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


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