Monday, May 30, 2011

French Pressed

The Dandy Project was featured in the latest issue of Elle France and made an appearance on French television.

The Dandy Project in the May 2011 issue of French Elle

The French Elle feature was in the one with perennially chic Catherine Deneuve and daughter Chiara Mastroianni on the cover. Dear Mother, look her up; Mme. Deneuve's style is teeming with inspiration for your countless dinner party outfits!

photo courtesy of Pelayo Diaz

I had my friend Antoine translate the article for me via Facebook, and it says something like "male fashion bloggers are the new wave of fashion bloggers", and that The Dandy Project, alongside Kate Loves Me and were great examples of this.

The Dandy Project was also briefly the topic of conversation on a show called La Chronique Tendances de Daphné Bürki on French TV channel Canal Plus. I spent hours last night dissecting HTML, trying to embed the video on this site, but to no avail. I took some screenshots of the show, and you can just click here to view the page with the video.

French television fashion authority Daphné Bürki is quite the comic

and is, of course, very chicly put together. Look at that mountain-print leather-trimmed (?) armor-like over-blouse!

my fist's five seconds of fame

See the full video on Daphné Bürki's blog.

Today is an awesome day to be a blogger; I'm very, very grateful for the recognition received. With this, I'm nudging those who wish to start a blog, and those with blogs but are perhaps too busy or too lazy (or too crazy) to update them---put honest and original content out on the blogosphere, and they'd be nuts not to let your voice be heard.

A million thank you's to the Elle France team and to Daphné Bürki and the Canal Plus team for the mentions, and special thanks to Mikee and Wax for taking the photographs featured.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rope and Raffia

I checked my iPhone weather app this morning and there seems to be sunny days as far as the eye can see. My feet crave natural fibers.

Lika Mimika lambskin espadrilles in rose and cognac

b Store “New Mario” shoes in raffia

Or for a more affordable, worry-free alternative, perhaps I’ll go for these espadrilles with the Havaianas flip-flop strap across and the trademark comfortable rubber foot bed as the sole. Available at Designer Clothing from BANK Fashion.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baudelaire by Byredo

I've found a new everyday scent: Baudelaire by Swedish perfumer Byredo. I'd describe it as oddly handsome, the first whiff evoking fresh leather giving way to an herbaceousness that reminds me so vividly of the smell of that malevolent forest in Punchdrunk's Sleep No More. My mother, sour-faced, dismissed it at first smelling, saying it reminds her of the scent of a new bag. (Believe me, she knows very well the experience of opening up the box to many a new handbag..) Confuzzled, I thought to myself, what could be a more festive morning pick-me-up than a fragrance that smells of new leather goods?

Opening the box, I was delighted to find a little envelope...

...that contains an excerpt of the poem Parfum Exotique by French poet Charles Baudelaire, who the scent was named after:

It's a beautiful, sensual piece. Allow me to share with you the full English version:

When, with both my eyes closed, on a hot autumn night,
I inhale the fragrance of your welcoming breast
I see happy shores spread out before me,
Blazing in the flames or a monotonous sun;

A lazy isle to which nature has given
Singular trees, savory fruits,
Men whose bodies are vigorous and slender,
And women in whose eyes shines a surprising candor.

Guided by your fragrance to these charming climates,
I see a port filled with sails and masts
Still exhausted by the waves of the sea,

While the perfume of the green tamarinds,
That fills up the air, and widens my nostrils,
Mingles in my soul with the sailors’ songs.

Here it sits as the star of my scent-shelf, flanked by L'Occitane's The Vert (for sweltering summer days) and Comme des Garcons Eau de Parfum (for weary whiskey winter nights), with my old everyday fragrance Bvlgari's Pour Homme Extreme sitting jealously behind.

photographs by Mikee Tuason

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Party Pajamas

You probably appreciate a constricting, sharp-shouldered blazer just as much as the next fellow, but on occasions when you'd wish to shake your groove thing with a little more range of motion, while still being dressed interestingly, you might want to consider donning a variation of my party pajamas.

1. A low-cut, well-draped t-shirt skims away from a belly burgeoning with beverages and nibbles, and draws the attention up to your clavicles---or your well-groomed chest-bush---whichever you so wear proudly.

slouch-neck t-shirt from Urban Outfitters

2. Athletic-inspired pants done in luxe fabrics enable you to freely shimmy your behind and drop low to the floor, while still keeping it kla$$y. I initially had shrugged off these trousers when my friend Adrian Diaz of the Paul Smith 5th Avenue boutique had picked them out for me, apprehensive of the voluminous cut and the odd color. But after giving them a second chance and trying them on, I was very pleased at how comfortably flattering a pair of sweat pants in washed silk could be, and realized that the faded eggplant hue could in fact be subtle and wearable.

the same purple washed silk pants on the Paul Smith Spring 2011 runway (via The Fashionisto)

3. Jazz shoes, especially those done in unconventional fabrications, go from being conversation starters at cocktail hour to being your best friends on the dance floor in the wee hours of the evening.

Number (N)ine x Charles Peterson "Touch Me I'm Sick" jazz shoes in silk-trimmed wool jacquard

4. A big cape-like jacket helps perpetuate the illusion of riding off into the night on a black stallion when all you're really doing is hailing a yellow cab. The robe I wear in the photo below is called a haori, a type of kimono worn on special occasions such as weddings or holidays of cultural significance. The lovely ladies at Kiteya, where I purchased the jacket, explained that this was the Japanese gentleman's equivalent of a tuxedo jacket. The particular haori I got is of fall/winter weight silk and is fully lined, typically worn as an overcoat or layered with other kimonos of exquisite fabrics.

vintage Japanese haori with an Ann Demeulemeester black pleated suede belt

5. A blingy ring catches the light as you fist-pump, and (assuming the ring is paste) is a more risk-averse finishing touch than your great-grandfather's Patek Philippe Grand Complication.

the newest addition to my rhinestone zoo: a vintage crystal-encrusted salamander with red gem eyes

Final pose by Tompkins Square Park before heading out into the evening:

When the night is over and you've successfully dazzled all your friends and foes in your posh party pajamas, slip under your sheets and shut your eyes; you're already dressed for bed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My First Missoni

There are few things sexier and more effortlessly elegant than knit worn on its own. (My most profuse apologies for shamelessly using the S word to refer to myself..) After years of mulling over it, I picked up my first Missoni sweater a few days ago, and have been wearing it quite frequently since.

Missoni sweater, H&M jeans, quilted velvet sneaker-slippers by 3:33

Missoni is a worthy investment. Their sweaters are well-knit, they fit flatteringly, and the patterns, new every season, are iconically Italian-dandy. I’d highly recommend getting a deep v-neck, as pictured, or a cardigan; the styling possibilities are limitless. However, the impending collaboration with Target raises in me suspicions of possible tragic brand dilution.. But on a lighter note, detail shots:

the vibrant blend of magenta, pale yellow, and green

the usual wrist mix spring-ified by a cord of hemp and yellow string from Macau

pouring green tea with a green ring by Norbu Bijoux in Williamsburg

shoes by 3:33

These were my go-to shoes last lazy winter. Walking through the wet and salty snow has rendered the shoes creased and nearly balded on certain spots, but I find myself liking them even better this way. If a young Hugh Hefner skateboarded and still wanted to look suave, these are the shoes he’d wear.

photos by Jessica E.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Project Accomplished: The Rose Gold Signet Pinky Ring

The rose gold signet pinky ring with pavé brown diamonds that I had custom-made is finished, and it's sending my heart a-flutter and my eyes a-twinkling with sparkle.

rose gold signet pinky ring with pavé brown diamonds by Lanero Fine Jewelry, co-designed by me

It all started when Steve of Style Salvage commissioned me to do a post on my jewelry collection only for me to find an accessories trunk filled with paste, plastic, and un-precious metal. I seemed to have a crazy bauble for every night of the month, but not one precious, self-expressive piece for everyday. That was when I started this little project of making an investment in gold.

After countless Skype conferences and e-mails back and forth between New York and Manila, Jane and Yen of Lanero delivered, and the result surpassed my expectations.

the ring up close: I was impressed with the craftsmanship of the stone setting. Rather than lining up the diamonds in a grid, which would be expected, they set the stones densely in concentric rounded squares, echoing the shape of the ring top, thus making for a more harmonious design.

I can't wait for the ring to get scuffed and sullied with everyday wear, the shiny sides of the ring almost matt-ified with scratches. Of the three common colors of gold (yellow, white, and rose), rose gold darkens the quickest, and I intend on keeping this patina and having it gradually build over time.

the gleaming shiny side

It sits perched on a speaker on top of my desk for now, and as I admire this ostentatiously dandy take on a classic piece of men's jewelry, I realize how the most beautiful things created are products of true and thorough collaboration.

Read the post on the ring's design and production here.

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

photographs by Mikee Tuason

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weathered Basics

Chase in a vintage military t-shirt from Assembly New York

I'm a staunch fashion existentialist; I think people should wear their most beloved, most esoteric pieces out everyday, out and proud. Such an attitude has caused me to constantly collect these odd, oftentimes impractical show pieces, so much so that I now have a wardrobe (or three) bursting with collector's items. But sometimes, it's the very faintly detailed, basic clothing that people feel most comfortable in, and in turn, look the best in. Chase Dillon illustrates.

vintage military t-shirt, Preston and York belt, Endovanera pleated linen trousers, vintage shirt tied around the waist, Dragan Mrdja shoes

He says he likes to keep a long-sleeved button-down tied around his waist to wear as a cover-up on the chillier spring evenings. I can't say I've ever done the shirt-as-jacket look again since the awkward nineties, but I may consider giving this look a chance.

vintage multi-stripe shirt tied around Endovanera pleated linen jean-trousers

another 90s flashback: drawstring hems on pants

at a vintage home goods store in Brooklyn: his white-boy version of my hairdo du jour, the disheveled finger-brushed flip

Chase just joined the menswear blogosphere with his blog The Sweet and Tender Hooligan. He collaborated with photographer friend Ashley Dupree on an impressive editorial of which many bloggers could only dream their outfit posts be of the same production value. Check it out here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In Search of: The Summer Tote

The weather is finally hitting the seventies in New York City, and as I stow away my woolen snoods and heattech tops, I begin my quest for a vessel to hold my everyday essentials with ample breathing room. I need a tote for the summer, and I need it to be beautiful.

I've had my eye on this YSL tote for about a couple of years now. It's reasonably priced, subtle, and handy, and the tumbled buffalo leather will age well.

YSL tanger tote (via YSL)

Here's something a little more obscure, but from the same house: the YSL for Atelier New York tire track-embossed tote in chocolate brown. It's a beautiful bag, but I'm just not a fan of the pregnant look on flat totes. Must I only carry around sheets of paper, and if I'm being generous, a pack of Listerine breath strips all summer?

YSL x Atelier New York tote (via Atelier New York)

This Margiela tote, a roomier riff on the popular Jil Sander market tote, exudes an art world vibe. Margiela leather shopping bag on one hand, complimentary crudité at a Chelsea opening on the other.

Martin Margiela collection 11 leather shopping bag (via Margiela)

Speaking of the arts, this Lanvin tote of pieced satin and leather seems to be a Parisian post-apocalyptic take on patchwork arts and crafts. And I have yet to own a piece of Lanvin.
Lanvin satin and leather tote (via Lanvin)

I've blogged about this a while back, but I still want my version of Tommy's rainbow-lettered Goyard St. Louis tote. I'd have it in a size larger, with the front emblazoned with my Lord of the Rings name "ISIDORE", rendered in roygbiv.

painted Goyard St. Louis tote (via This is Naive)

I might yet have to be sold on the idea of boys with Birkins, but the Hermés Haut a Courroies (HAC) is legitimately a men's bag; a piece of luggage, but a men's bag nonetheless. And it is breathtaking.

Hermés Haut a Courroies on the Fall 2011 runway (via The Fashionisto)

Dare I say Kanye West pulls off his man-Birkin rather masterfully? (I'd swap out the white sneakers for black slip-on shoes but) I can actually see myself in this outfit. The bag is beautifully battered.

Kanye West with a vintage Hermés Haut a Courroies (via Birkin Watcher)

Hermés dreams aside, if there exists a summer tote close to perfection, it may well have to be this elusive YSL with the handle straps morphing into a slithering network of strips forming the brand's insignia.

YSL Sac Vavin (via Jak and Jil)

It's called the Sac Vavin, produced in limited quantity Spring of last year, and is rumored to be available via special order at select boutiques. It straddles the line between clever and logo-a-gogo, and in this age of feigned subtlety and an obsession with obscurity, carrying around a bag with a logo bigger than my head could well be quite refreshing.

Dear readers, what will you be toting around this summer?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The White Dinner Jacket

Though difficult to keep clean, a little too conspicuous, and very evening, the white dinner jacket is a surprisingly versatile piece to own. I purchased my lightly structured white linen dinner jacket from a vintage store in Amsterdam, and was lucky to have it fit me perfectly; all I had to do was have my tailor hem it to today’s very wearable cropped length.

vintage white linen dinner jacket from Amsterdam, tank top courtesy of Blood is the New Black, J. Crew belt, H&M jeans, Paul Smith pink suede Chelsea boots

I like to wear my dinner jacket with a tank top to look as if I got into a fistfight, lost my shirt, emerged unscathed, but never bothered to pick my shirt off of the floor. But you could wear it with anything from a slouchy t-shirt, to a gingham plaid shirt, to a real tuxedo shirt with a bow tie and tailored pants, and the jacket will lend a distinguished debonair air to your look. I had received this top from Blood is the New Black a while back, and have been wearing it out a lot, despite only blogging about it now. The fit and fabric are superb, and it features a Brian Lichtenberg print that pays tribute to one of my most favorite designers, Martin Margiela.

Nobody embodies the iconic-ness and illustrates the versatility of the white dinner jacket like silver screen legend Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942):

Humphrey Bogart wears it to jam at a piano bar. (photo via Orbemusical)

Humphrey Bogart wears it to sip tea with a lovely lady in a qipao. (photo via Tout Le Cine)

Humphrey Bogart wears it to play an intense game of chess. (photo via Wesleying)

A closer look at my outfit:

Note the light drapiness of the surprisingly wrinkle-resistant white linen.

These Paul Smith pink suede boots were a whimsical, caution-to-the-wind purchase. It was a hot day, and I thought these sherbert-hued shoes would take me well into summer while still letting me have my boot moment.

Paul Smith pink suede Chelsea boots

When the weather gets warm, I like my shoes to look just as refreshing as my frozen snacks.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suede and Sparkle

Suede and sparkle are two things I'd probably never get tired of; here comes another pair of shoes that helps fuel the addiction. A present of bead-encrusted suede loafers fell on my doorstep a couple of days ago, all the way from Italy. Rubina, daughter of Alberto Guardiani, had sent me a pair of the beaded suede Narciso shoes after I had sang their praises a few posts ago.

Alberto Guardiani beaded Narciso shoes, sitting on the ledge that doubles as a dining table in my New York-sized studio.

the black-on-black bugle beading, up close

Rubina had contacted me last month, hoping to take me out to coffee while she was in the city, to discuss fashion and social media and other things. But our schedules just didn’t mesh. Instead of coffee and conversation (which would have already been more than delightful), I received a new pair of shoes. Not bad at all. Rubina---grazie mille! Davvero apprezzo il tuo regalo.

The Alberto Guardiani online store went live a few days ago. Have a stroll and see what you like.

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