Thursday, January 29, 2009

The New Neckwear: a Compilation

Bow ties are a blessing: they're polished, compact, and unlike neck ties you don't need to spend minutes adjusting the length so they fall exactly in the middle of your belt buckle.  But much as I love my bow ties, I know we'll all sooner or later be tired of them.  Don't fret, there are tons of other options out there; one or two new alternatives keep sprouting every now and then so I have decided to compile them into three categories: the classics reinvented, the unconventionals, and the DIY's:

The classics reinvented
1.  Lanvin feather ties and bow ties - pretty avant-garde (I hate using the term) takes on the classic necktie and bow tie, but I think their lack of poufiness prevents them from crossing the line from precious to ridiculous.

2.  The oversized cowl - a play on proportions, worn masterfully by Robbie Spencer of Dazed and Confused.

from Jak and Jil
3.  The Lego bow tie - worn by Galahad of Hapsical.  There are no words...

The unconventionals
1.  The bolo tie - Yes, that's what you call it.  I've seen it worn well by a couple of people, so I think it's doable!

2.  The printed silk scarf - extremely difficult to pull off, you've gotta have the balls.  

on Frederic B. of Tales from Frederic

3.  Lanvin's deliciously effeminate long silk scarves

Lanvin Fall 09

4.  Necklaces as neck tie substitutes

South American


5.  Kanye - Can someone tell me what Mr. West is wearing in this picture?  Whatever it is, it looks interesting.

The DIY's
1.  Velvet ribbons

Naboonies' supermarket find

Definitely not menswear, but I've seen guys rock this look pretty well.  Worn by Brook & Lyn

2.  The air tie - The DIY that requires the least amount of effort, and possibly my favorite of all the necktie-alternatives mentioned!

on Gustav of ModeMan

on Giovanni at Garance Dore

Anything I missed?  Let me know!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

slicked and suited

I was invited to a wedding, I wanted to look neat.

tailor-made navy cotton suit, Zara shirt, Brooks Brothers Bowtie, Comme des Garcons belt, Miu Miu shoes

If you think the intentionally disheveled hairstyles most common among men right now take way too much time and effort, try doing an immaculately slicked back 'do.  Here's the recipe: 1 cup hairspray, two tablespoons of the toughest hair wax (melted under a hair dryer).  Comb, style, pull, primp and spray for 30 minutes.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fall 2009 Men's Shows: A Hasty Recap

I've never done runway reviews before, and so I decided to try my hand at them now.  I present to you my hasty recap of the recent Fall 2009 men's shows, those that matter to me at least.

1.  Jil Sander
Raf introduces yet another silhouette for men: curved shoulders, nipped waist, and full hips!  It's like giving men a female form.  Edgy and modern, I wonder though if this shape will stick.

Meanwhile, I need this statement peacoat in my life.

2.  Burberry Prorsum
Does this make the novacheck pattern relevant again?

(Things I like) Accoutrements for relaxed black tie:

Sweater with bowtie

Fairisle knit cummerbund

3.  Prada
Miuccia decides to stud everything!  

From coats,

to shirts,

to oxfords.

A tasseled leather headband gives birth to the centurion hippie.

4.  Bottega Veneta
Suede desert boots in dusty rose!

Equally as important as what's being showcased on the runway are what the editors and buyers who are watching the shows are wearing.  Here I found the answer to my question: black skinnies still prove de rigueur.  Comfortable, flattering, and versatile (all of those subjective though), I think they will be here to stay for a while more.  

with white socks and velvet slippers

cuffed, with socks

the perfect balance to crazy volume and layers up top

Forget the pants, how cool is his man-shawl?   Michelle, I swear Amish style is slowly creeping into men's fashion today.

Six things that make me happy (Tagged by Nature Graffiti):
Since this is a style blog and not a personal blog, I'll keep it fashion-related.
1.  Finding that the item I've been lusting over has gone on sale.  Given the sober taste of majority of Manila's males, this always happens.  
2.  When I get something I had made by the tailor's and find that it's perfect and meets all my expectations.  Most of the time, my tailor-made stuff have to go back once or twice until perfected.  Oh the pains of tailoring.
3.  When my friend Michelle and I unintentionally come up with near-identical outfits when we go out together.  
4.  Shopping for others.  I love spending money that isn't mine!
5.  Seeing my favorite things get well-worn and develop a patina: watches, bags, belts, etc.  You know it's a quality piece when it gets better with age.
6.  And reading comments from you guys, keep them coming!! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jean Touitou I Heart You So

Ever the master of understated, laid-back, sexy French chic, Jean Touitou once again knocks the sock off of APC fans the world over with his Spring 2009 collection.  APC maintains a cult following of a few people who see past the seemingly plain and basic clothes and actually "get" it.  Yeah, yeah, one might argue that a huge chunk of APC's appeal is the styling (of their lookbooks in particular), but consider me sold!

1.  denim jackets, both the shorter and the longer one (looks #4 and #7) - the epitome of late eighties early nineties cool, they seem to fit exceptionally well!
2.  varsity jacket (look #5) - the statement piece of the collection, must have it
3.  what seems to be heather gray tailored shorts (look #7) - whatever it is, I must have it
4.  low three-button cardigan (look #8)
5.  navy jumpsuit (look #6) - can't have enough of those!
*to be fulfilled when the Spring 09 collection goes on sale in Fall 09 or even Spring 10!

Bags: the Affordable and the Exorbitant (nothing in between)

Chloe Paddington, the deadest of them all

The "it" bag is double-dead. Gone are the days of women fawning over the latest one to two-thousand dollar, hardware-laden, all-leather accessory. Women have since moved on to shoes, clothes, or jewelry and watches as investment pieces that would hopefully set them apart from the rest.

Peer into Jak and Jil's shoe porn, where footwear gets crazier and crazier. I admit it's beautiful and fresh now, but like it bags, what happens when the novelty of it shoes wanes?

I think the same goes for men, at least those who, a few years ago, jumped in the bandwagon of it bags and purchased the "man" versions for themselves. You're reading the blog of one of the biggest victims of this movement, having caved in to the briefcase version of the YSL Muse and the messenger version of the Balenciaga motorcycle bag. Since then, I've demoted myself to buying bags of the USD 0-300 range, amazed by their practicality and the presence of so many interesting choices out there. Let me share a few of my picks:
American Apparel duffle ($26)

Benjamin Bixby coach's attache ($148 at

Check out the "team autographs" on the back:

The one that got away # 1: Raf Simons for Eastpak duffle. I still want you.

The one that got away # 2: Jeremy Scott for Longchamp "Stomp" bag. Does anyone know who still stocks this?

Nom de Guerre helmet bag. An update on a military classic.

Y-3 messenger (from Close to perfection, in my opinion.

That, however, hasn't stopped me from lusting over expensive ones. Only now, they need to be ridiculously expensive and impractically unreachable to tickle my fancy.

Dries Van Noten hand-painted ostrich bag. My jaw dropped when I saw this on 00o00. It's a breathtaking piece.

Hermes 24/24 messenger. Ridiculously overpriced, it was love at first sight for me. One day, i say, one day!

Today's outfit: no bags involved. It's sweater weather in Manila!

red-framed specs from Hong Kong, Zara cashmere blend v-neck, Giordano Concepts shorts, NDC shoes

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