It’s time to check out what my own city had to offer in terms of fashion events. Spoiler alert: it was great and made me wish this sort of thing happened more often!
Hot on the tail end of my “Going Out” recap essay, it seems that LA has gone full force into menswear events. Perhaps they’ve all heard my cry for the lack of events out here in one of the most casual places in the United States. The catch is that neither of these events are classic menswear inclined. But that’s okay; I’m perfectly fine being the only guy in a suit. Slouch and [forced] practicality are on my side! I just like the excuse to get dressed up for a reason other than going to bar or a museum. Both of which are fine, but sometimes you just want an external reason to put on a cool fit.
And boy what a reason it was.
When I was at the Rose Bowl for Oct 2021, I was able to hang with Marco (who was just profiled on Put This On). We were discussing what a shame it is to not be able to see each other more often, which was when he brought up the 14-year anniversary party for Mohawk General Store…which was set to be hosted by none other than Lawrence and James of Throwing Fits. Looks like a little bit of NYC came back with me!
Now it shouldn’t be surprising that I’m a fan of Throwing Fits. It’s cool to listen to the two guys interview some cool people, but it’s also clear they have an aesthetic. TF-core seems like it would be out of my wheelhouse, but I definitely see a throughline to my own aesthetic, especially with the post-pandemic mood (and focus on merch) that has been going around the zeitgeist lately. Even if they are a bit more gorp-core and more on the pulse with Tiktok/Twitter men’s fashion, the pair of Jawns Enthusiasts-turned-podcast-hosts are taste makers in their own right. I attribute the love of loafers + gorp to them. We also can’t forget that Lawrence was one of the OG menswear bloggers, so the podcast really does represent the journey a menswear guy could have. If you’re in the Style & Direction Patreon Discord, you’ll know that Kiyoshi also went from being a suited & zooted #menswear blogger to a guy who cops 18East drops as soon as he can (if he likes the drops). As my essays have shown, Spencer and I have had our own evolution, though it’s one that is still strongly rooted in vintage Americana and classic tailoring.
That’s why we had to go and check it out for ourselves, especially ever since it has been very clear to us that we share a passing similarity to Throwing Fits.
The party was held quite literally on the sidewalk outside of Mohawk, right on Sunset and near Hyperion in Silver Lake, the center of all things cool in LA (the East side does it best). I had never been to the store before, but I’ve started to appreciate the “non-classic” aspects of menswear more and more lately. To me, it always has a vague throughline to what I enjoy, as most pieces are just new spins on things like pleated trousers, military jackets, and camp collar shirts. That’s not exactly a generous description of Mohawk’s style genre, but its what I use to understand it better. I actually would wear some of the stuff in there, just my way, similar to how I felt about Nepenthes. In short, the party was a great excuse to get down there and check it out.
As for the party itself, it was pretty wild. Mind you I don’t really go to parties- and menswear events seldom happen, especially after the demise of The Bloke. The entire sidewalk was packed to the brim, with many attendees spilling out onto the thankfully empty bike lane. In true LA-fashion bro fashion [heheh], people were all wearing variations of TF #fitcheckfriday core, which is honestly quite encompassing. You have Gorp, Cos-core, Seinfeld/Sopranos vibes, Bode, and that Tiktoker looks made up of merch tees (and totes), vintage jeans, loafers (or Docs or hype sneakers), and some form of bucket hat or merch cap. Like I said, the aesthetic that surrounds TF is on the pulse and I don’t hate it. In fact, I liked seeing all the variations come together on Sunset.
Some were just fashion enthusiasts, enjoying burgers and free booze while being snapped by TF’s photographers and preusmably hoping for a picture with the duo themselves. However, as Spencer pointed out, there were a lot of internet celebs in attendance, which again, makes sense considering the notoriety of the podcast’s guests; being well connected will do that for you. I can’t recall everyone who was there, but I’m sure I spotted a few comedians, podcast hosts, and designers all mingling within this very hip crowd. My friend Albert was even recognized for his Tiktok.
Contrary to what you might think, I did not feel out of place in attendance, both in vibe and attire. I had no other motives other than to hang out and perhaps make some new friends! I like being rather lowkey when attending stuff like this. After all, the reach of my blog and podcast are quite small. It works out for me, since I like to document and people watch, writing down my thoughts as a form of debrief on the experience. The only time any kind of recognition happened was when the girl who recognized Albert thought my name sounded familiar, since it had been tagged by other people like Yung Chomsky, who I have photographed quite regularly. In short, the anonyminity is quite cool, as it gives me the freedom to do stuff like this!
Spencer and I (along with Chris and MJ) did talk to a few people that evening, though honestly, the crowd was pretty intimidating (and large). I was able to give Taylor Lorenz my tailor recommendation. I told Dave Schilling I liked his Stoffa suit, despite the fact that it lacks a breast pocket. James remarked how seeing me was looking like I was in a mirror. I told Lawrence that even though I photograph YC often, I am not based in San Francisco.
Other than that, we were again, quite lowkey that evening, taking in all the scenery, both at Mohawk and the quick “afterparty” pitstop at a local bar (that was quite narrow). The boys and I are quite obviously in a different style genre but that’s fine! I liked our fits and plus, we had to represent a bit of that vintage menswear and tailoring that you seldom see in LA. And in any case, what we wore was perfect for a mid week hang with the boys, ending with AYCE KBBQ and a pizooki. You know, doing it the way that only we know how.
My fit was the inaugural outing of my latest commission from Atelier Fugue: a green cotton twill DB. It’s not exactly olive, but the color is really growing me, especially as I’ve come to enjoy a bit of the bold, GTH-esque mentality. The suit is a dead ringer for placement in the 60s/70s, despite the fact that I wanted it to look a bit more like 1930’s European suiting. It still works and I actually think the color lends itself to be dressed down quite easily.
To feel a bit more TF, I wore suit not with a spearpoint collar and tie, but a Tintin merch shirt I got from my trip to London and my thrifted light suede Wallabees. The look, along with my beret and multiple cameras strapped to me body, reads quite creative rather than corporate. I didn’t want to look like a typical menswear guy, even though I was the only one in a more conservatively designed (and cut) suit. I mean, I’d wear this type of combo with any of my DBs!
Spencer has perfected his going out look, a topic that we’ll get into in a few weeks time. He’s got his trusty 1940s DB jacket, which lends a luxurious and dramatic flair to anything, even if the outfit doesn’t have a tie (it’s why we love DBs). A chambray workshirt is worn severely unbuttoned, which along with the DB definitely provides that 70s movie star kick that Spencer has been nodding towards whenever he wears tailoring.
Instead of flared jeans, he goes the milsurp route with a pair of camo WWII cargos (made by Bronson), ending with white socks and LHS pennys. It’s all quite Spencer- a good example of how to wear tailoring to a hip cool podcast outing.
Chris is always a delight to see. His style is consistent and is only enhanced by his latest pick ups that fit seamlessly into his wardrobe, almost making you believe that he’s had it all this time. I don’t have to explain how cool his green workshirt is, or his TCB denims and Danner-esque boots, but something I am jealous of is his Lee Westerner. The jacket is coveted by many an Americana fan and is simply a cream version of the regular 101J menswear guys like. It’s use here actually emphasizes the excellent shade of green on the shirt.
If you can’t already tell, we were all wearing green that day. We’re a squad and we had to represent what it means to be a SadHead, which honestly, all of our outfits were. Just check out how much we stuck out (but not as bad as the few guys in skinny jeans and white sneakers)!
Of course, that wasn’t all we were up to. As it turns out, that same weekend was the five-year anniversary for 3Sixteen‘s LA store, located in the Arts District. Looks like everyone was celebrating something that week- I even went to my friend Jonny’s gig at a dive bar.
Originally, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go, as I had already gone out quite a bit that week and the week before (plus I do pub trivia regularly). However, I was cajoled by Albert and Brandon who I was able to catch up with at the TF shindig. Marco and Michael had also expressed interest in going, so I knew I couldn’t say no. I also felt a bit more connection to the brand, as Andrew (the founder) and 3Sixteen had graciously asked to do a feature on me on their website. I was going!
I really do like 3Sixteen. Their approach to workwear and militaria through a more intentional lens is great- it blends craft with heritage design that still feels, for lack of a better term, “cool”. I had always seen more of their denim and perhaps their chore coats and jungle jackets through different posters on MFA, but I didn’t really get the full breadth until I accompanied The Bloke (RIP) on a buying trip to 3Sixteen around the middle of 2019 when Jeff (the founder of the Bloke) was looking to expand his wears. It was then that I saw the brand’s tees, bags, Viberg shoes, and their camp shirts (my favorite). I’ve kept an eye on the brand ever since- starting out with one of their bucket hats before getting the chance to try out their denim and also snag one of their jacquard camp shirts (I got the black one).
That’s why I’m excited to see this next stage for 3Sixteen and why I love catching up with all of them. They’ve started making a camp shirt-suit, which follows what I love from tailoring “alternatives“. 3Sixteen is also focusing a lot more on handloomed knits, for sweaters and shirts. It’s pretty on the pulse, but I know they’re going to do it in a way that feels closer to what I tend to wear, rather than something that leans more on fashion-fashion. The best part is that the guys who work there all know it, which is why I was so humbled when they messaged me to make sure I was going to stop by for the party!
That last item really represents the next direction of the brand to me. I’ve only been visiting with them a short time (checking in every so often whenever I’m in the area), but it’s clear that they’re moving away from the rugged Americana look that they have been known for. For example, the jacquard camp shirt I have is cut like a classic workshirt (camp collar, button-flap chest pockets), but it’s made with such a cool black jacquard cotton that features a floral design. It’s different. It’s like what fun pants or fun, colorful pants are to me: a classic design just with a bit of a bolder twist.
The party was a lot more laid back than the Throwing Fits one, which wasn’t surprising. I mean, this is a smaller store that is a self-brand, rather than a mutli-brand atelier like Mohawk. Plus, this event only had one podcaster who has no real clout compared to a Silverlake shindig with almost every Twitter famous person I could think of. But I liked that! 3Sixteen has a different vibe. Quieter. More tapped in to East LA (especially since many of their staff are skaters and into the music scene), which definitely was represented by the people in attendance, at least style wise. The fits were a bit more cohesive rather than a true sampling of the entire fashion zeigeist. The contrast was cool and I honestly don’t know which I would have preferred, which is why I was glad I went to both!
The surprising part was that I was actually “recognized” at this event, despite the smaller crowd. I always like to think of myself as just a dude walking around with a camera, especially as there were a lot of people around with big groups of friends who seemed to know everyone! The fact that someone approached me for a conversation was quite nice, though of course the friends I came with did give me a bit of teasing for the instance.
The conversations I had were incredibly insightful and actually helped affirm my approach to menswear- at least it’s coherent to some people! I’m not going to recap them entirely here, but with Perry, I talked about throughline, context, and even a bit about how my taste in music affects how I think about clothing. With Grant, we discussed social media as well as how to incorporate a few nods to the past. He even remarked that white socks and my safety pin-esque collar bar is a shout out to punk style! They get it!
Unfortunately, as you’ll soon see in the photo dump below, my typical crew was unavailable that day. All I had with me was MJ and my friend Annie, who you have probably seen show up in a few other blog posts. I was a little concerned, but it was all good in the end. Like I said earlier, I don’t go to these events for the purposes of clout or networking (though it’s always nice to make some new friends). I much prefer this stuff to be a backdrop to a hang I can have with my existing friends. Yes, I caught up with Andrew and Brandon about upcoming product ideas (loved seeing Andrew rocking a loose camp shirt, chinos, and clogs), but most of my evening was spent conversing with the friends I came with and the few others who told me they would see us there, with great food, tasty wine, and great clothes in the store behind us. I finally got to talk to Derek properly, who has been a power user of MFA and mutual for a long time (maybe we’ll see him more moving forward). We met for the first time at the TF event but with all the people around, we sort of lost each other.
I really do like coming to these things because it’s a great excuse to have a drink and hang out, without it being just a regular bar or boba shop. I didn’t have to plan much other than tell my group chat when I’d get there. It’s a menswear event that anyone can go to and was a worthy milestone celebration for great store. We really do need more things like this happening in LA! I’m a little sad that it’s not tailoring focused but hey, I have to realize the limitations of my own city.
Overall, the evening was just incredible (I mean the whole week was). I’m not going to lie and say that it didn’t quench a bit of my voyeuristic thirst to document the stylish people I meet because it definitely did. I felt like I needed it, especially after being so insular for over a year and thinking about my approach to clothes. Sometimes you just need a bit of external context to throw into the mix and see how others do it. And it’s also fun to see what other stores outside of my typical wheelhouse are up to!
Hopefully all the photos I took help share a bit of what I mean, from the camaraderie between friends to the cool things happening in the wider world of men’s fashion. I couldn’t have asked for a better re-introduction to fashion events.
It was a great (and busy) week indeed.
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Always a pleasure,