Outdoor Gear Is More Than Just A Fashion Statement; It's A Way To Stay Warm And Dry
G. Bruce Boyer
From the Print Edition:
Demi Moore, Autumn 96
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777 Madison Avenue,
New York, New York 10021
Goldpfeil is included here because, since 1856, it has been a premier international leather goods maker. While the firm is perhaps best known among those with a taste for real luxury for its array of superior handmade purses, handbags and wallets, it is to the lightweight travel luggage and smaller personal leather goods that we turn here. The high-quality nylon bags with brass fittings and fine leather trim come in five colors and are the epitome of lightweight travel gear: backpack ($269), weekend carryall with rollers ($461), duffel ($271), garment bag ($767) and toilet kit ($91). Small leather items of a decidedly elegant practicality include a travel flask ($116), double compartment pillbox ($37), manicure kit ($138), stainless steel pocket knife and case ($146), and for those who want to get away but can't completely disconnect, a cellular phone case ($96).
Holland & Holland
31-33 Bruton Street,
London W1X 8JS
50 East 57th Street,
New York, New York 10022
"Making the best products is simple," says Alain Drach, chairman of Holland & Holland. "It's merely a matter of refusing to compromise at any stage in their manufacture." That's the kind of thinking that has made Holland & Holland a premier London gun maker since 1835. It holds the royal warrants of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh, among others. Its shotguns and rifles are meticulously custom-built (clients are measured with a "try gun" at Holland & Holland's shooting grounds, established in 1880), cost the equivalent of a small luxury car and are legitimately considered to be works of art as well as precise sporting guns.
Naturally, a firm with such tradition and expertise takes dressing for the occasion very seriously. Which is why it eventually produced its own range of country clothing: it wanted the best. The apparel, from broth-of-the-heather tweed jackets to handsome loden stalking capes, is the epitome of English sophistication: superior craftsmanship, highest quality fabrics, unsurpassed refinement of design.
The tweeds for the shooting jackets, breeks and field capes (£395/$606, £165/$253 and £425/$652, respectively) are as rugged and beautiful as the Highlands from which they come. Country shoes and boots (priced from £350/$537) are made from the finest calf leathers, "stuffed with oils," as the company succinctly puts it, to ensure they are waterproof; and shooting stockings in the most glorious colors are individually hand-knitted (from £45/$69 to £60/$92). The firm's field jackets are absolute paragons of the form, done in several versions--rubberized or dry wax cotton with snap-in loden lining, bonded tweed, reversible rubberized cotton, and quilted tweed or loden--all with heaps of pockets (£275/$422 to £445/$683). There are also perfect wool challis ties with game designs (£55/$84), tattersall waistcoats (£125/$192), tweed caps and felt hats (£45/$68 and £85/$130) and wonderful marled cashmere sweaters (from £350/$537 to £450/$691). The last word in estate dress.
16 East 53rd Street,
New York, New York 10022
While Hunting World carries a variety of tasteful clothing and accessories from handbags and beautiful silk scarves to wristwatches, it has been best known for three decades for its luggage and safari clothing. Store originator Bob Lee developed the "Battue" fabric during his years in Africa, when he became dissatisfied with other luggage material. Battue is a three-ply nylon fabric with a polyurethane coating, a shock-absorbing foam core and a nylon jersey inner layer; very protective in even the most extreme conditions. There are dozens and dozens of styles, from a small waist pac, tote or mini-pouch ($235, $757 and $500, respectively), to suit pacs, classic duffels and safari bags ($915, $710 and $857). The most extensive selection of quality cotton safari jackets (about a dozen different models, starting at $145) and shirts (from $85), as well as the real thing in a safari hat: impala brown felt with a 3 1/4-inch raw-edged brim and beige pleated puggaree band ($110).
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