March 6, 2013

The Velvet Jumpsuit

I’ve been mulling over the idea of comfort these past few months.  After an affair with sharp tailoring bordering on male corsetry, I did a one-eighty and started experimenting with pajama dressing—doing volume over volume and finding the experience sublime.  And though I appreciate a stature-lifting suit as much as any modern dandy, I was fascinated with the idea of looking put-together and precious in something as cozy as sleepwear.  It was that notion that I had in mind when I had a jumpsuit made by tailor: I wanted one that was spare, comfortable, and elegant—and in velvet, the tactility is unlike anything else.

tailor-made velvet jumpsuit of my design, Common Projects officer derby shoes

tailor-made velvet jumpsuit of my design, Common Projects officer derby shoes

The velvet jumpsuit was a 90′s women’s staple, at least in my household, where my mother would wear her mock-turtleneck halter-top palazzo-pant velvet jumpsuit with a large diamond brooch.  I wanted the easy glamour of velvet overalls done in a typically masculine, workwear silhouette.  As soon as I had picked out this textured, semi-crushed black velvet, I took it to my tailor’s with photographs of traditional work jumpsuits: pretty much cut straight from the armpit to the ankle, metal zip down to the crotch, minus all the patch pockets and tabs.  I was very pleased with our little project; my very own Forever Lazy passable for New York nightlife.

I love the texture of this semi-crushed velvet that shines as if it were iced.

I love the texture of this semi-crushed velvet that shines as if it were iced.

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I wanted a modest point collar and a silver metal zip to keep everything minimal.

I wanted a modest point collar and a silver metal zip to keep everything minimal.

black ring by AC+632

black ring by AC+632

Common Projects officer derbies in tan

Common Projects officer derbies in tan

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photographs by Sophia Callahan


March 4, 2013

Power Wash

I’m folding up my collection of Alexander Wang and BDG scoop-necks for now; I think I’ve found my new blank canvas t-shirt.  The American Apparel power washed tees have an ever so slightly wider neck opening, ample sleeve length, and hang so perfectly that they softly skim the shoulders and chest, then hang lightly just past the stomach.  These tees are given an enzyme treatment that simulates 40 wash cycles, and really do feel like t-shirts you’ve had for years—minus the scandalous holes and unsavory stains.  This summer, I’ll be going from bed (in outfit on left below), to brunch in relaxed black trousers and kung-fu shoes, to dinner in a precious jacket and toe-ring sandals, all in the same white t-shirt.

the American Apparel power wash tee

the American Apparel power wash tee

photograph via American Apparel


March 1, 2013

Tuan Bui

Tuan Bui owns An Choi, a dark and sexy Vietnamese restaurant and bar in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and creative hub for many young visionaries in the area.  I don’t exactly live in the neighborhood, but find myself with my grilled lemongrass shrimp banh mi there all the time; it was the first meal I had coming back to New York after a two-month-long hiatus.  Get it with fried egg and a side of their clear soup.  I see Tuan there regularly, and second only to my envy of his ability to grow a full beard is my admiration for the ease and coolness by which he puts himself together.

Tuan Bui wears a quilted Barbour jacket liner as a vest, and drop-crotch skinny pants, which though harder to pull off than big drop-crotch pants, he wears them well.

Tuan Bui wears a quilted Barbour jacket liner as a vest, Clark’s Wallabees, and drop-crotch skinny pants by Oak, which though harder to pull off than big drop-crotch pants, he wears them well.

quilted Barbour jacket liner as vest

quilted Barbour jacket liner as vest

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An Asian man with a substantial beard is a unicorn in the world of grooming.

An Asian man with a substantial beard is a unicorn in the world of grooming.

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Monolith necklace by Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons

a hefty leather key fob, designed by a friend

a hefty leather key fob, designed by a friend

in an Ann Demeulemeester jacket

in an Ann Demeulemeester jacket


February 27, 2013

The Winter Trench

In the winter, nothing makes better sense to me than a big black coat.  I like them double-breasted to keep the wind out, long enough to not have to wear long underwear, and belted, not only to keep myself from growing into my oversize clothes, but also to keep my stomach warm.  This vintage Yohji Yamamoto piece features the most graceful rounded shoulders, almost like a relaxed Balmain, that play off well with the cinched waist and the full skirt.  The subtle artistry of Mr. Yamamoto is not lost in this large, cozy, portable home of a coat.

vintage Yohji Yamamoto trench coat, COS t-shirt, Belstaff gloves, Yohji Yamamoto pants, Guidi shoes

vintage Yohji Yamamoto trench coat, COS t-shirt, Belstaff gloves, Jil Sander bag, Yohji Yamamoto pants, Guidi shoes

The sleepy, downturned lapels and the soft, almost fleece-like virgin wool make this Yohji coat my snuggie for the outside world.

The sleepy, downturned lapels and the soft, almost fleece-like virgin wool make this Yohji coat my snuggie for the outside world.

gloves c/o Belstaff and my favorite carry-all clutch by Jil Sander

gloves c/o Belstaff and my favorite carry-all clutch by Jil Sander

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Little details like a button-up vent make this coat one to keep.

Little details like a button-up vent make this coat one to keep.

photographs by Sophia Callahan


February 26, 2013

Do It Ourselves: The Circle

I am so pleased to announce the winners who will participate in Do It Ourselves, the collaborative DIY menswear project I started with Andrew and Giuliano.  It was hard to choose just one, so we picked Pete Skibinski of SKIBINSKY and Daniel of WeHaveNoStyle to join our circle.  Thank you so much to everyone who send in their entries; we were overwhelmed with the creativity and enthusiasm that was tweeted and Instagrammed to us.  Stay tuned, and hopefully, we create something inspiring.

the final lineup for Do It Ourselves: Izzy of The Dandy Project, Giuliano of HHHoly, Andrew of Pull Teeth, Pete of SKIBINSKY, and Daniel of WeHaveNoStyle

the final lineup for Do It Ourselves: Izzy of The Dandy Project, Giuliano of HHHoly, Andrew of Pull Teeth, Pete of SKIBINSKY, and Daniel of WeHaveNoStyle


February 21, 2013

BJ Pascual

BJ Pascual was my first fashion friend.  We would turn up at Philippine Fashion Week in high, high hair and outfits freshly cut-up and DIYed in the car, and collaborate on experimental photoshoots, the outcomes of which shall never be released.  He is now the Philippines’ top photographer, having shot every cover and billboard and every major campaign in the country.  BJ’s style has mellowed through the years, now favoring well-worn comfort and muddy hues and subtle luxury over tight, ferocious theatrics—a mood akin to what I feel about men’s style today.  I paid a visit to his photo studio in Manila, and took some portraits of this young photographer I so respect and admire.

BJ Pascual in an Eairth sweater, Maison Martin Margiela trousers and sneakers

detail on the Eairth sweater and BJ’s no-shower curls

Margiela shoes against a Margielic wall of frames, by Cheska Nolasco

sitting in his cyclorama in an asymmetrical sweater by Zara, shorts by ÅLand (Korea), and Alexander McQueen for Puma shoes

Puma x Alexander McQueen high-tops with gill-like detailing

dressed up in the dressing room: shrunken blazer by Ziggy Savella, double-collar shirt by Jerome Lorico, Margiela trousers, Dries Van Noten shoes

Dries Van Noten canvas and leather lace-up shoes

I find this worn floral shirt (by French men’s high-street brand Celio) to be reminiscent of Comme des Garcons Fall 2012. Levi’s pants and Alexander McQueen shoes

McQueen slippers and mismatched socks

 


February 11, 2013

The Star Coat

I wish I could say I DIYed this piece, stitching individual star appliques on an oversize coat, but the genius belongs to Yohji Yamamoto.  Long before stars were a favored print by fashion boys and rappers, Yohji created this now-vintage star-spangled swingy black wool coat which has enlivened many of my dark winter days.  The stars, in dull silver-gray yarn bring a sense of lightness to all black, to which Yohji says, “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you—don’t bother me”.”

vintage Yohji Yamamoto star coat (Fall 2006) and sweater, Yohji Yamamoto hakama pants, Tim Hamilton x Guidi boots

six small stars in front, one big star on the back

There is a lazy comfort that comes with wearing big-on-big in the winter, in that what lies between you and your layers, be it trapped warm indoor air or an expansion of yourself fueled by holiday indulgence, doesn’t matter; what matters most is protection from the cold.  And on the topic of DIY, why not customize your granddad’s old overcoat with boy scout badges, or fruits and flowers to remind you of warmer days—anything militaristic, or meaningful, could easily revive an old treasured piece.

silver gray yarn star appliques on a Yohji Yamamoto coat

Guidi for Tim Hamilton platform boots

 

photographs by Sophia Callahan


February 4, 2013

The Kilt

I’ve skirted around the idea for years, but I’m glad I finally got to wear a kilt.  The Scots have been wearing them for centuries, and fashion had reinterpreted the garment in a multitude of ways: heavy and black at Yohji, voluminous and tartan-plaid at Comme and Westwood, shorter and over pants at Rick.  I’ve shied away from wearing skirts for the trouble of having to overcompensate and butch the outfit up with combat boots or the like, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and have a simple one tailor-made while I was in Manila for a couple of months.   I was very pleased with what came out: a simple basic black skirt with the ease of big shorts; my tailor kilt it.

Missoni sweater, tailor-made kilt of my own design, Vans sneakers

It really is more of a basic pleated skirt than a traditional kilt, for the lack of the fold-over, because I wanted to keep things simple in this maiden foray into legless bottoms.  I had my tailor construct the skirt out of black suiting wool, zip and hook sides with a side zip, 2.5-inch pleats, and pockets.  I had it measured to hang right at my hip when worn on its own, and it can hike up to my true waist when worn over pants.

tailor-made kilt with pockets

Wearing a kilt for the first time was a treat.  It was breezy, and very comfortable.  Looking at myself in the mirror, I never felt more masculine than I did wearing this skirt: it had heft, it was strong and angular, and it showed off my calves.  One thing of note though—I learned the hard way to make sure not to spread my legs while wearing it.  Next time, I’ll wear shorts underneath.  I’ll be donning this through the warmer months, with t-shirts and beat-up oxfords, perhaps even with a button-down and a structured jacket.

concrete, a net, and a ball: concrete corner ring by 22designstudio and net+ball ring, both from Kapok Hong Kong

 

photographs by Sophia Callahan


January 30, 2013

Yoshiaki Hayashi

Yoshiaki Hayashi is a model who has walked the runways of Lanvin, Jil Sander, and Damir Doma and regularly graces the pages of one of my favorite magazines Men’s Non-No.  Yoshi is Japanese and Chilean, and this fascinating combination of ethnicities and his passion for football give him a very striking look and physique.  His style is part model-off-duty, part Japanese boy quirky, with a touch of athleticism that makes it all his own.

Prohibit cap, Joyrich paisley t-shirt, Bed J.W Ford bracelet, Motel jeans

red cap by Prohibit NYC

a beaded red wrap-around fabric bracelet by Bed J.W Ford

inscribed with a verse from one of my favorite poems, Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Puma sneakers

Bed J.W Ford t-shirt, Motel checked pants, YSL leopard sneakers

checked and spotted: Motel checkered pants and YSL haircalf leopard print sneakers

oversize Bed J.W Ford t-shirt with raw-edged side slits

GAP denim vest with doodles by Yoshi and his friends

GAP denim vest, Adidas t-shirt, Balmain jeans, Puma sneakers

These Balmain skinny motorcycle jeans, worn beat-up and entitlement-free, can spark a change of heart.

Motel bone ring


January 28, 2013

Adante

pouch in hand-woven bamboo, embellished with semi-precious stones and handcrafted gold seed beads by Adante Leyesa

I picked up a clutch when I was in Manila a couple of months ago—one in woven bamboo decorated with large, heavy semi-precious stones bordered with tiny iridescent gold beads that shone like little lights.  There was something cosmic-punk about it, with the planet-like stones and hammered gold plates that looked like oversized studs.  Add to that the sparkle of the beads, the island warmth of the woven bamboo, and the ease and casualness of the zip-top pouch style, and I was set on adding this beautiful little thing to my collection.  Adante Leyesa is an emerging accessories designer from Lipa, Philippines, independent and self-taught.  Tribespeople from the Cordillera mountains weave the bamboo by hand, then a group of out-of-school youth from Lipa meticulously works on the embellishments, the entire process taking two weeks to finish.  You’ll see me toting this around in the warmer months, with my pocketless pajama-like pants and sneakers in shocking colors and patterns.