Brian Bubb, Setting The Direction

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From as early as grade school, I was fascinated by beautiful fabrics.

Tagging along with my mother to fabric shops, where she would be buying fabric for skirts, dresses, and blouses for herself, I was interested in yardage to hang on the walls of my room- intermingled with my posters of The Who, The Cure and the like. A bit of an odd mix, but it all came together neatly in my head under the title of “inspiration”.

Most of the fabrics that caught my eye came from the same design house- Perry Ellis (yes, the actual man, not the terrible and terribly-degraded corporate mess that exists today). Italian linens and wools from mills like Solbiati and Braghenti, all woven to the specifications of Mr. Ellis and his design team.

Everything Has A Story

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Anyone who reads through our product descriptions on General Knot & Co. knows that we love a good story. As with all of our fabrics, everything has a story. Everything. Being curious, forever asking questions, finding what makes things tick, a story always emerges.

Part of our design research always involves exploring the where, what and how of the wonderful fabrics that present themselves to us from the far reaches of our world. Luckily we work with a lot of very patient vintage collectors who are willing to share their research and knowledge. Sometimes though, we purchase things with or without a story, simply because we like them. (To be honest, we only purchase things because we like them- there’s no better barometer).

Keith Moon | Happy Birthday

Given Keith Moon’s manic lifestyle and penchant for anything self-destructive, it’s impossible to think that he ever would have lived to see this day. Keith would have been 67 years old today, but as The Who’s manager, Bill Curbishly, said of Keith in recent years, “He wasn’t meant to grow old bones.” Sad, but true.

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Ode

As one who grew up with the original Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory movie with Gene Wilder, Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s timeless poem Ode holds a special place in my heart. Gene Wilder recites the first two lines of the poem in his typical thoughtful tones.

Enjoy:

    We are the music-makers,
    And we are the dreamers of dreams,
    Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
    And sitting by desolate streams.
    World-losers and world-forsakers,
    Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
    Yet we are the movers and shakers,
    Of the world forever, it seems.

    With wonderful deathless ditties
    We build up the world's great cities,
    And out of a fabulous story
    We fashion an empire's glory:
    One man with a dream, at pleasure,
    Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
    And three with a new song's measure
    Can trample an empire down.

    We, in the ages lying
    In the buried past of the earth,
    Built Nineveh with our sighing,
    And Babel itself with our mirth;
    And o'erthrew them with prophesying
    To the old of the new world's worth;
    For each age is a dream that is dying,
    Or one that is coming to birth.

-Arthur O' Shaughnessy

The Sistine Chapel | Up Close and Personal

For anyone unable to endure the many hours of standing in the often mile-long lines waiting to visit the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel in Rome, well- here’s your chance. The Vatican has created a beautiful Flash site that allows the viewer to scroll, roll and zoom their way all around the interior of this incredible work of art (actually, calling it “art” is one of the most vast of understatements). Pour yourself a nice glass of chianti, sit down and follow this link.

Bermuda Limestone | Naturally Brilliant

Very recently enjoying another visit to Bermuda, I again found myself looking up.

Well, when you’ve got it, use it. The Bermudians have certainly taken proper advantage of their most dominant natural resource. The mid-Atlantic British territory is established atop an archipelago of limestone that serves as solid ground on which to build and build with. Without fresh ground water to drink (what there is, is brackish and not suitable for drinking), settlers were forced to be creative with what nature had given them. The need for drinking water, combined with the need to protect oneself from hurricanes, inspired the brilliant designs of the Bermudian roofs, of which the first was built nearly 400 years ago (and still stands today).

R by 45RPM | Fall 2012

Having been to Tokyo quite a few times over the years, I’ve never made it for some reason to the Shibuya location of Japanese denim brand, R by 45rpm. When in New York though, I never seem to miss stopping by their shop on Mercer St. in Soho.  Yes, the denim collection, wovens, knits and accessories are always worth an extended visit, but even the shop itself is well worth my time.  I would be hard-pressed to find another brand that so completely understands how to bring a consistent aesthetic and experience to their product and selling-environment as well as R by 45rpm (on a par would be Ralph Lauren and Apple).

Packaging | The Devil Is In the Details

Sometimes, the smallest of items need to be made the most alluring. Shopper’s attention is pulled in so many directions. The sights and sounds and thousands of offerings fill a person’s horizon.  That little extra effort put into packaging is often all that’s needed to tip the scales.

American Quilters | Vintage Textiles

All I needed to see were the words “American” & “Vintage” in the same sentence and my attention was drawn. Never mind that I was not just the only man in the room, but the only non-retirement aged person in the room as well. Yeah, well, vintage textiles and a mutual admiration for masterful craftsmanship have a way of pulling birds of a feather together (textile geeks).