October 2, 2012
The good thing about men’s bag “trends”, if you may, is that because of the slow pace by which men’s fashion moves, little investments in bags pay off through a significant period of time. Take the tote: scandalously feminine when it made its debut about ten years ago—ubiquitous and almost ruggedly utilitarian today. The clutch, which I had previously shunned, seems to make perfect sense now.
Jil Sander leather "paper bag" clutch
It’s handy, it packs the overflow of essentials pockets can’t carry, and unlike smaller bags with straps on them, clutches do nothing to obstruct the lines of a carefully-chosen outfit and do little to stir the harmony of proportions in a look. The leather “paper bag” clutch was one of the pieces that stood out for me on the Jil Sander Fall 2012 runway, I thought it would be a useful, more relaxed counterpart to my Céline.
This version of the Jil Sander leather lunch bag features two semi-stiff "bars" on top that act as a frame you can grasp as you carry the bag.
Without handles or straps, clutches should never be too heavy. This one comes unlined, but beautifully finished, with sensible patch pockets for organization.
September 26, 2012
In the process of planning my look for this Fall, I look not only at the Fall 2012 collections (which, oddly and sadly enough, already seem to feel like last season, having been shown six months ago), but also at the Spring 2013 shows. Many elements of the looks presented can sensibly be worn in the warmer days of early fall, while others just need a bit of imagination. Here’s how I see Spring foreshadowing Fall.
The Cholo style of doing buttons (top done, bottoms not) can be worn on shirts indoors---you could go ever so bold as this Antonio Azzuolo look with exposed abs and underwear---or much less severe as in General Idea (photo via This Hearts on Fire) with only half of the buttons undone. I can see this done quite nicely on a boxy work jacket or even a military coat with many buttons.
I elect to wear hiking sandals with woolly socks, though not with legs quite as bare as this shot from Siki Im, for as long as my toes can stand the cold.
Metallics in big, saturated doses, as in this 3.1 Phillip Lim bag
or in subtle, sneaky details, like the silver back of this Antonio Azzuolo jacket on Cole Mohr, continue to amuse me.
A great pair of sunglasses is seasonless. I fell in love with this round aviator-Clubmaster hybrid by Illesteva.
Palazzo pants---a beautiful pair here in a light charcoal fabric by Alexandre Plokhov---can be easy, cozy dressing in the cooler months. I'm planning on getting a pair of huge, street-sweeping pants made in heavy cashmere flannel.
Mustard: on wool trousers, with a dark turtleneck, a whiskey, and a very expensive watch. (Carlos Campos)
trainers with suits, sweats, and just about anything (Antonio Azzuolo)
September 25, 2012
I liked these so much when I saw them at Assembly a couple of months ago that I convinced my sister to get one in gray suede. If you can’t get one, it’s nice to keep it in the family, you know? I’m thinking it’s time I get myself a leather paper bag. They’re handy, clever, and timeless in that years after I deem it chic that men carry clutches, people aren’t going to stop carrying paper bags, and mine will just happen to be made out of leather.
Saco De Papel leather paper bag style clutch by Adaism. This leather, in a finish called "pure," will darken and patina over time.
Adaism is a Lisbon-based company that offers very personal hand-made objects produced in limited runs. They also make the Caligrafia mobile and the Banquinho stool.
I like the purity of the Saco de Papel in white.
The Saco de Papel in silver has a finish that makes it look like it was made out of sheet aluminum.
photographs via Adaism
September 20, 2012
The calmness backstage at Duckie Brown was a demonstration of the way the design duo of Daniel Silver and Steven Cox worked: graceful, creative, and calculatedly laid-back, like poets writing sonnets in free verse with expletives and made-up words. I had the honor of speaking to them moments before the show started, and though they couldn’t give away much of what was going down the catwalk, they spoke rich volumes of how they worked as designers, as creatives, and as partners.
The "flower" jacket, one of the most remarkable pieces at Duckie Brown Spring 2013
The Dandy Project: Tell me about your inspiration for this collection.
Daniel Silver: The inspiration always comes from us, it’s about the lives we lead, and the end of one collection is the beginning of the next. So, it’s not about a book we read, or a film we saw, or a person we met; it’s about everything. Whatever is happening in our lives at that moment goes into the next collection. But the themes are always constantly the same. What’s a little different in this collection for Spring/Summer is that it’s a little harder, it’s a little more muscular, it’s less atheoretical. Often we do things that wrap around the body and are much more loose and easy-going and breezy for Spring/Summer, and this collection is the exact opposite.
My favorites among Duckie's "hard and muscular" looks: on the left is a utilitarian work jacket in light denim with the most perfect big and stiff denim pants with enormous cuffs, and on the right a fitted denim jean-suit with the most gentle sweeping draped harness.
These looks are classically Duckie Brown in different ways: the look on the left marries Daniel's English heritage with the silhouette of the classically skinhead Harrington jacket with the buffalo plaid and the ease of sportswear that is typically North American, a tribute to Steven's Canadian roots, and to New York, their home for many years. The "flower" jacket on the right, paired with big trousers and white shoes is a testament to their quirky exuberance.
Steven Cox: Every single thing that I see is inspiration, your nail varnish, your rings, your handcuffs around your neck, it somehow goes into the collection and comes out. But we’re not like that. I can fit things in that aren’t really in the inspiration, you know, I’m never like, “oh I see a film”, so it’s everything.
with Daniel Silver and Steven Cox moments before the show
DS: Sometimes we’ll say we’re going to do an all-black collection, but then we start to see fabrics and we’re like “let’s do all black, but oh look, there’s a beautiful hot pink. Oh no there’s lime green, oh look there’s chartreuse, oh fuck it let’s bring it all back in”. So you know, it’s how we feel.
Another striking piece for me was this shirt with raw-edged butterfly sleeves, which reminded me much of the dresses Imelda Marcos used to wear. They also sent down a more wearable version of this shirt in what looked like a softer washed silk in faded black.
denim: perfectly washed and perfectly dark
slick hair and a rumpled jacket
TDP: Is there anything special you do when you start preparing to sketch?
DS: Clean up and organize.
SC: Is there anything special I do?
DS: That’s what you do. Everything has to be in order.
Daniel putting the final touches on one of the models
TDP: It’s interesting how your inspirations are from all over and when you start you have to start in order.
SC: Well, I start sketching in a sketchbook, mostly on an airplane, mostly on the flight to London. And then those sketches are then transferred into what I say, proper sketches, which are on the acetate-free like marker paper. It’s whenever I’m ready, whenever it’s right to do.
flower tattoos echoed the abstract floral motif in some of the pieces, and served as a hard-soft contrast to the tougher looks.
flower tattoos on the neck
flower tattoos on the hands
TDP: How does your relationship as partners build into your creative dynamic?
SC: It’s just natural.
DS: It’s all one in the same. We’re lucky we get to live together, we get to work together, and we get to play together. I don’t know how you separate that or…
SC: There’s no separation.
backless at Duckie Brown
My sweetest thanks to Daniel Silver, Steven Cox, and Ross Fenton.
runway photos c/o Duckie Brown, backstage photos by Sophia Callahan
September 20, 2012
The video for Marlon Gobel Spring 2013 might be just as entertaining to watch as the show itself, with all the spacey clips and the fast and glossy editing. A few things to take note of: that shiny suit in burnt yellow gold, satin-string covered round draped harness shoulder decorations, cheeky bedazzled tote bags, and the chump in the white jumpsuit and North Face sandals sitting a few seats down from Paris Hilton.
September 19, 2012
I was sitting edge-of-tush on edge-of-seat, screaming within, frantically scribbling pages of mental notes, frightened by the magnificence of Siki Im’s Spring 2013 show. Hauntingly beautiful couldn’t be a more appropriate description for this collection. As I get dressed each morning since I saw the show, I find myself reaching for my vintage kurtas, tying long shirts and jackets around my waist, strapping on my climbing sandals, and two words keep ringing my head: “Personal. Order.”
The most striking elements of this collection, besides the Tevas worn with socks, were the wrap skirts in light cotton poplin that the models wore lifted in front to reveal slim trousers. The show space was on the piers and the wind blowing against the billowing skirts made for such a marvelous visual. Here we see a white skirt over dirty washed denim, and classic black on black.
big bottoms: linen gusseted pants with a voluminous skirt and trousers loose and louche
The leather vests are handsomely tough worn on their own, and would make for great layering pieces (over or under jackets) as the temperature drops.
Tunics over pants, worn with jackets are a classic East-meets-West combination; I've been wearing it for years.
easy blacks: a leather jacket and a chasuble in soft black, a boxy black top with relaxed black trousers
Siki's classic lapel-less blazer, done in a subtle pinstripe with bolero detailing, and the most beautiful double kimono trench with a cropped boxy top half reminiscent of the gun-flap component on classic trenches, and a long bottom half belted with a skinny sash.
Closing. Note the painted napes (right), which they did in black as well. I might want to try this on a night involving black lights.
“The skulls were there and I could say something with them. To me they are as beautiful as anything I know. To me they are strangely more living than the animals walking around. The bones seem to cut sharply to the centre of something that is keenly alive on the desert and though it is vast and empty and untouchable – and knows no kindness with all its beauty.” – Georgia O’Keefe (on the Siki Im Spring 2013 show cards)
photographs by Sigurd Widenfalk
September 10, 2012
Tim Coppens presented a Spring 2013 collection of streamlined, masterfully detailed pieces—fresh and honestly beautiful things, the kind that stroke my sense of wonder about fashion. He continued his story of luxe-tech, this season inspired by the swagger of post-World War II fighter pilots and the early icons of Detroit’s techno music scene, enlivened with a note of optimism with the introduction of a 50′s to early 60′s modernist color palette and graphic design elements. In a city hampered by the economy, continually belaboring images of the past, he brought a sense of integrity with designs that are fresh and exciting and expertly executed; Coppens was a tough act to follow.
the Tim Coppens Spring 2013 lineup
The colors were not accent colors, not full-on color, not dark, not pastel, not primaries. In fact, the show wasn’t about the color palette; the colors served only to expound on the harmonious design that made the clothes sing.
This Tim Coppens jacket in ivy green leather and blue cotton/nylon sleeves with puffy helmet pockets was a symphony in color and design.
Tom Van Dorpe's styling of the show was incredible, juxtaposing the subversive (bondage upper-thigh harnesses) with the relaxed (slide sport sandals).
cutout sweaters with prints inspired by 90's Detroit techno record label logos
a highlight of this season is the use of gold hardware, a touch that is both strikingly graphic and luxe
tech-sexy harnesses not too different from the ones you wear rock-climbing, but with handy little pouches
a more subtle effect in black on blue
black quilted shorts for evening strolls by the water
Tim Coppens x Mastermind Japan quilted backpacks and helmet totes
slide sandals in rust and black
slide sandals in ivy green and black
Says the color-averse dandy to this collection, “Color Me, Coppens.”
photographs by Sophia Callahan and Izzy Tuason