Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ft. Lonesome

Ft. Lonesome turns out elaborate custom Western wear chain-stitched with vintage Singer embroidery machines in the tradition of iconic rodeo tailors like Nudie Cohn and Manuel Cuevas. In some cases, Ft. Lonesome’s pieces aren’t just custom-embroidered, they’re bespoke. In addition to personal motifs that tell the wearer’s story, the garments themselves can be made of custom cut-to-fit patterns. You can also choose to have custom designs stitched onto a garment you already own and love, or purchase from FL’s Camp line of restored garments made from upcycled pieces made with quality fabrics and construction. Whichever way you cut it, they’re “tailored, personal heirloom garments.



I love the idea of cowboy day-to-night that underpins Ft. Lonesome’s pieces. The idea of, on the one hand, utilitarian denim workwear and on the other meticulously pressed, elaborately stitched shirts paired with shined-up boots — rugged to rhinestone, with Western wear you get the best of both worlds.



I’ve often wondered what kind of design I’d want if the dream opportunity to have a custom-made Nudie suit came up. Probably something involving palm trees. With Ft. Lonesome, custom western wear dreams are more within reach than ever.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
For the third time in as many years, we drove to Joshua Tree for a much-needed high desert getaway. We stayed at the same cabin as we did last year, a special spot rife with weird, wonderful, decorative details the owners have put into the place. It was originally a chicken and turkey ranch until it became a full-on hippie commune in the late 60s and early 70s. According to Green Acres’ owners, Gram Parsons (whose specter and Cosmic American music still casts a near-spiritual vibe over J Tree) and Keith Richards spent time hanging out at the ranch. A fact like this is impossible for me to ignore and imbues the place with even more mystique than that provided by the otherworldly landscape and sound baths at the Integratron. This year I read Keith Richards’ autobiography Life as a companion piece to last year’s Gram Parsons biography Twenty Thousand Roads.

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch

I wore my new Flax by Jean Englehart dress, we ate seitan sandwiches at our favorite restaurant in town, Crossroads Cafe, and I stopped by the new and more visible location of bkbceramics where I picked up a small ceramic dish and a post card by High Desert Test Sites. A non-profit organization with an inspiring mission to enact temporary, intellectually rigorous and culturally relevant conceptual art in the high desert, HDTS seems to embody the draw of this place and to gather the people drawn by it.

Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch

Joshua Tree Green Acres RanchDuring the day we passed red barrel cacti on a hike to the beautiful and serene 49 Palms Oasis before heading over to Pappy & Harriet’s and spending the afternoon traveling down dusty unpaved roads in search of the real estate listings I stalk year-round. At night, we shut off all the lights, stretched out on outdoor lounge chairs and hunkered down under Mexican blankets and in my case, a newly acquired vintage Levi’s shearling jacket, to stargaze. It’s easy to forget what darkness looks like living in a city — a fact thrown further into relief when we got back and I listened to an interview with the author of The End of Night, a book which explores how little darkness is left on Earth and the impact it has on its inhabitants. We saw some of the biggest, brightest shooting stars we’d ever seen.
Joshua Tree Green Acres Ranch
Joshua Tree Green Acres RanchOn the way to our second stop in Palm Springs, we drove through Joshua Tree National Park stopping at Cap Rock and Cholla Cactus Garden and watching the high Mojave desert turn into the low Colorado.
Joshua Tree Cap Rock
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden
Joshua Tree Cholla Cactus Garden