Categories
Accessories Books

Simon Crompton’s New Book: The Finest Menswear in the World

The renowned UK journalist Simon Crompton has just released his new book The Finest Menswear in the World. This book offers analysis on the craftsmanship involved in fine menswear and fine accoutrements. Not only does this book include in-depth features on great artisans, it includes beautiful photography as well. The Hanger Project is excited to offer Simon Crompton’s book for pre-order.

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Published by Thames & Hudson September 2015, the hardcover, coffee-table book profiles the raft that lies behind the finest makers of different items of menswear. With over 200-odd pages, the book is full of beautiful imagery from Andy Barnham and some rather in-depth writing from Simon Crompton.

Each of the 14 chapters runs through the aspects of an item of menswear that make it perhaps the finest in the world. So it explains the benefits in cut of a bespoke suit; then the benefits in make of a bespoke suit; it explains how styles vary between houses; and then that Cifonelli has all of those, plus perhaps the finest finishing and greatest creativity.

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Categories
Accessories Pocket Squares

Simonnot Godard “Fil de Bouche”

The Simonnot Godard “Fil de Bouche” are premium hand-woven pocket squares that were crafted over 100 years ago. Available in extremely limited quantities, these beautiful pieces of craftsmanship have been kept in perfect condition and are masterpieces of an extinct French textile tradition.

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Categories
Accessories Umbrellas

The History of Fox Umbrellas

Well-made umbrellas are beautiful things in their own right, and I’ve been collecting them for a few years now. Most of mine are from small workshops in Italy, some are from France, and some are vintage. A number are also from Britain, as no country – no matter how skilled their craftsmen – give umbrellas the same kind of heritage. Perhaps it’s because of our image of the ideal English gentleman, with a bowler hat on his head and the crook of an umbrella on his arm. Or perhaps it’s because presidents, royalty, and movie stars have always gotten their umbrellas from here.
Either way, some may be surprised to find out that not all English umbrellas are made in England. Some are in fact made in Italy. Fox Umbrellas, however, have been making theirs on their wet isle for almost 150 years. In fact, if you visit their offices in Surrey today, you can not only see the showroom, but also the workshop where they make their brollies.
The process starts with the stick. If the umbrella is made from a solid piece of wood – such that a single stick forms both the handle and shaft – then a small groove must be cut into the wood so that a metal spring can be inserted. Since each wood is different, and each cut can be a hair off, the springs must be twisted and bent by hand, so that they fit perfectly inside these grooves. If they’re just a millimeter off, they’ll rub against the side of the wood and wear the shaft down from the inside.
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Once the spring is inserted, and gives that perfect “ring” when it’s depressed and released, then it’s used to hold the metal runner that goes up and down the shaft. Next, the spindly ribs and protective cover go on the other end, and the two are sewn together by hand in order to ensure secure attachment.

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The process of making a handcrafted umbrella in Britain isn’t too dissimilar to the processes used in Italy or France. The difference is mainly in the heritage. British luxury goods have long been known to be artful and beautiful, but also highly durable. Think of bridle leather goods from companies such as Ettinger, or the sturdy tweeds woven in the Outer Hebrides. A good British umbrella carries the same heritage, and at Fox, you know that British-ness is not just in name, but also in make.

Fox Handmade Umbrellas

Categories
Accessories Umbrellas

Mario Talarico – Naples’s Legendary Umbrella Maker

Mario Talarico Umbrellas

Mario Talarico is something of a legend in Naples. Well into his 80’s, he can still be found behind his workbench in a small alley off of Naples’s Spanish District crafting some of the finest handmade umbrellas in the world. This fourth-generation artisan workshop still makes their umbrellas completely by hand using the traditional techniques handed down over generations.

Talarico is a true artisan – each umbrella is individually crafted and totally unique. And such is our collection. Every umbrellas is crafted one-of-one and you practically have to go to Naples in person to purchase these, as I did in June 2013.

Because every umbrella is literally unique, each was personally hand-selected by me and then photographed and loaded onto our website individually. I almost went crazy after loading 22 discrete umbrellas at the same time. However, these umbrellas are such works of art it was worth it.

IMG_6525_export   The Talarico Storefront

As you can see, Talarico’s storefront is incredibly discrete. One could easily pass it by thinking it a cheap umbrella store without realizing that one of the world’s oldest and greatest umbrella makers is quietly working away inside.

Occupying their original storefront, Talarico began to occupy adjacent storefronts as they grew. The result is an non-contiguous, hodgepodge that has evolved over the years. Each small shop is overflowing with umbrellas, leaving almost no room to work.

However, Talarico does not need much room to work, as he employs the same methods to construct his umbrellas today as his great-grandfather did in the 19th Century. Mario Talarico Sr. is the third-generation, with his nephew apprenticing as the fourth.

This 300 year-old workbench is where Talarico continues his craft day in and day out.

I was immediately struck by the authenticity at Talarico’s workshop. The fact that none of it seems to make sense with it’s reputation somehow makes it even more authentic. In this day-in-age where anyone can market to the world through the internet, Talarico still somehow maintains the ethos of a small, local artisan who can only be found and accessed in person. The above photograph is of Talarico’s workbench, which he claims is almost 300 years old. The workshop is so small, Talarico had to cut a hole in the wall just to have enough room to work with his canes.

I have known about Talarico for years. But as you can see from their website, one cannot easily order directly from them. It was only after a last-minute trip to Naples that I had the opportunity to visit Talarico personally. And it was only by visiting him personally that I was able to purchase umbrellas for The Hanger Project.

Mario Talarico, 3rd Generation Umbrella Maker

The Hanger Project collection of Talarico umbrellas were hand selected by me personally on our trip.

The Talarico Difference

We have carried Maglia Francesco umbrellas for years, and they make absolutely fantastic umbrellas. I am a big fan of Maglia — they make incredible umbrellas and are easy to transact with. Talarico, on the other hand, also makes fantastic umbrellas. But unlike Maglia which is really a company, Talarico is almost a one-man show. He is a small artisan quietly working away in his workshop.

Below are some of the primary differences that really separate Talarico umbrellas from everything else.

 

1. Unshaven, Solid-Stick Canes

Because Talarico essentially works by himself for himself, he is afforded greater latitude with his work. And this latitude has allowed Talarico to spend more time with the canes of his umbrellas than anyone else. Whereas Maglia purchases their canes from another artisan in Milan, Talarico forges all his canes himself. And he is the only umbrella maker who creates solid-stick umbrellas with unshaven shafts. These single-piece shafts showcase the bark of the wood all the way through the cane. Only one out of 10 raw canes are perfect enough to enable this construction.

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2. Mother-of-Pearl Button Fastener

Instead of a traditional button-snap closure, Talarico uses a mother-of-pearl button with an embroidered ring. This detail is insignificant, but important. For one, the MOP button closure is just classier. But the embroidered ring decreases wear since there is no metal-on-thread.

The Hanger Project Luxury Garment Care

3. Horn Tip

All of Talarico’s umbrellas are finished with a polished-horn tip. Again, another small detail that separates Talarico’s umbrellas from everyone else.

The Hanger Project Luxury Garment Care

Talarico Umbrellas are works of art. Click here to view our entire selection of Talarico Umbrellas.

Categories
Accessories

Hanger Ring

The Hanger Project is proud to present the first women’s accessory, the scarf hanger. This new item is a circular ring made of high quality birch wood that opens and closes with a magnetic clasp. The two halves of the ring rotate open to allow for women to load objects on and then snap the ring closed again. The ring can easily be hung on a hook or snapped closed around a clothing rod to hang beside shirts, dresses and pants. Though the scarf hanger is typically used for scarves, it is a very multipurpose women’s tool that can be permanently placed in a closet or used while travelling.

First, as already mentioned, the scarf hanger can be used for scarves. All types of scarves are safe to store on the ring because it’s finished wood texture will not snag fine, silk or gauzy materials. Since it is the middle of summer, our scarf ring is full of lightweight scarves, but the ring’s strong magnetic latch can easily hold heavier knitted scarves in the winter months. Scarves can either be hung through the loop or can be looped on for a stronger grip. To loop a scarf around the scarf hanger, leave the clasp closed and fold your scarf in half. Slip the loop of your scarf through the ring and pull the two tails of the scarf through the loop. Gently pull the tails to tighten the knot.

Another useful function of the scarf hanger is as a jewelry holder. Hanging necklaces on hooks can get frustrating when the necklace you want is the furthest one back on the hook, and that always seems to be the case. Untangling jewelry can lead to damage and frustration. Using the scarf hanger for necklaces will simplify storage and take up much less space. Once jewelry is on the ring, the hanger can easily be rotated to get to a specific piece, popped open and easily removed.

Purses are much like jewelry in that they are very inconvenient to keep on one hook. Usually all the purses on a hook have to be heaved off the hook, sorted through and then replaced on the same hook, all to find that one bag. With the scarf hanger, all purses can be strung onto the wooden ring and hung on a hook or clothing rod. Similar to the necklaces, when a particular bag is needed, the ring can just be rotated, popped open and returned to its place in your closet.

The scarf hanger has a plethora of uses in any women’s closet, and looks good while doing it. The scarf hanger’s small size is not only a space saver in a closet, but also in a suitcase. The hanger is great for taking on trips that require multiple accessories, especially scarves that could get wrinkled from staying a bag for too long. The large ring can fit around multiple closet hanging rod sizes and could easily go on a doorknob or hook in a hotel or guest room. The scarf hanger is a must have for any woman because of its versatility and sleek design.

Categories
Accessories

How to Clean a Leather Purse with Saphir Creme Delicate Conditioning Cream

Purse Cleaning with Saphir Crème Delicate

Purses and Briefcases aren’t as commonly thought of when it comes to polishing, but expensive
accessories that are used so often shouldn’t be ignored. Routine maintenance can keep luxury bags from
looking scuffed up and unprofessional.
This week we tested our Saphir Crème Delicate Conditioner on our intern’s leather Rebecca Minkoff
handbag to remove some stains from the bottom panel. These stains are good examples of general wear-
and-tear spots that could be removed off of any of your leather accessories. The same polish is used by
Hermes to treat their luxury handbags. We will be using the Saphir Crème Delicate, the included chamois
and the LCA Round Dauber.
First, dip the round dauber in the crème delicate and scrape the brush along the edge of the container to
remove excess. After only a small amount is left on the brush, apply lightly to the stained area in small
strokes. Initially, the product will highlight the stain, but after more of the product is applied the area will
turn one uniform color. Allow the product to soak into the leather for 1-2 minutes. By allowing the crème
to soak in, you are allowing time for the nutrients to soak into the leather and grab hold of the stain.
What you don’t want to do is let the cleaner sit for too long and dry completely, if you do this, just apply
a little more crème delicate and wait less time before completing the following step.
Next, use the chamois to lightly rub the stained area to remove the crème delicate. Not only will the
product come off, the stain will come along with it. Do not panic if the color does not immediately return
to normal after the chamois is used! The leather has to take some time to dry, even after the product is
rubbed off of it.
Categories
Accessories Socks

NEW Palatino 920L Super-Fine Dress Socks

Luxury Cotton Socks

The latest addition to our collection of luxury socks are the super-fine Palatino 920L Cotton Dress Sock. These socks are literally knitted to the highest specification in every way possible for what is probably the most comfortable cotton sock in the world.

They are a natural evolution to our 830 Cotton Socks. Instead of being knitted on a 240-needle machine, these 920L Super-Fine Socks are knitted on 260-needle machines for the highest-possible thread count. The result is an incredibly thin, super soft and comfortable cotton sock.

These socks feature an added 1×1 “Gambaletto” Rib at the top to make the socks stretch even more easily over your calves. Think of an accordion — the 1×1 rib stretches more than the 8×2 rib on the rest of the sock.

Available in seven sizes and six colors.

Free shipping on orders over $50.

Categories
Accessories Socks

Palatino Socks Back In Stock

Palatino Luxury Cotton Socks

We have just received a resupply of our new Extra-Fine Palatino 830 Dress Socks. With seven sizes, 14 colors, and both Mid-Calf and Over-the-Calf lengths, it’s easy for us to develop small inventory holes. This recent reorder fixes that.

I am a big shoe lover. As my tastes have evolved, I have come to appreciate the difference of fine hosiery. Previously I did not pay much attention to my socks. However, they make a tremendous difference in both how fine shoes wear and comfort.

There are two important criteria that differentiate fine socks from ordinary ones: (1) yarn size and (2) knit fineness.

Just like with suiting, the smaller the yarn, the more finer the raw fiber is required. The finer the yarn, the higher “thread count” can be achieved in knitting. Our Palatino 830 Dress Socks use the finest Egyptian Cotton available: Mako from a small delta in the River Nile called the “Giza 70” production area. These fibers are incredibly fine and long, which makes them perfect for knitting socks.

Such a high-quality yarn, in turns, allows for the socks to be knitted to a finer “thread count” using a 240-needle machine. This allows for an incredibly-thin, almost sheer sock that disappears on your foot. When worn, it does not get in the way. Instead, it creates a super-thin foot covering that allows for you to slip your shoes on easily and comfortably without crowding things. This is critical because the nicer your shoes, the better they fit.

Most ordinary socks are knitted using a mid-100 needle machine and relatively thick cotton yarns. This creates a thick sock that clams the foot because it does not breath, which is why most people associate cotton socks with low-quality, instead preferring wool or cashmere.

I invite you to discover the difference of quality socks! Our Palatino Socks are knitted just for The Hanger Project in Rome to our exact specifications.

Categories
Accessories Socks

Sock Drawer Fresheners

As I have said many times on this blog, Santa Maria Novella has been one of my “great discoveries.” Absolutely everything of theirs to come out of Florence is just spectacular – the product of decades of product evolution and centuries of knowledge.

One problem that they run into, though, is that many of their best products were made for a bygone generation. The purpose of many of their products is just not obvious to my generation. Even I am at a loss with much of their non-core products. However, that does not make them any less incredible.

One such discovery has been their Armenia Papers. These papers are manufactured today by Santa Maria Novella just as they originally were in the 16th Century! Their official purpose is to be burnt as an incense in order to remove odors from any space. However, how often do we 21st Century Americans really find ourselves travel some place where we cannot stand the smell of our room (perhaps visiting the family over the holidays?)??

Santa Maria Novella Armenia Papers

I tried this for a little while, keeping a pack of these Armenia Papers in my luggage and using them in my hotel rooms. But, I’ll be honest – I do not often find myself staying at places that smell that poorly.

So, here comes the discovery. I began to store these Armenia Papers in my sock drawer between travels. And, to my great pleasure, every time I opened my sock drawer, the scent of “frankincense and myrrh” smelt incredible! My socks, which do not normally smell bad, begun to smell even better.

So, new use for an old item brought to you by The Hanger Project — where everything we sell is actually something individually curated by people (aka, me) who use, and love, every product!

Categories
Accessories Cufflinks

New Sterling Silver Cufflinks

Sterling Silver Cufflinks from Codis Maya

We just received some new sterling silver cufflinks from Codis Maya. Probably better-known for her private-label work for Dunhill, Louis Vutton, and others, Codis Maya, in my opinion, is the best producer of sterling silver cufflinks outside of bespoke work from a jeweler. Glass enameling is very specialized and there are just not that many artisans out there capable of detailed work.

With glass enabling, it is especially important to use sterling silver, in my opinion, as the base metal. The reason is that sterling silver offers a higher level of brilliance, which produces greater vibrancy in the enameling. Other, less-expensive metals used for the majority of colors just do not offer the same depth.

The above zoomed-in picture of one of our new cufflinks illustrates the type of detail. The light-colored glass enameling used just would not produce the same level of transparency if a different metal was used (it’s like the way stained glass sparkles with proper sunlight; at night, it’s just not the same). Here, the texture of the sterling silver produces a texture that contributes to the overall detail of the cufflink that sets them apart.

If you enjoy wearing cufflinks, I encourage you to take a look at our complete collection of sterling silver cufflinks. If you cannot find something that you like, let me know!