Long post due to pictures!
Okay, maybe I should stop complaining about the lack of the cool menswear events here in LA because I went to a great one this past weekend at the Wellema Hat Co.
Looking back over these past two years of blogging, I have to say that things have really grown. In fact, we have readers all over the world that I’ve come to meet and become friends with. But oddly enough, some of these “menswear friends” live right in my back yard. Cody Wellema, owner of the Wellema Hat Co is one such example as his Altadena store is only a 10 minute drive from my dad’s house! We officially got into contact earlier last year when I was looking for some piece to document for my extensive tie editorial. A close friendship was soon forged and I usually spend my Saturday mornings there, talking menswear and helping him take pictures of his shop and the wonderful hats he makes.
Like me, Cody has also experienced growth in recent years (though he actually makes money from what he does) and has gone from a few bespoke customers to actively working with Brycelands Co. in Japan. Recently, Cody has started working with Garret Gooch who has helped him brand his business; this event (put on by the Gooch Collective) was one of the biggest efforts. It actually was a collaboration between the Wellema Hat Co. and 2120 Handcrafted, a goodyear welt shoe company that does an interesting take on classic footwear. As both 2120 and Wellema are new, LA based menswear brands, it only made sense to bring them both together with a cool event!
The event took place at Cody’s Altadena Atelier and was absolutely filled to the brim with attendees. Musicians, fashion enthusiasts, and local people mingled together, drinking and enjoying the music. Live entertainment was provided by friends of Joshua Gooch, famed guitarist and fellow vintage menswear collector. Joshua played guitar while the rest of the band was swapped out periodically do to different instrumental covers of Clapton, McCartney, and Young songs. If you guys know me well, you’ll know that I mainly listen to film scores. However, the music was really fuckin’ great and I really enjoyed it. I’m still waiting on Joshua to send me the set list!
As like all events I attend, there was some great style. Obviously classic menswear wasn’t a huge presence here (don’t expect Dapper Day or Bloke attire) but that really doesn’t mean anything. It was just an event to bring people together from different realms (business, menswear, music) to hang out and have fun! I think that this is reflected in the attire of the party, with some vintage, some modern, and some great mixing of the two. It was pretty much everything you’d expect from this blog!
Cody’s been on a menswear journey as me lately. Like me, he started out dressing in full 1920s-1950s vintage (as he made vintage style hats) but he’s decided to move slightly over to the classic menswear side as his business grows. Not wanting to give up his love for vintage, he incorporates true vintage pieces along with contemporary vintage-inspired to create a unique look.
Here, he dons one of his 1930’s styled bespoke fedoras with a belted field jacket, Bryceland’s OCBD (made by Ascot Chang), Sevenfold Firenze tie (that looks pretty 1930’s), and a pair of vintage chinos (not pictured). The entire look is great and creates a vintage-meets-modern-but-looks-100%-vintage vibe that we love here on this blog.
My boy Nguyen represented the real classic menswear at the party. When I invited him to the event, I told him to not expect to wear a tie, as I wasn’t sure that this was going to be the same environment as the Bloke or the Dapper Day Expo. Luckily, he was completely prepared, opting for a louche casual look for this hot January day.
His entire look is from Ebay and it makes me jealous, especially since I haven’t been buying much. The jacket is an unstructured tan cotton jacket that he received in the mail that very morning; he finishes it off with some summer-weight wool pleated Brooks Brothers trousers, a spread collar shirt, and some classic penny loafers. Nguyen is a man after my own heart!
In contrast to Nguyen, Adam rocks full vintage attire. With the blue striped 3PC suit he wore to LONO, he wears a simple plain shirt with a gorgeous burgundy, abstract-design brocade tie; he also rocked the beautiful SJC spectators (not pictured). Like me, he doesn’t drink, so we were able to knock back a few bottles of apple juice.
Josh is my new friend. We’ve been following each other for a few months and only recently met in person. Not only is he an accomplished guitarist (touring with high profile singers and bands since he was a teenager), but Josh is also heavily into menswear. In fact, our first official hangout was spent at Paper Moon Vintage trying on clothes.
In between sets, I was able to snap some pictures of Joshua. I would say that his style is exactly how a musician would interpret classic menswear, mixing vintage and contemporary pieces in a personal way (as we often do here). He has a 1964 stetson, a Brooks Brothers x Watanabe blazer, 1940’s tie, and David Hart x GAP trousers. It’s almost like ivy mixed in with some western wear; definitely some Japanese-Americana vibes here. I’m jealous of his blazer; it’s perfect, cut from a textured wool, featuring brass buttons and triple patch pockets.
Josh’s younger brother Garret is the marketing man, working for both Wellema and 2120, handling their branding; it was Garret and Josh who made the evening happen! He’s got a similar style to his brother, though this outfit takes a bolder move. With an unstructured jacket and high rise trousers, Garret leans into the western vibe with a vintage grey western shirt and dotted 2120 loafers. Funnily enough, I don’t think it’s not too out there, considering his normal attire; feels very LA to me in a very good way.
The silverbelly fedora is a bespoke one from Cody, that Garret picked up right before the party!
Kosuke is the guy behind Clutch Golf, a new LA based brand that is completely Japanese-Americana at its finest. He’s made Cody a vintage-style sportshirt and a canvas sport suit that is made from different pieces of canvas from different military bags. There’s something special about Kosuke’s designs; the vintage inspried style is inherent in the original garment, rather than stemming from styling different pieces together like most of us do. To the party, he wore a checked wool “sweater-suit” that is completely badass. It’s got a loose cut, which exactly the appeal to me. With a black/navy fedora, Kosuke was clearly the best dressed guy at the event. I’m going to have to hang out with him more often!
For the party, I decided to do something new, considering how varied the attendees were. I wanted something a little bit more interesting than typical Ethan style and it ultimately ended up coming in the form of a “new” beret. I’ve seen it making the rounds on my instagram feed, notably from Ethan Newton. Obviously the beret gives an outfit some French New Wave vibes, but honestly, I like it because it’s like a floppy, brim-less newsboy cap.
Playing off the black of the beret, I went with a black polo and grey flannel trousers. I originally wore a navy jacket for the beginning of the day but felt that breaking the minimalism was important (also I felt like I wanted to look “fresh” for the party), so I brought my plaid sack jacket that I got during my NYC trip. Overall, it’s pretty much a copy of this outfit worn by Ethan Newton during this past Pitti Uomo, just swapping out the denim shirt and beanie for my black polo and beret, respectively.
I ended up taking a lot of pictures during the event, but I obviously couldn’t post them all! I think they pretty much summed up the night: hats, music, and friends.
An event with great music, good friends, and drinks (plenty of water and apple juice for me) is what I’ve been waiting for! It’s really been interesting the past few years; the only events I could go to for menswear (or menswear people) were vintage events or Dapper Day. Perhaps there will be a menswear renaissance will happen in LA after all! I can only hope that events like this (along with their well dressed attendees) keep happening.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cody’s shop, be sure to check him out on instagram. His store is really fantastic and he’s a wealth of knowledge on vintage and hatmaking. I’m there almost every Saturday, hanging out and taking pictures; he’s even made me a hat! Honestly, I think he’s going to be the next guest on my podcast, so keep an eye out for that.
We’ve also gotta talk about 2120 at some point in the future! Most of my experience with the brand has been through conversations with Josh and Cody, who have had only good things to say about the shoes. I’m happy that I was able to finally hang out with Aram, the founder, and see him show off his brand to the attendees. I believe that he made a few sales during the party too!
Again, I can’t reiterate how great the event was. Bringing old friends and making new ones is what I’m all about. The Gooches say that this is going to be a monthly thing, though it will be in other venues, not just menswear. I might have just found the new thing to do on weekends!
PS: Be sure you come to the next Dapper Day event, which takes place at the Natural History Museum of LA County! I’ll be there taking pics, so you just know that there’s going to be a blog post about it.
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Ethan W.