Repeat Performance Vintage

Lately I’ve been indulging my love of vintage menswear by paging through the mid-century vintage section of eBay, looking for stuff to link to in our eBay roundups and Inside Track. Yesterday, I came upon a dealer with some really remarkable stuff: Repeat Performance Vintage, out of Los Angeles.

The owner doesn’t do shows or have a store, and sells only through eBay and a website. The stock isn’t huge, and the prices are, well, full retail, but the quality is extraordinary. I’m barely able to keep myself from buying the ivory wool suit above, which is nearly a thousand dollars.

No matter what your budget, the website’s worth a look, and there’s even more lovely womenswear than menswear. And if you need some pink poodle panties for the lady in your life, you’ve just hit the jackpot.

“L.A. people dress like Sims.” Todd Levin

Watching a Handsome Dude Light a Hat on Fire

If you’re tired of shallow depth-of-field videos of self-aware artisans plying their repurposed archaic crafts, please look away. In the video above, Venice, California hatmaker Nick Fouquet (formerly of Mister Freedom) blocks a beaver-felt hat, eventually taking a match to it, a step that singes off stray hairs and more importantly looks friggin’ AMAZING in slow motion. Fouquet’s hats are beautiful, primarily custom-made, and expensive (as are most true beaver felt hats; rabbit felt is cheaper). Fouquet doesn’t post pricing, but reportedly they run $400 to over $1,000.


Santa Monica Beach, 1936

Santa Monica Beach, 1936


Los Angeles Electrical Workers’ Fashion Show, 1970

Los Angeles Electrical Workers’ Fashion Show, 1970


Our pal and sometime contributor Noe Montes just told me about Mexicalo, a new menswear brand based here in LA. Their goal is to re-interpret traditional Mexican and Mexican-American aesthetics for the contemporary world, and their first collection looks really tremendous. Above you can see some short-sleeved shirts, one called “Aztec Neon" in colors inspired by the vibrant colors believed to have decorated the Aztec world. Below is one of my favorite designs from the collection: mariachi pants transformed into shorts, for your casual Vicente Fernández-ish days. And I know that if I were a bad-ass 21st century Chicano, I’d be rocking the Not Conquered tee weekends.

It’s turned to summer here in Los Angeles, so I did a quick inventory of my summer hats. One was a bit too tight, and one had a grease spot on the brim. I hopped in the car and headed up to Burbank, and Los Angeles’ only real hat shop, Baron’s.

This being the center of showbiz, Baron’s is probably best known for the hats they’ve made for Hollywood productions - you name a picture shot on the left coast involving hats, and Baron’s probably made them. They also make custom hats for retail customers and block, stretch and clean hats. They’re the only folks in Southern California who provide these services in-house, and one of a handful of shops in the country who do.

They told me they’re working on a big project, so my little projects won’t be ready to go for three or four weeks, but I’m grateful to have a local business who can do the work.

A Visit to B. Black & Sons: The Last Tailor Supplier in Los Angeles

I needed a few buttons for a coat my tailor’s making. He didn’t have any natural ones on hand, so I eagerly volunteered to visit one of my favorite shops in Los Angeles to pick some up: B. Black & Sons.

B. Black is an old-school establishment if ever such a thing there was. In a sea of shops selling cut-rate electronics and baby turtles in plastic terrariums, it’s an island of Los Angeles, circa 1922. Which is when it was founded, by the way.

There are tons of fabric shops in Los Angeles’ garment district, but they’re largely of the sort that features a proprietor claiming a bolt of Chinese polyester is real silk, despite an $8 a yard price tag. B. Black is a tailor’s store. They don’t sell cotton chintz for children’s curtains. They sell men’s fabric. Suiting, stuff for overcoats, a little bit of linen. Plus shoulder pads, shears, zippers and other tailoring essentials.

I walked out with a few fabric remnants that will likely end up as pocket squares in our shop, a set of buttons, and the pictures you see above.

(Source: jessethorn)

Spent my Sunday morning with my family at the Pasadena City College Flea Market. Don’t always get to arrive as early as you’d like or stay as long when you’re carting around an 18-month-old, but it’s still worth the trip. The clothes are mostly at the Rose Bowl, where you’re elbow-to-elbow with Japanese vintage dealers carting around huge military duffels… but I still came home with a little something.

The sewing blog Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing visited B. Black & Sons, a tailoring supply shop in downtown Los Angeles. It’s one of the very few menswear-oriented fabric shops in the United States, and has an amazing selection of buttons and fittings. It’s really a cool place, celebrating its 90th year in LA.

I was just there, in fact, to buy some trouser waist buckles for my tailor - he didn’t have any on hand for waist adjusters, but I bought a bag for a couple dollars at B. Black & Sons.

(Side note: last time I was at the store, there was actual three-card monty going on outside! What is this, a movie from the sixties about the twenties?)

(Thanks, Abby!)