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Truman Says

The 'Commonwealth Utilities' Lifestyle

Back in the fall, menswear got a small but delectable taste from the freshman S/S 09 collection from Common Utilities, a gentlemen-ly line bred of design duo Anthony Keegan and Richard Christiansen. Now, with a full second collection for F/W 09, CU is molding into a label many may not know, but surely soon will.

Keegan and Christiansen are a couple of commonwealth-ers themselves -- Keegan a Canadian, Christiansen, Australian -- who found one another working in a dive bar in 1995. Keegan is a clothing designer who gained cred at labels like Armani, Versace and Donna Karan. Christiansen is the founder of Chandelier Creative Design Agency, a firm that works in film, publishing and advertising. With such a comprehensive background between them they were able to fashion a line that is as sexy as it is smart, classic as it is contemporary, all with that slight edge that is fueling the industry right now, and -- as their party pics indicate -- are peaking Marc Jacobs' interest.

Beyond the clothes themselves, Keegan and Christiansen have done well to construct what is basically the Commonwealth Utilities lifestyle. Their website opens with the line "a gentleman gets dressed up," and includes not only lookbooks and online shopping, but also a section with various life-stuff that inspires their designs. There' another called "Concierge" that answers questions like "how do I tie a bow tie? and "who serves the best cocktail." Another perk of their site? Right now they are running a streaming video of a good-looking lad in various stages of dressing and undressing in one their great suits. Apparently a gentleman also gets undresses as well.

-- Seth Plattner
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