November 30, 2010


Can't hate on a homemade laptop case made from a reclaimed Swiss military tent and blanket. If you're not on Instructables already, check it out. A "how to" guide for making anything and everything by individuals. Some decent ideas sometimes.

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Flat Out

These shots by Christopher Wilson of the Salt Flats represent the exact opposite style of photography I am usually attracted to. I tend to find more heart and soul in the type of shots that are off the cuff, on the fly and in the moment. The staged, perfectly lit, shots usually lack the human element I gravitate toward. So what is it about this series? Sure, fast cars on salt flats is a subject matter that will get my attention, but there was something else.

After flipping through a few times I realized it wasn't the cars or the beautiful landscape, it wasn't what was in the pictures, but what is left out. One can't think of custom cars racing for land speed records without thinking about the noise. The scream of engines, the roar of cheers, and the cacophony of expelled gases tuned to the lack of mufflers. Wilson gives us a violent and all together deafening experience seen through a mute button, creates calm from chaos and all in the drop of a shutter.

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November 29, 2010

Born To Run

We've grown accustomed to observing certain brands in the zoos of 5th Avenue pop-ups and reserves of online boutiques. Brands which share ancestry in remote outposts, exploration parties and trail blazers but have since been reduced to Gilt sales and a quiet life of collaborations and limited editions. We forget these brands were born for purpose, for a life of hunting, killing, surviving in the wild, and being free, but because of words like authentic and quality, they have fallen victim to their own prowess.

Don't get me wrong, I too have bought plenty of tickets to the zoo and have gazed and gawked at the beauty of the now docile species'. But that doesn't mean I don't also find solace in the fact that there are certain places where these brands are free. Where they roam retail spaces free of irony. Where they live. The Wharf in Ventura, California is just that -- a protected national park.

The floors are carpet, not unlike what you'd find in the kindergarten rooms of public elementary schools. The walls are covered in the free, over-sized adverts sent folded in boxes which accompany the merchandise upon order. The lights are fluorescent tubes. Nothing is re-created. Nothing is inspired. It is, quite simply, what it is. The aisles are merely trails forged by those looking for nothing more than the warmest and the best for the job.

Be free, Pendleton. Be free, Filson. Be Free, Carhartt. And I'll see your brethren at the zoo next week when I, no doubt, will pick up the new limited, black label, capsule line, re-issued collab.

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November 24, 2010

A Time To Get x Environment

What's better than a comfortable, modern chair made in California? How about a comfortable, modern chair made in California, wrapped in rare, Korean War era USMC Mitchell camouflage and FREE. The good people at Environment Furniture and I happen to have just that.

Environment is known for their sustainable furniture and use of reclaimed woods and materials, which includes their iconic couches and chairs covered in vintage US Army tent canvas. I've long been a fan of the company and was stoked to be a part of it in offering this one-of-a-kind chair exclusively to ATG readers. As much as I'd like to rig the contest and end up with this thing in my living room, we thought it ethical to include a third party to handle all contest logistics. So, it's fair game. The 10 week event concludes on Feb 1st, so you have plenty of time to get in there and make it yours.

This particular camouflage pattern is rare in its own right, and to source enough raw material to cover a chair is near impossible -- that's why there's only one.

Heather Heron, an independent designer who is a frequent collaborator with Environment, is offering a small line of bags made from the same rare camo material. Look for those to drop sometime soon at Environment showrooms.

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November 23, 2010

The Only Card I Need Is...

I've been on a mission for a few months now for an original WWII Bicycle spotter deck. These were decks of playing cards issued by The U.S. Playing Card Company (amongst others including Coca-Cola) with silhouettes of enemy aircraft printed with the numbers and suits on one side. The idea was to spread awareness and educate the general public, enabling them to spot and identify enemy aircraft. Decks were also issued with ships for vessel recognition during war time. There are plenty of "re-issue" decks out there, but an original is a bit harder to find in great condition.

Well, through my search, I've discovered a new grail -- Secret Weapon Bicycle Ace Of Spade decks. During the Vietnam War, Bicycle decided to encourage the taboo surrounding the Ace Of Spades "Death Cards" in an attempt to boost morale. It's argued that the symbol actually meant nothing to the Vietcong and that the sight of the cards did little as far as Psyops. Despite this argument, crates of Ace Of Spades decks were shipped over and distributed amongst the troops. Intact decks are nearly non-existent these days and when they do come up for sale, they go for far more than I'm willing to pay. Is it too much to hope to stumble on a complete deck in some antique store or estate sale? I think not. "The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be..."

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November 19, 2010

For Your Consideration

Are films like this eligible for Academy Awards? In case you don't happen to be one of the nearly 900,000 people who have already seen the new Danny MacAskill edit, clear out 8 minutes of your day and watch it after the jump.

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Vals, Go Home

Oh yeah, this book too. Locals Only, by Hugh Holland. Chances are you've seen these photos for years, scattered across the internet and lurking on tumblr blogs. Now you can have them all in one place.

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November 18, 2010

Papa Was

Do yourself a favor and go grab The Lost Rolling Stones Photographs -- a book documenting the early years of the band's journey to infamy. Not that the lads lack style and taste now... just... different is all. Back in the mid 60s though, these mere kids from over the pond knew how to walk the walk. Backstage, on stage, poolside, drinking, fighting, smoking and driving, these five always looked the part. Makes me want to go out and stock up on striped tees.

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November 17, 2010

By The Crate

The new plaid flannel program from my buddies over at Crate is something I can get into... no, quite literally. Made in Los Angeles (that's in the USA for those of you keeping score) and priced consciously enough to buy more than one for yourself without feeling guilty about the Holidays around the corner. Pick up a couple while you hit the sample sale at the BPMW showroom (860 s. Los Angeles St. suite 824) this Friday from 9-3.

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