Monday, February 21, 2011

Minimalist Eccentricity

Often, when I try to convey individualism in my mode of dress, I tend to pile things up in an incoherent jumble. Not that there's anything wrong with being a beautiful mess, but very few can articulate a powerful fashion statement in three garments or less.

Houman Farahmand in a Whyred coat worn over a sheer Helmut Lang turtleneck. Note the beautifully-stitched narrow shawl lapel.

The entire outfit:

Helmut Lang turtleneck, Whyred coat, Acne leather pants, vintage Western ankle boots

I think the key to being so elegantly concise with an outfit would be to have well-tailored basics of exceptional, yet subtle design.

back detailing of the Whyred coat

The shoes add a sense of history to an otherwise clinically Scandinavian look.

vintage Western ankle boots

And carefully-chosen accessories keep the look personal. The rings may be multiple and large, but they are of the same color and of complementary designs. Even the narrow moustache (not pictured) speaks volumes.

glasses from Jeremy's, vintage gold rings

Sunday, February 20, 2011

all fashioned-out.

Enough with the runway reviews, I have an inkling that you are just as fashioned-out as I am. As a Sunday palate-cleanser, here's a mishmash of things I saw around New York that week, off-catwalk:

the clothespin double-collar by stylist Polar Buranasatit

Giles and Brother bracelet on Philip Crangi's biggest fangirl, Lauren Festine

metal and leather earrings made and worn by the gorgeous Angie of Norwegian Wood. Have a stroll through the site; I may be on the way to purchasing one of their architecturally offbeat collars one of these days...

odd pairings

hip-hop and 90's pop blast amidst taxidermy, important art, a fireplace, a disco ball, and gilded ceilings: I love the Jane.

the Misshapes DJing at Le Bain

a most welcome break from the fashion freak show: Alexcalibur at Arlene's Grocery in the LES

carciofi fritti (artichokes fried in olive oil) at one of my favorite holes in the wall, Tre on Ludlow Street. It's remarkable how much it resembles the Filipino chicharon bulaklak, literally "flower cracklings", parts of a pig's entrails that resemble (an albeit oily and brown-gray) flower when deep-fried to crisp perfection.

the inseparable Thom Browne twins, Melanie and Austin. The latter, previously featured on The Dandy Project, just started quite an eloquent blog (I kid) called "Why You Mad?!" (see what I mean?). Show some support and click on the link.

Style Salvage Steve's Harris Tweed x Ally Capellino backpack at brunch

Friday, February 18, 2011

DIY: The Copper-leafed Shoes

It was the night before fashion week, and a package of delight had arrived at my doorstep, all the way from Latvia.

the most perfect pair of vintage brogues in varying tones of brown, a gift from Beta of Beta Pour Homme (Do check out her online store, filled with vintage men's pieces from around the Baltic area in Northern Europe. I think her selection is exquisite, and the prices very reasonable.)

I had two options. I could either get started on packing, or do a quick and easy DIY project. The shoes were beautiful as they were, but the one thing missing from my NYFW wardrobe was a pair of shoes that made a statement. I had some copper leaf left over from when I did that three-part painting, and I knew this was the time to replicate those Anne-Valerie Hash metal-toed shoes from a couple of seasons back:

or straight across (via The Cherry Blossom Girl)

From experience, I knew I couldn't achieve the same wattage of shine with metallic paints, and I like the subtle crumpled-foil texture of metal leaf. And in my opinion, metal leaf is infinitely easier to work with than paint. This is how I did it:

I taped off the edges of the cap toes, multiple times, just to be sure. I left the soles exposed because I wanted the copper leaf to extend all the way to the sides, as if the toes had been dipped in molten copper.

I brushed on some metal leaf adhesive size, (available at most art supplies stores)

and waited until it dried clear.

I then laid on a full sheet of copper leaf (significantly cheaper and infinitely more interesting than gold leaf!), pressed it on with a soft brush, and with the same brush, sweeped off the excess. I waited for this to dry a little bit more, and repeated the process, laying on three sheets of copper leaf on each shoe.

I peeled off the tape, did a little cleaning up here and there, and this is what came out of it:

close-up of the texture

my freshly copper-gilded vintage oxfords

I quite like the copper on this shoe: with the varying shades of brown, it is warm and pleasing to the eye, and much less stark than the ones on the Anne-Valerie Hash runway. I also think the traditional perforations lend a bit of masculinity to a pair of shoes inspired by (menswear-inspired) women's shoes.

I've learned that I just couldn't afford to pay full high-end price for statement pieces of this degree of weirdness. I don't end up wearing them often enough to justify the cost, nor do I have the funds to buy a new pair every time I get tired of the one I have. Times like these, I say, if you can't afford it, make it!

shoes courtesy of Beta Pour Homme

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fall Favorites Part II

Gant by Michael Bastian

the most amazing red feather belt

worn with a quilted down jacket done in translucent nylon. I love the touch of the white and spotted feathers that made for a rather "real" print.

Antonio Azzuolo

Big white fur scarves are a little more casual than fur collars and possibly twice as warm.

Steven Alan

bright orange leather gloves that I wish they had styled on a guy

deep red corduroy tiered-skirt suit

Rad by Rad Hourani

men in tights: my favorite piece out of the unisex collection, the short black flappy jacket

Siki IM

so wrong it's right: a 3/4 sleeved black wool wrap kimono jumpsuit that I didn't think I'd ever need but now yearn for more than ever

backstage access to Siki IM pre-show

What were your favorites among the Fall 2011 shows at New York fashion week?

Fall Favorites Part I

Allow me to share with you my favorites from the other shows I saw this season:

Billy Reid

fur lining on a brown leather-collared jacket under a tweed overcoat

layered blazer, vest, and electro-pleated white

the long sheer overdress

Tim Hamilton

those Tim Hamilton metal-embellished platform chunky shoes

I adore the subversiveness of the chunky sole and the almost square toe. Packing for New York fashion week, I found that hefty shoes like my white-soled Dr. Martens did not only help me traverse the snow and slush, they also compliment the proportions of a heavily-layered outfit.

and that abstract floral print

Filipino pride: Ford Supermodel of the World 2011 winner Danica Magpantay in Tim's cropped salt-and-pepper knit

Timo Weiland

slashed-hem navy tuxedo pants with black satin stripes

purple fluffy muff with a coat in Timo's signature print for this season

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hyden Yoo's Teddy Boys and Girls

For his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, Hyden Yoo evoked the sense of adventure and mischief of the Teddy Boys and Girls of 1950's England, modernizing it with touches of color-blocking and oddly-shaped collars.

on her: trench coat in rich burnt orange with brooch from In God We Trust

color-blocked shirt

sweater with oddly-shaped collar

Hyden Yoo's website

dandy hipster cowboy

Meet my friend Mike Shaeffer, menswear designer in training.

a certain facial unkemptness my genes just won't permit

He's always been a sharp dresser, but somehow I never get the chance to see him in venues with ample lighting. But thanks to the microwave-hot spotlights at the Billy Reid presentation, I was able to take a few snapshots.

Topman coat, vintage jacket and shirt, Rachel Comey shoes

This is what would come out if Comme des Garcons did a collaboration with Tim McGraw.

Rachel Comey shoes with mismatched laces. Apologies, blurriness unintentional.

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