Friday, November 28, 2008

o.t.t. o.t.t.

I just found out yesterday that I share the same tailor with this guy,

one half of the local comedy duo Ariel and Maverick: a pair known just as much for their tacky-crazy getups as they are for their gag humor.  Now you know I like a little sparkle here and there, but those rings are just over-the-top over-the-top.  Although, I must say those rings are something I can see people like Susie Bubble 

or even Yu Masui

incorporating into their look and turning into fashion.  

My tailor, Mang Jun, says he made this for the comedian:

which looks to me like the rebellious drug-addict older brother of my own contrast-trim blazer.

at an art exhibit in Laforet Tokyo

Now I know I'm not the guy with the most crazy-ass projects at my tailor's.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Color doesn't seem to be as much a darling of the fashion world (menswear at least) as it was three or four years ago.  I used to be all about that look: clashing primary colors, with a requirement of at least three colors per outfit, neutrals not counted.  

the then highly directional Prada Spring 05 collection

local version: Kaiser

I used to "collect" colors, justifying a purchase by the fact that I don't have something in this particular shade of green, or the latest rendering of the color turquoise.  I ended up with a multicolored wardrobe rich with every conceivable color in the rainbow, but lacking in coherence, without a unifying style.

Then color made a slight comeback about a year ago, in the form of trippy neons usually against a black background, more commonly known as new rave.  It was fun, for the time being.  New rave's slight resemblance to "old rave" brought back fond memories of reflectorized-piping elephant pants and high school foam parties.  Then new rave got tired.

A relic of the new rave days which I am now ashamed to wear out.  (t-shirt from Topman)

So menswear now seems to be about non-colors: about darkness, texture, new shapes, and androgyny.  Lots of guys now have the tendency to restrain themselves by wearing just black and white, perhaps with an affectation of iconic-ness, like Kaiser Karl, or Andy Warhol.  

the obsession with non-color

But you can't blame the non-colorists; it takes a lot to impress nowadays.  Just as I have previously expressed my disinterest in the practice of people carrying monogram bags in hopes of the bags elevating their less-than-impressive outfits, the Spring 2005 way of piling on color upon color is tired, boring, and generally tends to look cheap.  It's just too easy.  However, an exercise of restraint and creativity can be the best way to wield the power of color.

Surprise me.  A t-shirt or button-down is not the only way to wear color.  Fresh, new colors in lush textures that pop up in the most unexpected places, now that's interesting.

metallic blue on the cap of a black suede cap-toe shoe (Lanvin)

Metallic yellow shoes, not gold: that alone is fresh. (Lanvin)

a seemingly homemade bowtie out of teal velvet ribbon (from The Facehunter)

Okay this one isn't menswear, but except for the shoes, everything else might as well be.  

In perhaps one of my most favorite outfits of all time, Tommy's acid green Margiela flats pop out in a rather androgynous outfit, against a palette of white, oatmeal and black.   

Keep it to just one color, and make it good.  Wearing a color and committing to it magnifies its impact.  

This jumpsuit, rendered in a purple just a few steps away from supersaturated royal purple, is cool and unexpected.  Props to this guy for pulling off a j-lo esque plunging neckline.  (from The Facehunter)

These guys started my love affair with deep magenta.

Leigh Lezark (because I just adore her) wears hot pink in varying textures: divine.

A favorite look from the April 77 lookbook, it made me rethink the widely-abhorred color peach.

I know I always love to preach about wearing anything you want, fashion existentialism as I call it, but a little restraint never really hurt anyone.  Life is too short to spend a day in a half-assed outfit.  I think I speak for more and more guys nowadays (and women too, of course!) when I say I've recently been rediscovering the joy of getting stares from pedestrians because of what I wear.  Wearing that extra-fantabulous color in an equally arrestingly-styled statement piece of clothing just might get you that extra stare (of admiration, hopefully) that you need to brighten your day.

P.S.  No, I did not experiment with color today, such a hypocrite I am.  But I did tuck in my jeans inside my boots for the first time.  

H&M sweater, Casio calculator watch, Uniqlo jeans tucked into APC boots

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

dye job

before dye job

I have had this braided/knotted t-shirt from local designer A.Men for quite some time now.  Enamored by the design, but not too thrilled about the color, I bought it anyway, hoping I could find a way to wear it well.  (Plus it cost me a mere USD 10.)  Fast forward two months later, the obnoxious mint green color rendered it unwearable.

So yesterday, I decided to take on a mini DIY project: to change its color into a more tolerable hue.  Eight packets of dark blue dye and half a day of sun-drying after, this is the result:

after dye job

Better?  Agree?

 dyed A.Men t-shirt, Mangrove cargo pants, Bottega mocs

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The new shape of things has come.

And by things, I mean pants.  After being constantly bombarded with images of "the new shape" of pants, I can't help but be affected.  Call them any name you want: drop-crotch, harem, carrot pants, or jodphurs, they really are all just pants that are more loose up top and that taper somewhere between the legs and the ankles.  In all its slightly nuanced incarnations, the new shape of pants, like it or not, is taking over.  

Who has not seen the famed drop-crotch pants in the Comme for H&M collection, which we can perhaps credit for singlehandedly introducing drop-crotch pants to the masses?

Women's, unisex, men's, does it even matter nowadays?  Style Salvage Steve wears the Comme for H&M drop-crotch pants with such coolness.  If you're dating Susie Bubble, some good sense of style is bound to rub off on you after all.  

Local boutique Theodore's just brought in stocks of Endovanera, an LA label touted as "dark, tailored and understated".  Among the clothes in stock are these black wool jodphurs.

With a subtly baggier upper part and a zipped fitted bottom part, these pants are a more structured, less severe version of the H&M trousers.  Plus points for having their sizes run big; it always feels good to put on a pair of pants in a size supposedly too small for you only to find out they fit you perfectly!  But at around USD 300 a pop, they aren't exactly within my budget right now.  

But I found pants that are.  Long story short, being a victim of the media myself, I caved in and got these ribbed-cuff jeans at a local outlet sale today.  

From Thai label Greyhound, these pants fall well into the "new shape" of trousers today, with the slightly baggier top and fitted ankles.

worn down with Zara hat, Lego necklace, H&M tee, Margiela sneakers

worn pulled up with Giordano Concepts pique blazer

These broken-stitch sneaks belong to my brother.

close-up of the Lego keychain worn as pendant

In other news, I had so much fun playing dress-up all day yesterday with my two favorite people in the world right now:

Michelle, Manila's chicest physician-in-training

and photographer extraordinaire BJ Pascual who now has a dot com.  (Thanks again!!)

Apologies to Michelle and BJ for posting not exactly the best pictures of you guys, but these were all I had!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Déjà Vu

The number of similarities was just too funny to pass up:
on Omotesando, Oct. 29, 2008.

from Tailorable, seen on Swedish site Modeman today

Tailorable is a Korean label launched in 2007, offering suits and shirts based on bespoke tailoring, and pretty good shoes too, all at a reasonable price.  The clothes seem to fit impeccably.  

I also love the way they style their clothing.  I mean, it's nothing ground-breaking, but it's just the right amount of crazy that an average guy can tolerate and successfully pull off.  Quite do-able stuff.

the plaid blazer, a definite next project.

I find suede shoes in this particular shade of brown extremely versatile.

I'm also due for getting properly-fitting khakis.  I think I'll try having them cut at this length.

They also have an e-shop. Check it out, pretty good stuff!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the tropical sweater

Even if I live in tropical Manila, I tend to wear a lot of knits. You see, people rarely walk on the street here, and the a/c in schools, offices and business establishments is usually jacked-up to jacket weather, so I'm not exactly sweating in my err, sweaters.  

This barney-purple sweater from H&M, though 100% merino wool, is surprisingly not too warm for Manila.

Zara hat, H&M sweater, tailor-made gray denim shorts, Margiela necklace and shoes

I like to tropical-ize my sweaters by wearing them with shorts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Project: The Holiday Coat

Christmas is in the air, inevitably.  I can already feel the slight chill in the air and with it comes the joys and nightmares of holidays past.  

With the advent of the holiday season, social functions are starting to line up.  I'm on the hunt for a holiday coat that I could as much wear with tailored pants and polished shoes at evening events as I could with vintage torn jeans and a striped t-shirt while Christmas (window) shopping.  I'm in the mood for something obnoxiously opulent.

It's going to be tailor-made, no surprise there.  Here are some of my options:

1.  The Tailcoat (Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)
Just the right amount of dandy-crazy for me.  The washed corduroy dresses it down perfectly, although the dip-dyed coloring might be impossible to replicate.  I'm thinking of doing one with detachable coattails, if ever I should push through with this.  Any suggestion on how to do detachable tails?

from Eluxury

2.  The Shrunken Velvet Blazer (3.1 Phillip Lim)
Very similar in cut to my navy blazer, I'm almost positive this is going to turn out nice.  Downside is I might look too much of a fool wearing velvet in the tropics.  And velvet isn't exactly cheap nowadays!

from Eluxury

3.  The Shawl-lapel Tuxedo Jacket (Martin Margiela)
This one features a fully-beaded lapel, which I simply can't achieve.  I think I'll go for stiff satin lapels, my poor man's alternative.  Covered buttons, definitely.  I'm also thinking extra-wide lapels, like this guy:

Proceeds from my Closet-Cleaning Sale will be directed towards the fabrication of this holiday coat. Thank you.

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