Monday, December 28, 2009

The Fashion Spot Interview

William S. Gooch had a few questions for John.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

JB’s December Favorite Thangs …

As the holidays are upon us, and as we try to make sense of the world around us, I am going local for all of my holiday shopping and holiday spending. It gets frustrating when people are shopping in every neighborhood but their own. So this year, my partner John and I are spending our money locally and investing in our own ‘hood. “If I can not walk to it, I won’t buy it” is my holiday motto this year. With that in mind, here are my ten favorite thangs for December…

1. RGJB (Rogue’s Gallery for John Bartlett) 70’s vintage inspired tees and thermals
Alex Carleton of Rogues Gallery and I are both inspired by 1970’s leather bar graphics and these are wonderful interpretations of an easier, more carefree era. Exclusive to my store, this is a co-branded holiday offering that is artsy, sexy, and made in America.  They retail for $75.

2. Carter and Cunningham Studio Visit

My wonderful and talented friends Mark Welsh and James Salaiz of Carter and Cunningham are the co-founders of a very inspiring design lab that creates hand-hewn and collaged mirrors and crazy-gorgeous ceramics. Please join me in visiting their studio on both Saturday December 19th and Sunday December 20th from Noon-6:00 pm for an incredible opportunity to invest in local, homegrown talent.

195 Chrystie Street
Suite 809E
New York, NY 10002

3. Mattachine at Julius
My favorite night out is around the corner from where I live at the oldest gay bar in NYC, Julius.  Paul (PJ) DeBoy has created a special night and can follow him on twitter at pjdeboy. The next event is Thursday, December 10th starting at 9:00 pm until ??. I don’t really go out much but I find myself dancing my ass off at this neighborhood party where the music is a twisted mix of early 80’s new wave and 70’s rock.

159 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10014

4. Charles Restaurant
This newly opened West Village eatery is an incredibly chic instant classic. The food is amazing (try the octopus salad!) and the service is beyond compare. So many restaurants come and go and although Charles is a bit on the pricey side, it is worth every cent. Make sure to reserve early as this new West Village secret is getting out.

234 West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10014

5. Boyhoods-Rethinking Masculinity by Ken Corbett
An insightful book about gender and what is means to be a man (and a boy) through the lens of feminist and queer theory.  Sound heavy? It is quite the opposite. Although Corbett journeys through some heavy duty psychoanalytical thought, this is an amusing, accessible and ultimately groundbreaking assessment of gender that even a layman like me can grasp. Ken is a wonderful friend and neighbor and I am so proud of this compelling study!

6. Cafiero Select
This perfect idiosyncratic home décor store is an East Village gem. David Cafiero, a renaissance dude who looks like a Kennedy but can impersonate Edie Beal has created a one of a kind home décor store that has attracted such an indie following (Chloe Sevigny had Cafiero design her digs after wandering into his shop a year ago) that he is now one of the most sought after decorators in town. David is there quite often and can show you how to effortlessly create a downtown vibe with uptown pedigree.

206 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10003

7. The 5-Wick Brick Candle
Created by the mistress of scent, Eileen Harcourts, exclusively for my store, these candles come in three distinct moods: Tweed, Fireplace, and Tobacco Bark. Imagine the smell of a musty tweed blazer mixed with your grandfather’s tobacco pipe sitting in front of a fire and you get the olfactory mise en scene.  Each one is hand made and costs $85 - a perfect brick of a gift for the hollerdaze.

8. RGJB (Rogues Gallery for John Bartlett) Log Carrier
No winter blizzard is complete without a hand made, hand-screened log carrier made out of old sails in Maine ($135). They make a perfect gift for that hard to buy for lumberjack and also come in vintage plaids ($150) and black leather ($350).

9. Partners & Crime Booksellers
When I am not reading intellectual studies on gender (which is most of the time) I am perusing the racks of this wonderful neighborhood bookstore that specializes in mystery and crime books of all genres. They have monthly book signings with authors and even have a very cool Scandinavian section whose titles inspired me to take a trip to Stockholm earlier this fall. Ask the owners who are there everyday for recommendations.

44 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10011

10. Donate! Donate! Donate!
It is this time of year when it feels even more important to donate money to your local charities who are working to make your community a better place for everyone.  For me, I will be sure to donate money to Sylvia’s Place, an emergency overnight shelter for gay, lesbian and transgendered youth on 446 west 36th street. Many kids find themselves in the Big Apple because they are not welcome at home and this is especially true for our LGBT brothers and sisters. Silvia’s Place offers not only a place to sleep for the night but meals, physical and mental health services and court advocacy. We are all so very fortunate and it is imperative to give back in every and any way we can.

I wish you all a very safe, happy and sacred season. It is not about the gift giving and the over indulging but the love we can share with those around us, whether they are family, lovers or even a stranger on the street. If you look deeply enough into someone’s eyes, you can see God peering back at you and we are all in this together.


RGJB photos by Matthew Sandager

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009 &

Check out these stories about John Bartlett collaboration with Alex Carleton from Rogues Gallery.
racked & the shop hound

Monday, November 16, 2009

Everything is going to the dogs …

My life is filled with dog hair. There is dog hair everywhere and in every corner of my apartment. My partner, John Esty, and I have three incredible hairy children: Huff, a Bernese Mountain dog, Tiny Tim, a three legged Rottie Shepherd, and Millie, a Chihuahua/Jack Russell/Cujo mix. Both Millie and Tiny Tim come from the North Shore Animal League, the largest national non-kill shelter for dogs and cats.

Last week, Millie and I attended the Dogcatemy Awards at the Wall Street Cipriani and we even walked the green carpet (an astroturf dog friendly path complete with paparazzi). Leaving the two big guys at home with their dad, Millie and I dressed in eight shades of tartan and went out for a father/hairy daughter evening.

The evening was incredible and many of the guests brought their pets with them to the event.

I have been working with the North Shore Animal League for a while now. I host a quarterly dog and cat adoption event in front of my store. It is always an incredibly moving day for me. The North Shore mobile unit pulls up in front of my shop and potential human parents are free to enter the mobile unit and view the dogs. The last one we hosted found homes for 3 dogs and 5 cats!

The next one I have scheduled is for Saturday, November 21 from 12:00 pm – 5:00pm. They promise to bring a lot of city-friendly canines and felines. Many of the dogs are pure bred sweeties who have been rescued from the notorious puppy mills. My good friend and fashion colleague, Michael Macko, met his beloved “Krystal,” a gorgeous puppy mill dachshund, at the last adoption event.

Speaking of dogs and North Shore, my sweet first born son, Tiny Tim, is engaged and is marrying his long time neighbor, Mojo, who is a butch bulldog from down the street. As it is a gay dog wedding (!), diversity will be an important message. Not only will we be having mixed breeds marrying pure breeds, we will be having a pot-belly pig, Isabel, in the wedding party. The marriage is being held at The Downtown Hooker which is owned by Niamh Conway, the mother of the pure bred groom.

Because it is going to be a fundraiser for the North Shore Animal League, Tiny Tim and Mojo are asking that, in lieu of gifts, they prefer their human guests to make a donation of $50 to North Shore. The event will be a twisted blast and Niamh is donating an incredible abundance of drinks and food for the price of admission.

So, as Thanksgiving approaches, I wish to thank all of the dog and cat loving peeps who have supported the work of the North Shore Animal League.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

JB's November 10 Favorite Thangs

1. The Iconic JB Cable Knit Merino Sleeve Scarf- These are $75 in the store and an essential part of any JB look. They come in solid and repp stripe color ways. And are a circular knit, almost like a leg warmer!

2. The Downtown Hooker- my new favorite Irish bar/ restaurant, just down the street on Seventh Avenue from my store. It’s a gorgeous new spot that my friend Niamh Conway just opened and features the “John Bartlett Salad”!! Check it out and say that I sent you. You can see the whole West Village from the open-air top floor. and TimeOut NY article

3. City Boy by one of my favorite authors and thinkers, Edmund White.-A must read about the social history of NYC in the 60’s and 70’s as well as a personal history of Mr. White’s trial and tribulations as a struggling writer and gay man coming of age in this exciting period of American culture. I bought it at my fav book store in the city Three Lives.

4. The Essential Shetland Plaid Chesterfield- It is fitted in the back with a half belt and is a gorgeous old school must have from jb. I was inspired by the silhouette of the guys from the 1930’s when I made this and produce only a handful of these hand tailored pieces in Brooklyn at one of the last remaining NY based union shops. Hence the price at $1150.00. but worth every stitch.

5. The Birdbath Bakery- right next door to my shop is a green bakery owned and created by the famous City Bakery. Here you can get organic coffees and teas(the iced coffee is kick ass) as well as vegan scones and other green eco delights. This corner bakery is the cornerstone of the West Village’s green/eco scene.

6. The Graphic Lumberjack Quilted Vest- I make these gorgeous vests in Scotland and they are a great mixture of rugged cape cod and urban downtown nyc. I love the black and white and with plaid being the new must have, I feel like this piece is a step up from the fray and retails at $285.00.

7. John Esty Fine Framing- My beloved partner, John Esty, is a master framer and art conservation genius. He has an incredibly chic shop and workshop on Greenwich Ave in the heart of the West Village and frames, conserves, and will even install his super-dooper high quality work. John is an inspiring man who has an incredibly sophisticated point of view about modern framing and aint bad on the eyes either!!
Located at:
44 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-3753

8. S.A.G.E.- is one of the cities most treasured agencies and was founded in the late 1970’s to help the aging gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender senior community. Because many gay people living in urban areas do not have traditional family support, the SAGE agency provides them with counseling, social workers, and general support for their golden years. They have a wonderful program called “friendly visitors” wherein a volunteer is assigned a client and that volunteer visits with the senior client every week and becomes part of their support system. I am excited. I did the “friendly visitor” training and have been given a client who I will be seeing every week. He is a former fashion illustrator and has many stories of NYC that I cannot wait to hear.

9. Taste Caterers- Taste is a wonderful West Village institution founded by Jon Gilman and co-directed by his work partner Ann Kitchen (dontcha love that name?). They have catered many of my events both in my store and at home and provide a very personal and enjoyably creative experience for the client. Jon and Ann and their team are the nicest peeps I have met in eons and their food, most importantly, is exquisite and very authentic. I highly recommend Taste caterers for all of your holiday events!

10. The Classic Barbed Wire Tie- I love classic silk neckwear and because men don’t have all that many options to express themselves through their clothes, ties are the window to the fashion soul. I designed a very classic silk tie fabric woven in Como, Italy but with a barbed wire design that reads like a classic stripe but is anything but stodgy. Wall Street types have been buying these up to add a bit of humor to their super stressful work life. And West Village dudes are buying them up to wear with their plaid shirts and tweed sportcoats. You can’t go wrong!

Thanks for reading and see you in December.
Love, JB

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

West Village Style

Ok. Fall is definitely in full swing now and I am feeling super old school sexy, total city boy kinda’ style.  I want to look like a man, not a youngin’ and want to feel confident in my skin. Menswear needs a shot of testosterone and although I know “the kids” are feeling trans / butch / femme / scarf / skinny jeans / manbag / boho, I am seeing the best looks of the season on seasoned West Village dudes in their 30’s and 40’s.

Speaking of the West Village, I went to an amazing party last week that was hosted by John Cameron Mitchell and Justin Bond and DJ Deboy, who was one of the stars of Mitchell’s film Shortbus. The party is entitled “Mattachine”, named after the original gay movement organization and is held in the oldest gay bar in NYC, Julius, every so often . I danced my ass off in a tweed blazer, bow tie, and jeans and saw the West Village Style in full force. All the guys were definitely more dressed up but working a collective collage of genres and facial hair. They were bearded, buzzed cut, and could cut a rug to late 70’s prom-rock. It reminded me of my early days in the city and is a wonderful hybrid style of old and new, rugged and dandy, cocky and a bit kooky. To me, this is my ideal look, my ideal man and my ideal customer. It’s who I design for.

So being a lover of lists, of looks, and wanting to think and write more about West Village Style, I am starting to organize my favorite top ten things each month in the form of a blog (yikes, me too??!!) and keep reporting on my hood and what’s doing down here…
Love, JB

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gossip Girl

Rufus on Gossip Girl wearing Claiborne by John Bartlett.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fashion Week SS10

Fashion week just ended and while the emphasis is on the women’s collections, there was definitely some news for the men. For Spring 2010, I decided to focus my presentation on Claiborne by John Bartlett and produced a wonderfully successful and wonderfully economical presentation that established the brand’s look for the coming season. I have found that the brand’s approach to color and pattern are setting it apart from the competition. With that in mind, I created very bold color and pattern statements with the Claiborne product and emphasized to anyone who attended that everything in the presentation was under $100, except for one tailored blazer that retails for $149. It felt important and very relevant to show that men’s style can be achieved with very little money and that great clothes don’t have to cost an arm and a legging.

For Spring 2010, I was inspired by a few ideas that coincided into one strong visual. For palette I began with the wonderful photographs from the sixties by Slim Aarons. The images on my inspiration board spoke of bold color and a very preppy and classic American viewpoint. Alongside the bright hues, I grounded the collection in the perfect navy, worthy of a sea captain, white, and khaki(the colors every guy builds his wardrobe around). Nautical stripes, deck hand denims, and a perfect cement grey were added to introduce levels of pattern and graphics. When working on a collection, I frequently look to film for a visual creative injection. This season, I watched one of my favorite sea movies, “White Squall” starring a very handsome Jeff Bridges and some very well styled student/sailors and felt it was a great reference for the look and feel of the guys. And to make it current and youthful, I threw in a bit of styling that I picked up from the somewhat obnoxious but great looking prep school kids from the Bravo reality show “New York Prep”, I love how the kids in this show dressed, very classic prep but also a bit disheveled and off beat. In the end, I entitled the presentation “Maritime-Prep” merging the two worlds of upper east side prep school style and a more rough hewn nautical classicism.

Being a menswear designer, it is a bit more challenging to present the idea of “fashion” to the public. The ideas, at least for the Claiborne by John Bartlett brand, have to be understandable and, yet, still fresh and “wantable”. Guys are not interested in the latest silhouette or the newest length. They want something that makes them feel like themselves, only a little bit better, and is affordable and easy to buy, wear, and care for. The editors, however, are coming to see ideas and while the prices are at the very low part of the spectrum of designer showings they will visit, it was imperative to capture their eye with a statement that spoke to newness, ideas and yet enhanced the core of the brand. I have learned so much working with the Liz Claiborne Company and I feel that realistic priced clothing can still be engaging, well made, and timely. It does not have to be “dumb”, nor over sized, nor beige. In the end, guys do want to feel good when they are getting dressed and when it is at their disposal, they will aspire to wear color and pattern and take some chances. And this is where “Claiborne by John Bartlett” lives. In the end, I loved the look of the presentation and the editors all agreed. And while I would have loved to have produced a big extravaganza catwalk spectacle, inviting the editors, bloggers, and fashionistas to the showroom was equally as satisfying..but watch out for next fashion week!!! That’s all I’m sayin’…love jb

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sephora Video with JB Clothes

This video is black and white but the main guy (the detective) is wearing all jb minus the trench. It was look #17 from Fall 09 Runway with credits at the end.

John Bartlett Fall/Winter 2009 Collection