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, September 10, 2009

Benjamin and Doug's Excellent Fashion Adventure

In stressful times, people reach for the familiar: comfort food, comfort clothes. There's nothing wrong with that, but it does present challenges for fashion designers. If you've ever read a favorite story to a child, you'll understand–make one mistake, skip a page, fail to use the right effects in the right places and you're a goner. And adults can be just as demanding when it comes to remade classics.

That's why the timing is right for talented neo-traditionalists like Ben and Doug Burkman, aka the
Burkman Bros, two handsome, amiable siblings from Toronto. They're smart, well-traveled and, like so many Canadians, beautifully-mannered. (Is it taught in schools, or something in the water?) They treat menswear essentials with respect, while managing to freshen things up around the edges; in other words, their designs appeal to guys who fear fashion, but sport enough clever details to attract fashion snobs. Plus, their clothes look, and feel, like they've been part of a man's wardrobe forever.

This deluxe cotton flannel shirt is a good example: It's a standard, but not standard-issue. The outer fabric is plush, and it's lined with glossy, lightweight oxford cloth. There are nice touches everywhere, from the metal locker loop chain to a small inside pocket set below one's rib cage. Buttons are simple and sharp; plaids align at key points; and the fit is trim but not tight. Find it at
Kesner, New York; Lark, Vancouver; and Barneys New York stores. End of story.