Designer Forum January 2011 Recap

This week is menswear market week in New York, and so I headed over to the Warwick Hotel for the CTDA’s Designer Forum show. Here are some highlights.

Collared Greens has expanded its collection to belts (above), which are made in conjuntion with Leather Man. Below is a shot of their colorful reps ties:

I soon noticed a rack full of shaggy Shetlands. It was Scotland’s Laurence Odie Knitwear. Chatting with the sales rep revealed that the company makes the Shaggy Dog sweaters for J. Press, as well as the brushed Shetlands for The Andover Shop and O’Connell’s flat-finish Shetlands. The company can make them in 150 colors, or basically a different one for every day of fall and winter. Now that would be a sweater collection.

Next up, ties from Richmond, VA-based Peter Blair. The tie in the center is for Hampden-Sydney; the one on the left was made for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and features lines of bras. The one on the right is for the Commonwealth Club and features the initials CC in a crest. Kinda thinking about that for myself.

The Belted Cow is headquarted in Yarmouth, Maine. Its US-made emblematic belts are priced at only $45.

Edward Armah makes a cool adjustable bow tie that can be worn four different ways. His latest invention is a “pocket circle” instead of a pocket square:

The circle takes the hassle out of elaborate folds. All you do is lay it flat, pinch the center, pull it through your fingers and stuff it in. The circular shape natural creates a ruffled look showing the trimmed edge. The circles are sold at Neiman Marcus for $65 or are available from Armah’s website.

Here are Bird Dog Bay‘s printed bow ties:

The latest bows from R. Hanauer feature contrast patterns:

I thought I’d caught Larry from The Andover Shop inspecting a new patchwork fabric — perhaps for window dressing. In fact it’s a giant swatch showing individual tie patterns.

One of Pennington & Bailes‘ newest belts is this one made of English bridle leather with removable hoof pick for dislodging rocks from your horse’s hooves:

Bruce Boyer was there, clad in bespoke flannels, a 3/2 roll sportcoat with turnback cuffs, and a buttondown collar he absent-mindedly forgot to button. He’s at that age.

Bruce and I are finishing up a book proposal we’re getting ready to pitch. We excitedly shared it over lunch with tailors Chris Despos of Chicago and Gian De Caro of Seattle, who were debating shoulders and didn’t really pay attention. — CC

26 Comments on "Designer Forum January 2011 Recap"

  1. The array of Shetland sweaters is awesome. Who is Bruce Boyer’s bespoke tailor?

  2. I really like the collared greens ties, but $85 is pretty steep.

  3. Saving the earth doesn’t come cheap.

  4. Vern Trotter | January 18, 2011 at 11:18 am |

    The belts look a bit narrow. How wide are the neckties? Nice to know about the manufacturer of the sweaters.

  5. I love the belts. Can I request a feature on needlepoint belts? I got a Smathers and Branson belt with a horse racing graphic on it for Christmas. It is serriously my favorite article of clothing.

  6. G. Bruce Boyer | January 18, 2011 at 11:43 am |

    I’m flattered that Christian Chensvold has included me in his report. I AM of that age, but the unbuttoning was of course purposeful. I like soft collars, and what I should do is simply have my button down shirts made without the collar holes and additional buttons. To answer the first commentor’s question, I have several tailors, but have stuck with the same ones over the years. Christian mentioned Chris Despos (of Chicago) and Gian DeCaro (of Seattle). Both have made clothes for me, are friends, and absolutely top tailors.

    — G. Bruce Boyer

  7. It’s not a big show, but it’s true that the “trad” stuff that was there was mostly ties and belts. There was plenty of other stuff, but this is what caught my eye.

  8. Was there yesterday and Sorry I missed running into you. Another fine show with some great vendors!

  9. Michael, you didn’t miss me as I was there Sunday.

    The belts were perhaps “a bit” narrow. Not enough for me to say, “Oh, narrow belts.”

    Tie widths all around were pretty much industry standard 3.5. Nothing narrow nor wide.

  10. Bruce Boyer is the only thing “Ivy” in that whole parade of rainbow-colored crap.

  11. Mister Boyer, I am shocked and honored to see a reply from you yourself! I am a great admirer of your writing and personal style. I loved your Astaire book. Do you still only wear sacks? Are there New York bespoke tailors you recommend who are good at making that soft, almost slouchy, suit look? Again, thanks for the reply.

  12. G. Bruce Boyer | January 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |

    Dear Mr. B, actually I wear an easy-fitting but slightly darted jacket with minimum infrastructure. It perhaps appears sack-cut because my figure has become more amoeba-like over the years. I think every custom tailor I know of in NYC makes a darted jacket. J. Press does a Made-to-Measure program with a sack-cut model; this is factory-made, but with enough handwork to qualify it as a quality garment. I believe Paul Winston still makes jackets both in custom and made-to-measure in the traditional sack-cut model as well. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, but there seem to be fewer and fewer resources for custom versions of this style these days. — G. Bruce Boyer

  13. Bruce, I wouldn’t worry about your figure. I think Mr. B used the term “sack” as a synonym for your jacket’s 3/2 button stance. This came up recently and is a prime example of the confusion that can result from using the terms interchangeably.

    Boyer’s bespoke jacket was hardly cut like an off-the-rack sack suit.

  14. Michael Mattis | January 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm |

    The turnback cuffs are brilliant.

  15. Christian, Do you happen to know if one can order directly from Laurence Odie Knitwear, thereby removing the middleman? I tried a search on the internet, but to no avail.

    Mr. Boyer looks dressed to kill as usual. Do you know if he travels to Washington, DC? I would like to me this gentleman.

  16. Yes, just to clarify, I was certainly not responding to your figure. In the picture above, I see folds in the jacket that could be darts, but also could just be folds. I thought I had read somewhere a while back that you favored jackets without darts, but I must have been mistaken. As for NYC bespoke tailors, I guess by “slouchy” I really meant who is good at a natural shoulder? I have always loved this photo of you from the Sartorialist:

    That jacket is perfect, as is the whole outfit and color scheme. Anyway, Christian, thanks for the post and the blog, and Mister Boyer, thanks for you openness and responses.

  17. Hilton, I’m pretty sure Odie only sells wholesale (I looked for a website in vain as well). The wholesale price, incidentally, is $75.

  18. Am going to Edinburgh this April, as close as I’ll probably ever get to the Shetland Islands, anyone have any advice on the best place to get a Shetland there? Odie or otherwise, I also fruitlessly searched for an Odie website, or an Odie shop in Edinburgh.

  19. I’ve got to agree with AEV. I’m constantly astounded that all of these companies are still in business from making the same “cute” printed neckties.

  20. I am sick to death of pastel printed silk ties with whimsical regional motifs – there are so many players in that space now. Vineyard Vines has a lot to answer for.

  21. Sorry – what’s the book proposal about? I noticed the mention at the end, but perhaps I missed something???

  22. Also, I can’t say that I think CG’s prices are too out of whack given they’re American made.

    That’s always going to add a premium, and whether its worth it depends on your point of view.

  23. DC, book project is a secret, alas. Will announce after we ink something — or not.

  24. The pocket circle was actually first thought up by Alexander Olch but I suppose from our end there’s no harm in having more choice.

  25. Some good offerings all around, but what really intrigues me were the Kansas Jayhawk all over print khakis, who makes them and where can I order some??

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