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.