January 9, 2014
Autoctona’s Alessandra Murgia is one of my favorite contemporary jewelry designers. Her sense of restraint and the discipline she puts into the design and fabrication of her pieces is what sets the line apart. I sat with the Portland-based designer and shared a cup of tea with her while gushing over my new favorite piece: her wood and silver “spikes”—somewhat reminiscent of fake gauges and somehow chic and caveman-like, so esoterically minimalist.
Autoctona wood and silver spike earrings
The Dandy Project: Tell me about your line, your philosophy, your influences, and inspirations.
Alessandra Murgia: I set out to create wearables that enable a deeper relationship between the individual and the piece. I want to challenge the conventional idea of what an accessory or a piece of clothing should be and how it should be worn. Forward thinking objects, with an intrinsic sense of modernity. Impeccably crafted, companions for life. My inspiration always comes down to be a formula of archaic and futuristic references. It’s a balance of opposites. It mirrors my actual life, I was brought up in a very old and traditional culture but for the past 15 years I chose to experience some of the most modern and vibrant places in the world.
Autoctona silver stud earrings with extended cylindrical backing
TDP: What type of man do you have in mind when you design your men’s pieces?
AM: I envision a man with a taste for the essential and a meaningful approach to modern style. He has to crave newness and uniqueness. I see Autoctona pieces as tools to express character and personality, that’s the reason why multipurpose objects like Linea or the Bolos are created. They offer a diverse range of interactions and possibilities for the wearer.
Autoctona sliced stack ring
TDP: Tell me about the relevance of the notion of “unisex” today.
AM: I don’t have much affinity with the traditional notions of femininity and masculinity portrayed by the established fashion industry. It has to do with a sense of contemporaneity which neither of those notions offers anymore. My interest is in designing meaningful objects rather than creating a product for either men or women. It’s also a direct consequence of how we live and how those traditional roles of men and women are now blended. I think there is a real desire to express feelings like fragility and ambiguity in men’s dressing and power and strength in women’s.
Auctoctona knuckle rings in silver and brass
TDP: One of the things I love about Autoctona is the restraint and discipline that you place in the design and fabrication of your pieces. Tell me how this comes into play and how important it is in your creation.
AM: It is at the core of our philosophy. It’s about exploring possibilities, utilizations and form of a shape. For instance, the cylindrical shape for our tips, now translated in three different sizes, transformed into a mechanism for the Linea clasp and into an object itself in the Studs selection. It’s about creating signature shapes and continuously renewing them through usage, color and texture. Color and materials are incredibly important. We have now developed our core colors and fades for the nylon palette, and with the introduction of marble our range of materials includes now stone, metal, fabric and wood. But they are in a way elements that serve the creation of the same formula of clean geometry, esoterica references and interplay of textures and colors.
Autoctona rings in marble and silver, from the new collection
TDP: Any exciting plans for Autoctona moving forward?
AM: Yes, I’ve been looking into expanding our range the past year. Autoctona will finally launch a line of companions, including scarves and small leather goods, in 2014. It’s amazing to see our aesthetic applied to a completely new territory. We have just shipped our first capsule collection designed for the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. It was a very special project since day one; I’m very proud of the three objects created. In addition to our custom work with private clients, we also consultancy services, and I’m very excited to see what this new territory will bring.
Autoctona’s Alessandra Murgia and her wood and silver spike earring, photographs c/o Autoctona
January 7, 2014
If I had been Internet-quiet for the past few weeks, it is because I’ve found myself highly involved in that entanglement of friends and family and flights and food called the holidaze. It feels as if I’ve been working in the kitchen part-time since Thanksgiving and the thought of having to stand in front of another mirror to shellack my hair for thirty minutes already makes my head hurt. Somewhere in between Brooklyn, my trip home to Manila, and a little Seoul Cycle are the things I’ve been up to, things I’ve worn, eaten, things that have inspired me, people I’ve hugged and kissed and danced with, all on 35mm film.
view from The Cloisters
Givenchy porn, on Mona Al-Shaalan
Sultan of The Jane
part-time dandy, in Number (N)ine and Allen Edmonds x The Dandy Project shoes
faux fur, real gems by Lanero
those skirted chandeliers
in Yohji Yamamoto and Timberlands
Korean Corso Como
Issey Miyake jersey drop-crotch trousers, woolly socks, and all-black Chucks
New Balance treadmill installation at the aA Design Museum Cafe
Ann Demeulemeester brocade jacket, pin by Old Hollywood
balloons like grapes
December 22, 2013
If you follow @thedandyproject on Instagram, you will notice that I am having a bit of an urban phase: Timbs, jersey tops, and touches of athletic wear. I’d say it’s an unlikely yet natural progression; the voluminous Yohji bottoms I own and my penchant for wearing diamonds in the daytime translate quite seamlessly into a look of hip-hop inspirations. Conversely, I would go so boldly as to say that urban wear is having a bit of a thedandyproject phase, with many of its moguls sporting sharp tailoring, clean lines, and lots of black. These shoes, both in Timberland tan, worn with big coats, bomber jackets, boxy sweatshirts, skinnies in waxed black and “dad” denim, and baggy bottoms, have been in heavy rotation.
tan Timberland boots and Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Lunarglides
Timberland classic 6-inch boots in tan nubuck
Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Lunarglides
November 12, 2013
Daniel Villareal is a designer from Chicago, a one-time reality TV star and sex blogger, a coffee enthusiast, and a resident of New York City. He is a graduate of architecture, and came to New York to find a niche somewhere between architecture and fashion. As a student, Cristobal Balenciaga’s vision of a woman resonated with him and influenced his understanding of form and structure. His sense of style is a fascinating play on gender and theatrics, with unexpected touches of restraint. He barely wears any jewelry, and the night I met him, he wore a women’s fully-sequined sweater in reverse, for a less garish sparkle. Daniel takes inspiration from the forgotten, the details of everyday life that go unnoticed, and the things that are left unsaid.
Daniel wears an unknown sheer body veil blouse, Topshop slim leather pants, and Dr. Marten’s steel toe construction boots.
sheer + steel-toe
90′s vintage Bergdorf Goodman leather shirt, Charles Chang Lim black and white spotted trousers, Gucci loafers, and Robert Marc sunglasses
Gucci loafers with “ghost” horsebits
vintage alpaca wool headscarf, Japanese knit tank, Acne jeans, and Y-3 sneakers
vintage Japanese knit tank
Y-3 floral print sneakers
vintage motorcycle jacket, David Beckhams, and Dr. Martens boots
Vintage riding helmut by M.J. Knoud, Raf Simons face-print tunic, Theory slouch pants, and Duckie Brown boots
November 4, 2013
LPD is one of New York’s most exciting new labels, currently stocked at Net-a-Porter, Lane Crawford, and the tongue-in-cheek VFiles, and I am really enjoying watching the brand grow from its famed t-shirts and jerseys that pay tribute to fashion’s greats, with their names and years of birth printed on the back like football uniforms. What a novel idea, I thought, and of all of today’s fashion parody t-shirts, I find these the most elegant. Ben Fainlight, the designer behind LPD New York, invited me over for a re-see after fashion week, walked me through the line, and showed me a few of next season’s new pieces, a couple of which I’m already crushing on.
A “team Yamamoto” shirt in extra-large, to be worn with flowy culottes in the summer or voluminous hakama pants in the winter.
an ode to the old Margiela, in Margielic white-on-white
With a drawstring waist, pockets (!), and buttery leather, this kilt beats basketball shorts in the summer and works great layered over pants in the colder months.
A minimally detailed scrub top in coated cotton is a fashionable take on the familiar medical top rendered in a subtly edgy thicker material.
October 30, 2013
On my recent trip home, I learned that people in Manila now wear mohair and velvet gowns and neoprene sweaters in 80 degree weather and that it’s totally cool, because not having cold days shouldn’t stifle self-expression in Fall fashion. The Philippines is changing—I’ve had the privilege of spending time with the close-knit circle of talented creatives making beautiful things and making a difference. Also, nature is beautiful and inspiring, and it is creatively healthy to get outside of New York City once in a while. In a country like the Philippines ridden with ethnic halfies, studded with hot, congested city centers and lush, dreamy tropical islands, ravaged by Spain in the past and looking both to the East and West for the future, something great is bound to come out.
model publicist Janthina Fong at her Jewelmer Gala
Josie Natori Fall 2013
Rajo and fireworks on display at the Ayala Museum
Manila’s Rajo Laurel and Liz Uy
experimental young Manila
with Rajo Laurel, in Rajo Laurel
children of the cloth
my slitty friends
Miguelita and Georgina
Balenciaga and Alaia
House of Laurel
bejeweled Roger Vivier
in Jil Sander, Topman, and Guidi
flip-flops fit for a conquistador, c/o Pons Avarcas
this island Boracay
October 22, 2013
I’m sitting in my room in Manila, trip slightly prolonged, looking out into the garden of eternal sunlight, dreaming of the crisp, moody New York City fall. A trip to my tailor’s nearly cost me a finger, as I held up a piece of velvet chiffon and had my finger caught in a dirty steel ceiling fan #sufferingforfashion. I’ve been spending the last few weeks mapping out my looks for this season, and this endeavor involves a good deal of accessory planning. Here are my favorite recent acquisitions, nearly all in my favorite amalgamation of all colors forever and ever: black.
pull-on boots with billowy pants tucked into them or cropped voluminous pants skimming their tops: black pull-on boots by Rachel Comey, dark silver moon boots by Rick Owens
I am an AG jeans convert, and the one thing I find outstanding about their pants is the fabric. Waxed skinny jeans in the most comfortable, un-leggingy stretch waxed black denim without the waxy residue on your fingers. These are the Dylans, in black slick.
Nothing parallels the ease of a zip pouch. It is a satellite of your coat pocket and takes the bulk out of a soft or a fitted silhouette.
There is an unexpected elegance to the shape of the classic Timberland boot. It draws a slim line from the toe up to the shaft, and the lug soles evoke weekends in Aspen. In all-black nubuck, it is understated and handsome.
Tim Hamilton makes the perfect motorcycle jacket. Heavy, luxe, minimally detailed, and with black hardware, it adds a touch of toughness to my Fall pajama looks.
Laird London makes exquisite hats. I have the classic crushable hat, and crush it I will, wearing it out and around town on all my bad hair days until it gets old and rumpled a la my ultimate life peg Yohji-san.
October 8, 2013
Ricky Pedaline is an art director from Ohio. His work, just as much as his clothes, reflects this bold, esoteric, pleasure-seeking spirit that seems to captivate most of New York’s creative underground scene today. I’ve long admired Ricky’s sense of style—I’ve known him for years of looks that I could probably never wear or even attempt to. He gets a kick out of taking pieces that are typically difficult to wear, and making them his worn, and I find great merit in that. He lists science fiction, sportswear, and “tacky Eastern European style” as his inspirations and says that a European undercover cop/spy is the look he tries to achieve.
Ricky Pedaline in a Margiela sweater, Vivienne Westwood watch, Narciso Rodriguez trousers, and Z-coil sandals
Vivienne Westwood bracelet watch
Z-coil orthopedic spring-heeled sandals
Narciso Rodriguez iridescent blue trousers
Libl top and Jean Paul Gaultier pants
detail on the stretch top by Libl, a European activewear brand
Jean Paul Gaultier cargo pants
vintage Helmut Lang quilted vest and Issey Miyake quilted pants
with Prada sunglasses and boots
Libl top and pants, Givenchy shorts, and Saucony Razor shoes
the same Libl shirt, in a grayscale colorway
Saucony trainer-aquashoe hybrids
military-issue jacket, JF and Son top, Bruzzer shorts, and Nike Air Max sneakers
contrast seat on the Bruzzer shorts
September 26, 2013
Here is the second installment of what my eyes have seen around New York Fashion Week, through the filter of my old Olympus Trip 200 film camera. Highlights include backstage at Siki Im, styling a lookbook mid-fashion week, and a few portraits here and there.
Siki Im, backstage, moments before his show
Guidis, on Siki and me
Noma Han in the Siki Im Spring 2014 lineup
baby blue leather at Siki
Siki Im Spring 2014 finale
backstage at Parke & Ronen
Parke & Ronen walkthrough
one of my favorite NYC photographers: Eli Schmidt
Jagger on Emrich
at the Public School afterparty in Rajo Laurel brocade and a vintage brooch
May Kwok and Ian Bradley
metallic shorts and star-emblazoned Common Projects at Tim Coppens
Phil Oh, at work in Chelsea
Mopsey at the Tim Hamilton studio
The Tim Hamilton Fall 2013 lookbook team
September 19, 2013
This vintage Yohji Yamamoto lace coat might as well be vintage Chanel (made for a large, boxy, broad-shouldered woman) with its round neckline, heavy drape, and fine lace fabric. It is both warm and breezy; thick lace with a flocked velveteen finish seems almost laser-cut with tiny geometric shapes which let the wind through. As always, for something in full-on velvet lace—long, sheer, and collarless—Mr. Yamamoto delivers a piece that is still quite masculine in shape and feel. I wore the precious piece over what I’d typically wear running around Brooklyn: a black t-shirt, Chinoiserie-print shorts, and black-on-black Converse.
vintage Yohji Yamamoto lace coat, Alexander Wang t-shirt, Chinoiserie-print shorts c/o Old Bull Lee, Converse shoes, Illesteva sunglasses
I love the porcelain-plate print on these Old Bull Lee shorts.
lace + chucks
photographs by Ciege Cagalawan