Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Aesthetics of Grit

I've taken on a smidge of street-grit since I got my feet into these thick wooden-soled low boots from Tim Hamilton Spring 2009. They were manufactured in the same factory where Guidi shoes are made, and they have that same dark weathered feel to them, updated with a hint of Tim's modernism.

black low boots with wooden soles from Tim Hamilton Spring 2009

There is something mysteriously gritty about all-black ensembles. You never knowhow many times a person has worn and re-worn a black garment. You never see dirt on black.

Number (N)ine sunglasses, Tim Hamilton shirt, Alexander Wang shorts, Tim Hamilton shoes

lots of little silver buttons

two new attendees at the wrist party, large white beads made out of tree resin and a coral-and-brass bracelet from Vanessa Mooney, against the leather tuxedo stripe on the Alexander Wang shorts in heavy jersey

photographs by Hudson Shively

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dr. Martens Fall 2011 Preview

At the Dr. Martens Fall 2011 preview, I had the chance to take a gander at the new batch of my favorite snow-stompers for the impending cooler months. My Dr. Martens boots and oxfords were the only shoes that got me through the ruthless Boston winters when I used to live there, and New York's winters, though generally five degrees warmer than Boston's, are expected to be not that much less sadistic. It was nice to see them done in interesting new fabrications: in pony hair, in an oil-slick patent, creeper-ified, and bedazzled.

These Dr. Martens pony hair oxfords, in black and oxblood, brought an intriguing new texture to an iconic silhouette.

tall, white, and hairy, with spots all over

The oil slick patent reminds me of the good old techno-raver early 2000s, while the other pair in burnished burgundy is shoe-crushably handsome.

The Dr. Martens creeper "mutant" shoes: questionable or charmingly convoluted?

But the most fascinating of the Docs I spied were an unassuming all-black pair with patent cap-toes on the feet of Dr. Martens CEO David Suddens:

patent cap-toe limited-edition Dr. Martens x Swarovski shoes

I learned that these shoes were the product of a yet-to-be-launched collaboration with Swarovski, and it's no surprise that the chief executive officer gets first dibs at the samples.

a lone Swarovski crystal at the back of each shoe

I think the classic shape updated with a simple patent cap-toe, with the typically yellow stitching blackened, is just exquisite. On the dashing, silver haired Suddens, who plans on wearing these bejeweled beauties with a tuxedo, I think they will look doubly smashing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paris Meets New York

Thomas Bellego, design intern at Tim Hamilton in New York, is quintessentially French: the hair, the flair, the nonchalant air. He has a sense of style that is easy and effortless, yet still quite striking. His favorite dinner spot in New York is Pop Burger and thinks the best place to have a date in Paris is Le Mabillon.

Tim Hamilton t-shirt and trousers, Tim Hamilton x Dr. Martens shoes

signature bias-cut neckline detailing on the Tim Hamilton t-shirt

worn with a subtly color-blocked Tim Hamilton sweater

Thomas' favorite Tim Hamilton pieces are the trousers, which he helps design.

those extended platform boots with the gold plaque in front that Tim Hamilton designed in collaboration with Dr. Martens

A lucky shot:

hair with flair

Thomas does design at the studio, and stands in as a fit model from time to time. But he could quite effectively assume the role of an editorial model as well, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nibbles: Brass in Braids

The wonderful folks at Cold Picnic were ever so kind as to send me their braided brass ring that I had been admiring at an event in Williamsburg a few weeks ago. I've been wearing it since; I think it packs a lot of character for something so small and subtle. This ring, charmingly asymmetrical and resembling a piece of string braided and twisted and spray-painted gold, was actually forged out of brass from a mold made with plaster, cast over braided and twisted string. Or something like that.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Thom Browne Tux

(photo by Tommy Ton)

Your shrunken suit has shaped men's fashion indelibly. I admire the influence you've had on the way men dress; droves of dudes the world over would start twitching if you forcibly have them uncuff their trousers, hiding their precious ankles from sight. I may have never owned a piece of Thom Browne, but I am a serial pants-cuffer, and I've always had my suit jackets cut close and just as long as the sleeves, much to the puzzlement of my tailor nearly five years ago. In an effort to change things up in my wardrobe department, I've decided to take on your look in its full severity---too-tight jacket with too-short sleeves over still-too-short shirt sleeves, high-waisted pants cuffed short and wide, neat hair, and maybe even neckwear---at least for the next few outfits or so.

It has recently come to my attention that the Thom Browne tuxedo, in black with grosgrain trim, is the perfect, harmonious combination of the Thom Browne's silhouette and my dark, luxe aesthetic.

Thom Browne tuxedo: so Thom Browne, yet so me (via Park & Bond)

While we're at it, I'd also like Thom's version of the tuxedo shirt. I think that doing a tuxedo shirt in the typically casual oxford cloth and having the bib in cotton pique is subtly and practically brilliant. (via Park & Bond)

Thom, your sartorial genius has got me obsessing over your tuxedo suit for an entire weekend, making me go back and forth re: the versatility of this potential investment. How many times and with how many pieces in my closet can I wear a suit so dressed-up and so shrunken? I did a little bit of photo research to see what options I have:

With a cream cardigan, shorts, and high hosiery, you wear it so well. (via Zimbio)

I could also accessorize with an abbreviated bowtie, a mullet, and have the French cuffs undone. (via The Sartorialist)

Subtle with socks and suede shoes, (via GQ Style)

sportsmanly with a terry cloth headband, sports socks, and tennis balls around, (via Thom Browne)

or psycho-severe with lip tape, pants cut bell-bottom, and a bright, bright yellow taped raincoat. (via Denimblog)

Which leaves me with a slim slew of styling options but to wear it with socks, which I am not keen on doing! I kid. Mr. Browne, it would be an honor to wear your suit gritty and relaxed: tuxedo shirt unbuttoned, wristful of hardware, my beat-up Number (N)ine creepers, fictitious tattoos even. Or perhaps we could make East meet West and wear it with my bib-embroidered polo barong untucked?

But if I ever get my hands on one of your precious tuxedos, I would run to the opera, or to the nearest red carpet gala night, or maybe even throw one myself, and wear it just the way you did at the Met Ball---slick, suave, and shrunken.

(original image via

Your Filipino fanboy,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Discovering Jehee Sheen

It was an exhausting, oven-hot day picking through the menswear trade shows (and to be frank, finding little to be excited about) when there it was: with kimono sleeves, a singular black button, and both the color and the carefully-crafted delicateness of a good beurre blanc, my jacket for next spring.

kimono-sleeved jacket by Jehee Sheen

Jehee Sheen is a Korean label that has achieved quite some success in Seoul, and is working on breaking into the American market. The clothes are easy, elegant, and they feel exquisite. According to Jehee, "fashion has the ability to remedy the essence of human nature." I very much agree with his views on the transformative power of clothing... perhaps just not so piercing as to alter my very essence! These are the kinds of clothes I like to wear, not clothes that I wear to make me look taller, to stand out, or more dignified, for, say, an interview; but just clothes that bring a sense of joy and wonder when I put them on.

I'm in love with the exquisite fabric of the jacket, the subtlety of the shape, and the overall sense of gentleness it evokes.

a similar lapel-less one-button jacket with shirt-cuffs

a long mandarin-collar shirt with draped pockets by Jehee Sheen

I think this structured linen jacket with a cross between a shawl lapel and a cardigan neckline is quietly beautiful and very wearable.

airy tank tops

and slouchy t-shirts

the designer, Jehee Sheen, pensive and focused

Jehee Sheen's website

photographs taken at ENK NYC

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nibbles: Ugo Cacciatori Pearl and Skull Ring

mabe pearl mounted on a sterling silver ring with flowers and diamond-studded skulls by Ugo Cacciatori

I typically don't go for jewelry pieces this gothic, but there's something about this Ugo Cacciatori piece---in the juxtaposition of dark and ornate silver and the iridescence of the pearl, and the proportions of the piece, full and rotund yet small enough to be contained within one segment of a finger---that just spoke to me. Mabe pearls have somewhat fallen out of favor since the late 80's, but the way the pearl was set in this ring, emphasizing its luster and sort of obfuscating its awkward flatness, I thought, was just genius. I never thought I'd like anything with skulls, or pearls, or anything biker-dandy, but like I always say, in fashion, never say never.

photograph taken at ENK NYC

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Launch of Park & Bond

Yesterday was the launch of Park & Bond, Gilt Groupe's standalone luxury retail site for men, and I am very grateful to have been part of such an intimate affair.

It was a luncheon for just a little over twenty members of menswear press, and I felt very honored to be seated amongst editors of The Huffington Post, GQ, Details, and my favorite paycheck obliteration tool,

Il Buco's wine cellar, where the event was hosted, was delightfully tucked away in the basement of the restaurant on Bond Street, aptly chosen for the launch of a boutique named after the same street.

pre-lunch mingling

Park & Bond's style director Josh Peskowitz, formerly of GQ and, whose whiskey-fueled wardrobe videos with Tyler Thoreson from a few years ago amused me to no end as a college student in Manila

I found myself bewitched by those large black olives, so savory yet so mild. Does anybody know what they're called?

bass with yogurt and farro


and Jace, thanks for patiently taking my photograph!

I knew this affair would be of importance, so, thankfully, I elected to wear a jacket in spite of the sweltering heat. (vintage white linen dinner jacket from Amsterdam)

Park & Bond director of editorial content Andy Comer

above, looking tenderly at his beautiful vintage Seiko, apparently the only watch in his wardrobe

I spied a couple more handsome watches in the room, two of which belonged to lovely ladies:

a lovingly worn solid gold Cartier Roadster on publicist Dana Gidney Fetaya

and the most dashing Van Cleef and Arpels Laterale men's watch on Marcy Engelman of Engelman and Co. The silhouette of the watch echoes the more ubiquitous Cartier Pasha, but I find this Van Cleef quieter and gentler than its Cartier cousin.

Funny I saw so many nice watches in the crowd; coincidentally, Park & Bond's vintage watch shop-in-shop was one of my favorite parts of the new site:

Readily available is a selection of exceptional, yet very wearable vintage timepieces by Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, and others. I appreciate the creativity the buying team put into re-strapping a couple of the vintage Rolexes in striped canvas. I've got my eyes set on the red, white, and blue strapped Air-King and maybe even the GMT Master with half of the bezel in pink. Now, if somebody can wire me a few extra thousand dollars...

The site feels much more American than its obvious competitor Mr. Porter, which has always kept a decidedly British tone.

Park & Bond's home page as of the launch

One thing I found impressive about Park & Bond is the range of brands available on the site right from the start. They run the gamut from Burkman Brothers and J. Crew for all you heritage fiends, to Paul Smith and Thom Browne, and even N. Hoolywood and Junya and Dries for fashion wackadoodles like yours truly. They also have an exclusive with Alexandre Plokhov (formerly of Cloak), for the debut of his new line. Oh, and the two magic words that I move to be mandatory for any venture in online commerce: FREE SHIPPING.

A glance at the e-boutique at point of launch is barely sufficient to fully determine the character of buying done for the store and the quality of its editorial content, but you could be sure that I will stay tuned to see what the talented minds behind this endeavor will put forth in the coming months.

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