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Three Experimental Hoodies from Outlier

Somewhere between fashion and performance sportswear, the Brooklyn designers deliver forward-thinking concepts

by Hans Aschim in Style on 21 July 2014

Brooklyn, Outlier, Wool, Clothing, Performance, Style, Fashion, Merino

With a focus on melding fashion, function and performance, Brooklyn-based apparel maker Outlier continues to deliver for the fast-paced active urban lifestyle while offering a simple, elegant aesthetic. Continually blurring the line between activewear and fashion, the brand is unafraid of pushing the envelope in hopes of forging a new design path. Their latest offering represents a commitment to developing the garments of the future, with three experimental hoodies fit for a dawn trail run or a day in the city. Intrigued by the idea, we took a closer look at the three loose-fitting unisex silhouettes made of 17.5 micron merino wool—a material lauded for comfort, quality and moisture-wicking abilities.

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"Our experimental items are just another way for us to explore outside our boundaries and learn without constraints," says co-founder Tyler Clemens, "This often informs our other offerings, so we consider the design approach an extension as opposed to a different method." The pullover Cowlhood extends and exaggerates a traditional cowl neck to create an oversized hood. A long-cut with side vents and short sleeves make it perfect for summer nights or layering.

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The most traditional of the three styles, the Crossover Hood is given a contemporary treatment with a long drape-fit and dropped hem. A crossed seam in the front sets the foundation for an open, comfortable hood. More athletically styled, the Crossover Hood provides full-on UV protection while keeping you dry—whether hustling through traffic in the bike lane, catching the subway or training for a marathon.

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Illustrating Outlier's ability to pack in features while remaining true to a simple look, the Vented Double Hood is one of their more conceptual offerings. The cloak-like cardigan features a two-piece hood with a rear vent and additional cowl. "We wanted to explore hoods from a pattern-making and problem-solving perspective, as well as for sun protection," says Clemens. The result is easily dressed up and always chic.

The Cowlhood and Crossover Hood each sell for $188, while the Double Vented Hood is $248. All three of the limited offerings are expected to go quickly and are available online.

Photos by Emiliano Granado

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East London Liquor Company

Bringing distilling back to the East End with distinct craft spirits done in the old style

by CH Contributor in Food + Drink on 21 July 2014

London, Distilleries, Gin, Hackney, Liquor, Interviews

by Cajsa Lykke Carlson

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Gin has long been the classic London drink, and the spirit is making a comeback in the city’s cocktail scene. At the border of Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets, a new distillery and bar, East London Liquor Company, is bringing locally made gin back to the area, which has an extensive history of liquor-making. Founder Alex Wolpert previously ran the London bar and restaurant Barworks, until his passion for gin led him to try creating the perfect version himself. Alongside him are master distiller Jamie Baxter and distiller Tom Hills, both from City of London Distillery.

East London Liquor Company might be reintroducing gin-making to Tower Hamlets, but it’s offering a very different drink than the one that got the nickname “Mother’s Ruin” in the 18th century. The distillery produces a London Dry Gin, which Wolpert describes as “very juniper-forward, citrusy and dry,” as well as two premium gins. The new outfit will also be producing its own vodka and whiskey, making it the first whiskey distillery to open north of the Thames in over a century. We spoke to Wolpert and Hills about the story behind the bar and distillery, and about what makes their gin unique.

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What made you decide to start your own distillery, and how would you describe the gin you produce?

Alex Wolpert: I’m not a distiller but I’ve made drinks and sold drinks. I’ve been in the industry a long time and always wanted to make a good liquid, an interesting celebration of what gin can be. When people tell me they don’t like gin, it’s usually because they haven’t tried the right one. We grow a lot of the botanicals that we use in the gin in our garden and all the liquor is made here. We try to keep as much of the production in-house as possible.

Our two premium gins came about when I gave Jamie Baxter a list of contrasting botanicals to go for. He did two test runs, and they were both so good that we just thought, “What the hell, we’ll do two premium gins.” One is dry and citrusy and has notes of Darjeeling and grapefruit, among others. The other is much more herbaceous and has sage, bay leaves, lavender, fennel and thyme. They both have quite a high ABV, to really push the flavor through. You wouldn’t want to mix the gin because the finish is so long. You want to use it in a martini, for example. We really try to celebrate gin and what it can be.

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Why choose the Tower Hamlets/Hackney area to open in?

AW: I spent 18 months searching for a venue and looked all over east London. It didn’t have to be in the east, but part of the idea behind East London Liquor Company was to bring back an industry that used to be here. This entire area used to be full of distilleries. The space we’re in is a former pub, but we’ve completely changed it. It’s good because it’s big enough to have a bar to showcase the spirits—it’s really all about de-mystifying distilling. And the fact that everything is done on the premises means there’s a sense of ownership of the process as well as of the product. There’s an autonomy to it, which is great.

East London Liquor Company is bringing gin production back to the area, but how similar is the process now to what it would have been a century ago?

Tom Hills: With major producers—for example, Gordon and Tanqueray—the process of making gin has changed over time to meet demand. What the second “gin craze” that’s going on now has done is taken the production of gin back to the way it was traditionally done, which was in a batch process rather than a continuous process. Very big producers use a two-shot process. They distill their botanicals at a much higher concentration with a smaller amount of alcohol, and then add that to a neutral spirit. So they’re basically making a gin concentrate and “alcohol-ing” it down. Whereas a one-shot process, which is what we use and everyone who is a craft distiller uses, means that every bit of alcohol that’s in the bottle has passed through a still. So in that sense, craft distillers make gin the traditional way.

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You use custom-made stills from Bodensee, Germany. Could you tell us a bit about how they work?

TH: The shape of these stills and the fact that they’re made of copper is a very traditional thing, but they’ve got all the modern bells and whistles hiding behind the traditional exterior. They’ve got a rectification column, dephlegmator, all kinds of modern technology built into them, ensuring that we have the greatest control possible over consistency and quality. We have electrical controls and a steam jacket. Whereas before it would have been done over open heat, but essentially what we’re doing is taking things back to how it was, albeit with slightly more safety measures in place. Health and Safety would not be happy if we were trying to distill gin over an open fire!

For more information about the spirits, distillery, bar and the team behind them, visit East London Liquor Company online.

Images courtesy of East London Liquor Company

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Three Summer Photography Shows

Group exhibitions on both coasts that explore and survey the current state of the medium

by Jonah Samson in Culture on 21 July 2014

Exhibitions, Exhibits, Galleries, Photographers, Photography, Group Shows

As the art season slows down for the summer months and galleries take a breather from the rush of global art fairs, many gallerists take this time to identify and unify themes that reflect some of the concepts being expressed by contemporary artists, and put together group shows. Here are three wonderful shows on both coasts that are surveying the current direction of photography.

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"The Thing Itself" at NYC's Yancey Richardson Gallery examines the use of photography as its own subject matter—cameras, paper and scanners, family snapshots, images in the media—the unifying theme is self-reflectivity. As film, darkrooms and paper recede into obsolescence, many artists have been investigating what makes something a photograph by exploring the tools and materials of the medium. Thus, exploring the more tangible version of an art form that is so over-saturated in the digital realm. The show features established artists like Christopher Williams, Anne Collier and Wolfgang Tillmans, alongside talented new-comers like Bryan Graf and Sara Cwyner. On now through 22 August.

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Curated by gallery artists Matthew Porter and Phil Chang, "Soft Target" at LA's M+B Gallery examines how art can function in many ways, as "an object for discourse, an artifact and a commodity," often at the same time. Hence, art prompts several reactions and responses. The show reminds audiences that photography is about cropping, positioning, choosing and redirecting the viewer's focus. While the show includes a few artists from M+B’s roster, including Hannah Whitaker and Whitney Hubbs, the co-curators have assembled a smart show from a broad range of talented artists working with photography. On now through 30 August.

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On show at San Francisco's Fraenkel Gallery, "Where There’s Smoke" mixes it up by showing works by four artists from outside the gallery’s stable of heavy-hitters. The title of the exhibition references the common idiom that if something looks wrong, it probably is. Questions abound as viewers wonder about the subject, angle and production of each image. In ways that are both subtle and overt, the works in this show—from artists Ruth Van Beek, Jason Fulford, Michael Lundgren and fashion photographer Viviane Sassen—were chosen because of their ability to confront, as well as disorient the viewer. On now through 23 August.

Images courtesy of respective galleries

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