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Last night we had the pleasure of joining a throng of John Bartlett fans at his eponymous shop in the West Village for the launch of Bartlett's brand new collaboration with Alex Carleton of Maine's Rogue's Gallery.
Simply called Rogue's Gallery/John Bartlett (or RG/JB), the collection is comprised of a series of impossibly soft tees ($75) and waffle-y thermals ($70) with signature Rogue's Gallery screen prints inspired by—this is from Bartlett's lips—"'70s leather bars." A pique polo ($70) is embroidered with a crossed axe logo—which makes sense next to the gorgeous black leather and silver chain link log carrier (it's $350 and, to be honest, it could be the hippest and most beautiful designer's portfolio of all time). The collection is rounded out with a smattering of small leather goods (starting at $65), muslin laptop sleeves and gym bags screened with pen and ink bear illustrations (starting at $85), and an over-dyed union suit ($75—you laugh, but one of Bartlett's shop clerks was wearing one with oxford boots and exposed chest hair and it was nothing to scoff at).
We loved that guests were buying the crap out of the new styles. We loved that the line catalog—designed by Carleton himself—looked like a '90s zine with a feature on Huggybear (or Tiger Trap). We loved the blotchy screened hang tags. We loved the rum- and whiskey-spiked cider and egg nog. But, we really, really loved that Bartlett was his own door person, embracing friends and introducing himself to strangers as they attempted to file in to the packed little shop. Always gracious, always delightful, and wearing leather five-pocket trousers (last time we saw him he wore lilac skinny jeans), Bartlett remains one of our very favorite New York fashion characters.
· As the Menswear World Turns: John Bartlett Teams Up With Rogues Gallery