Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Dandy

I had just received news that I’ve been invited to the royal wedding*, and as I wait for the Gulfstream to be prepared for this very short-notice trip, I thought I’d share with you the pieces that I’m having my fashion friends in high places ship directly to my friend Natalie’s place in London, on whose Aerobed I will be crashing this weekend.

William and Katherine, at a friend's wedding last October (photo via The Telegraph)

Clearly, I was not on the a-list for invites to the ceremony, but a certain dignitary’s salacious gallivanting with a so-called model from Caracas had rendered him bedridden for the next few days, and that is how I got bumped up the list. With such a lackadaisical manner of invitation (the telegram said: “Alright, I guess I can squeeze you in.. I think.. xx”), I thought it befitting to show up at Westminster Abbey in something equally relaxed and ambiguously formal:

Giorgio was kind enough to send over the entire opening look at his Fall 2010 show. Though a mismatched jacket and trousers look might not be most appropriate for witnessing the union of dear William and Katherine, I am positive that the Queen will appreciate my wearing of tweed as a nod to the soon-to-be happy couple’s heritage. (photo via

I couldn’t be that irreverent though, and I shall nix the beret to wear my hair slicked back clean like this:

Option two, if I was feeling a little more respectful, would be this semi-relaxed double-breasted navy suit from Hermes Fall 2010, which I plan on wearing with a nude tank top to evoke the illusion of shirtlessness:

photo via The Fashionisto

Now for the reception, I would have to throw all subtlety out the window; the last thing I’d want to happen is to be out-glitzed by the invited royals. These looks from Haider Ackermann’s sole menswear collection could shame many a tsar or sultan:

photos via The Fashionisto

I’m almost positive I’ll end up wearing that jacket on the left encrusted with a million dark metal beads; it embodies that disheveled-dandy-glitzy aesthetic that I so espouse nowadays.

photos via Luisa via Roma

No shoes could be more perfect for that outfit than Haider’s striped satin slippers,

but since this is the first royal affair I’d been invited to (and most likely the last), I might as well pack a punch with purple suede and peacock feathers.
photos via Luisa via Roma

And maybe, in the unlikely event that I get through this whirlwind trip and ceremony and reception---and this abnormally wordy delusional blog post---the least bit intelligible, this artful Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2011 painted velvet long jacket for the perfect late-late evening stroll around the palace gardens.

photo via The Fashionisto

*wholly, ridiculously fictitious, through and through

Monday, April 25, 2011

Beaten, Bronzed, and Bitten

A draining past few weeks has left me feeling all these three “b” words, with the second one owing to the recent bursts of sunny summer-esque days in New York City. This feeling of enervation brings in me a sudden preference for a more masculine, back-to-basics, even weathered aesthetic after months of piling on gemstones and clashing animal spots. These are what I find myself in the mood to slip on my fingers these days:

Stephen Einhorn beaten sterling silver ring. The weathered finish on this ring makes it wearable, and the heft brings a touch of opulence.

The same ring in gold:

Stephen Einhorn beaten ring in 18 carat yellow gold. I’m toying with the idea of wearing this ring on the thumb, as a nod to the 90s.

This rose gold “liquid” ring is silently masculine, and the warm tone would perfect accentuate a summer tan.

Stephen Einhorn liquid ring in rose gold

Perhaps it would take baby steps to wean me away from sparkle? This fang ring with pave-set brilliant cut rubies is both clever and dark.

Stephen Einhorn fang ring in white gold with pave brilliant-cut rubies

Slip it on to signify feelings of being bitten, or smitten, or suppose that the sanguine stones spell a scathing sentence to those you so spite.

Stephen Einhorn crafts handmade jewellery in their London workshops and specializes in custom-made pieces such as men’s wedding rings.

photos via Stephen Einhorn

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DIY: The Puppy Slippers

I had been alerted of the existence of heavily, heavily discounted Stubbs and Wootton slippers---the Marc Jacobs “Stinky Rat” collaboration ones---and though I knew I was hardly keen on the design, I quickly sped off to the West Village boutique to purchase a pair. I spent the rainy walk to the store brainstorming ideas on how to DIY the shoes, and bought them knowing for sure that I didn’t have to wear them in the state they came in.

Stubbs and Wootton x Marc Jacobs “Stinky Rat” canvas slippers

I had always wanted one of those whimsically embroidered Stubbs slippers, as I’ve previously blogged before, and as seen on the hilariously stylish Man Repeller; but I’ve never had the chance to fork up a forkful of cash for a pair. And then I remembered my mother having a tiny collection of iron-on patches from the 70s, and how they could be the perfect cover-up to the rat embroidery. So I headed to the garment district to find some iron-on embroidered patches.

I wasn’t too fond of the rat and logo embroidery, but I knew iron-on patches would be a great quick fix.

Because the patches I chose weren't large enough to cover the existing embroidery, I painted over the embroidery with regular black acrylic paint, using a small brush to carefully blacken each blue character rather than just carelessly slathering black all over the top of the shoe.

painting halfway done

the unwanted embroidery almost completely obfuscated

In the spirit of Fauxvenchy, I wanted to go for a canine touch as a harkening back to the Rottweilers predominant in Givenchy Fall 2011. Alas, patches of vicious large dogs were not available, but puppies were at an abundance. Not that I'm complaining!

I had originally intended to plant this precious little golden retriever puppy on the left shoe, but I decided to swap him for a more charmingly sinister overgrown puppy, which you shall see in the subsequent photographs...

megapuppy mocked up on the left shoe

I ironed over the patches until they adhered to the shoes.

And here they are, my DIYed Stubbs and Wootton x Marc Jacobs "Stinky Rat" puppy slippers:

Upon taking the "after" photos in the daylight, I'd noticed that some of the previous embroidery is still in need of some paintbrush touch-ups here and there. Not to worry, I've now the perfect excuse to play with my puppies tonight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Perfect Swim Shorts

The perfect swim shorts for me are short, fitted, and nondescript enough to let my fictitious gleaming solid gold Rolex or steel Patek Philippe Nautilus and glistening tan do the talking. Onia makes classic, timeless swimwear that tick all my boxes. My favorite is the Calder, the shortest style with the button closure:

Onia Calder swim shorts in red

My top pick would have to be black,

but the beige could also be a viable option. I appreciate the hidden drawstring waist.

in navy

The subtle floral on this pair appeals to my penchant for prints, but are subtle enough to suit my muted summer mood.

Guys who prefer their swimwear significantly more modest than gogo-length would love the Alek, Onia’s updated board shorts.

The Aleks have the shoelace closure you’d find on typical board shorts, but aren’t as long and loose and skirty as the American beach wear favorite.

Onia swim shorts are available online and at Steven Alan, By George, and American Rag.

photos via Onia

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Forged for Me

After about a year-long fling with baubles of the obscenely large and fabulously faux variety, I felt the need to inject a little bit of fineness into my jewelry wardrobe. I wanted something precious, well-crafted, and above all, I wanted something nobody else had. So I decided to have my very first piece of fine jewelry custom-made.

Lanero Fine Jewelry's artful artisans

I knew exactly whom to call: Yen Guevara and Jane Sy of Lanero Fine Jewelry, my mother’s jewelers, and friends of my family for decades. I grew up waiting for my mother at their shop having her chandelier earrings expressly stone-set for a party that same night. So though this was the first time I had a piece made for myself, the process felt absolutely natural. After a few days of going back and forth and collaborating on my concept for the piece (which I shall share with you shortly), my little project was underway. Right now, it’s about halfway done, so I had my brother pop into Lanero’s boutique and workshop to check up on the progress of my piece and while he was at it, snap some factory porn shots and pictures of the gorgeous gems on display.

All of the custom work is done in-house by some of the best goldsmiths in the region, and it’s quite marvelous to see them at work.

forging gold, playing with fire

master craftsman Mang Martin

working on the skeleton of a very important necklace

meticulously beading a long necklace of graduated-color Hasonite, with Oriental-inspired accents set in yellow gold

It was amusing to see such heavy machinery used to make the very delicate pieces:

This rolling machine forms gold into sheets or wire as needed.

Lanero’s Jane Sy explaining the details of a sketch to one of the goldsmiths

checking the ring size on a mandrel


elastic bands and ring sizers

Color is a style signature of the sisters Jane and Yen; they make vibrant pieces that are timeless and wearable, but most certainly not your unfortunately unfashionable aunt’s stodgy old trinkets.

a vivid orange necklace of carnelian beads set in yellow gold with diamonds

a white tassel cuff of semi-precious beads set in rose gold with diamonds

a typical afternoon scene at the shop: the sisters (far left), chit-chatting with clients and playing dress-up with dripping jewels

my mother’s newest finger candy: her “lollipop” ring of pavé rubies and diamonds set in blackened gold

a handful of Lanero’s new cocktail rings: (left to right) a teardrop-shaped blue topaz, a pavé brown and white diamond lollipop ring set in rose gold, and a power ring in white moonstone, with a pair of starburst studs

And after the lengthy ado, here’s what I’m having made. I was inspired by this photo by Jak and Jil,

a lone silver signet ring worn on the pinky alongside a wristful of crazy eclectic baubles (photo by Tommy Ton for

and I thought that a signet pinky ring would be the perfect piece for me right now. A signet ring is a classic menswear piece, favored by kings of ancient times who used the embossed emblems on the rings to seal official documents, and Ivy League prepsters who had their family's coat of arms prominently etched on the flat top. On the pinky, it would be a wearable, subtle background to the heftier wrist pieces I wear alongside my watch, and could even complement larger rings worn on the other fingers.

I’m having it done in rose gold; I love that warm, intriguingly different gleam of the copper-tinged alloy. But I just couldn’t rest with having a plain-top ring; I'm having it custom-made just for me, after all. I originally thought of having the top done in a hammered finish, but was cautioned that it would look haphazard and barely visible on a surface of that size. So I made the sensible choice and went for a top of full pavé brown diamonds (same as that on the lollipop ring two photos up): it’s relatively more wearable and not nearly as blindingly sparkly as white diamonds, and it would be quite an emblematic collaboration piece between The Dandy Project and Lanero: a classic men’s piece crazy-fied by sparkle, encrusted with the tinted diamonds that the colored-stone mavens are known for.

my ring in its current state, waiting to be polished, slightly reshaped, and stone-set

I can’t wait to see my pavé brown diamond rose gold signet pinky ring. I think it will be just dandy.

photos by my un-dandy but nonetheless awesome brother Mikee

Lanero Jewelry
Unit 220, 2nd Flr. The Jewellery at Greenhills Shopping Center
San Juan City, Philippines
telephone: 632- 7235028
facsimile: 632-7236280

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