FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Sum of Its Parts

In A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Francie Nolan turned math into storytelling by assigning each digit its place in an imaginary family. Zero was an infant; 2, 3 and 4 were children; 5 and 6 were mother and father; 7 and 8, grandparents; and 9 was company. When she did sums, each result told a story; for example, "If the answer was 924, it meant that the little boy and girl were being minded by company while the rest of the family went out." Sometimes, fashion works this way too, with points of reference or elements of inspiration replacing Francie's numbers.

The story problem here? What sort of garment could address the current obsession with greener, more economical living; retain a sense of tradition (and a sense of humor); and still be innovative? Answer: A city gentleman's bespoke cycling suit cut by Timothy Everest (trained on Savile Row by Tommy Nutter, tailor to the likes of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones) in collaboration with Rapha, British manufacturer of cutting-edge cycling apparel.

The resulting three-piece suit is definitely tongue-in-cheek, but the more one looks at it, the more practical it seems. The gray, black and pink wool is not only water-repellent (thanks to nanotechnology, not Teflon) but also responsive to changing temperatures. Everest favors plus fours, but, because each suit is made to order, slim trousers are an option, too. The collar buttons at the neck; cuffs fold down over hands; the front hems turn up and button, so they won't bunch or flap; and everything's flannel-backed in Rapha's signature pink. All of which adds up to lots of dash for the daily commute.