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Posts Tagged ‘personal style’

June 13, 2013

Palazzo Pants

I smiled so hard the first time I tried on these palazzo pants from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus Fall 2012—they draped marvellously but hung high and a little rigid as I walked in them—they were elegant and clownish at the same time.  I’ve worn them with sleek black sweaters, and oversize white button-downs as they can seem a little more Yohji than Rei, but in the late days of spring, I like to wear them with silk, sequins, and sneakers.

Comme des Garcons Homme Plus cropped palazzo pants.  I love the fitted high waist and the almost triangular shape they make side-view.

Comme des Garcons Homme Plus cropped palazzo pants. I love the fitted high waist and the almost triangular shape they make side-view.

vintage silk t-shirt, Walter Van Beirendonck sequin "watch" bracelet, Comme des Garcons palazzo pants, Converse sneakers

vintage silk t-shirt, Walter Van Beirendonck sequin “watch” bracelet, Comme des Garcons palazzo pants, Converse sneakers

This Stephan Schneider double-faced large scarf doubles as a shawl for mildly chilly days and as a blanket for the plane.

This Stephan Schneider double-faced large scarf doubles as a shawl for mildly chilly days and as a blanket for the plane.

Walter Van Beirendonck sequined "watch" bracelet

Walter Van Beirendonck sequined “watch” bracelet

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photographs by Sophia Callahan

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

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 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

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 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 22, 2013

Fur

Discounting one’s politics on the matter, there are many merits to the material: real fur is extremely warm, water-resistant on days that are both cold and wet, and its tactility is unsurpassed by the faux versions.  I’ve long lauded men who use fur as coat enhancements; it lends such a kingly air to a look, and is always a piece of conversation.  There was a large fur stole worn over the shoulder of a coat at Damir Doma Fall 2012, and thought I needed something similar when I tried the piece on at Joyce Boutique in Hong Kong.  My vintage mink stole from the 1960′s, a fruit of sensible eBaying, is my take on fur as a coat enhancement.

vintage mink fur stole from the 1960′s, Henrik Vibskov coat, Damir Doma jacket, BDG t-shirt, Damir Doma trousers, Kenzo x Vans sneakers

I still can’t get myself to wear full-on fur, but somehow wearing a stole over a wool coat makes it feel more like an oversize collar than a Sasquatch suit.  I think it works just as well with a shorter wool jacket as it does with a long coat.

Balenciaga sunglasses, Damir Doma batwing kimono jacket, BDG t-shirt, Damir Doma trousers

The multiple tiers make such a luxe statement when viewed from the side—I know, I’m always checking myself out while walking past store windows. Leopard pony hair gloves by Echo.

Kenzo x Vans sneakers for Opening Ceremony

The lace lining reveals a glimmer of Old Hollywood.

photographs by Michael Schaeffer

November 30, 2012

The Shearling Turtleneck

This fur-and-knit shearling turtleneck, an odd piece, is one of my favorites from Tim Coppens’ Fall/Winter 2012 collection.  The sweater, featuring four panels of chocolate-brown shearling patched together to create a subtle pattern, reminds me of stuffed teddy bears, velvet-upholstered furniture, and my beagle Brandon—all warm and comforting things.

Tim Coppens shearling turtleneck, Brook&Lyn necklace, White Mountaineering pants and shoes

with Illesteva wood sunglasses

“deflected” necklace in leather, cotton, and antiqued mirror by Brook&Lyn

I love: 1. the brocade-esque print on these corduroy White Mountaineering pants, such a novel way of melding luxe and workwear, 2. this mauvey-brown. I am beginning to discover a rainbow of neutrals besides black and white.

White Mountaineering sneakers in printed wool and leather

 

photographs by Sean Santiago

November 1, 2012

Rajo Laurel x The Dandy Project

I was working on a little collaboration with Manila’s top designer Rajo Laurel, which I had shared with you a few months ago, and after deliberation, and going back and forth from New York to Manila with phone pictures and lengthy e-mails, we went for the first choice: a breezy lapel-less jacket in overdyed dark gray pineapple fabric, lined in soft washed silk, and decorated with traditional Ivatan “chicken-scratch” embroidery.  I’d say it embodies modern Filipiniana in the way it showcases Philippine fabrics and embroidery, and Rajo’s refined finishing, while seamlessly working with my wardrobe of relaxed dark clothes.  Somebody please throw a dinner party, I can’t wait to wear it out and let you touch it.

piña cloth jacket by Rajo Laurel, COS t-shirt, Damir Doma sarouel pants, Guidi shoes

traditional “chicken scratch” embroidery of the Ivatan tribe

I loved the singular mother-of-pearl button with the iridescent bumps that almost make it look like it was set with jewels.

and the sheer pockets that are both delicate and functional. (rings: vintage and 22design studio)

Guidi kangaroo-leather derbies. Everyday, with everything.

My warmest thank-you’s to Rajo Laurel and Martin Yambao.

photographs by Mikee Tuason