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May 28, 2009

An Apology Letter to Raf Simons + Philippine Fashion Week Style Spotting

Dear Mr. Raf Simons,
You knock my socks off.  I really dig your work, each individual piece that you churn out reaffirms my love for fashion that got me into it from the start.

clothes and footwear, all by Raf Simons (photo from The Fashionisto)
But, sigh, not only are your pieces on the really pricey side, they are nowhere to be purchased in the city where I currently reside.

Raf Simons waistcoat, GBP 450 at Browns
One thing that is accessible to me, however, is a tailor.  I printed out photos of the vest from all angles, and guiltily asked my tailor to copy them to the dot.  

Raf Simons himself.  A kind-looking fellow, isn’t he?
Dearest Raf, because you seem like a really nice guy, I would like to apologize for knocking you off.  

the abstract neck vest in question
Rest assured that when the funds make themselves available to me, I shall purchase a piece from your label as an act of reparation.
Love,
Izzy
P.S.  This is me, by the way:

vintage Ray-Ban drifter sunglasses, tailor-made abstract neck vest, H&M t-shirt, Casio watch, Topman wool shorts, random dark gray socks, Erotokritos sandals
This got me thinking though, if I can’t stand the sight of counterfeit LV handbags and cheap Y-3 knockoff apparel, how can I be wearing an almost exact replica of a vest by Raf Simons?  In matters of inspiration and imitation in fashion, where must one draw the line?

In other news, a futile attempt at street style photography, my picks at yesterday’s Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2009 shows:

I love the epaulettes on her blouse made out of black iridescent feathers.  This lovely lady sitting at the front row caught my eye even as I was in the last row, I just had to approach her get her photograph.  Outfit by Jerome Ang (Please correct me if I’m wrong.), photo by Andrew Borlongan
Dark jerseys in varying shades of black are fool-proof cool.  (edit: knit wrap top + Ann Demeulemeester stripe knit top, Hugo Boss pants, Longchamp bag, Converse shoes.)  One of my favorite Filipino designers, Don Protasio.  

13 Comments

  • jules
    May 28th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    izzy, it’s amaaaazing! only thing missing is the label. seems to fit the weather, and you wear it so well too.
    i think it’s different with LV bags since those are so flashy and noticeable. but with the Raf vest, it just looks like a beautifully designed and constructed garment- i would believe that Raf designed it, but it’s not like he stamped his name all over it, you know?
    that’s something i admire about raf’s work: it has his unique signature but it is always about the design

  • mysterycreature
    May 28th, 2009 at 11:16 am

    There was a big debate on a blog I was reading the other day (alas I cannot remember which) about a new law in the US against “knock off” fashion copycatting. I think it’s a shame, becasue it is creativity in its own way to wear it – and people other than the absurdly rich should be allowed to. Good job on daring to wear the same.

  • -h
    May 28th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    what’s the saying? imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. im with jules, as long as it doesnt have the logo on it, it’s not pretending to be something it’s not. the vest is beautiful. you make me want custom clothes!

  • khaz of beautiful things
    May 28th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    if you become a designer izzy i’ll have clothes made. i’m such a sucker for designers. no wonder i have so many deisnger friends

  • Anonymous
    May 28th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Amazing job but one question. Why did your tailor leave out the front darts? Personally I think they make the garment look much more bespoke in nature.

  • izzy
    May 29th, 2009 at 12:31 am

    jules, mysterycreature, h, khaz – thank you for your kind words.

    anonymous – good observation. I asked myself the same thing, too. when you’re having things tailored, it almost never comes out exactly the way you want it.

  • James
    May 29th, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Wow your tailor seems pretty amazing. You seem like you are keeping them in business!

  • up and down town
    May 29th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    perhaps the knock-offs offend you because some one is unfairly profiting from another designer’s work/popularity. with your independent project, you are not.

    the raf vest design is wonderful. i like how it creates a shape/design in the middle, and the white shirt underneath realllllllllly shows that off. angled pockets are a very nice touch.

  • fuchsiaboy
    May 30th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    saw the ‘raf’ vest in person and it looks yummy.

    and thanks for putting my picture in your blog despite my haggard appearance. thank goodness it goes with the mood. hehehe

  • yves
    May 31st, 2009 at 9:01 am

    hi izzy!

    seems to me you should’ve used a slightly thicker material for the waistcoat – brushed twill, perhaps? It could;ve made it more sturdy, more to make it as a “cover-up”.

    anyways, i’m really inspired too by Simons’ 09 austere collection.

    +breathe fashion+
    yvestyle.blogspot.com

  • izzy
    May 31st, 2009 at 9:25 am

    yves: I tried to be as faithful to the original design as possible, and the way I see it, the original vest used a relatively thin wool, the kind they use for trousers.

    One thing I would have changed though, was to make the v-shaped cuts along the neckline a little more prominent, more like the one in the original. Oh and maybe as a personal touch, extended shoulders a la Margiela? hahaha

  • Noelle Chantal
    June 3rd, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Izzy, your a'la Rafs vest looks amazing! you always do a great job in creating pieces. and i think there's nothing wrong about this. i think what you did is just the same as the other DIY projects most bloggers do to imitate pieces from their fave designers. and this is far different from LV bags.

    i think you did pretty well on this one! :)

  • Julio Cesar
    August 3rd, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Love your blog, you have killer style.


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