Long with a lot of pics.
This past weekend, I attended the second Gooch Collective event as both a normal attendee and as their impromptu photographer. I can always count on these talented brothers to get me out of the house on a weekend.
“A movement based on on artisan craft, music, and community”. That’s written in the bio on the Gooch Collective instagram. Like I wrote in the recap of their first event (held at the Wellema Hat Co), the Gooch Collective was started by Joshua and Garett Gooch. Even though it was small, that intimate January event went really well, with bunch of great music and company. It eventually lead to this next one, which brought us out of Pasadena and into the DTLA Arts District. As a guy who always felt left out when these sort of events happen in NYC, London, and Stockholm (which are more classic menswear based), I’m really glad that these events are taking off.
Garret works as a brand manager and marketer (among other jobs) for a few small menswear businesses, with the biggest ones being 2120 Handcrafted; he has also contributed to The Wellema Hat Co, which probably helped spur the first event. He was responsible for contacting Rogue Collective a lifestyle boutique right across street from Wurstküche in DTLA and brought in this event’s featured brands: Raga Man, 2120 Handcrafted, and Clutch Golf. All of these brand are fairly small operations and focus a lot on aristinally made pieces, whether they are clothing or accessories. Again, it’s a little different from tailoring and vintage (which is what this blog focuses on), but I think he’s doing important work. Not only has it really increased brand awareness for the LA people, but it’s really brings camaraderie between these companies, as I’m sure it’s incredibly difficult for clothing brands in general.
While his younger brother brings the brands together, Joshua Gooch is responsible for the music. Playing professionally since he was 17 (I think), Joshua is a wicked shredmaster. His many guitars have traveled with him around the world as he’s played with different artists, most recent of which is Shania Twain. Because of his connections, he’s made contact with a variety of talented, musical people. Since they’re mainly hired guns who play as needed, not many of them have a chance to play together as friends just for fun. So Joshua brings them in to provide the entertainment for the evening, which has been a hit thus far. I mean, I’m mainly a film score fan, but the music was really badass.
Both of these brothers are really into menswear, both contemporary and vintage, which is how I got into contact with them. Even though they know I prefer a different aesthetic, it doesn’t stop us from hanging out and geeking out about menswear, something I feel is missing from both contemporary and vintage circles. They could be talking about Camoshita or Thom Browne one minute and then move on to belt backs and hollywood waist trousers in the next. I can honestly say that they’re rapidly becoming really good friends of mine and that creating the Gooch Collective is a really amazing achievement. I feel like this is what Los Angeles has been waiting for: blending menswear, music, and community in a natural way.
While Josh was the main guitarist on a lot of these sets, the music component was particularly interesting, with the band playing in an open room next to the main sales floor. It made for a cool scene, as there was a great mural right near the stage! Like I said before, these musicians mainly operate as hired guns for gigs. Adam Levy has played for Norah Jones, John Spiker does bass for Tenacious D, Tamir Barzilay plays drums for Macy Gray, and Mason Stoops is becoming one of the most popular young guitar players of our time; that’s only a small sample of the talent present that night. The first set was Adam and Mason, playing some intimate acoustic songs that I really enjoyed; apparently they play in Pasadena coffee shops at 8AM, so I may have to break out of my PJs for that. After that duo, there were two mixed groups (with Joshua as the only static performer) playing a set of George Harrison and a set of The Band. It was literally a new musical experience for me and I loved every minute of it.
I was so busy hanging with my friends (it was Spencer’s 21st birthday) and taking pictures that I neglected to talk to the brands that were present at the event, so I sincerely apologize. However, I was able to snap a few pics of the products and got some info from Garett so I could share it with you.
Now Rogue Collective is a retailer of mens’s and women’s lifestyle pieces. You can find everything from shirts and jeans to artwork and lotions. Everything they sell is made locally in DTLA in order to minimize their carbon footprint and is even affordable. In addition to showcasing different manufacturers, they also have their own house label. Again, they don’t really do the whole classic menswear thing, but that’s totally fine with me! They’re particularly known for their chore coats, denim, and tees.
Raga Man is one brand that I really wanted to learn more about since I love casual print shirts, especially when they are reminiscent of aloha shirts. Officially launching in SS18 for men and women, they aim to bring together the Venice Beach silhouette with traditional Indian fabric and print. It’s basically loose fit, lightweight print shirts, and I really dig that. The fabrics are all hand loomed, block printed, and are incredibly soft to the touch. With a family owned factory in India, they offer fair wages and a close attention to detail in order to produce some fantastic shirts.
Personally, I could see this worn with high rise chinos + loafers or slim black jeans + chelseas, for that slick SLP chic.
This blog is no stranger to 2120 Handcrafted, as we’ve featured them in the last Gooch Collective recap and at Inspiration LA 2018. It’s founder Aram has been designing minimal yet versatile shoes that are created in a factory in Léon, Mexico that (like the other brands mentioned) are made ethically and with artisanal precision. Their derbies are probably the most popular, but they just unveiled their new collection which features “hair-on” hide and slick black suede.
They were certainly a big hit at Inspiration and I definitely saw a lot of interested people during the event. Personally, I find the black suede ones pretty darn sexy. Not for use with my sartorial outfits (though I invite the challenge) but more for my minimal, streetwear-esque stuff.
I’m definitely cheating by using a picture I took of Clutch Golf at Inspiration because I neglected to take any during the event. I’ve talked to Kosuke (the founder) a few times and even ran into him at the Rose Bowl flea market, but I haven’t really discussed his own brand with him! From what I’ve seen, it’s a super Japanese take on Japanese-Americana with a luxury golf club theme. There are knicker suits and work suits made of interesting fabrics, like textured raw linens and vintage military canvas, with the latter being cut of different army bags. All of the garments are incredibly unique, which I think can be used to exude the combination of classic/vintage menswear and LA.
Man, I love it when people bring their A-game to events. Obviously, suits weren’t on the dress code but that didn’t stop some of us from breaking out vintage tailoring.
Garett was pretty damn sharp. Like me, he enjoys thrifting his wardrobe and mixing modern and vintage to create a unique look. Even though it’s still hella cold in LA (which isn’t cold at all compared to almost anywhere else), he brought some spring vibes. Blue was definitely the theme of his outfit, being present in his checked DB jacket, vintage tie, and some gorgeous reverse pleated trousers that are from the 1950s. You’d also be hard pressed to find him not in 2120s; he rocks the dark brown derbies with this ensemble.
Kosuke is consistently a great dresser. I absolutely love with vintage tailoring, workwear/military, and contemporary is mixed together in a unique, yet elegant way. He’s got a USMC olive chore coat as an outer layer, covering a vintage 1940s Navy tunic (worn like a sweater). Talk about expert layering. Kosuke finishes this off with the bold choice of wearing pinstripe odd trousers and black 2120 loafers with light grey socks. I feel like I need to take some style cues from this guy.
Spencer is wearing an Ethan approved combo, which is a vintage Brooks Brothers oversized-plaid sack jacket, a denim shirt from Kamakura, and some classic fit, pleated brown corduroy trousers. I’m a huge fan of this look since it combines blue and brown (my favorite colors), pattern mixes (plaid + cord wales), and texture. It takes a lot for me not to wear this outfit (and others in similar combinations) everyday. Funnily enough, the entire thing is pretty close to what Ethan Newton wore to this past Pitti Uomo.
Akira has one of the best casual styles of all time. There are times when he wears workwear and there are times when he does semi-tailoring, but this one just screams slouchy comfort. It’s probably due to the wool cardigan (Neiman Marcus from the 1950s), worn with a cream turtleneck and simple khaki jeans. I couldn’t bring myself to wear such a wide brimmed hat, but Akira really rocks it. The entire thing feels like grandpa rockstar chic, due to the cozy vibes and the slim yet baggy silhouette.
Aram went for a pretty minimal look, opting for a black tee (under a black wool coat), off-white chinos, and 2120 black boots. No one said that crazy combinations and layers is the key for a good outfit, and Aram certainly proves to us that you can go minimal and look sharp. It’s a little bit different than what we’ve seen him in before but the slick, cool-guy vibes are still definitely there.
So glad that I was able to snap some pics of Josh’s outfit since he was pretty beat after playing guitar the entire night. Like I said before, Josh is a big fan of classic and vintage menswear, which is what brings us nerds together. He’s obviously a fan of the early ivy-jazz style of sack suits and slim ties, but I like that Josh makes it a little more updated. This suit is a Brooks Brothers x Thom Browne piece, so the lapels are slim and the trousers are high waisted, but everything is fitted and a short to make it different than a true vintage suit. I think he pulls it off amazingly and is really a great example of Josh’s style in a nutshell. He also gets bonus points for wearing that light brown western fedora with a suit, something I can’t do myself.
Jay is our friend who goes to school in Norcal and is another young vintage enthusiast. Even though he may not dress up as much as Spencer and I on a daily basis, he still has some great pieces that he gets to break out every once in a while. Here he has a very interesting vintage work jacket (that has suit lapels and double breast patch pockets) that he wears with a grey band collar shirt, pleated pinstripe trousers, and brown wingtip boots. It’s very similar to what I call the “Gooch style”, since those brothers love to do outfits in the same vein.
If Spencer is dressed like Ethan Newton, then I’m dressed like Kenji. After meeting Mr. Cheung at Inspiration a couple of weeks before, I couldn’t stop thinking about his outfit. For the party, I decided to do my own version, wearing my vintage double rider (1960’s does 1930’s), pinned blue stripe spearpoint + block stripe tie, and pleated grey flannels. The beret is actually my mom’s old one from college and I think it works well here, creating a sort of updated French Resistance-esque outfit. All of these cold-weather pieces (leather jacket, wool beret, flannel trousers) really came in handy waiting outside of Cliftons at midnight to have drinks for Spencer’s birthday.
Lastly, we have Rachel and her swingin’ 1960’s outfit. The severely oversized orange plaid really gives me English mod vibes, which I love. I definitely dig that she matches her accesories all together, with yellow earrings, a gold purse, a yellow ring, and yellow/white spectators. This era of fashion receives little representation in the vintage community (where 1920s-1950s is the mainstay), so I’m glad that she’s doing it.
I know that this blog post is long already, so bear with me as I share some fun pictures I took during the event. You can really see that people had a lot of fun, especially Spencer and his friends, since I’ve been trying a long time to get them to hang out with me at stuff like this. Even though I mainly took pictures of the band and people I knew, I tried to sneak a couple of shots of the other attendees that I was honestly too shy to talk to.
If this is how menswear events are going to be in LA, then I’m really excited. I mean, I can’t understate how proud I am of the Gooch Boys for organizing these events. I honestly think that this fits more in with the LA menswear scene, as there isn’t a big tailoring scene. For now, it’s a great way to bring awareness to small, artisanal brands and stores, though I could definitely see tailoring coming in at some point in the future. I’m extremely grateful to know these guys and to even get the knowledge of these events. Not only do I get to network and learn more about cool brands, but it gives me a chance to take pictures that are not just me in my alley.
I think that these events will pop up every couple of months or so, so be sure to follow the Gooch Collective to learn about updates! It’s really a lot of fun, whether you like music, clothes, or good company. I’d love it if you guys were to come along too!
Maybe we’ll do a photobooth…
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Ethan W,