Don't Miss Pop-Ups From John Bartlett & The Everlane Workshop This Weekend

There will be any number of pop-up shops materializing throughout the city between now and Christmas -way more than we can possibly catalog here- but two we won't want to miss are happening through this weekend.

The Everlane Workshop, which will be open through this Sunday, comes from the innovative web retailer dedicated to bringing high quality luxury basics to the public as directly as possible to keep prices stunningly low. Their workshop at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington streets will allow you to sample their tightly edited but beautifully made product lineup and order for yourself with a few exclusive extras. While the focus and quality is firmly at the luxury level, the prices are more chain store, and though they are not quite Uniqlo-low, they come pretty close. This week, the pop-up will be hosting special pre-reserved workshops that let customers make their own belt, necktie or add a customized cashmere patch to a featherweight cashmere sweater. The shop closes after Sunday, so you only have until then to see for yourself how Everlane's ribbed cashmere scarf that wraps around your neck twice like a cloud is a genuinely incomparable bargain at a mere $75.

PhotoOur friend John Bartlett is also revisiting the retail world this week to show off his latest Holiday collection as well as stage a sample sale at 174 Hudson Street in Tribeca through Sunday. In addition to that, this Saturday he will also add a pet adoption event in conjunction with Adopt NY, a league of rescue groups working to save animals from being euthanized and make New York's shelters No-Kill.

The Everlane Workshop runs through December 9th at 74 Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, Meatpacking District
John Bartlett's Holiday Pop-Up & Sample Sale runs through December 9th at 174 Hudson Street between Vestry & Laight Streets, Tribeca


Family Outing Edition

08CRITIC1-articleLarge The Critical Shopper is back in full force in today's Thursday Styles as Jon Caramanica returns from an extended Summer break and goes to an actual store. It is Tribeca's Patron of the New that brings our shopper back to action. In a new development, Caramanica, who has thus far focused his attention on men's departments or men's stores, offers his assessment of the entire store with the help of his shopping companion Ace. It is really the female progenitors in his family, however, through whom he filters his observations of the store, which is ironic for a store that focuses on directional, forward thinking fashion. Rocio handbags evoke great-grandma, and lady in the family is ascribed a garment that reflects her unique tastes.

On a rack at the back of the spacious store hung a black Denis Colomb wrap ($810) with echoes of Issey Miyake. It’s something my grandmother would have worn with neon Nikes for a day trip into the city from Sheepshead Bay to check out the Met. (On a day when she couldn’t be bothered to lift her Koos coat off its hanger, of course.) Nodding to my mother, whose vibrant, spangled early-1980s looks are captured in a series of photographs that I keep in my living room, there were slim pants by Thierry Mugler with rounded flaps at the hem, for equestrian events ($2,100), or the fringed belt by Ronald Pineau ($1,025), which suggested rodeo disco.

The Caramanica house sounds like it must have been a treasure trove of fashion. For his part, our shopper has a novel way of making his way through a store in a nostalgic haze that could prove to be an invaluable tool when it comes time to look for family gifts.

Critical Shopper: My Futuristic Family’s Closet By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Patron of the New 151 Franklin Street between Hudson & Varick Streets, Tribeca


A New Home For Grown & Sewn

The khaki revisionists Grown & Sewn have found themselves a permanent home on Franklin Street this Spring. Originally launched at a temporary store on Duane Street last year, the artisanal trouser line has set up shop for good just a stone's throw from Steven Alan's main store. Those lovingly crafted KAX pants, falling somewhere between five pocket jeans and classic chinos, are on full display along with an expanded collection of shirts, cotton twill totes and the brand's signature leather O-ring belts. Random vintage items bound adding character while big caramel colored leather armchairs are ready for weary downtown shoppers. The brand prides itself on its domestic manufacturing, and its attention to detail is evident with every carefully chosen rivet and button.

You may have to be on alert to find the new store. Franklin Street is still just a bit off the beaten path, but it's worth going a block or two out of your way for the new brand just as it is beginning to gain traction with prominent stores like Barneys and Fred Segal in Los Angeles. 

Grown & Sewn 116 Franklin Street between West Broadway & Church Streets, Tribeca
New In Bottoms: Grown & Sewn Pushes Khaki To The Front (3/17/2010)


Patron Of The New
Makes A Destination In Tribeca

You wouldn't be blamed for walking right past the new boutique Patron of the New. The imposing Tribeca building that houses it barely indicates that there's a sophisticated shop behind those vermilion columns with the store's tone-on-tone logo discreetly placed on smoked glass doors. This is a particular kind of store for a particular kind of person, and like others of its ilk, Atelier New York and IF for example, it prefers to remain off the well worn paths trod by legions of less discriminate shoppers. The Western end of Franklin Street is not exactly the edge of the earth, but its far enough away to make itself a destination for those in the know.

It's not surprising that the store was playing Grace Jones when The Shophound walked in the other day, because Patron of the New seems like just the sort of place where the bold, androgynous singer might shop for herself. There are no lacy ruffles to be found here for women or men. The typical shopper might find the offerings challenging. It's certainly not the place to go for a basic blazer or a simple anything. In fact those red columns outside are the most colorful thing about the place. The boutique features sleek, sometimes minimalist and often architectural collections in a color range from white to gray to mud to black from designers like with vaguely familiar names like Josephus Thimister, Nicolas Andreas Taralis and the adventurous New York men's label Siki Im. Other brands are even less well known, but this store's customer is not looking for comforting familiarity, and is likely to confront a strange designer with a sense of discovery.

Perhaps it was because of our cargo shorts and rumpled J. Crew shirt that our presence only elicited the politest of acknowledgement of the staff (at least they were Jil Sander cargo shorts). In fairness, the staff would have assumed correctly that we weren't exactly a likely customer, but you never know. The store was more of an intriguing gallery to us than a wardrobe resource, but still, they could have expressed a bit more warmth.

So, Patron of the New is not for the conservative of dress or budget. As we exited we were struck by a display of accessories made of sponge meticulously crafted into totes and handbags. We picked up a simple clutch which, priced at a mere $95, seemed like a bargain until we remembered it was made of sponge, not calfskin. On the plus side, it couldn't come in handier if you happen to spill your cocktail.

Patron of the New 15 Franklin Street between Varick & Hudson Streets, Tribeca


XOOS Gets A High Profile

It was easier to find the impressive advance press for the new, French shirt boutique Xoos than it was to happen upon the store itself. With favorable media placement in the New York Times as well as a rare reappearance of a favorite New York Magazine feature, "Ask A Shop Clerk", one might have thought that the shop was going to be a conspicuous addition to one of SoHo's designer-packed side streets, but instead, it turns out to be found on innocuous Lispenard Street just off Sixth Avenue.

The modest but airy shop is indeed focused on just shirts and ties, and while it is clean and minimal inside, the products themselves are a bit more... elaborate. Xoos promises a new shipment every week, which means all sorts of measures are taken to make sure those new shirts are interesting. Xoos will surely find its fans, likely among the slim and slender of neck. The merchandise features the kind of broad, winglike collars with high double-button closures that will surely swallow those whose heads are set closer to their shoulders, but will easily please devotées of giant windsor necktie knots. While there are plenty of elegant patterns to choose from, though Xoos demonstrates something a weakness for overloading the product with details like pattern mixing, contrast stitching, buttons and double collars that try a little too hard to create interest on men's shirts but work better on the women's versions. With a new shipment every week, however, there remains the possibility that restraint and refinement will kick in as customer demands evolve.

Xoos 7 Lispenard Street between West Broadway & Church Streets, Tribeca


Khaki Double Header Edition

Z-CRITIC-A-articleLargeCritical Shopper Jon Caramanica is settling into his role by embracing the 'critical' aspect of his responsibilities in the Thursday Styles this week. He has taken a tour of the city's khaki specialists and landed in Tribeca's Grown & Sewn, which we discovered last March, and the Lafayette Street branch of the burgeoning mini-chain, Save Khaki.

While the past couple of decades has seen denim transumted in every possible way for every potential customer, khaki, despite the best efforts of the Gap and J.Crew, has remained a distant second, probably due to its inherent rumpledness.

Khakis are the dress pants of the uncertain, a compromise between comfort and rigor, between insouciance and dignity. Worn right, khakis should solve all of life’s problems. Mostly, though, they’re just masks, something we put on when we’re scared to try harder.

Well, that doesn't make them sound too appealing, and neither featured retailer appears to have come up with a definitive product. Ultimately, Caramanica astutely concludes that Grown & Sewn's rugged and artisanal but limited product range would be better served by Save Khaki's intimate NoHo location, while Save Khaki's beachy, sun bleached range would be far more suited to Grown & Sewn's cavernous Tribeca space. There seems to be a clever merchandiser hiding inside that journalist.

Critical Shopper: Khaki Still Struggles With Commitment Issues By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
Grown & Sewn 184 Duane Street between Hudson and Greenwich Streets, Tribeca
Save Khaki 327 Lafayette Street between Houston & Bleecker Streets, NoHo
New In Bottoms: Grown & Sewn Pushes Khaki To The Front


Grown & Sewn Pushes Khaki To The Front

We here in New York have become a city of such denim connoisseurs, fussing over each rivet and selvedge exposing seam, that its hard to imagine that there was once a time when we actually wore other things on our bottom halves that weren't constructed of heavy indigo cloth.
It you are weary of seeing faded blue legs or are just looking for a change of pace, Grown & Sewn has come to your rescue in Tribeca. The nascent label's inaugural product is something it likes to call "Kax", pants that fall somewhere between khakis and jeans. Lovingly crafted and and meticulously finished here in the U.S. of American fabric, the three styles include a familiar five-pocket model as well as a style based on the original military khaki all in sturdy tan twills, washed and treated to a comfortable softness with a vintage-y feeling that will mesh nicely with the current craze for authentic American style..
The brainchild of designer Designer Rob Magness, Grown & Sewn's shop is tucked away on Duane Street's usually tranquil triangle park and was originally meant to be a temporary installation for the product launch, but has so far remained open for at least a little while longer. It features an exhibition of artwork by Purvis Young which complements the product nicely as well as a few t-shirts, toe bags and a selection of classic D-ring leather belts that you could totally sneak on to your jeans.
The store may be just a bit extra spacious for a limited introductory line, but we have a strong feeling that  Magness has a bit more  in mind for his new label than just pants.
Grown & Sewn 184 Duane Street, Between Hudson & Greenwich Streets, Tribeca

Cintra Wilson Goes Shopping:

Mid-Winter Whimsy Edition

11critic-1-popupToday's Thursday Styles features Cintra Wilson at the Critical Shopper controls and a visit to the fanciful Tribeca shoe and accessory boutique Edon Manor. It's a dreary day in the depths of winter, and La Cintra has bid a sad farewell to a favorite label, PHI, in the time honored New York tradition of buying it at a deep discount at their final warehouse sale. She has found some much needed cheer at Edon Manor with the help of salesperson who seems more like a collaborator and follicular soulmate,
With my seasoned eye for such things, I instantly recognized the saleswoman, Katie Kumpf, as a fellow platinum blonde.
“Are those for sale, too?” I asked about a shelf full of mismatched Royal Albert-esque bone china cups, saucers and sugar bowls.
“No! We just sit in the chairs and have tea with them,” she said, all drollery and flounce. I admired her kicky spirit and theorized that Goldie Hawn must have given Ms. Kumpf’s mother the evil eye when she was in utero. I related the sad story of Phi, and within minutes my bag was undone, and Ms. Kumpf was hobbling around the shop in one of my creepers.
It is at this point that we can tell that whether she bought anything or not, Cintra probably tried on every single one of Edon Manor's most impractical and outlandish heels with glee. What else is one supposed to do on a slushy, cold Manhattan afternoon?
Full of droll flights of fancy and thoroughly illogical footwear, Edon Manor, it turns out, flouts the suggestion of nearly every retail analyst who prescribes that the recipe for retail success in the coming years will be a combination of practical,comforting, easily understood merchandise at value driven prices, proving that, at least when it comes to New York, the predictions of retail analysts often aren't worth the slush you would kick aside to get to the front door of such an establishment. It sounds like the kind of place that still keeps New York from becoming a giant strip mall, so let's hope it doesn't wind up going the way of PHI.
Critical Shopper | Edon Manor: Trying On Shoes in Someone Else’s Dream by Cintra Wilson (NYTimes)
Edon Manor 391 Greenwich Street at Beach Street, Tribeca

Sweets Reports:

Magnolia Curbs Expansion While
Little Pie Company Heads Downtown

Cupcake wars are a-brewing in midtown
Magnolia Bakery is getting its fourth and reportedly final Manhattan location ready to open sometime next month in the dining concourse at Grand Central Terminal. The company's president, Bobbie Lloyd tells the Village Voice that baking on-site makes more expansion challenging, though that hasn't stopped rapidly growing upstart Crumbs, which will have a new Grand Central location opening around the same time.
Meanwhile, The much loved Little Pie Company whose prime Grand Central spot is being taken by the upcoming Magnolia, will be leaving midtown and all that commuter traffic behind as it prepares to open a new location in Tribeca near Greenwich and Chambers Streets according to Eater. Presumably, this will be more like the charming pie café that was forced out of the Meatpacking District a couple of years ago, where you will be able to sit down and discreetly tuck into a warm mini-sour cream apple walnut pie.
We really need to go on a diet.
The Plywood Report: Little Pie Co., Kolache, and More (Eater)
Magnolia Regrets Its Trash, Says Its Grand Central Location Will Be Its Last in New York (Fork In The Road/Village Voice)
Magnolia Bakery (Official Site)
Little Pie Company (Official Site)
Cupcake Alert: Eating Trumps Seeing At Grand Central Terminal

Mike Albo Goes Shopping:

It's Preppy Time

18crit600Today, Critical Shopper Mike Albo finds himself at Tribeca's new J.Crew men's store in today's Thursday Styles. Like most New Yorkers of a particular generation, Albo remembers the site as the Liquor Store Bar, and like most of us, takes the transformation of a warmly remembered gathering place into yet another retail outlet with little more than a shrug.
What are you gonna do at this point?
Albo points out a few of the pitfalls of the current preppy revival which, while unavoidable, can still cause our bohemian shopper to bristle,

Still, some items were so outrageously preppy, I felt my original odium for the style rising in my throat like bad grain-alcohol punch. A series of knit ties in bright colors, $49.50, brought to mind a tragically alcoholic dorm mate from college on his way to a football game, and a quilted patchwork tote, for $850, was something his equally blotto girlfriend would use to carry around her pumps and kegger go-cup.

One must tread lightly, especially if one can recall the era of "The Official Preppy Handbook", a spoof that turned into a shopping guide.
We have two small points. One is that Albo referred to J.Crew as one of the Original Prep suppliers, which is not entirely accurate. Those would be L.L. Bean, Talbots and Brooks Brothers. J.Crew began much later at the height of the Great Preppy Craze in 1983 as a mail order catalog, and capitalized on the hunger for the style, offering an updated version that carried it through when the craze ended. We're pretty sure it's not even mentioned in the Handbook. Its first retail store didn't open until 1989.
The other point refers to the store itself. Lately, J.Crew has had something of a renaissance, tweaking its classics just enough to make them fresh and appealing, but the new store highlights on a more expensive, exclusive version of the brand. One of the things we like best about J.Crew is that it is still a relatively affordable brand offering great value, until you get to Tribeca, that is. If we are going to spent that kind of money, well then that opens up the choices dramatically. At that point, we don't really need J.Crew anymore.
Critical Shopper: J. Crew - A Package Store for Preppies by Mike Albo (NYTimes)
J.Crew Tribeca Mens Shop 235 West Broadway NY at White Street, Tribeca