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Test Drive: 2015 Ford Mustang

The all-new Pony does the brand proud, inside and out

by Evan Orensten in Design on 18 September 2014

Ford, Road Test, 2015 Mustang, Cars, Design, Mustang, Test Drives, Test Rides

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In late 2013, a first look at the 2015 Ford Mustang with its design team impressed us, and since then we’ve been anxiously waiting to get behind the wheel. Finally, yesterday was the day—and it was everything we had hoped it would be. The all-new Mustang does American muscle proud, as dealers worldwide will see in the coming weeks.

Design is always a give-and-take process, and when briefs like, “It’s time to make the next generation of a 50-year-old favorite” come along, they are both the easiest and most difficult to execute. Though kudos to Ford’s design and engineering teams, as they’ve delivered on all counts. This Mustang—available in both fastback and convertible models—offers three engines (each supplying more than 300 hp) and multiple options successfully achieve the “most things to most people” mandate that typically results in a product that makes nobody proud and few customers happy. However, there’s something here for most drivers to desire and enjoy.

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The new Mustang’s exterior won’t surprise anyone; it’s a nicely evolved silhouette much improved by a lower and wider stance. It still looks like a Mustang, though one that better features its historical lines within a much more modern presence. The interior has had a major update and a dramatic improvement in materials, style, fit and finish. Under the skin the car is mostly new as well, from improved engines to a first-ever independent rear suspension. So far, that’s three checks in its favor.

We drove both the new 310hp 2.3l four-cylinder turbo Ecoboost engine with Premium package as well as a manual GT, with its 435hp 5.0l Ti-VCT V8 and Performance package. (The standard V6 wasn’t available and won’t be the car's biggest seller, but it does allow customers to get into a Mustang for around $27,000). All three engines are available in either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission—a rarity in the sports car world these days. The Ecoboost, with its 30mpg rating is clearly positioned as the Mustang's mainstay. The V6 will appeal to carefree drivers, rental fleets and those on a budget, while the GT will likely draw those who crave performance.

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Starting out the day in the manual GT, we found it handled its duties with aplomb, ably steering, accelerating, cornering and braking. The tight gearbox was a pleasure and made shifting through its six gears effortless. It sounds good too—rumbling with pride until it settles in on the highway where it drops its noise level to make the commute a little more pleasant. We threw it around the great roads outside of LA and it seemed to want even more. The Ecoboost was spirited, but not surprisingly equally so, though we overheard other drivers saying the Performance pack helped deliver. It was softer all around and, while adequate, it made us appreciate the GT and the Performance pack all the more.

CH's friend Jason Cammisa, a Senior Editor at Road & Track, wrote in his review of the 2015 Mustang that he always had to qualify his opinions of previous generations with, "It’s not bad '…for a Mustang.'" This new Mustang doesn’t need that qualifier anymore. It delivers, and it’s great fun to drive.

We’ve spec’d out two versions of the new Mustang—an Ecoboost and a GT—in both Guard (a greenish-black color that is new to Ford and the Mustang) though we’re equally fond of the Triple Yellow. Each costs around $37,000 and $44,000 respectively.

Images by Evan Orensten

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Alex Mill x OMNIGOD: Timeless Workshirts in Japanese Denim

A trans-pacific collaboration drawing on classic fabric development and simple design

by Hans Aschim in Style on 18 September 2014

Alex Mill, Denim, Japanese Denim, Made in Japan, Menswear, NYC, OMNIGOD, Workshirts

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If the pinnacle of a craftsperson's work is doing one thing incredibly well, the partnership between Japan's denim experts OMNIGOD and NYC menswear label Alex Mill is a true success. Composed of three shirt styles in four colorways and one shawl-collar sweater ($320), the capsule collection reveals itself as a clear choice for those who seek both utility and effortless style in their sartorial choices. OMNIGOD's penchant for detail-driven production and uncompromising quality of material means the fabric is soft and sure to improve with wear and tear. Mother of Pearl buttons add just enough elegance to the work shirt and spread-collar shirt ($220-$255). Selvage detailing on the placket, cuff placket and side gusset add a hit of color and a nod to the fabric's roots. All shirts are made on vintage looms in OMNIGOD's factory in the Kojima District of Okayama, the heart of Japan's textile industry. At once easy and timeless while stylish and sophisticated, the understated shirts make workwear worth keeping around.

The limited edition collaboration collection is available today, 18 September 2014, exclusively from OMNIGOD stores in Japan and Alex Mill's NYC store and webstore.

Image courtesy of Alex Mill and OMNIGOD

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Venice in a Bottle

An unusual gallery space and shop in Italy offering a modernized version of the humble souvenir

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 18 September 2014

Italy, Venice, Art Galleries, Concept Spaces, Glass

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Venice, Italy is a truly iconic city and, even though it's a multi-faceted place, it's oftentimes portrayed as a little stereotyped or clichéd—all gondolas and glass. In an effort to show the city's ever-evolving identity and culture, a group of talented young art consultants has re-imagined one of Venice’s most classic souvenirs with a contemporary and artistic twist—and all of it occurs at Venice in a Bottle.

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Venice in a Bottle is part place, part art project and part object. The space is a "project room"—essentially a small art gallery that doubles as a souvenir shop where visitors can enjoy exhibitions by young artists who work with glass, as well as purchase PET bottles full of colorful glass powder (a kind of grit produced during the processing of glass that cannot be reused) or stunning cotisso, irregular yet fascinating glass rocks. All these glass products simultaneously pay homage to Venice's (and, perhaps Italy as a whole) traditions, while modernizing them.

Glass captures the essence of Venice, its light and its inexhaustible beauty.

Francesca Giubilei—along with Luca Berta, Francesco Misserotti and Silvano Rubino—co-founded Venice Art Factory, the team behind Venice in a Bottle and many other local exhibitions and events. Giubilei believes that, while some may view it as kitsch, glass is still important to the city—as is the art's evolution. "Glass captures the essence of Venice, its light and its inexhaustible beauty. Encouraging artists to experiment with this material is to give a chance to the craftsmanship of Murano to go beyond the reproduction of artistic forms inherited from the past," she says. "We like everything that may fall under the definition of post-media art—the artistic research that gives a conceptual value to objects. We like to contaminate high culture with the low, from [Jacques] Derrida to Google."

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Giubilei says the project was a way to turn a failure into an opportunity. "The project started at the beginning of 2014 when my partner Luca Berta and I suddenly lost our jobs. We decided not to waste our network of international relationships with designers, artists and architects, as well as technical skills in the field of glass production and the organization of exhibitions." She continues, "We have tried to define something new for the Venetian panorama. So when artists or designers want to create something with glass, we put them in contact with the craftsman more suitable for the purpose—so that the project is built with the highest quality and the lowest cost." The upshot is not only for the makers, but for the visitors who are offered the chance to see the works, and also take them home as a very special keepsake.

Images by Paolo Ferrarini

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