Young And Bloke In LA

While J. Press was busy reopening a proper flagship store in New York, something else was happening in Los Angeles. Jeffery Plankster, a commercial director and host of the jazz radio show that featured me last year, has opened a retail store in LA’s historically most preppy enclave of Pasadena. The store is called The Bloke and takes its inspiration from ’60s Brit culture, as well as what you might call the jazz-Ivy crossover. These photos from the opening party give you a glimpse of a few of the hip young neo-traditionalists in LA. — CC

Photos via Street x Sprezza

30 Comments on "Young And Bloke In LA"

  1. A breath of fresh air.

  2. Rene Lebenthal | November 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm |

    I always liked the idea of Ivy-Jazz crossover, because I cherish them both,
    seems to be quite a nice shop… a little far away from Paris though….

  3. This is a nice surprise! I know two of the gentlemen in the photos above—my brother Ryan and my cousin Paul, who are room mates in LA. Paul, who has short hair and is wearing that patch pocket sportcoat, has a fantastic wardrobe of vintage pieces passed down from his father and grandfather. Ryan is the long-haired hippie in plaid who appears to have just burn his draft card and booked a one-way flight to India.

    This store looks great. I’m very jealous.

  4. The Brady Bags are nice!

  5. Left Coast Ivy

  6. Ryan Twardzik | November 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm |

    @Eric – The real reason I’m going to India is to get some Madras straight from the source!

  7. Brit-Ivy. I think it’s marvelous. Well-dressed gents all around, wish I could be there.

  8. I love the early to mid 60s classy but chic look. You can see it in many movies of the era, including early James Bond, How to Steal a Million and going back to the late 50s, Bonjour Trieste. We have an independent store like that here in Baltimore.

  9. Charlottesville | November 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm |

    Eric, Ryan and Paul — Wonderful all around. I love the olive tweed jacket. The last time I was in Pasadena would have been in the late 90s or early 2000s. Glad that there is still something traditional in Southern California.

  10. Reactionary Trad | November 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm |

    How typical of L.A. to produce something like this instead of the real thing.

  11. pjdoughertyiii | November 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm |

    Pipe Guy is legit. Maybe he’s an actual time-traveler.

  12. Very, very cool.

    While I’m not a fan of LA proper, for a litany of reasons, I do enjoy visiting a few towns on its outskirts; Pasadena is one of those. P.M. Jacoy is a great little menswear shop there.

    Speaking of Jazz, if you find yourself in LA, for some god-forsaken reason, find time to visit Hotel Bel Air’s piano lounge for an Old Fashioned. Charming, pre-Shah Iranian bartender with great stories of Iran’s halcyon days. The pianist does a wonderful job as well.

  13. @WFB My brother ate the jar of nuts from the mini fridge in our room at the Bel Air, when my mother saw the charge for $20 she was livid

    Nothing but the best wishes to Jeffery, a great shop with a distinct point of view!

  14. The Bloke. Just love it. And great to see the Brit-Jazz-Ivy connect. LA take a bow.

  15. Awesome to finally have a good haberdashery here in LA. I hope it’s the start of a classic menswear renaissance in this city, similar to what the Armoury has accomplished in HK and NYC but on a smaller, inclusive scale.

    Thanks for featuring my blog and pictures CC!

  16. Ah, the varieties within the category that is Ivy. Such diversity. No wonder we now have a bevy of phrases to describe the many branches of the family tree.

  17. @ WFBJr – If that bartender is really “pre-Shah” he must have a good deal of interesting stories to tell

  18. Richard Meyer | November 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm |

    Does anyone in California wear neckties?

  19. Re Ivy/Trad in LA:

    As I recall tassel loafers were first made by Alden (in the late 1940s) to order for a Los Angeles men’s store and then spread across the land.

    Isn’t Carroll and Company – on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills since 1949 – a de facto (relatively) traditional men’s store? They call their style the “Carroll look” which is not strictly Trad but many of their sport shirts and sweaters would not look or be priced out of place at O’Connell’s in Buffalo.

    Their web site notes that Hollywood icons who have been profiled on Ivy-Style were among their customers back in the day: “The Hollywood community becomes a driving force behind Carroll & Co. growth. Carroll & Co. serves as custom tailors to notable stars such as Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, Paul Newman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau as well as many others in multiple feature productions.”

    Is there a story here CC?

  20. Thanks, Mazama. Passed on to one of our men in LA.

  21. You’re welcome, CC. BTW, being a pipe smoker you might want to ask “one of (your) men in LA” to closely inspect Carroll’s velvet smoking jacket to see if it might be suitable for your use in NYC.

    You photograph very well, and I’m confident you can pull off that look of smoldering sophistication just as well as Carroll’s bearded model…

  22. @CC and Mazama

    Carroll & Company moved from Rodeo Drive to Canon Drive many years ago. Tommy Hilfiger built a store in the former Carroll & Company location on Rodeo Drive. Tommy Hilfiger didn’t last long, and Brooks Brothers is now there.

    A few years ago the Beverly Hills Historical Society made a YouTube video about Carroll & Company.

  23. @PJW

    She makes me think about about Brazil ’66. No, Astrid Gilberto – bonita.


  24. @ PJW

    Me, too.

  25. Grey Flannels | November 18, 2017 at 12:29 am |

    @Reactionary Trad

    Perhaps this will help change your mind:

  26. Perhaps time to revisit “girls in penny loafers on bicycles,” one of our most popular ever.

  27. I’m glad to hear about this shop. I moved to LA in 1994 after working at Polo RL for 4.5 years.

    I had lived in NJ, Boston, and Manhattan so I came out here and bought into the East cost stereotypes about it. It took me 20 years to get used to it. But now I think this city is becoming more urbanized in a good way with a revival of old neighborhoods, walkable places, biking, subway and light rail, etc.

    And people, younger ones, dress in much more dressy ways than middle aged people do. There is a lively continent of snazzy dressers, guys in dress boots, tailored trousers, well-fitted dress shirts. The slobs, the stereotypes of the fatty in flip flops, yes that is all over the place, but there is a hunger for a kind of non-conformist preppy. Most of the younger adherents to it cannot tie a tie, they don’t know about the roll of a button down collar or what a club tie is. But the charm is in the attempt to formulate some kind of uniform out of the ruins of sartorialism that came out of LA in the 1960s and eventually swallowed up the entire world.

    There are some devoted artisanal clothing stores in LA such as General Quarters on LaBrea where the owner, Blair, is fastidious about quality and presentation. Hemingway and Sons in Silver Lake is another well-appointed place with an excellent selection of men’s sports clothes, and so is Tradesman in Venice. These are all independent shops and they try and present an edited and classic bunch of shirts, books, jackets, sweaters, shorts, etc.

    There will never be the type of Madison Avenue formality here. The weather is getting hotter every year. The idea of layering woolens will not survive when the temperature is above 85 most of the year. Guys here are also way too athletic, too informal, too devoted to being unpretentious that they would laugh at what people wear in Nantucket or on the train going from Boston to NY. LA is trying harder, but it’s trying not to look like it’s trying harder.

    And for those people, whose geographic center is at 72nd and 5th, or who adore that triangle below Canal, and who still insist on laughing at LA as they drive the Merritt Parkway, remember you gave the world Donald Trump.

  28. @Andrew

    I didn’t realize that New York went for Trump.


  29. EVAN EVERHART | August 31, 2018 at 4:35 pm |

    I know that red haired fellow; he’s the door man at the Cicada Club which is held periodically at the Oviat Building off of Pershing Square, in Los Angeles. A nice Bloke, he is.

  30. The Bloke is permanently closed. RIP.

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