Time is early afternoon of Tuesday May 27, 2014 and location is the garment district of Manhattan and BDMOTP feeling lucky because we get to interview Koos van den Akker, fashion designer and creator of the iconic “Cosby Sweater” seen on Bill Cosby in old school sitcom The Cosby Show. We are in his workshop and Koos is behind his sewing machine, ready to spill.

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Koos: Do you mind if I smoke?

BDMOTP: Of course not!

And Koos lights a cigarette.

BDMOTP: Koos, how do your goals and experience jive with the goals of the young and the hip of today?

Koos: I have no idea.

BDMOTP: Can a creator ever be separated from his creation?

Koos answer is in the negative and he indicates that he is always creating in his workshop even over the past Memorial Day weekend when everyone else is out partying or travelling.  There is no place Koos rather be than in his workshop creating.  He creates not to please customers, but for the sake of creation.  He hopes that what one creates will be pleasing to someone.  Koos considers himself to be a craftsman and not an artist – too many people call themselves artists today and they produce, well, sh**.

Koos lighting up with Kevin van Delsen, a Dutch model showing one of his creations

Koos lighting up with Kevin van Delsen, a Dutch model showing one of his creations

BDMOTP:  Koos, are there certain concepts or ideas you employ during the creative process or is it all intuition?

Koos responds that simple shapes are his canvass and that fabrics are his paints.  He was much inspired by the access to fabrics he found in New York when he first moved to Manhattan from Holland in 1968. Koos has always been much inspired by New York skyscrapers, and when he is creating and designing he thinks of men even though it is mostly women buying his creations. Today “women want their men better dressed”, Koos says.

Koos with model Kevin van Delsen

Koos with model Kevin van Delsen

BDMOTP: What will be your legacy Koos?

Koos: I hope to drop dead behind the sewing machine.

Koos wants to be remembered for his hard work, for being successful with doing what he loves to do, for not compromising, and for making beautiful things.  But he rather not have his work end up in a museum when people no longer wear it, because, according to Koos, ” … that is like death”.

Kevin modeling just another very famous Cosby Sweater

Kevin modeling just another very famous Cosby Sweater

You can find his creations at Koos & Co on 1263 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.  Or you can find Koos on Facebook.

  • Interview by Richard Chianese
  • Photos by Rayzor Sharp
  • Modeling by Kevin van Delsen
  • Written by  Sandro, BDMOTP

I always look forward to seeing the Resurrection show at Seoul Fashion Week. It never ceases to impress with it’s urban vibes and chic looks. They seem to endlessly come forward with new and fresh and ideas using the color black and leather-it never gets old.

This season, they modernized their looks by using not only their (rather signature) leather but also neoprene, sequins and fur. Models strutted the runway with spikey hair and fierce glares. One of the things I like about the line is that they use a lot of black and use it well. However, this season I loved their incorporation of dark blue into the line, especially the coats.

In fact, let’s talk about their coats. Every length, silhouette and fabric that exists is featured in a coat here, they have something for everyone. Well done, Resurrection. Any man wanting to look fresh and cool next fall will be walking the city streets in a Resurrection coat.

BDMOTP favorites: Long blue coat with black detailing, grey medium length coat with belt.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Alex Finch.

 

The Fall/Winter 2014-15 Richard Chai collection walked the New York City runway with a cool and collected attitude. This season, Chai was all about outerwear, especially coats. We get yet another retro feel with the camel colors, yet a lot of cool, modern looks with beanie hats, vertical striped pants paired with more classic coat silhouettes.

Patches, squares and random fabric changes were also a common theme. Although he also showed garments for women, menswear seems to be Chai’s true niche. And back to the vertical stripe…what man (or woman, for that matter) doesn’t want to look taller and more elongated! Viva the vertical stripe! We also seem the popular trend of layering here, with blazers and leather jackets, striped shirts and overcoats.

Finally, Chai presents his collaboration with Andrew Marc, which is leather outwear…we hope this collaboration is an ongoing one!

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos by Robert Hicks.

Fashion forward designer Todd Snyder showed his collection of Mod menswear at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York for Fall/Winter 2014-15. The collection was inspired by Mick Jagger (as we can see by the Chelsea boots worn by the models, which Jagger also wore), and the garments do have a fleeting 60’s Mod vibe to them, though modern and very now.

The color scheme was mainly black, apparently more black than Snyder has ever used in a collection before, with splashes of olive green and eggplant.

The layering we have been seeing for the upcoming fall and winter season is ever present within the Todd Snyder line. A leather jacket/shirt buttoned up underneath a plaid suit, or a plaid flannel under a blazer and a waterproof coat covering all. Touches of plaid and leather, and the appearance the occasional warm knit sweater keep the line relevant and wearable.

BDMOTP favorite: Plaid suit with leather shirt/jacket underneath. Practice those layering skills for the coming winter season.

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Posted by Lori Zaino and photos from the official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York Website.

 

Strolling the Pitti Uomo in Florence in the first week of this year we discovered Spiewak & Sons from New York with their latest collection called Golden Fleece.  Their truly remarkable new collection of parkas, pea coats, and deck & flight jackets is for real men only. Losers not apply. Or perhaps we could say that any man wearing one of these gems will never be a loser, but will have graduated into the realm of the classic man of action, endeavor, endurance, commitment, and determination. Think Ernest Shackleton – an explorer, Eisenhower – a field general, or perhaps even Che Guevara – a rebel.

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The Spiewak N3-B Parka comes in different colors, in brown, navy blue, and in that light grayish military sort of green which you recognize immediately when you see it. They are durable, resistant, and either made of authentic flight satin (used by the US airforce), cotton – nylon, or waxed cotton. The cotton waxing is done by Martexin for extra heavy weather and the cotton – nylon items are produced only in limited edition. This model was originally developed in the 1950’s. Of course such a timeless piece of wear-and-no-tear deserves a critical code name, as if it could be classified as by default in case it goes missing during time of action:  The illustrious N3-B.

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The next collection item needs no introduction as it is such a classic that it has barely changed in more than 200 years: it is the double breasted Melton wool Navy Pea Coat, of which the brochure simply claims that it ranks as “one of the most classic and functional coats ever produced.”  Indeed this model harks back even to the 16th century when seamen and ship captains of yore were roaming the seven seas, at a time when the world was still not fully explored and still full of dangers and adventures both great and small. It is the type of jacket you will draw as a ten-year old when asked to produce the image of the captain of a ship- but don’t forget the sailor’s hat and a smoking pipe!

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The Navy Deck Jacket (the BDMOTP favorite) was originally first produced and developed in the 1940’s for navy crew and vessel workers and is made again of Martexin waxed cotton. Because it is shorter than the pea coat and the parka (like also the flight jacket) it allows for more movement of the body. It clearly is a jacket ready and fit for action; for a man on the deck on the high seas, ready to roll with the waves. Besides it’s wax it has a special outer layer of cloth for protection from cold, rain, wind, and salty waves. Original code name:  N1.

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And that brings us to the final part of this small tour of action coats and jackets: the stuff of legend – not only for those who wore them during their endeavors, but also both in movie & fashion, and probably everyone’s favorite:  The MA-1 flight jacket. From Obama to Kanye West, from Tom Cruise to Jimmy Dean, from Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront) to Paul Newman, from Steve McQueen to Jean-Paul Belmondo, from Shia LaBeouf to Prince Harry: any man with a respectable claim to a life of action, whether in truth or in fiction,loves the flight jacket!  This is surely a group that spans the generations. The MA-1 is not just a classic, it is a timeless piece of men’s wear for the ages!

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But we will leave you the shocker for the end: just compare the random screenshot of Niko Bellic of GTA-IV infamy above trying on a flight jacket, with the picture of Steve McQueen in the caption of this article. There is almost precisely 50 years between the time of the two different images.  Both men are wearing a flight jacket. One is a man of virtual action in a post-modern dystopian video game. The other is a movie action hero in a classic film. But they have the exact same body language, the very same facial expression, the same look, the same stare even. Only the hairstyle is different.  And they are dressed in the same flight jacket. Coincidence?  BDMOTP does not think so.

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In the satirical universe of GTA-IV a large collection of action coats and jackets can be found in the ‘Russian Shop’ on Mohawk Ave, Hove Beach, Broker in Liberty City (which must be a take on Brighton Beach, New York in all probability). The storefront of the shop proclaims in Cyrillic that here you can buy the “latest fashion novelties.”  There, flight jackets, woodland coats and parkas come in the different colors of gray, sand and black and you can purchase one good flight jacket for the excellent virtual price of $26. When you pay at the counter your virtual account is being accurately debited, and when you are about to leave, the cashier bids you goodbye, and tells you with a fat Russian accent:

“Makes you look very strong!”

Posted by Sandro Joo and photos by Yulia Gromova.

 

Resurrection showed a poised, trendy, and modern collection at Seoul Fashion Week. Mainly all black, the looks incorporated materials like leather, mesh, wool and more to give basic looks like suits and jackets a more current vibe. The Resurrection man is cool, stylish and confident, yet still has a classic air to him. Trends like the shorts suit, or suits with shorter, baggier pants (somewhat similar to looks seen at Tokyo and New York fashion week) were popular among this runway.

The Resurrection brand is based in Seoul but has a small following in NYC as well. This edgy brand has cult followers like Lenny Kravitz, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, WILL.I.AM and even Marilyn Manson.

One of the great things about the Resurrection collection is the mix and match variable. There are so many cool one of a kind pieces, like a leather shirt for example, that you could combine in a million different ways. The options are endless!

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Posted by Lori Zaino

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield sits down with celeb Eric Bana in NYC and they chat about fashion, cars, and more!

 

BDMOTP’s Steve Oldfield chats with Eric Bana from BDMOTP on Vimeo.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week NYC continues on with more fabulous fashion, especially from David Hart.  David Hart also had a superb Spring/Summer 2014 collection.  A distinct 50´s vibe was present in his suits, pants, and shorts sets.  He too designed the trending ¨shorts suit¨or ¨shorts blazer combination¨.  He added some knee socks into the mix as well, which is interesting.  However, it really works together.  Come spring, we shall see if men out there are wearing knee socks!  The collection had a distinct British feel to it, especially the plaid pieces.  Hart also used hats, as well as sunglasses and worked with patterns.  Do you like the styles below?

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Images from WWD.com

Posted by Lori Zaino

September has arrived, fall fashion is here, and we are kicking everything off with some highlights by Michael Bastain during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

Michael Bastain´s Spring/ Summer 2014 collection was exciting and quirky this season.  The collection was inspired by foreign french films he watched while stuck in bed with a bad cold.  ¨Red Ballon¨and ¨The Dreamers¨ sparked his creativity and helped guide the way for his current collection.

The collection is bright and bold, perfect for spring and summer.  The clothes are very ¨French¨inspired, dandy and dapper, fun and even a little whimsical, yet still masculine.  He uses a lot of hats, and crazy prints as well, like leopard for men, which is kinda cool.

We can see a trend coming through, with Bastain´s collection (among others) of the ¨shorts suit¨.  The shorts suit is a matching blazer and shorts, or in some cases, simply shorts with a different, un-matching blazer.

The appearance of this trend is interesting, because it combines a formal, classic suit or dressier blazer look with something casual and low key, and very summery.  Is this the new way to dress for a semi- casual, semi- dressy event?  Is this a response to climate change, it being too hot for a normal suit?  Now that blazers paired with jeans are socially acceptable, is this the next step? When next spring falls upon us…I suppose we´ll find out if people were truly be wearing this trend!  In the meantime, enjoy the below highlights of the Michael Bastain collection.

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Images from WWD.com

Posted By: Lori Zaino

Letter writing…snail mail…handwritten greeting cards…a lost art? Most would say so. Due to the appearance of email, smart phones, tablets, etc., many might suggest that no one writes a good old handwritten note anymore. Long gone are the days of love letters, thank you notes, or simply a letter sent in the mail!

However, Terrapin Stationers might just change your mind and make you want to write out a card for someone. This business creates greeting cards almost exclusively geared towards men. Now, perhaps men don´t typically write cards as much as a woman might, but thats all the more reason to do so.

Wouldn´t it be a fabulous to surprise your mother, your brother, your wife or girlfriend with a fun handwritten card or note? To be honest, it would probably blow them away!

It´s an inexpensive and suprisingly welcome way to show someone you care, especially in this day and age, where everything is done electronically.

If you still aren´t convinced, the entertaining, playful nature of Terrapin Stationers cards will surely win you over. They are witty and modern looking cards that are printed on the highest quality card stock.

Choose from the ¨I forgot your birthday¨ kit, ¨manly¨ themed cards that have small drawings of ¨manly¨ things like fishing, hunting, biking, nautical items and more.

The cards are priced around 18-20 USD for a pack of 6. Terrapin is based in New York City and offers some ¨local¨ items like and NYC skyline notepad (10 USD) among others. Even if you aren´t based in NYC, you can order the cards online.

With the easy part done after you have your Terrapin Stationary in hand, now…what to write?!

Fishing Hook Card

Fishing Hook Greeting Card

Bicycle card

Red Bicycle Greeting Card

I forgot your Birthday Kit

I Forgot Your Birthday Kit

NYC Notepad

NYC City Skyline Notepad

 

See more options on the Terrapin Website or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

All images from the Terrapin Website.

Posted by: Lori Zaino

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