Category Archives: Fashion

Story & Review: Dive Bar Shirt Club and The Giant Jackalope

The Giant Jackalope illustration by Henry Chamberlain

It is always a pleasure to review anything that falls within the category of attire or accessory in the geek lifestyle. So, Comics Grinder is very happy to share with you Dive Bar Shirt Club. As the name implies, this is a club devoted to shirts. Each month you get a quality shirt honoring a dive bar chosen for its distinction and originality. A new dive bar design is featured every month and, once that month is up, that shirt is retired forever.

We all seek distinction and originality. It’s another way of simply saying that we are attracted to things that are cool. I was on the road, during a carefree summer in my youth, when I spotted what had to be the best roadside attraction I’d ever seen. It was an homage to the jackalope, that staple of Americana, the cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope. This sucker was huge and it was perched atop a glorious dive bar. It was a warm summer night that seemed to promise adventure. I had to walk in.

Inside the bar, I did a double-take. The place was immaculate. I was expecting it to be a well-worn, musty, and gaudy place. But, no, this place was classy. And there was no carryover of the jackalope theme. Instead, the red leather booths were nicely kept and all the brass piping was polished. There were a couple of gents in suits looking very retro. Again, I was expecting a far more casual vibe. The waitress was a beauty all done up in a vintage dress. All this seemed too formal for a place in the middle of nowhere. I was outside a little town in Texas, not a Vegas casino in the ’50s.

Her name was Sadie. “What will you have, stranger?” she asked with the longest lashes I’d ever had the pleasure to admire.

I’d had a good look at the list of mixed drinks. When I read it on the menu, I had to have it. “I’ll take The Jackalope.”

Sadie just stared at me. Her eyes grew wide. With a tremble in her voice, she asked, “You mean, The Jackalope, right?”

“Yes,” I said firmly, “I’m here for The Jackalope!”

I must have raised my voice because the two fugitives from “Mad Men” turned to have a good look at me. They proceeded to get up from their booth and walk over to me.

“You’re really here for The Jackalope?”

I think I lost it at that point. “I don’t know what you people mean!” I yelled and ran out the front door.

I was heading for my car when it dawned on me. I slowly turned around and looked up. There it was. It hissed and glared at me. Then, with a mighty leap, that monster flew up into the air like the most lucid nightmare. This was followed by a massive thud which was quickly followed by the lightening speed of a creature from hell. And, hell yes, it was distinctive and original!

If you’re like me, you desire that added spice, that distinction and originality. You too can find it in a unique t-shirt from Dive Bar Shirt Club. In the video below, I’m sporting just the ticket. This Dive Bar Shirt Club t-shirt celebrates Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, California. This is one awesome combination of style and comfort.

Visit Dive Bar Shirt Club right here.

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Filed under America, Americana, Beer, Fashion, pop culture, Style

Havaianas Launches Marvel Comics Collection of Flip Flops

An adult style from the Marvel x Havaianas collection.
Courtesy of brand.

Havaianas, the world’s favorite rubber flip flops, has combined forces with Marvel Comics to launch a new collection of flip flops, Marvel x Havaianas, featuring some of the world’s most iconic super heroes.

A Spider-Man adult style from the Marvel x Havaianas collection.
Courtesy of brand.

This limited edition collection is Marvel’s first official flip flop collaboration and includes six unique men’s, women’s and kids’ styles. Some of pop culture’s greatest super heroes, including Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man, are highlighted in bright Havaianas colorways and designs as part of the collection. The diverse variety of styles and sizes offered allows Havaianas the opportunity to tap into and celebrate Marvel fans of all ages for the first time.

A Captain America & Iron Man adult style from the Marvel x Havaianas collection.
Courtesy of brand.

The collection will launch tomorrow (March 30th) exclusively in Havaianas’ U.S. concept stores, as well as online at havaianas.com. The kids’ styles retail for $19, while the adult versions go from $26 to $30.

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Filed under Comics, Fashion, flip flops, Havaianas, Lifestyle, Marvel Comics, Super Heroes

Review: GIRL IN DIOR by Annie Goetzinger

Christian Dior at work on a new collection at his county house.

Christian Dior at work on a new collection at his country house.

Annie Goetzinger has quite a light touch to her drawings that manage to speak volumes. It is one thing to draw pretty women in chic settings and quite another to convey the humanity and complexity behind the story. Goetzinger’s graphic novel, “Girl in Dior,” does just that with her behind-the-scenes look at the life and work of legendary fashion designer Christian Dior.

The launch of a "New Look."

The launch of a “New Look.”

The House of Dior, at 30 Avenue Montaigne, was meant to evoke a cross between Louis XVI and the dawn of the 20th Century. It was to be made up of white paneling, pearl gray satin, taffeta lampshades, and discretely placed bouquets and kentia palms. It was not based upon anyone’s reality but upon Dior’s own childhood daydreams. It was to be the perfect place, the epicenter for high fashion, beginning with the first Dior fashion show for the Spring-Summer collection for 1947.

No.3, "Chérubin"!

No.3, “Chérubin”!

Amid the refined mayhem that ensues, we meet our main character, Clara Nohant, a budding fashion columnist. It is through the fictional Clara that we can savor certain key moments and get a sense of the world of Dior. As only a graphic novel can offer, we can get very specific upon what you view and linger upon. In the right hands, this results in such a masterpiece as this. Goetzinger is a master cartoonist. She well knows that she cannot show you every last detail. Instead, she must pick and choose.

She spends a good portion of time simply reveling in that special moment that was the launch of the House of Dior. After all, it sent shockwaves throughout the fashion world and led women, around the world, to consider lowering their hemlines. Having given the reader a solid grounding on that event, she quickens the pace. Clara goes from one major blunder to landing herself the role as the latest model to join the Dior inner circle.

This book is a delight to read through and through. Some books you keep, and this one is a keeper. The art is stunning in how it works within the confines of elegant refinement. Goetzinger’s background in fashion illustration serves her well as she effortlessly captures the flow of fabric and the carriage and grace of the models. And her stylish line is complimented by her gorgeous use of watercolor. In her hands, the fashion world, while always cool and detached, never goes cold. In the end, there’s a warm human touch to this tale of high fashion.

“Girl in Dior” is a 128-page full color hardcover, priced at $27.99, published by NBM Publishing. For more details, visit our friends at NBM right here.

And, if you are in the New York metro area this weekend, be sure to visit the MoCCA Arts Festival and see Annie Goetzinger in person. You’ll be able to see her as part of a panel on writing about the lives of artists:

MoCCA 2015 Programming Spotlight

“Biography: The Lives of Artists”
Sunday, April 12 at the High Line Hotel
12:30 pm in the Rusack Room

Memoir, non-fiction and biography have emerged as significant categories in comics. Comics about artists represent a special challenge: the cartoonist must represent the work of an artist through his or her own visual approach, revealing points of disjunction and harmony. Hyperallergic Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer will discuss these issues with French comics legend Annie Goetzinger, whose Girl in Dior chronicles the first season of the storied fashion house; James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook, whose 7 Miles a Second was both a biography of and a collaboration with David Wojnarowicz; and Dutch cartoonist Barbara Stok, whose Vincent makes Van Gogh approachable through a style completely unlike his own.

For more details on the MoCCA Arts Festival, go here.

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Filed under Annie Goetzinger, Comics, Fashion, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, NBM, NBM Publishing

Interview: Matthew “Griff” Griffin, Combat Flip Flops, and the Process of Rebuilding

An Afghan Special Forces policeman walks through a poppy field as he searches for Taliban fighters in the village of Sanjaray in Zhari district early April 26, 2008. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

An Afghan Special Forces policeman walks through a poppy field as he searches for Taliban fighters in the village of Sanjaray in Zhari district early April 26, 2008. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

It all began with the idea of combining the combat boot with the flip flop, a sort of yin and yang. More precisely, it was about finding peaceful alternatives to war.

One thing that I look forward to once the weather warms up is getting back into flip flops. They can be a haven from the world. But the flip flops that I’m wearing right now face the world head-on. These are Combat Flip Flops. They are more true to their name than you might imagine. And they represent an inspiring story about rebuilding where only chaos and destruction once existed.

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Yep, the above flip flops would do anyone proud in terms of style and comfort. But there’s a lot more going on here. Every item created at Combat Flip Flops was made by people from a region that has known extreme conflict.

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These fashion-forward sandals shown above are made in Bogota, Columbia. This is one of the newest items available from this most enterprising company.

Combat-Flip-FlopsThe story of Combat Flip Flops began in Afghanistan when Army Rangers Matthew “Griff” Griffin and Donald Lee had an epiphany. After serving multiple deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, they knew they could do more to help people in war-torn countries. Initially, the focus was to transform a boot factory in Afghanistan into a viable flip flop business. But, that specific plan did not work out the first time out and meant reworking one’s way back with a different product that fit that region’s particular economic base. It just meant that one initial setback led down another path. And this process has led to a venture with a wider, and ever-growing, scope.

Matthew "Griff" Griffin models The Cashmagh

Matthew “Griff” Griffin models The Cashmagh

Support Business, Not Bullets

I got a chance to talk with co-founder Matthew Griffin, who goes by Griff, and he proved to be very confident and enthusiastic about the future of Combat Flip Flops. At one point in our conversation, I noted the arrival of spring and how everyone is ready to venture out in flip flops. Griff’s thoughts went back to the arena of combat. It’s spring that marks the beginning of renewed conflict. And, with that in mind, Combat Flip Flops has been doubling its charitable efforts to war-torn regions all through the month of March. And you could say it has been doubling its efforts in more ways than one. What you find here is a direct link back to helping those in great need. You can listen to my interview with Griff by clicking the link below:

Do visit the Combat Flip Flops site and view the assortment of products offered like The Cashmagh:

The Cashmagh
They say you can leave Afghanistan, but it it never leaves you. Over multiple combat deployments, the shemagh became a necessary tool for shade, warmth, cover, and style. It never left the toolbox. Typically made from cotton or polyester, the standard shemagh didn’t meet our standards for a world class product. So we made one. This 100% Afghan Cashmere Shemagh was born in the mountains of Afghanistan. Produced from the finest cashmere in the world, this endlessly functional accessory shows your global perspective, open mind, and willingness to do what others won’t—support business, not bullets. Lightweight, supple, and functional, this performance cashmere shemagh is fitting from the battlefield to the boardroom. We prefer the latter.

Visit our friends at Combat Flip Flops right here.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Business, Combat Flip Flops, Entrepreneurship, Fashion, flip flops, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, Peace, War

Book Review: ‘Art & Sole: A Spectacular Selection of More Than 150 Fantasy Art Shoes from the Stuart Weitzman Collection’ by Jane Gershon Weitzman

Art-Sole-Weitzman-4thOfJuly

David, a new assistant at Comics Grinder marched right into the offices of CG. He had a rather sheepish grin on his face. I wasn’t sure what to make of his quick familiarity. Like past friends of CG, he had a treat for us to consider. But he wasn’t going to give it up until he gave me a little grief. “Alright then,” David said, “you have a thing for feet, don’t you?”

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Filed under Art, Art books, Book Reviews, Books, Design, Fashion, Feet

Fashion: Star-Spangled Flâneurs: Converse x Ace Hotel Pro Leather Sneakers

Converse-x-Ace-Hotel-White-Pro-Leather-High-Tops

Comics Grinder is always on the lookout for something that’s a cut above and worth a shoutout in the world of pop culture, fashion, and all points in between. Consider this item just released by our friends at Ace Hotel: Special Limited Edition Ace Hotel Converse Pro Leather High Tops. It’s got style, comfort, and will get you first in line this summer and beyond.

More details follow from Ace Hotel:

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Filed under Ace Hotel, Comics, Fashion

LUISA VIA ROMA’s FASHION SUPERHEROES

High end fashion meets superheroes in this beautiful Luisa Via Roma photo shoot, “Fashion Superheroes.” Let’s just say it’s what Tony Stark would wear. I know I would love to wear their fashion too! In fact, this is an open letter to Luisa Via Roma to dress me up in time for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. I promise to be a good model. Well, it’s so nice to know that superheroes are welcome at Luisaviaroma.com.

And I do recommend taking the time to browse. I especially like the down jacket with detachable hood, which will definitely make you look like a superhero.

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Filed under Fashion, Superheroes

Official Fiesta Huarache Review

What welcomes warmer weather better than a great pair of huaraches? They are part of the heart and soul of Mexico as well as America, included in such notable places as the lyrics to The Beach Boys song, “Surfin’ USA,” Jack Kerouac’s novel, “On The Road,” and Kathryn Stockett’s novel, “The Help.” I have found some huaraches you should know about.

Official Fiesta is the place to go for comfortable, stylish and authentic huarache sandals made in Mexico. We all like to treat ourselves to the best when we can. We like to treat our feet to the best too. So, let’s take a closer look at one standout item, Torero Men’s Grueso Huaraches. It has that cool iconic look we all know. And it fits like a dream. You can’t go wrong: It’s affordable, it’s hip and it fits right out of the box.

I decided to give the Grueso Huaraches a test, really walk around in them and make them my new friends. Right from the start, you don’t notice them once they’re on your feet since they’re light without complication, just like a good friend should be. You also want to be able to savor them and that’s where the leather weave and leather footbed will have you covered in comfort.

As a Mexican-American, I am particularly pleased to wear huaraches. It’s one of those things that you sort of take for granted, that you’ll get around to, but I’ve been missing out on a pair for many years! And, they look so cool. They are not as common as flip flops so people will compliment you and ask where you got them. Yeah, a lot of people out there are like me, they’ve been meaning to get huaraches! That’s the thing, you just need to get a pair–or two!

Here is a quick comparison to another pair of huraches also available at Official Fiesta. This other pair is the Torero Men’s Huaraches Pachuco. It’s a different style but it provides similar comfort. And it also has that same cool attitude. If you’re interested in getting more than one pair of huaraches, you may want to consider getting both of these styles. You definitely need to get some huaraches and Official Fiesta is where to go.

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Filed under Fashion, huaraches, Official Fiesta, Reviews

Men in Hats in 2011

Men in hats. Will the trend continue? I believe it has reached what I lovingly call, “The Flip Flop Factor.” Something happened in 2011. It had been occurring more under the surface for many years. But, now, we’ve reached that tipping point where all bets are off and any guy, at anytime, could be considering wearing a hat. He’s seen enough cool dudes wear hats and he senses something’s in the air. Johnny Depp wears hats. It must be alright. “The Flip Flop Factor” comes into play in the fact that a lot of guys see this as an opportunity to flaunt a bit of their casual side at any given time or place. Just like flip flops are no longer an item to be found only on the beach or at the gym, hats on men are no longer just an item at a club. They are this new staple in fashion: a little annoying to some, a bit audacious to others, but definitely here to stay. Also, we reached the point this year where men’s hats, like flip flops, are being sold everywhere, along with a price drop for this type of sporty/retro hat, that makes them even more tempting and accessible.

You can see from these following photos of yours truly, that any bloke can look a little more interesting with a hat. And these bad boys didn’t set me back at all. All three of these hats were less or around twenty bucks. I bought them in 2011 at different times and different places. I think, with these three, I’ve got my set that I can just wear whenever. I have to say, it took me a while, like a lot of guys, to find hats that I liked. I was willing to spend a little more too but nothing seemed to speak to me. I wasn’t too keen on the ones made out of straw or paper. I’m more into something more solid, made of some kind of cloth. I was always aware of a high end men’s hat shop in town but only ventured in there once. Then, this year, I warmed up to the new boutique chain, Goorin Brothers. In time, I may find the finer quality hat I might still be longing for. Like flip flops, you can get the cheap, but still great, type or you an indulge your senses with something out of this world.

It’s very interesting to me how hats have come back. They went away, had become too attached to a bygone era, too associated with your dad or your grandfather, but now they are back. They are not part of the soul sucking routine of “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.” No, they are now a life-saver. As long as they’re not some lame version with flaps to cover your ears, you’re good. As long as they have style, that’s the kind of hat you want.

The balance on supply and demand and trend setting is just right at this time. Guys are fully aware that hats are hot. Retro is hot. Hats are retro. Hats are hot. Not everyone is going to wear them. There will always be a sense of style and of setting oneself apart from the slow and dull herd when donning a hat. You know the slow and dull herd, right? You see them every day of your life, waiting for the bus in the morning, shuffling along, or power walking, up and down, and down and up, the sidewalks as if they really are going anywhere. And then, out of that thick fog, emerges that guy in that hat. That guy with a little something special in his heart that keeps him moving and doesn’t let the petty stares from the ignorant or the smirks from the wanna-bes get him down. He’s the guy with the hat!

Like anything else that is cool, hats have always been around and have been worn by cool people, whether society gets it or not. You’ll find that hats were already back some years back and worn by artists, writers and any number of daredevils and nonconformists. They are a natural for cartoonists and those in the comics and entertainment industry. Big time comics writer Ed Brubaker, of “Captain America” fame among other works, is a long-time hat wearer. And the ultimate hat man in comics must be Seth, known for a body of work that pays homage to the past, as in “Palookaville,” a past with many more hats that we are ever likely to see again. But you never know.

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Filed under 2011, Ed Brubaker, Fashion, Lifestyle, Men, pop culture, Seth, Style, Trends

EvolutionMan Has The Answer For Man Nails, Man Skin and More

When Ben Affleck grew out his hair, the entertainment press dubbed the hair covering his forehead, “man bangs.” They couldn’t just be bangs. And the same thing happens when a male celeb is seen with a bag. Instantly, that becomes a “man bag.” If it’s sandals on men, they become “man sandals” which doesn’t even make any sense.  And it goes on. Just add “man” to about anything that has a guy treating himself to the finer things in life. “Manzilian,” anyone? Speaking for us guys, I believe we’re more than mere man skin.

Men will do whatever they want anyway. If we want to take care of ourselves, we will, because guys have evolved. That’s what leads us to an exciting new line of men’s skincare and grooming products, EvolutionMan.

The founder of EvolutionMan is Marco Berardini, a celebrity groomer whose clients include Patrick Dempsey, LeBron James and supermodel, Marissa Miller. His line of products are used by other celebrity groomers like Sonia Lee who gets stars like Neil Patrick Harris and Anthony Hopkins red carpet ready.

Visit the EvolutionMan Web site and you’ll find an assortment of skincare products to make you look and feel great. “Wash & Buff,” for instance, won the award for best face scrub in Men’s Health Magazine. And EvolutionMan products are packed with natural ingredients that make your skin more attractive and healthy.

Here at Comics Grinder, we’re all about style and taste. We just received a goodie bag from EvolutionMan and we thought we’d share with you what we found.

PURE BLING – We’ll start with the latest addition to the EvolutionMan line: nail polish for men. Again, no need to call this “man nail polish,” unless you really have to. With “Pure Bling,” a guy can test drive nail polish since this is simply a clear varnish, boosted with vitamins. All it does is provide a guy with more healthy and attractive nails. What could be better? I’ve found it to be just fine. My nails look and feel great and I have gotten compliments on them. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe next time I’ll try a color.

CLEANSE & SHAVE, WASH & BUFF AND MOISTURE PROTECT — Yes, this could be your daily regimen. You “Cleanse & Shave” to get that close and refreshing shave. Follow this up with “Wash & Buff” to get rid of dead skin cells and reinvigorate your skin. And then complete the process with “Moisture Protect” to add moisture and protect yourself from UV rays with its SPF 20.

REVITALIZE EYE GEL – You could take things one step further and give your eyes a bit of a lift with “Revitalize Eye Gel.” Just a little dab under both eyes to give you a more refreshed look and up things in a more balanced and healthy place.

LIP BALM – And any guy should have some lip balm handy. Too many guys go around sporting dry and cracked skin in such a prominent place on the face.

That said, all guys should do themselves a favor and check out what EvolutionMan has to offer them. I am inspired by EvolutionMan and you guys will be too.

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, Lifestyle, Men, pop culture, Style, Taste