everyone is right. And therein lies the problem. Follow these rules and you will look like everyone else. Better that you display a little originality. On the gravest days of winter I put on my gray flannels, a cashmere tie in a sober color and my white linen jacket. The pants keep me warm. The tie gains me entrée into good restaurants. The blazer reminds me that summer will come again."


[Editor's note: Hat tips to Die, Workwear! and Mister Crew.]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Raw Silk For S/S

As the seasons change so does your neckwear.  I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that you've already been bombarded with countless tie options in a variety of S/S fabrics and patterns.  Most, if not all, of these are fine.  Shit, you probably already own a few similar versions.  Let's forget about that seersucker and those critters for a second.  Once again, these are totally fine, but for those of you who are after some texture more along the lines of the wool and cashmere F/W ties you wear and love, there is an option you may have overlooked - I'm talking about raw silk neck ties.  The natural slub of the shantung silk creates a pretty unique texture and look that falls perfectly between dressed up and casual.  In fact, a new raw silk tie is probably more versatile than your current crop of S/S ties and can easily go between your suits and more relaxed S/S jackets.  As with anything even remotely neckwear related, Drakes has the best stuff.  Their raw silk seems to have the best texture and they offer widths of both 2.8" (7cm) and 3.1" (8cm).  However, the color combinations might be a little little stale for some.  If that's the case, J. Press offers a bunch of in your face stripes and patterns featuring tons of bright colors done up in raw silk.  Either way you're probably going to look a bit sharper than if you bought a new tie with lobsters playing golf on it.  But don't take my word for it.  Shantung has that coveted ODB cosign.  Wait, he's talking about neckwear, right?

[Last picture courtesy of Die, Workwear!]


[Editor's Note: Shout out to Nico for the assistance.]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Belvest S/S 2011

For S/S 2011 the Belvest man is one with "emotional style full of personal invention."  Inspired by the botanical gardens of Padua, Belvest is exploring themes of elegance alongside their trademark made in Italy quality and craftsmanship.  The fits seen below strengthen Belvest's claims as the primer Italian brand offering tailored options for a youth oriented market.  The jackets are shorter, fit closer to the body and the trousers are decidedly slim.  The key piece for S/S 2011 is, what Belvest is calling, their "New Drape" jacket.  Much like the best warm weather jackets coming out of Italy, the "New Drape" is completely unpadded, fits like your favorite shirt ("falls across the body in loose folds") and takes both it's name and inspiration from the drape sleeve.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weston Visits Rocco

When Weston Wells, photographer extraordinaire whom I have talked about on this blog before, sent me an email letting me know he had some photos that might interest me, I knew I was about to get my hands on something special.  Weston recently visited Rocco Ciccarelli and his custom tailoring operation out in Long Island City and, naturally, brought his camera along to document the whole thing.  Rocco's reputation precedes him and I'd hate to ruin the beautiful images below with some of my nonsense, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  Not to mention, Michael Williams already broke down Rocco's genius perfectly back in 2008.  I'd like to thank Weston and Rocco for making this post possible.  Enjoy.