All The Rage

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Men's jewelry casts a line into fishhook fashion

April 25, 2011 |  2:16 pm

Rage_fish hook

While researching the resurgence of tie bars for an article in Sunday's Image section, another men's jewelry and accessories trend caught my eye -- fishhooks.

This particular sea-faring symbol came to my attention while chatting with Darren Gold, co-owner of Alpha Gear for Gents on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, who told me that instead of bright, shiny bling, the type of things that were resonating with his customers were wooden bracelets and other items that had a heritage vibe.

"Everything is seen through that vintage lens," he says. "Like a weathered, vintage fishhook on a belt that looks like you could have pulled it out of your grandfather's closet. It fits in with the whole heritage clothing trend -- that remind you of of workmen or ship captains."

Gold says the maritime motif, which dovetails (or, perhaps, fishtails) perfectly with the nautical trends in apparel, is starting to make waves.

"The fishhook  thing is so strong I'm carrying a fishhook necklace and a fishhook belt -- from two completely different companies," he said. (The necklace he's referring to is from the spring 2011 "Port of Call" collection from menswear and accessories brand CXXVI, the belt by Miansai.)

Gold's observation may help explain one of the more perplexing fashion statements I'd seen at Coachella; the yachting cap. That distinctive piece of two-tone headgear with a white crown and black or navy visor emblazoned with yachting regalia could be seen bobbing and weaving through the crowd by the boatload.

I'd been hoping that was simply a showing of support for the Portland, Ore., based band Yacht -- one of the acts performing on Day 1 of the three-day music festival since I don't think I've seen a single one in public since the "Captain and Tennille" variety show was on the air in 1977 (it was the signature hat worn by Daryl "Captain" Dragon).

And while I'm happy to see the fishhook hardware trend catch its sea legs, to me the yachting cap feels a little, well, overboard.

Not to mention that every time I see one I have the inexplicable urge to start singing "Muskrat Love."

 -- Adam Tschorn

Photo: The fishhook trend has caught on in men's bracelets and belts (far left and center, both by Miansai) and necklaces (at right, by CXVII). Credit: Alpha Gear for Gents.