The Thomas Kay Collection should be arriving in your mailbox today via catalog.
The Thomas Kay Collection should be arriving in your mailbox today via catalog.
Filming has wrapped on “Love and Mercy,” the upcoming Brian Wilson biopic. The costume department came to us for–you guessed it–many, many of the Beach Boy Plaid board shirts worn Brian and the Boys on the cover of Surfer Girl and various 45s. Remember, before they were the Beach boys, they were the Pendletones.
The movie won’t be out until next year, but we thought you’d enjoy these shots from filming.
The Westerley Cardigan, made famous by Jeff Bridge’s The Dude in The Big Lebowski, is back for fall. This is a different coloration, but as you can see by the vintage ad on the left, it is straight from our archives. We found a mill that could recreate the weight and gauge of the original sweater. We changed one detail; this version zips with a leather pull tab instead of the original metal ring.
We’ll have a contest coming soon, so you can win your own.
At Pendleton, we have so much local lore to draw on when naming products. We all agreed that the Burnside was a perfect name for this Fall’s new cotton shirt! What else would we name it? It was a perfect name, the perfect name! But then it occurred to us that not every one lives in Portland. So here’s a little background.
Burnside Avenue runs from east to west in Portland, crossing the Willamette River with one of Portland’s original bridges. The best-known stretch on the west side of the river, where Burnside was originally known as “B Street,” is part of Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District. In the 1800s, before the bridge was built, this was a wild part of town. B Street was home to bars, card rooms, and other nefarious businesses that made it a less-than-respectable part of town. The street name was changed to Burnside after David W. Burnside, a Portland merchant, in the late 1860s, but it took more than a new moniker to alter the neighborhood. It took traffic.
Yes, traffic! The bridge, the streetcar and then the demands of the automobile turned Burnside into one of Portland’s more heavily traveled avenues. When the 205 freeway was cut through, Burnside even got some on-ramps (one block off Burnside). Burnside served as one of the boundaries of what Portlanders called “close-in Northwest,” an industrial area adjacent to the river.
It was home to rail yards, breweries and warehouses. But by the late 1980s, the breweries had closed, and the rail yard had relocated its giant concrete turntable to SE Portland. Change was coming.
Today, Burnside bounds the Pearl District, a prosperous mixed-use neighborhood full of lofts, studios, galleries, restaurants and shopping. But Burnside’s gritty charms remain. You can see it in Powell’s, the City of Books housed in an amalgamation of warehouses joined together to make a square city block of books. You can also see some original Burnside in Everyday Music, another vast emporium housed in converted industrial spaces. And you can see it in the work of the McMenamin brothers, Portland entrepreneurs who restored an ancient dance hall with a famous floating wooden dance floor and opened the Crystal Ballroom with Ringler’s Pub underneath.
Pendleton’s HQ sits where the Pearl District meets Portland’s Old Town, on NW Broadway, just east of the North Park Blocks. Burnside Avenue is only two blocks away. It continues to carry foot, bus, car and bike traffic through a part of Portland where the newness of the Pearl District rubs shoulders with history, and it carries it all comfortably. What better name could we find for a 100% cotton flannel shirt, peached on both sides of the fabric for softness, bar tacked for strength, and made in the kinds of plaids that say Pendleton?
That’s right. We called it the Burnside shirt, and we hope you like it.
You’ve heard about it on the radio, seen it on YouTube, read about it in the paper and on innumerable blogs all over the world. Yes, we are talking about the 100 Day Shirt by Wool & Prince, the new company Kickstarted by Mac Bishop. We have fielded quite a few queries about this project because the shirt Mac wears in his video is actually a Sir Pendleton. So, here are some Pendleton answers to your Wool & Prince questions.
Was Pendleton aware that their shirt was being used by Wool & Prince?
Yes, we were aware the shirt worn in the video is a Sir Pendleton. Mac Bishop is a proud member of the sixth generation of Pendleton’s Bishops, and he’s worn Pendleton products his entire life.
Were you surprised by Wool & Prince’s claim that your Sir Pendleton was wrinkle and odor-free after being worn for 100 consecutive days without cleaning?
We were not. We have been making men’s wool shirts for 90 years, and we understand the attributes of wool. Even though there is no such thing as a self-cleaning shirt, a wool shirt will refresh itself when allowed to rest after a wearing. We’re excited that Wool & Prince is illuminating the qualities of wool to new consumers.
Have you ever subjected any of your wool shirts to a similar test?
Pendleton’s consumers have been wear-testing our Men’s shirts since 1924. That’s why we’re not surprised at the outstanding results.
Is Pendleton producing the Wool & Prince brand?
No. Mac Bishop has developed his own fabric and sourced production independently.
Is Pendleton planning any changes to the line based on the excitement generated by Wool & Prince’s slimmer fit shirts?
We have been doing great business with our Fitted shirts, which we introduced years ago. Our contemporary brand, The Portland Collection, offers a trim fit, and this fall we are launching a new brand, Thomas Kay, celebrating our founder and 150 years of weaving in America. The garments in this collection (including new shirt models and fabrics) have a modern, tailored fit. Which is all just our way of saying that we have been working on a more body-conscious fit for a few years.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, you can watch the Wool & Prince video here.
For excellent background on Wool & Prince, read Fast Company’s profile .
And for more information on wool, see our website.
That was an exciting phone call to receive. For those of you who don’t know, Danny Glicker is the Oscar-winning costume designer who dressed Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart and many more for their roles as Beat pioneers. He shopped vintage heavily, but the demands of filming require multiples of nearly every garment. Those are difficult to come by when you are searching out garments made in the 1950s.
That’s where Pendleton came in. We supplied Mr. Glicker with some new shirts made in plaids drawn from our archives, which he tailored to match our earlier specs. Because he is an exacting perfectionist, he also re-labeled the shirts with vintage tags we provided. And then, using processes known only to costumers, he weathered them to suit the road-battered, nonconformist lifestyle of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, the novel’s protagonists.
Premiering at Sundance this year is “Kill Your Darlings,” a film about one of the more infamous episodes in Beat history. With Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac and Daniel Radcliffe as Alan Ginsberg, this is a fantastic cast. And it is not another reworking of On The Road. This is a the story of an actual death, possibly murder, possibly self-defense, that echoed through the tightly-knit Beat Generation. We also worked to provide Pendleton shirts for this set of Beats.
These movies demonstrate the lasting impression made by Jack Kerouac on American literature. The story of his life, echoed in his works, resonates with iconoclastic spirit.
On The Road has never been out of print since it was first published by Viking in 1957. Here is a tour of the book’s covers, decade by decade along with some shots of the author. These shots of Jack Kerouac explain why costumers sought out Pendleton.
This is Shelley, the Visual Director for our stores. We are lucky to have her creative visual input around the corporate headquarters. While down in the archives, Shelley found some sepia-toned prints of people at work in the Pendleton mills. She brought them up, dusted them off, and let them inspire some beautiful lobby windows with blankets, and Fall 2012 apparel from Womenswear, Menswear and The Portland Collection.
Hope you enjoyed this tour of Shelley’s creative work. We are thankful to enjoy it every day. From all of us at Pendleton, have a happy Thanksgiving.
In the early 1960s, a group called The Pendletones adopted their name in honor of the surf uniform of the day: Pendleton shirts worn over tee shirts with khakis. The original lineup included brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine.
The Pendletones soon changed their name to the Beach Boys . Even though only one member of the group had ever been on a surfboard, they sang about the California surfing scene; waves, sunshine, cars and girls. This might have been simple subject matter, but layered instrumentation and soaring harmonies made these songs anything but simple. Under the unique artistic leadership of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys defined surf music. And though their name changed, their uniform didn’t. The band wore this blue and charcoal plaid shirt on the covers of 45s and LPs throughout the early 1960s.
Enjoy! We are definitely worth the trip.