Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Orthodox (Jewish) Opulence

The fall/winter 2010 collection of Danish label Uncommon Creatures creatively embodies that dark-Amish-dandy look I've long been a fan of. Uncommon Creatures' Jens Kold-Christensen says the line was inspired by Orthodox Jewish style, an inspiration I found extremely interesting. Odd hats, dramatic coats, and a play on diaphanousness all make for a promising debut collection.

Here are my picks:

one of my favorite looks, rich with detail: crumpled hat that looks like it's been stepped on, long cardigan that only buttons on top, double belt, and high-waisted trousers

asymmetrical cardigan, interesting cropped pants, and where do I find myself some beat-up Doc Martens?

I'm enamored by the degree of sheerness on this cardigan: just enough to let light through the panels around the hem.

One of my most favorite pieces in the collection is this dramatic shawl-coat with a frayed hem.

The funny fur hat and the one earring are endearing, but the knit trousers appear to be a good basic piece I can wear over and over.

I need these pants in the Dries-y print. Notice the swag of chains around the face, I still haven't decided how I feel about jewelry of this sort.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Minimalist is the new dandy.

new DIY bowl-cut 'do, Rag & Bone coated cotton car coat, H&M t-shirt and jeans, Ann Demeulemeester necklace, custom-made boots

When examined and taken apart, my outfits are quite boring, really. I just wear a lot of basics, roll up my pants, button up my shirt (if I'm wearing a button-down), throw on a couple of odd accessories, and call it a day.

Friends, meet my favorite new necklace: a long strand that resembles an aggressive, thorny vine, but made out of lambskin so soft the thorns would even sway slightly as I move.

Ann Demeulemeester lambskin necklace (photo via This Hearts On Fire)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

need right now: the wide silver cuff

I have been fixated on the idea of having a really wide silver cuff ever since I tried on Mimi's (of Brook and Lyn) over brunch in New York.

In matte+shiny silver embossed with a Keith Haring-esque pattern, this pliable extra-wide vintage silver cuff is terribly close to being the perfect wide silver cuff for me, but alas, it belongs to someone else.

She wears it with a navy Issey Miyake Pleats Please coat that I might even consider wearing myself.

I think the wideness of the silver cuff makes it less of a piece of jewelry and more armor-like, and that's what makes it work for men. I might even try wearing two similar, but not identical, silver cuffs on each wrist for a full-on urban warrior vibe.

(famous bearded fellow from The Sartorialist) He wears it well.

I like how the shape of this Where The Wild Things Are x Opening Ceremony x Pamela Love cuff (talk about a collaboration!) echoes that of a crown; it's more kingly than warrior-like.

I might just consider.

Do check out the Brook and Lyn boutique, they constantly stock vintage jewelry that I could see working well on both men and women.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

of silly sweats and chain-strap bags

Finnish designer Fernando Korpi may not be the designer to produce the most cohesive of collections, but two things he did for Fall/Winter 2010-2011 I found quite groundbreaking or at the very least, innovative.

Silly takes on sweats:

trompe l'oeil and color-blocked

I'd wear the bottoms rolled-up (yes, how predictable) with a gauzy white shirt and tan huaraches for spring/summer.

Moose and monsters in an all-over print. I'd wear this sweat suit with embroidered velvet slippers to infuse a little worldly-old-man into the childlike ensemble.

Chain-strap bags:
I can't say I've ever seen chain straps on men's bags.

I was surprised to see how the chain handles on this briefcase looked more industrial masculine than knock-off Chanel. I'd love to see more chain hardware on men's leather goods.

tasty textiles

Spring has sprung in Boston, for a good two days, at least, and my taste for heavy black upon black has given in to softer, lighter hues, just like that. Check out these four new patterns shirt co-creation e-shop Blank Label is considering to add to their fabric roster:

(anti-clockwise, from top left) 1. a navy, white, and yellow tartan: easy dressing for the warmer months, 2. pink with black dots, my favorite, 3. white with lavender stripes, and 4. the most risque of them all, a striped floral in blues, purples, and yellows. (Although I would much rather see that last fabric on a pair of smartly cut pajama-pants for going out!)

Tell me which of these fabrics pique your interest, and I'll personally let the guys at Blank Label know.

Monday, March 15, 2010

travel theatrics

3.1 Phillip Lim convertible travel blanket and eye mask

I'd like to believe the age of air glamour is not yet dead, and Phillip Lim seems to agree with me. From the quintessential New York designer comes a knit travel blanket that also works as a (rather dramatic) shawl, a scarf, or a hooded cape, and folds up into a nice travel pillow to bolster that rectangular-cottonball-wrapped-in-dry-handwipe that is the airline pillow in coach.

Grey, black, and red: guess which one I'll go for.

I just hope it's 100% cashmere.

photos via the Opening Ceremony Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Inspiration: Old Gucci

I'm toying with the idea of resurrecting Tom Ford-era Gucci for this spring and the couple of seasons to come. Ford has long since left the label, has launched his eponymous line which is now doing quite well, and has even made success as a filmmaker, ergo, it isn't anymore too early to revisit those magical years. Old Gucci is practically retro.

If there's one look Tom Ford did well, it's dark and sexy. This ad campaign collage of his predominantly black Fall/Winter 2002 collection was came alive with references to orientalia (the obi belt), the wild west (cowboy hat and neckerchief), and goth culture (black cross + jet bead necklace).

I remember fawning over glossy Gucci magazine ads and diligently studying the runway shows which downloaded so slowly over my dialup connection at the age when I could barely afford a keychain from the brand let alone fit into one of their shirts. Fast forward to today, when I still couldn't afford to buy on-season at full price, but when wonderful blessings such as discount stores and fast fashion and DIY make every fashion dream possible, I plan to infuse the general feel of these looks into my wardrobe:


(left to right, top to bottom) 1) retro noir in a turtleneck and velvet flares, 2) black russian in the perfect peacoat and flares again, 3) women's fringe coat I'd actually wear, 4) and 5) spring summer relaxed all-black, 6) billowy black satin that wouldn't look out of place on OAK today

Maximalist White

(left to right) 1) that white coat - someone better do a men's cut version of that with the same exaggerated collar, 2) white wool and gold buttons - Tom Ford did the band jacket before everyone else! 3) huge cream flare pants

Flowy Robes

I'm on the hunt for a silk robe to wear as an indoor jacket: probably not floor length, but mid-thigh, and to be worn with a buttoned-up white shirt or a flimsy t-shirt underneath.

Floral Silk Bottoms + Velvet Slippers

These will make for quite an unexpectedly dandy summer look. I just recently acquired the latter, but the bloom-bedecked bottoms I'll have to get creative with in sourcing. Vintage? Women's? Pajamas? Suggestions?

all Tom Ford-era Gucci runway photos from Vogue UK
Gucci Fall 2009 ad campaign collage from The Fashion Spot Forums

Monday, March 8, 2010

Googly eyes are the new studs.

The weather in Boston was drop-dead gorgeous today (so warm!) and I was feeling that spring has sprung and the idea of new beginnings and creativity and so I decided to take a trip to my favorite art supplies store a couple of blocks from my apartment. My Swear patent leather jazz shoes were gathering dust and were in need of a quick DIY freshening up.

Swear patent leather shoes

I wanted an all-over pattern on the shoes, something that approximated the feel of these Louboutins:

Christian Louboutin Freddy flat and Rollerball shoes (via 00o00)

But I felt that if they weren't those exact Louboutins, my shoes studded would look like just another tired blogger DIY project. I was hoping to find tacky 80's plastic gems to stud my shoes much like these:

from Stockholm Street Style

But alas, there were no plastic diamonds in sight. However, what I did find to stud my shoes with was something far more clever and amusing than faux-tough spikes or glam gems: googly eyes of varying sizes.

Googly eyes are the new studs.

For this project, I used Scotch double-stick tape to affix the eyes onto my shoes, meticulously cutting off the excess tape from the edges of the eyes so they don't show when stuck on the shoe. The shiny patent bonds extremely well with the adhesive tape, and I wanted to have the option of being able to peel the eyes off if I wanted to go back to wearing the shoes plain.

Besides googly eyes, what you'll need for this project is probably in your house: scissors and double-stick tape.

I decided I was going to stud just the vamp. I first strategically filled the whole vamp to the seams with the biggest googly eyes, then filled in the gaps with the smaller eyes.

halfway done

The Dandy Project DIY projects may be easy (in that people such as myself with sub-par manual dexterity can succeed in doing them) but they certainly aren't lazy. I spent a substantial chunk of my afternoon cutting tape, trimming the edges, and meticulously pressing each eye on to the shoe.

Here are the shoes all decked out with eyes. (On a side note, check out this Power Rangers villain I found on Lactose Intoler-Art Inspiration that may just be a distant cousin of my shoes.)

The result isn't half as amazing in pictures as it is in motion where you can see the eyes simultaneously look around and end up staring at you.

I like how the eyes appear to be either a print or studs from afar and how kooky they appear up close when you see them moving.

Of all the DIY shoes I've made that typically get a lot of stares, these are the first and only ones that can actually stare back.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Nobody does red like Damir Doma.

'juvenile' bomber jacket

'jan' unbalanced classic jacket

'axon' linen silk scarf

I dislike the color red on me; I sometimes think it's even more of a cop-out color than (non-color) black. But Mr. Doma might just change my mind. For me, everything is acquired taste.

everything via Oki-ni.

Friday, March 5, 2010

the walking talking look book

The three joys in life, fashion, film, and music, are what British label Percival sought to combine in the "fashion film" they shot to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2010/11 collection. Crisp videography, cool clothes, and good music all make for a sensory treat. A lot of fashion houses have been doing fashion films as alternatives or supplements to their look books, but not all succeed to impress.

Percival from Alex Turvey on Vimeo.

Two things I loved:
1. The shock of the yellow mac jacket against the black and white key print sweater (Percival website)
2. Young Buffalo's "Caterpilah" playing in the background (check out their Myspace page)

Male models make for quite the goofy actors.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Peek into Parsons

I had the privilege of touring the Parsons fashion school campus when I was in New York, courtesy of my friend Iyam, who studies there.

Iyam, looking chic in vintage camel hair. Apologies, my only (stolen) shot of you was blurry!

Located in the heart of New York City, The Parsons School of Fashion is housed in a very compact campus, all the better to concentrate those creative juices.

elevator and sewing machines - I wonder if I would ever acquire the manual dexterity to successfully operate one of the latter!

dress forms and mannequin legs

signs on the wall

Here's what I wore to Parsons and to the Patrik Ervell show later that day:

Comme des Garcons puffy jacket, H&M sweater, DIY whistle necklace, Cheap Monday jeans, Topman gloves, B. Store boots

Strolling about Fifth Avenue, I stepped into H&M to get a pair of long johns to help warm up my freezing lower limbs. There wasn't any long underwear in sight, but I did walk away with the pair of velvet loafers I had been looking for.

H&M embroidered velvet loafers

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Cape Crusader

The cape is high on my wish list for next winter, and I urge you to seriously consider getting one too. A bit dramatic, perhaps, but it serves a pragmatic purpose as an addition layer to wear over a wool winter coat, saving you the money you would otherwise be spending on a bigger, bulkier coat that, chances are, won't be as attractive. Plus, the new offerings in the cape department are much shorter and a little bit less voluminous, more Sherlock Holmes than Zorro.

Robert Geller FW 2010, photo by Chris Reed for Dazed

In his Fall/Winter 2010 collection, Robert Geller presented some handsome capes,

photo by Chris Reed for Dazed

as well as fur vests

and even oversize stoles

that can all be used as "coat enhancements", simultaneously warming up and adding visual interest to cold-weather coats and jackets that are already in one's closet.

I got a chance to briefly chat with the designer at his show's after party at the Jane hotel, and he talked about how the collection was inspired by the idea of just throwing pieces together that don't really seem to fit, sort of like dressing in the dark.

Robert Geller at the Jane Hotel, NYC

Though I may not be completely convinced of the carelessness of the styling wonder that was his Fall 2010 show, I was quite impressed at how pleasant he was. He's a nice guy, perhaps even slightly timid.

Earlier that night, I was at my friend Kasandra Crippen's studio, and played dress-up with a few of her structural, unisex creations.

the studio with a few works-in-progress

I really liked how the shoulders on this heavy linen cape were pointed and slightly structured without being stiffened up by boning.

heavy linen cape by Kasandra Crippen

the designer in her own creation, what I'd describe as a semi-structured shawl-silhouette cape-coat

Apologies for the lateness, but thank you to the Refinery 29 team for featuring The Dandy Project as one of the Four Best Men's Fashion Blogs. You made my stats go through the roof and my cheeks go a-blush at the same time.

Do you readers have any significant takeaways from the recent shows? Any items throbbing on your wish list, styles you aspire to emulate, pieces you'd like (me) to DIY? Do share!

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