Wax Weather

September 29, 2008

Waxed canvas could be my favorite new fabric. It’s waterproof, wind resistant, supple, and shares many characteristics with leather (minus the whole killing-of-animals part). Autumn is known for crisp air, rain, and chilly breezes. My advice for fall is waxed cotton all the way from boots to hats. Stay dry, warm, and light! The good thing about these jackets is that they’ll last you forever, and since they’re classics, they never go out of style.


Barbour makes several styles of really nice waxed jackets and hats. I recently got to view four different jackets, and I was told that all their labor is done in Europe (no sweatshops) and their waxes are totally animal-friendly. The Flyer, below, is my favorite for this fall. It’s lightweight, insulated, and has nice detailing. The jacket has a 100% cotton Barbour tartan lining with 30 gauge wadding for extra warmth. Two way front zip under a studded front, cord inner collar with buckle front tap, knitted rib hem and cuffs. Retail $375 Wax Flyer JacketWax Flyer Jacket

Goes Great with:

Backyard Jeans


If you are looking for a more edgy jacket, the International Trials Short Jacket, below,  is a slimmer, shorter length version of Barbour’s iconic motorcycle design. I suggest wearing this style over a slender suit, open with the belt buckled. This jacket is in Barbour’s medium-weight 6 oz. Sylkoil wax with a 100% cotton Barbour tartan lining. Two-way front zip under a studded storm fly front with set-in sleeves and ventilation eyelets. PU Coated polyamide inner drip strip for extra weather protection, corduroy collar and cuffs, and multiple pockets. Retail $379 International Trials ShortInternational Trials ShortGoes Great with:

Gossypium - Wine Vichy Checked ShirtLight Tan Black Red Cotton Ties in Light Tan/Black/Red


Finally, if you’re looking for a longer coat, the Cowen Commando is one of Barbour’s most famous styles. this modern wax jacket was designed from a historic British army pattern, with a Union Jack badge to prove it. Barbour’s heavyweight 8 oz. Weathered wax with tartan lining. The jacket also features reinforced shoulder panels,  a drawcord waist with adjustable toggles and multiple pockets. Retail $419.Cowan Commando JacketCowan Commando JacketGoes Great with:

Gossypium - Denim Striped Shirt Green Yellow Black White Cotton Ties in Green/Yellow/Black/WhiteslateBoBo Holborn Belt BlackTom



Belstaff’s waxed cotton is more expensive than Barbour (averaging around $530). They are gorgeous and leather-free, but they do incorporate Teflon in their canvass, which is toxic, and made by DuPont, a known vivisector and environmental polluter. Therefore I cannot recommend these jackets, and I suggest writing a kind letter to DuPont expressing your disdain for outdated and cruel animal testing, and CC Belstaff!

Belstaff Trialmaster Jacket - BEL007


David Morgan

For a more affordable autumn jacket, David Morgan offers a oil-finish, waxed cotton jacket called the Shelter Cloth Jacket (retail $160). It has a marbleized color, utility pocket, and moleskin collar (don’t worry, moleskin is actually cotton). David Morgan also offers a pretty bad-ass trench coat called The Duster (retail $285).Shelter Cloth JacketGoes Great with:

HickChair Man - Earth-Friendly0-child-full


Duster, Oil Finish Shelter Cloth, shown with Heavyweight Wool Liner

Goes Great with:

granite Recycled tyre belt - slick tread


Wax It Yourself

Do you own a pair of canvas boots or sneaks, a jean jacket, or even a cotton hat? If you want to waterproof it, and give it a chic, slick appearance, you can buy wax and DIY!

Barbour® Thornproof DressingDriza-Bone Oilskin Reproofer (Garment Dressing)

Faux Ever: Inder Bedi of Matt & Nat

July 20, 2008

Eight years ago, a designer with a penchant for architecture, subculture, and bold ethics launched MATT & NAT – a line of vegan accessories that is unabashedly tearing down any notion that you can’t be fashion-forward and an environmentalist. Anyone who is only one or the other might just be lazy.

Inder Bedhi (Matt & Nat)

Inder Bedhi (Matt & Nat)

Inder Bedi, the brain in which MATT & NAT both reside – and the 34 year old discerning brute whose headquarters are in Montreal, makes no apologies for his commitment to animal advocacy and environmentalism. His accessories are always totally vegan, and are increasingly made from recycled and sustainable materials.



The fact that the new fall 2008 lines are gorgeously-serious, structured, edgy, and modish is enough to make anyone do a triple-take as you walk by – but compound that with the fact that these accessories consist of treated cardboard, recycled soda bottles, and vintage faux-leather and it’s a recipe for handsome ethics.

Like Marshall McLuhan, MATT & NAT isn’t just the bag; it’s the message. Discreetly or proudly, to carry the bag is to carry the message. The Fall 08 collection takes its cues from menswear with a deep color palette, emphasis on heavy hardware, and a narrowed focus on larger all-use carryalls. Such a focused collection makes a bold statement. No other line says it quite as strongly as CARTON. With the success of spring 08’s experimentation in eco-fabrics, MATT & NAT is now exploring the world of paper. CARTON is fabricated from treated cardboard and retails for $150 – $295. Featuring vintage synthetic leather trims, bags are available in either black or natural, with the choice of mix-copper or antique silver hardware. The line is unique, powerful, and for those wanting to make a statement. There’s no question about it, CARTON is progressive, both in design & fabrication.

Andro Carton

Ando Carton

Perfect for those cold winter days, FEUTRE is a line of heather gray felt bags entirely void of animal by-products retailing for $225 – $295. A first for MATT & NAT, the felt is 100% recycled water bottles. Bags are available in a choice of two trims: coffee or cement gray Japanese paper with lead-free copper hardware and a dark tonal lining. Masculine, distinct, and bound to be a classic, FEUTRE is minimalism at its best. Another first this season, BELTS. Made from synthetic leather, the line is comprised of traditional unisex hip belts that retail for $100 – $135. What sets these belts apart are the buckles in varying metals. Industrial in look, with oversized screw accents, BELTS iterate the design elements of the collection, and reinforce MATT & NAT as an avant-garde.

Junk Feutre

Junk Feutre

I had a few moments to interview Inder, here is our conversation:

DB: What is your inspiration for the upcoming collections?
IB: Architecture, cinema and music

DB: How did Matt & Nat come to be?
IB: A desire to put out a vegan line that represents balance between the two voices in my head (matt & nat), the voices that we hear all day that inevitably lead to the decisions we make every second…matt & nat strives to balance us as people as well as the worlds of fashion and positivity.

DB: Who are some of your celebrity fans?
IB: Nathalie Portman, Woody Allen, Heather Mills, Eva Mendes, Charlize Theron.

Ando Feutre

Ando Feutre

DB: How has fashion affected the green movement, and vice versa?
IB: Fashion has placed pressure on green to be more sexy (Kelly Green?), the green movement has asked fashion to be more responsible….weird question for me…been doing this since 1997…

DB: Does Matt & Nat have an official position on using skins, feathers, and fur? If so, why?
IB: matt & nat doesn’t….but I do…which inevitably effects matt & nat, it’s a fashion forward line of accessories that will always be vegan…



DB: What is your biggest concern with the fashion industry right now?
IB: The extremes of ethical fashion and unethical fashion and the lack of lines in between.

DB: Are there any accessories you want to make that you haven’t been able to include in a collection yet?
IB: Belts, soon!

Matt and Nat Mens Bags

Kahn Carton

DB: Why should every fashionisto & fashionista care where their accessories come from, what they’re made of, and who makes them?
IB: Because we vote with our dollars, whether we like it or not.

DB: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you as a designer? And the best?
IB: Took many years before matt & nat got noticed – best and worst thing.
DB: Fill in the blanks: Every single person should make a dramatic change in their life at least once a year. Cool is doing it before it’s done, Chic is not in my vocabulary.



Vogue & Mens Accessories

May 6, 2008

1. The Mens Store at Matt & Nat offers by far, the best selection of well-made veg and eco mens’ accessories that I have seen to date. My favorite bag is the Kravitz Brazen:

Also check out these handsome, cruelty-free adornments:

2. Vogue attempted to do an article about Mens’ green fashion in their March issue. The article, “Good to be Green” gave friend of DB, John Patrick of Organic, a big shout-out (Yay Patrick!). Bramfod & Sons, Loomstate, and Earnest Sewn are mentioned, and whispers of the green capsule line from Theory are discussed, but clearly they didn’t have me writing the article or it would have been much more thorough…(pats self on back). The deal on Theory is:

“…Theory is excited to announce our first-ever organic collection for Summer 2008. Made from certified organic materials, the capsule collection includes 24 styles–jackets, dresses, knitwear and more. Theory’s organic collection will be available at Theory retail stores Barney’s New York, and Holt Renfrew, and shortly to follow at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Bergdorf Goodman in May.”