June 10, 2013

Hand Scrub

I really like my hands—hence all the rings, and the occasional accent-painted nail.  People ask me what I do to keep them baby-soft and photo-ready, and the truth is that they are just naturally this way.  But beauty is fleeting and so I’ve devised a weekly habit to nourish and cleanse two of my most important appendages.  It is my take on the classic salt and oil hand scrub, enriched with all my favorite flavors and substances, and this is how to make it.

Hand scrub with extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan black sea salt, green tea, tobacco, and sandalwood extract

Hand scrub with extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan black sea salt, green tea, tobacco, and sandalwood extract

Sprinkle about a third of an inch of a cigarette into the olive oil.  Tobacco, as an herb, and not smoked, has a surprisingly wide range of health benefits.  In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Sprinkle about a third of an inch of a cigarette into the olive oil. Tobacco, as an herb, and not smoked, has a surprisingly wide range of health benefits. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is regarded to have anti-inflammatory properties, and is used to treat colds and even rattlesnake and insect bites.

Add the same amount of green tea and let it steep for about 20 minutes.  The caffeine in the green tea stimulates the skin, and the antioxidants in it are just plain good for you.  This one is blended with some peppermint, which feels zesty on the hands.

Add the same amount of green tea and let it steep for about 20 minutes. The caffeine in the green tea stimulates the skin, and the antioxidants in it are just plain good for you. This one is blended with some peppermint, which feels zesty on the hands.

Crush the herbs with a spoon to release the oils and let everything amalgamate.  Add the black salt after mixing so as not to pulverize the grain.

Crush the herbs with a spoon to release the oils and let everything amalgamate. Add the black salt after mixing so as not to pulverize the grain. This Himalayan salt is black because of natural charcoal, which has purifying qualities.

Add the sandalwood extract last.  Two drops will do; it is precious and highly potent.  The scent of sandalwood, by way of Le Labo Santal 33, has been one that people associate with me.  I thought it would be apt to mirror that note on my hands.

Add the sandalwood extract last. Two drops will do; it is precious and highly potent. The scent of sandalwood, by way of Le Labo Santal 33, has been one that people associate with me. I thought it would be apt to mirror that note on my hands.

Spoon the mixture on to your hands, rubbing thoroughly.  I try to get the salt grains in and around my cuticle, for a haphazardly painless version of a manicure.  Rinse with water, and pat off the excess oil.  I'd rather not wash my hands at this point, but rather, let the oil absorb into the skin.

Spoon the mixture on to your hands, rubbing thoroughly. I try to get the salt grains in and around my cuticle, for a haphazardly painless version of a manicure. Rinse with water, and pat off the excess oil. I’d rather not wash my hands at this point, but rather, let the oil absorb into the skin.

Enjoy your dandy handys.  Vintage rose ring with ruby drop, skull band by The Great Frog NYC

Enjoy your dandy handys. Vintage rose ring with ruby drop, skull band by The Great Frog NYC


June 3, 2013

Dashiel Brahmann

Dashiel Brahmann is a young menswear designer and former architect-in-training from a tiny beach town in New Jersey called Longport.  Shooting Dashiel last weekend was reviving; his enthusiasm and experimental spirit got me excited about menswear again.  (This past month had been a tremendously slow one, and in the blogosphere particularly, and I found myself more involved with projects in interiors and art.)  The son of an architect and a painter, he has a keen eye for beauty and a deft hand—favoring an aesthetic he describes as a balance of “masculine and effeminate”, and he makes many of the clothes he wears.  In the taxonomy of style sensibilities, I think Dashiel and I are very much related.

Dashiel Brahmann in a quarter-length sleeve, ankle-length cotton gauze summer shirt/jacket and linen drop-crotch trousers of his own design and Lanvin sandals in rust suede

Dashiel Brahmann in a quarter-length sleeve, ankle-length cotton gauze summer shirt/jacket and linen drop-crotch trousers of his own design and Lanvin sandals in rust suede

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"beaten" ring in sterling silver by Stephen Einhorn

“beaten” ring in sterling silver by Stephen Einhorn

Lanvin rust sandals and a charming rip on the hem of his raw-edged tunic

Lanvin rust sandals and a charming rip on the hem of his raw-edged tunic

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Dashiel Brahmann layered t-shirt, Roberto Cavalli necklace, Robert Geller textured shorts, and Burberry Prorsum shoes

Dashiel Brahmann layered t-shirt, Roberto Cavalli necklace, Robert Geller textured shorts, and Burberry Prorsum shoes

This Cavalli feather necklace is a fabulously Miami version of the popular Ann Demeulemeester plume piece.

This Cavalli feather necklace is a fabulously Miami version of the popular Ann Demeulemeester plume piece.

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Dashiel in a Damir Doma jacket, Ivan Grundahl dress, Dashiel Brahmann silk satin trousers, and Dior Homme crepe sole boots

Dashiel in a Damir Doma jacket, Ivan Grundahl dress, Dashiel Brahmann silk satin trousers, and Dior Homme crepe sole boots

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shield and cushion signet rings by Tom Wood Jewellery, oval signet ring by Tiffany, vintage pinky ring

shield and cushion signet rings by Tom Wood Jewellery, oval signet ring by Tiffany, vintage pinky ring

Ivan Grundahl dress

Ivan Grundahl dress

Damir Doma sleeveless t-shirt, Dashiel Brahmann silk satin trousers, Siki Im x Teva sandals

Damir Doma sleeveless t-shirt, Dashiel Brahmann silk satin trousers, Siki Im x Teva sandals

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These Siki Im Tevas in black grosgrain were my favorite shoes at New York Fashion Week.  Dashiel wears them with black dress socks for a sleek summer look.

These Siki Im Tevas in black grosgrain were my favorite shoes at New York Fashion Week. Dashiel wears them with black dress socks for a sleek summer look.

with a women's Rodebjer long blazer

with a women’s Rodebjer long blazer

Dashiel's favorite jacket: Dior Homme blazer with the keyring detail

Dashiel’s favorite jacket: Dior Homme blazer with the keyring detail

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worn over a Dashiel Brahmann long t-shirt


April 30, 2013

Drawn & Quartered

Drawn & Quartered is the work of Australian silversmith Jake Andrew.  The aesthetic is stark, and dark, with a bit of fantasy, which I love—odd pieces of silver jewelry that I would like to wear all at the same time, bumping into and buffing each other with wear.  Jake enjoys working on custom projects as much as his own line, and in his first visit to New York, he came bearing special pieces that I will treasure very much.

It might be a little jarring to see me in a bow tie nowadays, but here is one that harmonizes quite well with my everyday look. Jake took the little bow tie in my logo and carved it into an oversize signet ring in solid silver, and created quite a handsome piece.

It might be a little jarring to see me in a bow tie nowadays, but here is one that harmonizes quite well with my everyday look. Jake took the little bow tie in my logo and carved it into an oversize signet ring in solid silver, and created quite a handsome piece.

I'll be using this to wax-seal my handwritten notes.

I’ll be using this to wax-seal my handwritten notes.

There is also this thumb ring, adorned with nothing but the tiny dents and inclusions it incurred in the creation process.

There is also this thumb ring, adorned with nothing but the tiny dents and inclusions it incurred in the creation process.

Secretly engraved with the letters of my real first name.

Secretly engraved with the letters of my real first name.

The Drawn & Quartered shop


April 26, 2013

Raffia Shorts

The utility of big shorts in the warmer months is unparalleled.  After wearing out quite a few pairs of big blacks in the last couple of years, I thought I could create something that was a little bit more of a statement.  I saw this black and tan striped raffia at Mood one day and thought it would look great fashioned into a pair of big shorts.

Assembly New York hooded sweater, raffia shorts of my own design, Guidi shoes

Assembly New York hooded sweater, raffia shorts of my own design, Guidi shoes

I thought it would be funny to design a pair of basketball-esque shorts in a material used to make baskets.  Full circle.  Also of note: the fabric is marked as an Oscar de la Renta fabric, and I have seen this turned into a women’s trench at Burberry Prorsum.  The design process was easy, really.  I saw these long pleated tulip-shaped Ann Demeulemeester shorts on LN-CC, took print-outs to my tailor, mocked up the measurements on my body with measuring tape, and after a few adjustments, I had my favorite new statement shorts.

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Shorts with sharp lines---creases and pleats show up well on the fabric but I wish I had the time to have this lined; it's a bit like having a nail file in your inseam.

Shorts with sharp lines—creases and pleats show up well on the fabric but I wish I had the time to have this lined; wearing them without under-shorts is a bit like having a nail file in your inseam.

The nubby pilled thick cotton, wide neckline and generous hood all make this Assembly New York piece the perfect spring pullover.

The nubby pilled thick cotton, wide neckline and generous hood all make this Assembly New York piece the perfect spring pullover.

with kangaroo leather Guidis

with kangaroo leather Guidis

and Illesteva Leonard wood sunglasses

and Illesteva Leonard wood sunglasses

photographs by Sophia Callahan


April 16, 2013

Landon Miller

Landon Miller lives in Brooklyn, works in PR, and is a new men’s fashion blogger.  He has a gift for delving through thrift shops and curating an extensive wardrobe of cool and easy vintage pieces.  Shooting him was a treat—often the subject of photo projects, Landon was both curiously shy and boldly generous, reminding me of how much I love to do portraiture.  His look is emblematic of the borough in which he resides, and let this post be one that celebrates Brooklyn, the place which I, too, now call home.

Landon Miller in a vintage shirt and sweater, Levi's jeans, and Cole Haan boots

Landon Miller in a vintage shirt and sweater, Levi’s jeans, and Cole Haan boots

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Landon Miller in a vintage shirt and sweater, Levi's jeans, and Cole Haan boots

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Landon in a vintage shirt by National Geographic

Landon in a vintage shirt by National Geographic

vintage wildlife + Nat Geo

vintage wildlife + Nat Geo

vintage Timberlands

vintage Timberlands

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a vintage Native American jacket and a D.A.R.E t-shirt

a vintage Native American jacket and a D.A.R.E t-shirt

with Calvins and Timbs

with Calvins and Timbs

rich lining

inside out

vintage sherpa jacket and boots, Blank NYC jeans

vintage sherpa jacket and boots, Blank NYC jeans

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April 5, 2013

Sliced Stack

Call it a sign of maturity, or perhaps just a wavering aesthetic, but I’ve been gravitating towards smaller, precious pieces of jewelry now, as opposed to my usual big baubles.  I like the idea of minimal but storied rings implanted on each of my fingers, and this silver Sliced Stack, a lovely gift from Autoctona, has comfortably made my right pointer its home.  The ring is made by slicing up the ring to create a thinner slice to accompany the main piece.  It is a play on the notion of heavy and light, a charming imbalance that looks just as good stacked as it does askew.

I like to wear my Autoctona sliced stack slightly askew to reveal the disparity between the two components of the ring.

The Sliced Stack, in brushed solid sterling silver with the polished inside, is one of my favorite pieces from Autoctona’s 2013 line. I like to wear mine slightly askew to reveal the disparity between the two components of the ring.

Autoctona Sliced Stack ring with a DIY overdyed vintage DKNY knit top

Autoctona Sliced Stack ring with a DIY overdyed vintage DKNY knit top

The smaller piece can easily be assigned to the role of thumb ring: my little nod to the 90's.

The smaller piece can easily be assigned to the role of thumb ring: my little nod to the 90′s.

stacked

stacked

photographs by Mikee Tuason


March 26, 2013

Organza

Organza is fast becoming a favorite fabric of mine.  Originally shunned for its use in mother-of-the-bride half-assed demure cover-ups and amateur confections in cotton candy colors, the new organza, light and matte and floaty, is finding fantastic applications in menswear.  This black organza shawl-lapel long jacket from my dear friend Rajo Laurel’s latest holiday collection, is subdued, sensual, and razor-sharp—a fine example of organza done right for men.  It has served me well in the colder months as an indoor piece under a coat or a leather jacket, and I look forward to wearing it as a next-to-nothing summer jacket with shorter shorts and sandals.

Rajo Laurel organza long jacket, American Apparel nude big tank top, Damir Doma pants, Guidi shoes

Rajo Laurel organza long jacket, American Apparel nude big tank top, Damir Doma pants, Guidi shoes

The craftsmanship is impeccable; I was impressed with the way they finished such a tricky fabric.  Such construction turns the jacket into almost a smoke-tinted glass box for showing off pristine white tops, or even prints.  But for its debut, I thought it would be funny to wear nude underneath, as if I were naked.

The craftsmanship is impeccable; I was impressed with the precision by which they finished such a tricky fabric. Such construction turns the jacket into almost like a smoke-tinted glass box for showing off pristine white tops, or even prints. But for its debut, I thought it would be funny to wear nude underneath, as if I were naked.

The double vents take great advantage of the floaty nature of organza, which when I move, are like tentacles of fabric.

The double vents take great advantage of the floaty nature of organza, which, when I move, are like tentacles of fabric.

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rings by AC+632 and Triskaidekaphobia

rings by AC+632 and Triskaidekaphobia

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photographs by Sophia Callahan


March 19, 2013

e-DIYed

Sometimes, great DIY projects don’t involve the lifting of a finger, or well, maybe just that.  I designed an iPhone case and an iPad sleeve with the wonderful folks at Caseable and was very pleased with how beautiful and fully-functional they turned out.  See, much as it would be fun to construct an iPad sleeve out of macaroni and jump rings, or vajazzle my iPhone with real Herkimer diamonds, frills might have to take a back seat to streamlined design when we’re talking about the gadgets with which I run my life.

marble and me: trompe l'oeil marble iPhone case and an iPad sleeve imprinted with a photo of my headless torso, designed with Caseable

marble and me: trompe l’oeil marble iPhone case and an iPad sleeve imprinted with a photo of my headless torso, designed with Caseable

Designing these tech cases was an easy process of uploading photos, centering them, picking out trim, adding text, and clicking to check out.  I also like that they’re hand-made out of recycled or sustainable materials.  Caseable products are made in Brooklyn, and the company also has offices in Berlin—two of my favorite cities in the world, one where I’m always at, and one where I’ve yet to go.

The marble is a photo-manipulated print I found, a nod to old Raf Simons and the new Wanglenciaga.

The marble print, a nod to old Raf Simons and the new Wanglenciaga, is a photo I found off Google Image Search, tweaked with Photoshop.

minutely inscribed with my Internet initials

minutely inscribed with my Internet initials

a bomber and bling on the other side

a bomber and bling on the other side

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special thanks to Chris of Caseable


March 14, 2013

The Long Blazer

When I first saw a long blazer on the Comme des Garcons runway many years ago, I didn’t quite understand it: was it some sort of a lighter trench coat for warmer spring days; or was it simply a blazer for those who favor the slightly dramatic?  Living in Manila then, there was a stigma against wearing things too wintery, and I wouldn’t have dared wear a longer blazer for fear that I’d be made fun of for wearing a trench coat in the tropics.  But the long blazer, as I’ve learned, has its merits: it draws a clean long line from the lapel down to the thighs, and gives you the countenance of modern nobility, harkening back to the longer jackets dandies wore in the 1800s.  In the winter, it is an essential layering piece, serving as a second wind barrier, with a little more coverage down the hips.

Yohji Yamamoto long blazer, Primark t-shirt, Yohji Yamamoto trousers, Tim Hamilton x Guidi boots

Yohji Yamamoto long blazer, Primark t-shirt, Yohji Yamamoto trousers, Tim Hamilton x Guidi boots

This Yohji Yamamoto jacket, in 100% polyester, was a lucky vintage find.  The synthetic fabric makes it an excellent wind blocker yet the quality of the fabrication means that it drapes beautifully.  It’s cut quite odd, I must say, with the classic Yohji soft oversize shoulders, tapering down to a slightly narrow hem with no vents.

The odd cut of the Yohji Yamamoto long blazer forms a handsomely awkward soft V shape from the shoulders down to the knees.

The odd cut of this Yohji Yamamoto long blazer forms a handsomely awkward soft V shape from the shoulders down to the knees.

subtle cargo pockets on the perfect Yohji Yamamoto everyday black pants, c/o Atelier New York

subtle cargo pockets on the perfect Yohji Yamamoto everyday black pants, c/o Atelier New York

Cold Picnic braided brass ring and green amethyst "engagement" ring from Norbu Bijoux

Cold Picnic braided brass ring and green amethyst “engagement” ring from Norbu Bijoux

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photographs by Sophia Callahan


March 13, 2013

The Craig Green Sweater

Leafing through his Fall 2013 lookbook, I immediately felt a kinship toward Central Saint Martins MA graduate Craig Green, with his deliberate omission of color, relaxed shapes, and weathered, raw finishes.  The kinship soon turned into some sort of yearning for a long lost brother as I read in an interview with Thisispaper that Craig Green was a “self-proclaimed DIY enthusiast,” treating each garment in his collection as an individual project.  He would crinkle-wash fabrics, apply raw-cut anti-fray techniques, and even dip sleeves in rubber, then apply these things to a classic silhouette—it is DIYing at a designer level.  His technique shows strongest on his sweaters, where this honest craftsmanship meets the relaxed, weathered look that I so fancy.

It is the patchwork sweater on the left, in both cream and black, that I yearn for the most.   There is something about the fabrics in different shades of the same non-color, pieced together in different positions, that just speaks to me.  I hear the lightly metallicized striped one on the right, in the darker black, also calling to me.

It is the patchwork sweater on the left, in both cream and black, that I yearn for the most. There is something about the fabrics in different shades of the same non-color, pieced together in different positions, that just speaks to me. I hear the lightly metallicized striped one on the right, in the darker black, also calling to me.

The metallic one on the left is an impactful nighttime piece and could double as a great wind blocker.  Nearly all of Craig Green's sweaters, particularly the white one on the right, work as great layering pieces.  As of late, I've been layering long to short---long shirt to cropped bomber and things in between, as similarly illustrated above.

The metallic one on the left is an impactful nighttime piece and could double as a great wind blocker. Nearly all of Craig Green’s sweaters, particularly the white one on the right, work as great layering pieces. As of late, I’ve been layering long to short—long shirt to cropped bomber and things in between, as similarly illustrated above.

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photographs via Craig Green