July 23, 2014

Black Suit

Screw the rules: if I could have only one suit, it will be black.  Black is timeless–it’s the ultimate neutral–and a black suit works just as well as an almost-tuxedo for formal affairs, as it does with a white shirt and knit tie for interviews, and equally well jacket-only, with jeans and a nice t-shirt for casual dinners.  It isn’t funereal if it fits well, and if you’re having it made (or if you could customize it yourself), little touches keep it from feeling cookie-cutter.  The fine folks at Reiss’ personal tailoring service let me go full-on dandy with the details: white-lipped horn buttons, bronze striped lining and vest backing, and a royal purple melton.  I could only say great things about their fine fabrics and finishes, the decidedly English nipped-waist fit of the suits, and their kind and patient staff.  This is how I wear my black suit.

Reiss bespoke three-piece suit, Marcella custom mandarin-collar shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

bespoke three-piece suit from Reiss, Marcella custom mandarin-collar shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

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white-lipped horn buttons on my Reiss tailor-made suit

white-lipped horn buttons on my Reiss tailor-made suit, rings by Stephen Webster

a green-bronze fine-striped silk for the lining and on the back of the vest

a green-bronze fine-striped silk for the lining and on the back of the waistcoat

purple undercollar melton

purple undercollar melton

Stephen Webster crab ring: blue opal under faceted rock crystal set in black gold with blue sapphires and black diamonds

Stephen Webster crab ring: blue opal under faceted rock crystal set in black gold with blue sapphires and black diamonds

Stephen Webster thorn full-finger ring: white diamonds on white gold

Stephen Webster thorn full-finger ring: white diamonds on white gold

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initialed

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special thanks to Stephanie at Reiss, Maryanne at Marcella, and Alex at Stephen Webster 


July 21, 2014

Madrid

There’s something so easy about visiting Spain–maybe it’s the siesta culture, their generous hospitality, or the Spanish-Filipino language and culture connection–this country never really felt foreign to me.  I spent a few days in Madrid, a city that ironically feels decidedly more mature than Barcelona, its older sister by a thousand years.  The streets seemed to be filled with buildings that are either pre-war or built in the 70s, as if all construction was halted 40 years ago and everything had the lightest film of dust on them, the people are warm and punchy, and the food is rich and flavorful.  A quick car ride away is the old capital of Toledo, the most breathtaking scene in this little trip, a setting for a fairy tale.

the view from my room at Villa Magna in Madrid

the view from my room at Villa Magna in Madrid

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langoustines and other sea creatures at Mercado de San Miguel

langoustines and other sea creatures at Mercado de San Miguel

burrata delights

burrata delights

gulas, spaghetti of the sea

gulas, spaghetti of the sea

candy shop in the old town

candy shop in the old town

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Toledo, like a fairy tale

Toledo, like a fairy tale

cathedral ceiling

cathedral ceiling

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moat?

moat?

red suit of my own design, Bottega Veneta portfolio in dark gray, Cornelia Webb hand cuff

red suit of my own design, Bottega Veneta portfolio in dark gray, Cornelia Webb hand cuff

drainage covers by Fendi

drainage covers by Fendi

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kitsch

dinner at Casa Benigna begins with two bread dipping olive oils: España vs Italia

dinner at Casa Benigna begins with two bread dipping olive oils: España vs Italia

paella served in a skinny, heavy patella

paella served in a skinny, heavy patella

the perfect bite

the perfect bite

smoked rice paella Valenciana with rabbit

smoked rice paella Valenciana with rabbit

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July 17, 2014

Red

I like color now.  I liked color back in high school, when color was all I had by means of freedom in the way I could dress, when shape, texture, and layers were just nowhere to be found within my reach.  Though I maintain that men look best in neutrals, happiness trumps all, and this flirtation I am having with color, a challenge to break away from the ease of all-black, makes me smile about fashion again.  I had this summer suit made by my tailor in a stiff Japanese linen, somewhat inspired by what elderly gentlemen wore while practicing Tai Chi around my school back in the late 90s.  It is a familiar silhouette: the top is the same collarless round-neck shirt I’ve had made in many fabrics, and the pants are shaped just like all my perfect slim trousers.  When I like something, I dive into it heart first, and though I swim with caution, I let it consume me, head-to-toe.

red linen summer suit of my own design, Lanvin sandals

red linen summer suit of my own design, Lanvin sandals

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Lanvin sandals

colorful soles on my Lanvin sandals

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hand cuffed


June 24, 2014

Paris

This time, I landed in Paris without a list of off-the-beaten-path restaurants, bars, and boutiques to check out—I had no plans, let alone a shopping list; I explored the city under my feet.  “I’d love to live in Paris for a year,” was something I would always say with great fervor, tempered with fear.  By now, I’d gone on quite a number of dates with Paris, and with familiarity, and my guard down, I love the city even more.  I took long lunches, and played favorites with restaurants; took my time at boutiques, and made friends with sales associates.  I also visited Versailles for the first time, and not just because Kimye.  I had a grand time in Paris, and I hope to spend more time there.  Friends– my Paris photo diary, in digital and film.

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Assembly New York t-shirt, Yohji Yamamoto jacket

Assembly New York t-shirt, Yohji Yamamoto jacket

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Tevas

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Yohji Yamamoto jacket and pants, Issey Miyake shirt

Yohji Yamamoto jacket and pants, Issey Miyake shirt

Serge Lutens boutique

Serge Lutens boutique

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fresh off the plane

fresh off the plane

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Versailles

Versailles

Yohji Yamamoto jacket and pants, Kennington Hawaiian shirt

Yohji Yamamoto jacket and pants, Kennington Hawaiian shirt

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Laduree Versailles

Laduree Versailles

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around the corner from Hermes

around the corner from Hermes

Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses, you're my favorite restaurant

Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses, you’re my favorite restaurant

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pilgrimage

Céline, Paris

Céline, Paris


June 10, 2014

Smoking Jacket

A while back, I had commissioned the lovely gentlemen at Moustache Hong Kong to make me a smoking jacket out of this vintage deadstock brocade, but I am only recently getting to appreciate what a remarkable piece it is.  When it arrived, it was beautiful–don’t get me wrong–but I had first envisioned it as a high-low piece, something sparkly that I could wear with sneakers and a ratty t-shirt as a wear-anywhere jacket somewhere in between fall and spring.  But it was stiff, and the fabric a little too sharp for everyday; it didn’t work for my intended purpose and so in my closet, it slept.  Little did I know that all it needed was a little respect: I was going to attend an event with people in the menswear-y, tailor-y variety, and I needed a nice new sport jacket.  I put this baby on, double-belted, with a crisp white shirt, black trousers, and smoking slippers, and boy did it sing.

Moustache Hong Kong smoking jacket, Uniqlo shirt, tailor-made trousers, Minelli suede smoking slippers

Moustache Hong Kong smoking jacket, Uniqlo shirt, tailor-made trousers, Minelli suede smoking slippers

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middle finger ring in mesh and brilliant-cut diamonds and pinky ring in tapered baguettes by Lanero, green resin ring by Norbu Bijoux

middle finger ring in mesh and brilliant-cut diamonds and pinky ring in tapered baguettes by Lanero, green resin ring by Norbu Bijoux

blog initials in collegiate letters

blog initials in collegiate letters


May 24, 2014

Sam Lee

Sam, or Samantha Lee is a film director and a graduate student at RMIT Melbourne.  Wes Anderson, Alexa Chung, and Jenna Lyons are her inspirations, and she describes her style as organic and personal, with whatever feeling she has at the moment transcending into her work.  I decided to have Sam be the first woman I photograph in this series of style portraits because I found in her a kindred spirit.  She told me about years of her early life feeling compelled to wear what was typically expected of her, frilly dresses and skirts, and how menswear just feels right.  Like Sam, I’ve spent years of trying to conform to the expected, but as I grow older, and closer to my truth, I realize the power of clothing–how common interests in very specific styles of clothing can bring people of similar philosophies together, how people in other parts of the world can run the risk of public lashings and imprisonment for wearing things differently, how something seemingly superficial can speak volumes on what is going on inside–and I wear what I want.  When asked to describe how wearing menswear makes her feel, she quotes a line from Vampire Weekend’s Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa that goes: “Is your bed made?  Is your sweater on?  Do you wanna fuck?  Like you know I do.”

custom suit by Ziggy Savella, Acne top, Vans shoes

custom suit by Ziggy Savella, Acne top, Vans shoes

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Banana Republic jacket, Acne top, Gap pants, Converse shoes

Banana Republic jacket, Acne top, Gap pants, Converse shoes

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burgundy suit by Ziggy Savella, Topshop boots

burgundy suit by Ziggy Savella, Topshop boots

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Stradivarius jacket, Uniqlo shirt, Dr. Martens shoes

Stradivarius jacket, Uniqlo shirt, Dr. Martens shoes

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shot at EDSA Beverage Design Studio

make-up by Sari Campos


May 18, 2014

Spring Suiting

As in any love affair, my relationship with menswear goes through phases of smooth sailing, sparks of passion, and some dark times.  I will tell you this much: this winter, I didn’t really see anything in store that shook me up or caused me to think about the way in dress in a completely different way.  Call it disillusionment–a lover’s quarrel if you may–but the spring air has caused my mind to clear up now and it’s okay.  In times of uncertainty, I gaze at two things I’ve loved from the start: sleek, handsome tailoring, and subtly kooky pieces.  I’ve been wearing my suits everywhere from work, to cocktail hour, to Foodtown, and these clever pieces by one of my all time favorites Miharayasuhiro make me smile, and springtime, I feel fine.

lapel-less suit of my own design, Alexander Wang t-shirt

lapel-less suit of my own design, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

lapel-less suit of my own design, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Miharayasuhiro shoes

with Miharayasuhiro trompe l'oeil coat

with Miharayasuhiro trompe l’oeil coat

a spring coat statement by Miharayasuhiro

a spring coat statement by Miharayasuhiro

custom hammered thumb ring by Jake Andrew, watch c/o Daniel Wellington

custom hammered thumb ring by Jake Andrew, watch c/o Daniel Wellington

These heavier round-toe lace-ups are my shoe shape of choice to wear with suiting nowadays. The 8-balls on the heel are just the icing on this scrumptious leather cake.

These heavier round-toe lace-ups are my shoe shape of choice to wear with suiting nowadays. The 8-balls on the heel are just the icing on this scrumptious leather cake.

photographs by Alex Atkins


April 8, 2014

Double Signet

You are probably aware of my affinity for signet rings—I wear them in threes, paved with diamonds, and etched with bow ties.  But this is one I’ve never seen before: Stephen Einhorn makes a signet with a slight swelling in the ring shank that can be engraved or set with a stone.  It is a beautiful, substantially weighty piece that I’ve been wearing with my grandfather’s old steel and gold and diamond watch these past few days.  It is an article of classic men’s jewelry that anchors my bedazzled watch, and many other things, with the warm gleam of silver.

double signet ring in silver by Stephen Einhorn

double signet ring in silver by Stephen Einhorn

Stephen Einhorn silver signet ring

The ridges on the side are a little touch of the organic; nature is the designer’s most favorite inspiration.

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The lovely folks at Stephen Einhorn put together a video that tells the story of their atelier and shows the making of a very special ring.  Check it out here.

 


March 28, 2014

Hong Kong

I flew to Hong Kong for a weekend—my old stomping grounds, the style metropolis for Southeast Asian dwellers.  It no longer inspires me the way it used to; the days of aspiring to look like a Granvile Road kid with spiky brown hair, grunge-pop clothes, sneakers, and a monogram bag are a thing of my pre-dandy past.  But what has replaced that is a sense of wonder for the aggressively progressive China and how that and old Hong Kong influence us today.  On a side note, I highly urge you to visit the outlets in Ap Lei Chau (not pictured): Prada, Lane Crawford, Joyce Boutique, and I.T.  Trust that there will be something there for everyone.

"suit" of my own design in a pale blue palm-print fabric, COS t-shirt, Vans shoes

“suit” of my own design in a pale blue palm-print fabric, COS t-shirt, Vans shoes

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art

art

PoHo, Hong Kong

PoHo, Hong Kong

she: Reformation, me: Oakley sunglasses, vintage shawl, Issey Miyake shirt, Cotton On pajama pants, Vans shoes

she: Reformation, me: Oakley sunglasses, vintage shawl, Issey Miyake shirt, Cotton On pajama pants, Vans shoes

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Gee, dragons

Gee, dragons

tapestry shell top of my own design, Damir Doma pants, Birkenstocks

tapestry shell top of my own design, Damir Doma pants, Birkenstocks


March 4, 2014

Andrew Chipman

Andrew Chipman is one of my favorite men’s fashion bloggers, and a DJ in Winnipeg, Canada.  His blog, Pull Teeth and The Dandy Project were on the forefront of a little DIY movement in menswear a few years ago.  He lists the Internet, his peers, and his friends as inspirations.  A little while ago, Andrew came to New York to visit, and we had quite an interesting chat about the current state of blogging.  He says, “It’s a little sad, but it’s interesting to watch people take the tools they’ve acquired through blogging and apply them to other things. I think now is a time to adapt and to explore other things, but not to completely give up.” Blogging five years from now will not be the way it was five years ago, but I do believe that the consumption of media generated by users deemed as trusted influencers, fashion bloggers, if you may, isn’t going away.  For old time’s sake, my friends, here’s a collection of photos of a blogger, taken by this blogger—long shots, detail shots, and beauty shots, all on the street—fashion-blogger style.

Pull Teeth's Andrew Chipman in a Raf Simons t-shirt, Cheap Monday jeans, Vans sneakers, and wholesale rings from eBay

Andrew Chipman of Pull Teeth in a Raf Simons t-shirt, Cheap Monday jeans, Vans sneakers, and wholesale rings from eBay

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brass rings from eBay

brass rings from eBay

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a thrifted Fox Racing long sleeve jersey, dollar store hat, Y-3 culottes, Vans sneakers

a thrifted Fox Racing long sleeve jersey, dollar store beanie, Y-3 culottes, Vans sneakers

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Proudrace t-shirt, thrifted bomber jacket, vintage leather shorts, thrifted leggings, Timberland boots, dollar store hat

Proudrace t-shirt, thrifted bomber jacket, DIY-shortened vintage leather shorts, thrifted leggings, Timberland boots, dollar store hat

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black nubuck Timberland boots

black nubuck Timberland boots

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Cheap Monday sunglasses, Miharayasuhiro trompe l'oeil coat, Uniqlo thermal and jeans, Vans sneakers

Cheap Monday sunglasses, Miharayasuhiro trompe l’oeil coat, Uniqlo thermal and jeans, Vans sneakers

Kurt Cobain bug-eyed glasses by Cheap Monday

Kurt Cobain bug-eyed glasses by Cheap Monday

Miharayasuhiro trompe l'oeil jacquard spring coat

Miharayasuhiro trompe l’oeil jacquard spring coat