Four fresh shops break ground in the big city. By Ryan Haase
Workwear, an increasingly popular apparel category, is also increasingly straying from its roots. Someone who carries a mason bag today is most likely not hauling bricks (unless that's a slang term for a cell phone). However there are exceptions, and Dunderdon, a 10-year-old company started by carpenter Per-Ivan Hagberg, has smartly evolved into a modern clothing line that maintains a rugged sensibility.
The new Dunderdon flagship, which recently relocated to Howard Street from smaller digs up on Lafayette, gorgeously displays Hagberg's work. The whitewashed space, meant to resemble a cottage from the designer's native Sweden, has cheery pots of yellow flowers basking in the windows and miniature rocking chairs scattered around the room. If that at first doesn't evoke the rough-and-tumble carpentry trade, consider that Hagberg and rest of the Dunderdon team constructed all these fixtures themselves, right down to the dressing room walls.
The classic Panama Pant (about $100), in sturdy twill with hammer loops, pockets for nails, and kneepad inserts, already sells well among the industrial artists and craftsmen that populate the nearby Bowery and Lower-Lower East Side. The men's contemporary collection streamlines the workwear silhouette, reducing the clothing to the most essential elements. Raw denims and heavy cottons are cut into lean, minimalist trousers, with no distracting embellishments or affected washes (about $129). Slim jackets in tactile waxy fabrics provide reassuring structure and protection without being boxy or shapeless ($169 to $219). Organic cotton T-shirts feature surreal nature-inspired prints by artist Andy Kehoe ($39). A woman's babydoll jumper ($119 to $139) comes in green and blue plaids perfect for summer cocktail parties, and features a high hemline that won't get in the way when crouching down to paint a floor.
25 Howard Street (between Broadway & Lafayette streets), 212-226-4040; www.dunderdon.com
And Then Some
To find out what's for sale at Alex Eagleton's brand new shop, And Then Some, simply ask his friends. The shop, which opens next week, focuses on the work of an astonishingly talented and close-knit coterie of artists. "They have such great ideas," says Eagleton. "And I wanted to set up a place where I could say 'hey, you're making some limited-edition shirts? Bring them over,' or 'you have a new song? We'll play it.'"
This freewheeling concept means And Then Some, a black-painted box lit by interrogation-style overhead lamps, won't adhere so much to seasons as it will to moods. "One of my friends told me he wanted to start making perfumes, so I asked him to create some for the store." The result, Spanish Fly, is a brooding mix of leather, tobacco, and fire. Another designer, with a line appropriately called Friends, sells one-of-kind shorts and swim trunks in summery fabrics with thick twine drawstrings. Most of the labels on regular rotation at And Then Some are available nowhere else in the U.S., such as Daniel Palillo's theatrically oversized tops that make you feel like the "after" in an ad for some dramatic weight loss plan. Then there's Eagleton's own label, thesamenicepeople, which he started several seasons ago with necklaces that had pendants made from quartz crystals and gold-cast G.I. Joe heads.
This spring, the collection expands to include a sweatshirt with permanently scrunched-up sleeves (thanks to an inner structure of elastic bands), super-soft T-shirts with unusual bias seams, and a hooded zip cardigan that's been sutured shut after having its zipper surgically removed.
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