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


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