Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dewey Decimal's Gone Digital

So much for the librarian in the cardigan.

There's a new librarian in town and not only can he direct you to the dusty old paper thing that has some fifty year-old reports on ancient coptic monks, but he can also zip through databases for every digital reference ever logged that has been tagged or catalogued as "Coptic." They may still wear cardigans but I suspect there will be a lot less in the way of mother of pearl buttons and quite a bit more zippers, snaps, and velcro.

And a lot more tattoos and piercings and GTA 4 rankings.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jessica Simpson, I have Your Button

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Seriously, when is the big button craze going to slow down? Big buttons are hanging it up all over town. They've had enough. And Jessica Simpson is in the game with her own clothing line complete with cheap thread and buttons that have her entire name spelled out on them. No wonder the buttons are giant.

Maybe the current big button trend was started and is holding due to the desire of celebrity "designers" to put their names all over their stuff. Let's hope John Galliano or Stella McCartney or other designs with longer names don't insist on writing their names on buttons or soon we'll be fastening our coats and sweaters with items historically used for serving food.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Forever 21 or Marc Jacobs?

Forever 21 or Marc Jacobs or Stella McCartney? Sometimes it's hard to tell. Even details like buttons can no longer be relied upon for discerning quality (to say nothing of taste).

With the big button fanfare being celebrated today one sees giant buttons on boots, socks, gloves, and hats as well as the usual suspects such as coats, jackets, and (what the hey) sailor pants. In fact, I found myself in a big buttoned sweater this holiday season (it wasn't for an ugly Christmas sweater party), which surely suggests that this trend has seen its biggest day this time around.

This button probably saw the end and jumped. Or maybe it was attached to a jacket worn by a girl who lives with a Wall Streeter and the jump was learned behavior.

Wee Lassie Blackie

A bajin came visiting from Alba, wearing the same scaffy vest for weeks to the point that it was puir mawkit and needed a sapple. The gadgie bambot decided, after a tumble of vino collapso, it would show those minkers to sapple the barkit vest and then toss it in the mangle - making a sight that would rattle any set of wally dugs.

Don't you love Scottish slang? I'm a sucker for Scottish tug boats too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Elemental Trends

The stainless steel trend has officially peaked. Now our buttons have to be oversized and stainless just like new refrigerators? I think this button signals the beginning of the end for the stainless steel trend. That or a very, very dapper metal worker who doesn't sew so well.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Take Me to Your Coat

This was found on Broadway north of 17th Street on New Year's day. A bright flash appeared in the sky, cars were suddenly and briefly still, and then this button appeared in a crack on the sidewalk. Lieutenant Xvzcc'nnft from the planet Urf probably got demoted or vaporized when he went home minus one tri-sided holographic button. The back of the button appears to have a sort of map of dots that glows in the dark.

I expect a call from the folks at Roswell any minute.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bone - Paid Through the Nose

Italian bespoke leather jackets don't come cheap (not to be confused with the hack work from Argentina that features glued hems and is available an hour after placing the order). One reason is the detailing. Zippers that glide instead of chug, lining that doesn't snag on hang nails, fine top-stitching, generous and well-placed pockets, and hand-made buttons in bone.

Whoever lost this one may be weeping into his Prosecco.

And The Winner Is...

Nothing like winning the award for ugliest Christmas sweater. And then getting wasted. And then getting in a cab with three friends headed for points more drunken. And then getting in another cab with someone who was a counselor where you went to camp. He was the archery teacher. But you felt like a winner in your sweater because people were lauding you for something other than beauty. The former camp counselor complimented you on the sweater but it didn't occur to you until later that he was serious. Before you realized that he was a bigger dork now than when he was telling you how to factor cross-winds into your shot, you let him reach in the sweater. That's when the shiny green button came loose. It landed in your lap and tumbled to the curb when you and the archery guy got out at Broadway and 13th Street. You don't remember what happened after that but the sweater is at the Salvation Army now with two red, two white, and only one shiny green button.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Escalade Escapade

The point of pride in this button is that it's the same color as Timberlands. Too bad it was sewn cheaply onto a denim jacket sporting about 20 other similar buttons. Under those conditions, who would notice that one was loose or missing? Evidence suggests that this Bad Boy never even made it to the sale rack.

Found in the garment district.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

He'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday

Oh, he held on as long as he could. For decades, it was, on an oversized peacoat worn by a big simple guy. Until some poor friend of the simple guy got lucky at the track and came home with thousands from a long-shot trifecta. The poor friend, not used to having money, spent it like like wildfire. Fifty dollar bills to the homeless, giant tips on coffee orders, and a three thousand dollar sweater the color of fog. He let anyone borrow and that's how the button got sprung against its will. The poor friend let his simple hamburger-loving friend borrow big - big enough for too many hamburgers in one sitting. Too many. So many that a big button popped off of his big coat.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bust Button

This little darling has seen some traffic. It used to live a life of daily struggle on a blouse about bust level; it was always endanger of losing its grasp on the buttonhole it was supposed to hold. There was great strain on that particular part of the blouse. The button reached its limit one day when the owner was running for a bus. The button finally lost its grip for good and fell into the street where it was run over repeatedly by grinding buses. Claw marks are evident.

Diminutive Pearl

For comparison to the previous post, I offer this little mother of pearl button, which was found on the Bowery. It had been there a while - about a hundred years I'd say - judging by the fact that it was sitting in a pile of dirt and gunk dug up for some median construction. Every time they dig in this city, as in any city, they're digging through history. And this button popped up.

I'm pretty certain it was part of a petticoat worn by an hourly harlot sometime shortly after the end of the Civil War, when that neighborhood was loaded with brothels. You can tell by looking at it that the button had other ideas for itself; figured it was destined for an outer garment, not underwear. So it hooked onto the side of the laundry pail and popped off. Too bad it then bounced off of the floor, into the air, and then right down between the floor boards. Only to resurface 100 years later in a pile of yellowish brown clay-like mud.

And, no, we still don't have time machines or jet-packs.

Monday, September 22, 2008

El Gigante

I don't know if I should serve a meal on it or sew it to a peacoat big enough for a walrus. Bigger than a poker chip and about as thick as an Oreo, I found this monster in a crosswalk in midtown. Maybe it got tired of the big-button short jacket look and bounced.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sarah Palin's Button

It matches her glasses that are now all the rage. Speaking of rage, I would like to point out Palin's support of rage. For instance, when an enraged man rapes a woman, Palin supports forced birth of the product of such rage. This, I suspect, would enrage the husbands of the raped wives, the fathers of the raped daughters, and the raped women too.

I wouldn't recommend ordering a pair of Palin's glasses because it's pretty obvious that she can't see too well with them. They, and the button depicted here, are examples of the running-for-emperor's new clothes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Triple Five Soul (Minus One)

Street cred is a fickle mistress. People spend a ton of money to look authentically hard, while enjoying all the bennies of a soft lifestyle. No one knows this better than a Triple Five Soul button. Especially one that came off of an IQ funnel neck jacket with three-quarter length sleeves when a messenger bag strap got a little rough. $68 for the T-shirt and another $116 for the jacket and the owner may have covered up the last traces of Bloomfield Hills just in time for her first class at NYU - it all depends on where she bought the jeans.

Stay in school.

Found in front of the Puma store in Union Square.