01/05/2012 § 5 Comments
This weekend while on a walk in my neighborhood, I stopped by one of my favorite shops in Tribeca, Philip Williams Posters, on a bit of a lark. While the store is best known for its collection of vintage posters, my attention was drawn from the window by what looked like a massive stack of magazines. Once inside, I simultaneously realized that they were Life Magazines and that my afternoon was pretty much sealed.
You already know how much I love Life Magazine: I collect them, I read virtual copies on Google Books and wander for (way too many) hours in the online archive. Coming at this cache of vintage media from multiple directions sometimes provides the opportunity for the kind of pleasant surprise I had this weekend.
First off, you put a horse on anything and I will at least give it a second look. You put one on the cover of a Life Magazine from the 1930s and mention it’s a polo pony? Dead. Before even cracking this baby open, I knew it was coming home with me. But when I did, I realized I was already familiar with the photos inside as they were part of a set that I had discovered in the archives a few weeks ago — and trust me when I say there is nothing in there tagged “polo” that I haven’t already seen.
The feature is about George H. “Pete” Bostwick (August 14, 1909 – January 13, 1982), steeplechase jockey, horse trainer, 8-goal polo player and grandson to Jabez A. Bostwick, a founder and treasurer of Standard Oil Company of New York and partner of John D. Rockefeller. Pete’s favored game, high-goal polo, was a pastime of the wealthy in the 1930s, but Pete made an unprecedented, egalitarian move: he invited the public to watch him and his friends play at Bostwick Field on Long Island, charging only fifty cents for admission. It was an immediate hit.
These photos were taken 1937 in Long Island by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Because relatively few actually made it into the issue, having access to the archive allowed me to really enjoy even more photos than were published. This is about to be a long post, so I must apologize in advance if you don’t enjoy looking at black and white photos of horses, polo or people in their Sunday best. I will apologize, but I’ll think you’re kinda crazy.
If you’d like to read the feature yourself, you can find it here, via Google Books.
Philip Williams Posters || 122 Chambers St., Tribeca || 212.513.0313
23/12/2011 § 2 Comments
Photos of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, March 1949, at Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England. The Beaufort is one of the oldest and largest fox hunts in England. Founded by the 1st Duke of Beaufort in 1682, later heads of the House of Beaufort have all either hunted or occupied The Beaufort’s mastership, and the hounds, kennels and stables are still held by the family. The 11th and current Duke of Beaufort, David Robert Somerset, currently occupies the mastership of the pack and acts as its patron.
Two unfortunate things about these photos. First, the pictures are not captioned so I have no idea who is who — but I do know that the 10th Duke of Beaufort isn’t shown. Second, as the pictures are in black and white, you don’t get to notice the distinctive livery color of the Duke’s Hunt. Instead of wearing the traditional red, the huntsman and whippers-in wear green, while the subscribers wear blue coats with buff facings (you can notice the buff facings, though).
Aside from that, they’re really great. I especially love the ladies sitting sidesaddle with their top hats, and the servants navigating their way around the horses with their silver trays. Lovely. It’s no accident I’ve been finding myself looking for a beaver fur top hat of my own…
A lovely illustration of the Beaufort Hunt I found over at The Anglophile:
And a few images of the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt today:
To learn more about the Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, head over to their website here.
I’m also excited to mention that I’ve started my own club.
All other images via LIFE and Beaufort Hunt.
27/11/2011 § 5 Comments
I’ve not returned from Buenos Aires just yet, but I thought I would do a brief post from the Southern Hemisphere on what’s turned out to be my favorite travelling companion from the past few weeks. In October, I posted about my trip to the Rose Bowl Flea in California to visit The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. and meet founder Warren Schummer. Aside from having a lovely visit, I also put in an order for one of their handsome 16″ tool bags. I was very pleased to receive it before I jetted off for South America and it’s been absolutely great on the trip.
Large enough to fit a MacBook Air, several guidebooks, a Louis Vuitton Pochette, Kate Spade Lacey wallet, a Nikon D60 (and its bag and cords), a few other bits and bobs, and somehow still fit under the seat in front of me, this bag is made for travel. With a firm board bottom and metal feet, it also keeps its shape beautifully when not quite so fully stuffed. I especially liked the detachable shoulder strap, which I usually wore cross-body to keep my hands free. It definitely came in handy while rambling around the antiques market of San Telmo in Buenos Aires, where the photos were taken.
The leather was quite blond when I received it, but after only a few weeks it’s already aging nicely. I’m definitely looking forward to years of use from this handsome bag — and of course, many more trips around the world with it. If you’d like your own bag from this very limited run, all completely handmade in Southern California, head here.
You’ll notice two small alterations on my bag, courtesy of Warren: the addition of a small snap at the top to keep it securely closed and — and! — my monogram just below that. If you ask him very very nicely, he might be able to fix yours up as well.
All photographs courtesy of Erin Rickards, who is a great photographer and even greater friend, but sadly is without a website. She did just start Instagramming, though. If you’d like to follow her there, her username is @ericka22.
26/05/2011 § 1 Comment
Was very excited to scoop up two Ivy League pennants on my trip to Brimfield. Originally flown by knights in the middle ages and still used by warships today to connote their status as commissioned vessels, pennants are also associated with American sports — specifically professional baseball and collegiate teams. I’m really looking forward to getting these dorm room staples up on the wall and adding a bit of school spirit around the house.
via Claremont Colleges Digital Library.
via Vassar College Archives.
via University North Carolina Greensboro Digital Projects.
17/05/2011 § 8 Comments
Yours Truly, wearing the Owen in striped chestnut.
Law school thrashed my eyeballs. I went from not needing glasses to realizing I had no idea what my professors looked like in less than a year (please add this to the list of cons for law school). So since then, I’ve worn either glasses or contacts to correct my law-scarred vision. (Is that a tort?) (Law school jokes!) (Sorry.) I’ve been wanting a new pair of spectacles for some time and in my search for the perfect pair, I came across Warby Parker.
Briefly, for the 3 or 4 of you who are not yet aware, Warby Parker is an entirely online, extremely affordable, frame manufacturer that specializes in vintage-inspired styles. $95 will get you a new sparkly pair of prescription spectacles, shipped free to your door (with free returns as well). While currently only producing eyeglasses (and a monocle, in case you were in the market), Warby Parker will be adding sunglasses to the repertoire this summer. Also worth noting is the fact that for every pair purchased, they donate a pair to people in need. The combination of excellent style, affordability and philanthropy completely sold me.
Leery to purchase glasses you’ve never tried on before? Well, Warby Parker has that covered through their Home Try-On program. You select 5 pairs you’d like to test out, they send them to you free of charge and you get to try them for five days. Then you send them back (yep, for free) and place your order online. For those who are bit too impatient or too indecisive to narrow it down to 5 pairs, you can also elect to pop by a Warby Parker showroom (currently in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Portland, San Francisco, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Omaha). I made an appointment with the exceptionally helpful Patrick, and dragged along the lovely Sarah of StyleOnTheCouch to help me select a pair and take a few pictures. The images, unless otherwise noted, are hers.
The showroom, located just off Union Square, is a lofty, light-filled space that shares quarters with the Warby Parker corporate offices. After a warm welcome I immediately set to work narrowing down my options to a group of semi-finalists, and pulled a group of five. I then began plaguing Sarah and Patrick with multiple try-ons and demands to know which pair looked best.
Trying on the Tenley in burgundy fade.
In the Roosevelt in striped chestnut.
The shape of my face requires I stay away from overly narrow frames or anything severely cat-eye, so I knew I wanted a pair of larger, heavier frames, but wasn’t eager to venture into Man Repeller territory. My finalists were the Owen (pictured at top) and the Roosevelt (pictured above). So what do you think? Which pair looks better?
See which pair I chose after the jump.
14/03/2011 § 3 Comments
Newest addition to the family is a pair of Ray-Ban Caribbeans in light brown, with gradient lenses. Yours truly almost settled on a pair of Wayfarers, before deciding something different was in order. J’adore the slightly larger, squared shape and whisper of an upturned corner on these beauties. Originally released in 1964, the Caribbeans have a lovely bit of glamour that I find lacking in the ubiquitous Wayfarers but retain the classicism I was looking for in a pair of Ray Bans. Think of Caribbeans as the slightly more posh cousin of the traditional Wayfarers.
Next on my list is a pair of Catty Clubmasters, if only I can decide on the color. (Of course, I’m leaning towards red.)