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Entries Tagged as 'Fine Lines'

Fine Lines: American Pick Ups – American Denim

December 1st, 2010 by Ian

This all started with an old, rusted out Chevy pick up I spotted in front of a West Village deli some weeks back. The owner, a rugged looking gentleman who had just come back from grabbing his morning dose of joe, returned to the old beater sporting a denim on denim ensemble many of you may know as a Canadian tuxedo. I would normally pronounce a Marlboro Man homage like this to be completely unacceptable, but in this case, I couldn’t imagine the captain of this ship wearing anything else. I had no camera on hand and, to make matters worse, my iphone was dead. So I took a strong mental picture, and tried to recreate the experience with the post you are reading here and now.

The truck, whose flatbed was stocked with all manor of lumber and ladders, was bottle green and covered in rust flakes that were oxidizing to a pleasant shade of moss similar to what you find on old pennies. His jeans looked like the remnants of a Jackson Pollack-Pitbull encounter; completely shredded and re-patched, and covered in white paint. A denim workshirt was just barely hanging on, with the collar and cuffs fraying white yarns in all directions. As the faded indigo moved closer to the sun-bleached bottle green,  I couldn’t help but smile. Peas and carrots…nice knowing you. Denim and pick ups, welcome…you truly are the work horses of America.

This got me thinking about the origins of denim and the American pick up. These 2 items have literally been at the core of building America since their introduction. Both created out of sheer necessity, the need for durability, strength, and comfort. From the rural farmlands of the Midwest to the concrete jungles of NYC, when there is work to be done, when there is something to be built, when a vision transitions into a physical reality, you can bet your bottom dollar that plenty of pick ups and denim will be there.

There’s really 3 brands that matter when talking American pick ups – Ford, Chevy and Dodge. And when it comes to American denim, Levi’s, Wrangler and Lee immediately come to mind. Each one of these brands has created, innovated, designed and defined what we consider to be the standards. The qualities that they share, both in design and integrity, deserve a little acknowledgement. Between 1873 and 1911 all 6 of these major companies emerged in the USA.  It all started with Levi Strauss in 1873, making riveted denim jeans in San Francisco.

Check out the full post after the jump. And check out this super cool timeline we put together.

This red on red 1965 F-Series (top left) certainly stands out in a crowd. Against the white trim it really pops. As for Levi’s, a little red goes along way.  The iconic red tab is unmistakeable (top right). The two-tone 1960 F-100 (bottom left) is a beautiful white and deep navy combo in a matte finish. Similar to this pair of 1939 selvage 501’s (bottom right),  indigo and white yarns.

Photos courtesy of Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Wrangler, Levi’s and Lee archives

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Fine Lines: Range Rover Classic – Timberland Classic

July 28th, 2010 by Ian

Clas-sic [klas-ik] – adjective (dictionary.com)
1.  of the first or highest quality, class, or rank.
2.  of enduring interest, quality, or style.
– noun
1.  a work that is honored as definitive in it’s field.
2.  something noteworthy of it’s kind, and worth remembering.

Land Rover started referring to these first gen Range Rovers as “Classic” in ’96. And like all things branded as such, the British SUV had to earn its stripes. It debuted in 1970 with vinyl seats and a plastic dash designed for easy hose downs after muddy hunting days in the woods. The original two-door models (4 door was added in ’72) were not intended to be the luxurious vessels you seeing lining the streets of East Hampton today.  They were very basic and utilitarian in their design and construction. Spencer King, Range Rover’s creator, was an engineer before he was a designer, and his first prototype was created to be the best off road 4×4 on the market. I can’t deny the beauty and comfort found in modern Range Rovers, but lately it’s been these rugged Classics that keep me coming back for more.

At the same time that the United Kingdom was introducing the Range Rover, a little family-owned company in New Hampshire, USA was working on a big idea of their own.  The Abington Shoe Company had one goal, waterproof work boots. By utilizing injection molding technology they fused rubber lug outsoles to leather waterproof uppers. They would call this boot Timberland, and a classic was born. The 6 inch Premium Timberland work boot, with its wheat coloring, is one of the most iconic boots in existence and is the heart and soul of the Timberland company. It is a classic design that will never get old.  The actual boots will get old, but that’s when they get even better looking.

In my dream garage sits one of these 2-door Range Rover classics and the only boots that dare touch those pedals are my old beat up Timberland 10061’s. Beautiful utilitarian design paired with the enduring quality, and outdoor heritage is what makes these classics…well, classic.

Pictures: Timberland and Land Rover archives

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Fine Lines: Aston Martin DB4 Convertible | Swaine Adeney Brigg Umbrella

June 7th, 2010 by Ian

There is obviously more than one way to protect yourself from the elements, but we’re not here to discuss disposable ponchos. Being that rainy days are about as British as Queen Mary and bad teeth, some talented blokes came up with a classy solution to all the rainfall a long time ago. Namely, keeping dry under the finest of materials. Of course, we’re talking about the Aston Martin DB4 Convertible and the Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrella. Both issued royal warrants for supplying the royal family and both were sported by the likes of 007.

The Aston Martin DB4 Convertible was unveiled in 1962 and is definitely among the sexier ways to keep the rain out. The lightweight, Superleggera body was designed by Milanese coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring. Leave it the Italians to design Britain’s sexiest car, and form the basis for all future Aston Martin classics.  Beautiful and rare, just 70 convertible examples were known to have been built out of the roughly 1,110 DB4s produced.

You may not think you know Swaine Adeney Brigg, but perhaps the most famous hat in show business, the one worn by Indiana Jones throughout the film series, was crafted by the famed British company.  Formed in 1943 when Swaine Adeney joined forces with Thomas Brigg and Sons, Swaine Adeney was origninally a maker of fine leather whips and later luggage.  The company went on to specialize in the finest of walking sticks and umbrellas. The wide variety of hand woven silk cloth and luxurious handle materials makes them the choice of any true dandy.

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Fine Lines: Ford Country Squire | Bancroft wooden racquet

May 17th, 2010 by Ian

The warm air has already got me thinking about escaping the city. I often wonder what it must have been like to really escape, before smart phones got their hold on us.  Just you and a bunch of friends piling into the station wagon and getting the hell outta dodge. I can’t pretend to be nostalgic when talking of the Country Squire, but I can be envious of the good old fashioned road trip; one I only know from movies. Right now I’m just really into station wagons, and I’ve also been craving a good game of tennis. It may seem like an odd pairing short of all the wood, but these two things just seem to jive.

The Ford Country Squire was built from 1951 to 1991. The first generation is what we refer to as the “woodie,” when real wood was used on the sides until the mid 50’s. This was later replaced by fiberglass and plastic applique, but the imitation-wood look remained. There is something about a wood paneled station wagon that just gives you a warm feeling. Kind of the like the wood paneled walls in your grandparents basement. The design of this car completely embodies the idea of American Suburbia…roomy, luxurious, yet practical and efficient.

Bancroft has been making tennis racquets in the USA for over a century. Like many masters of their craft, Bancroft’s early years consisted of making racquets for other brands. Bancroft was an industry leader, defining and illustrating many advances in wooden racquet technology and production. The company was endorsed by Bjorn Borg in the 70’s…making it the most stylish piece of wood you could get your hands on. And if you get your hands on one today, you’ll marvel at the beauty.

So hop in the Squire, throw your racquets in the trunk (on the bench seat) and hit the road…

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Fine Lines: Porsche 959 | Rimowa classic luggage

April 22nd, 2010 by Ian

959 X Rimowa 1-Fine Lines

The Germans have a way with aluminum.  Sometimes it is engineered to cradle passengers at neck snapping speeds down the autobahn, and other times to carry passenger belongings through airport security check points at mind numbingly slow speeds. The Porsche 959 was produced from 1986-1989 and, at the time, was largely regarded to be the world’s most technologically advanced road-going sports car. No style or swagger was sacrificed in achieving such a title. For over 100 years Rimowa has been making discerning travelers look cool in airport terminals all over the world.  Their slogan, “Handwerk meets Hightech” (Handcraft Meets High tech), can just as easily be carved under the hood of  the 959.

Both products are the result of one mission statement: Expert craftsmanship, high quality materials, precision manufacturing and unwavering vision.  These timeless and innovative products have secured their positions in the world of iconic designs.

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Fine Lines: BMW 507 | Rolex Submariner 55XX

March 22nd, 2010 by Ian

We live in a world where design is constantly being borrowed and then reinterpreted. And it seems there are no limits to how or where we can draw our inspiration from, as many of the freshest ideas are found in seemingly unrelated areas ranging from fashion and architecture to desk lamps and cell phones. It just takes some good old fashioned observation and imagination to bring it all together. Did BMW consider the Rolex Submariner 55XX, a classic watch that debuted in 1953, when designing their now iconic 507 sports car? Probably not…but we certainly would have.

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