All Terrain Cycle Gear

Once in a while, we have such an amusing customer interaction that it warrants chatting about it. A few weeks ago, the humorous and proudly Italian Vincent S. from Corbin Motorcycles purchased a vintage ATC Honda racing mesh hat from us. He was super excited and let us know that they were hard to find. He gave it to his dad and a few days later, I received a great photo of Vincent and his dad from Vincent’s childhood. He’s sitting on a three-wheeled ATC, wearing the very same mesh hat.

Since then, I happened to stumble upon a vintage ATC Honda racing shirt. Thinking Vincent might be interested, I sent him a photo. He loved the shirt and sent over another photo – a 1976 Polaroid of he and pops. Vincent wrote, “Here is a picture of my dad’s custom chopper with rims he made. 30 years later “Jesse James” said he invented the 5-star aluminum rim…ummmm NO, pops had that shit back when us Italians had bowl cuts and afros. Check out the ‘do on me and my pops, oh and my snazzy plaid bell bottoms.”

Most fabulous photo description ever. I will now never be able to see another ATC garment and not immediately think of Vincent. Not a bad thing, in my opinion.

My interaction with Vincent also prompted me to do some research. Turns out that around 1893, the first Quadracycle came out. In the 60’s many American and Japanese companies churned out 4-wheeled vehicles that were able to traverse water, mud and swamp land. Then, in 1970, Honda premiered the first 3-wheeled All Terrain Vehicle and trademarked the term for it ATC (All Terrain Cycle). The bike was made famous with help from James Bond in the film, “Diamonds Are Forever”. Since the early Bond days, these big-wheeled toys have found their place and popularity with sports enthusiasts and motorcycle fans.

Here are Vincent’s awesome photos, followed by the most recent find for him at our warehouse.

A Linen Obsession

Made from Flax plant fibers, linen is one of the oldest textiles around, dating as far back as 8000 BC, where remnants have been unearthed in Swiss lakes. It is one of my absolute favorite fabrics. I love its weaved texture, medium weight body and the fact that it is hailed for its exceptional coolness in hot weather as well as its ability to retain heat in cold weather.

As a vegetable fiber, linen is considered to be in the cottons family, even though it is much stronger than cotton. In its natural state, raw linen is a beautiful oatmeal color. It can also be dyed a variety of colors. Historically, linens have been used for house dressings like table cloths, napkins and aprons as well as more delicate garments like lingerie and nighties.

I am in the process of sewing up some 1970’s inspired linen-lined ponchos for the winter. And linen blazer jackets have a special place with us at Monster Vintage. So, it was with great joy that I peeked at Dolce & Gabbana’s Ready To Wear Spring 2011 line. Those stylish Italian men sewed up amazing linen bubble shorts, culottes, jumpers and blazers. Paired with romantic garden-print prairie dresses and ruffled gingham aprons, the collection is so feminine, flirtatious and practical. I love nothing more than when designers take care to see that the clothes can actually be worn to work in, whether it’s taking the bus to meet friends or dig in the garden.

Below are D&G images, followed by a sampling of what we currently have for sale on the site. Long live linen.

Haute Haute Halston

Unable to ignore it any longer, Fashion Week this year has had its say; The 1970’s are back. Oh, are they back. In a languid 70’s cloud of bright colors, bold clashing prints, easy silhouetted blouses, bell bottom pants and blue jeans, draped raglan flower sleeves and jumpsuits jumpsuits jumpsuits. Thus, at least one blog entry must be devoted to the era all the designers collectively deemed the it decade for style mavens now and well into the 2011.

By very definition of history, street credentials and being able to bring it all back beautifully, the house of Halston has set the 70’s bar high. Plucking popular resort wear tropical colors like tangerine, lime, sand and , combining the perfect style lines and fabrics, Halston did what they have done so well in the past; created an emotional line of clothing. The dresses scream Studio 54 fame. The wide-legged palazzo pants, front tie blouses, gold heels, bright sparkling make-up and frizzy coifs, Halston has women fantasizing about the Friday night outfit. Which will look just as fabulous when stumbling home the next morning.

Roy Halston and the gorgeous Bianna Jagger:

To accompany your Halston-inspired dress of choice; Dip every nail in a different resort color. Smiley face eyes optional.

From our closet, for sale:

Pringle Of Scotland

Aside from being ridiculously fun to say (try and do it without smiling), Pringle Of Scotland is one of our favorite cold-weather labels. With a hugely impressive near-300 years behind them, it’s safe to say that this Scottish born and bred company knows precisely what they’re doing.

Founded 1815 in Britain by Robert Pringle, not only did Robert begin what would become the most respected and admired knitwear house in the world, he actually coined the term, “knitwear” when a knitted garment of his was worn as outerwear (presumably by a handsome sheep herder). Robert continued his innovative streak by creating the instantly recognizable checkered argyle pattern and for inventing the term and style, “twinset“, which, we all know, quickly became most sought after by Europe’s elite socialites. We owe Mr. Pringle a grand thanks for his cashmere creativity. And for keeping us warm all Winter long.

As if all this weren’t enough, Pringle of Scotland has had the foresight and business savvy to keep up with the current fashion set. Employing the fair-skinned, fire flaxen British actress Tilda Swinton for their 2010 ad campaign was brilliantly off the beaten model path. Swathed in rich Pringle sweaters, the photos were incredibly successful for the company, putting them once again on the lips of media and blog sweethearts.

Additionally, showcased during their menswear show in Milan on January 18th, 2010, Pringle released a mini cartoon documentary. With a relaxing voice-over and animated by artist David Shrigley, the flick is adorable. I now know that Pringle uses the softest cashmere from the belly of goats and sheep and what bobbin trees and jumpers are.

Click on the link and then “brand film” to enjoy.

Below are images from Tilda’s ad campaign, photos of Pringle garments and items for sale from our website.

2011 Pantone Spring Resort Colors

As part of today’s current Women’s Wear Daily news, Pantone has come out with a chart that best represents the most popular colors we can expect to see douse the apparel’s Spring 2011 season.

From WWD:

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said, “This time, everything is a little more exotic. It really has to do with everything that is happening in the world. There is still a lot of concern about the economy and life in general. It is very natural that designers would have those things in their thought process as they choose their colors.”

Below are Pantone’s picks, followed by their appeal reason. And then I’ve included a few picks from our website that incorporate one or more of these colors. Real men do wear pastels!

A flirtatious and feel-good color.

Blues have been gaining momentum with the fashion flock. As a cooling tone, regatta has a calming appeal.

Exotic oranges have been around for several seasons. It’s a bright Spring color.

Yellows have been gaining ground in recent seasons and the popularity of beeswax is an extension of that.

Many people have learned that green works well as a neutral and are more inclined to wear it on a more regular basis.

Carmen Marc Valvo and Nary Manivong are fans of this one. Blue Curacao’s strong showing taps into the interest in turquoise, which was Pantone’s 2010 color of the year.

Russet, like silver peony, has a slightly peachy tone. Both shades represent a wide range of nude tones. Wonderful against many different skin tones.

Ethereal and peachy, silver peony appeals to many women.

The purple family has come on strong in the past few years. “Purple is the most creative color,” Eiseman said. “Lavender is very popular with people in fashion. It comes from a marriage of blue and red, which are absolute opposites. Artistic and creative people get that.”

Ports 1961 and Ella Moss are a few that looked skyward. A good background color.

Handsome Fall Trench Coat Conversation

The weather lately, at least here in the NW, has been erratic. I mentally geared up for Fall a few days ago, dreaming dreams of wool ponchos and lace-up boots. But then the sun came back out. Oh well. We know that Fall really is around the corner and with customers buying serious rain-proof trench coats, I thought it appropriate to see how the runway designers are interpreting chillier temperatures with their Fall 2010 lines.

Interestingly, my favorite trench spotting was completely vintage-inspired. The layered look below is from Nicholas K. I love the French nod with the leather trimmed wool beret and sailor striped lace-up shirt. The push-up pants are more mature than typical sweat pants with their color blocking shapes and the tough leather lace-up work boots are perfect for Fall’s shoe trend. The trench though, pulls it all together. It’s a great take on the modern style lines of classic three-quarter length vintage trench coats. And this jacket is special – it was designed by Nicholas with thoughtfulness for anyone living in rapid-change climates or folks who just need to have chameleon clothing; the hood and sleeves can all be detached.

Our vintage trenches are sturdy and element-proof come rain, sleet or snow. One of the better labels we see is Dryza-Bone, out of Australia. Made from 100% cotton but given a solid coating of oilskin to make them as waterproof as a duck, they come in an array of earthy tones, have lots of pockets for all your goodies and are the most study outdoor jackets I’ve seen. Plus they tend to have these great extra flaps of fabric to cover raindrop-vulnerable areas to ensure you stay dry as a bone. Very Nicholas K. but with an outback attitude.