Saturday, August 23, 2008

Things On My Mind

     I guess the sparse sounds of Blank Dogs go well while I ruminate on this funnel-neck hoodie from B. Son's collaboration with Urban Outfitters. Both give me pause. On Two Sides sounds like a lot of things you've heard already; it's easy to draw the line between Blank Dogs and New Order, Sonic Youth, and Soft Cell. It's New Wave, but not. It's raw, but the production values show some deliberate polish. It dips its toe into noise rock, but then some dance-y pop hooks show up. If anything, the original unoriginality of On Two Sides reads like a very appropriate and thought-out approach. The album's inherent tensions — between songwriting and dance-compelling — provokes a mixed reaction. Part of me hates it, because I could just turn on some Sonic Youth and listen to this done much better. But then part of me loves it, because if Sonic Youth had made this album, it wouldn't have been so willfully different.

     Likewise, I can't decide whether I'm repulsed or enamored by B. Son's B100 line, produced specifically for Urban Outfitters. When the first word about this hit the Internet, I was expecting some watered-down, over-designed garbage. The problem with so many of these BLANK x BLANK x BLANK endeavors wind up being attempts to produce something very high design at a much lower price point, but the lower manufacturing/material options make that intrinsically impossible. It's a retail reach-around; sure, you're getting to play with someone else's junk, but all you can think about is how the other guy doesn't know how to use your junk like you do. You can't squeeze a larger, more sophisticated and costly aesthetic within retail and design constraints that simply make your original design irrelevant.

     The folks who run B. Son sure are sharp, though. They've avoided this problem by designing for Urban Outfitters. Now, I realize the label already says B100 by B. Son for Urban Outfitters. The preposition isn't what I'm really talking about. I'm talking about intention. But trimming down the B. Son aesthetic to its core components and trashing the rest, B. Son has managed to produce a collaboration that looks like it was designed by B. Son, but doesn't look like fake B. Son or B. Son-lite. Granted, the silhouettes and construction may be taken straight from previous season's collections, but the overall feel of the B100 stuff is pared down enough from the original that it feels like something different.

     Or maybe I'm just trying to justify buying a hoodie that I initially wrote off and now kind of like how it fits, but don't really want to admit to making an error in judgment. Or something.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I shower as a means of preparing myself for daily engagement with the world around me.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Buying Time

     In some attempt to curb my spending, I had resolved to completely stop buying things impetuously. After (almost magically) spending money that I really didn't have any right to spend on a couple of items, I found myself wanting to wean myself off my bad habits and to try and stick to some sort of plan — a financial diet, if you will.

     But the problem of the impulse purchase kept arising. Whether I was trying to casually stroll through the streets of the city ("Oh, just look at Barneys displays!") or through the Internet ("Oh, look, the Julian Red sale is on!"), I kept finding myself drawn further and further into the maelstrom even as I was trying to put more and more distance between myself and my temptations. My Macbook Pro did little to ease the situation as it kept filling in those damn forms for me, making my purchases require that much less thought.

     My solution is no solution at all. Creating a list of fall must-haves (black trousers, new coat, et cetera) has focused my shopping into a product-oriented process. This isn't to say that I don't flip endlessly through catalogues and magazines and websites; far from it. Indeed, I'm doing as much, if not more, random shopping than ever before. What I have been doing is actually buying less. The more and more I deliberate, the less likely I've found myself actually purchasing anything. Perhaps my problem lies in the "impulse" part of "impulse purchase". I enjoyed the fantastical feeling of new-ness that every purchase imparted. But as I have required myself to think and analyze each item more, the true flaws of both the garment and my reasoning eventually show through and casts a rather unflattering light on both my habits and my would-be purchases.

     One luxury, if you could call it that, has been magazines. I arrived at Michael's doorstep last night and was greeted by the latest issue of VMan. That in addition to Antenna, V Magazine, Details, Men's Vogue, and Vanity Fair have been clogging up my reading time. Truth be told, purchasing the magazines is really just a proxy for my more voracious and less fiscally responsible desires. A Lanvin ad is hardly a Lanvin suit. Hardly.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

New School

(Raf Simons x Eastpak padded bag, £89 @ oki-ni)

     I honestly don't know what to think now that I'm entering my second half of my undergraduate education. Am I supposed to be more serious? More sure about what I want to do for the rest of my life? Because I don't. The only thing I do know is that I need more Raf Simons in my life, and it might as well be on my back.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008




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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dressed for Dining

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Ate My Fill

Low-res food porn from my birthday dinner at Bushi-Tei? Why yes, I can do that.

Wine-cured mackerel over green zebra tomato gazpacho with purselime and turnip

Ahi tartare with tobiko caviar, wasabi-crème fraiche, coriander seed, and herb oil

Venison prosciutto with galia balls, galia sorbet, baby frisée over montbriac

Foie gras over kabocha pot de crème with pistachios and red onion marmalade

Fukko seabass over rockshrimp polenta and lobster nage

Intermezzo of yuzu sorbet

Grilled day boat sea scallop and saffron dumpling over yukon potato chowder

Antelope loin with chanterelles over potato mousseline with port wine reduction

Lobster and hand-made Italian parsley gnocchi with shaved truffle and tarragon lobster nage
Flourless chocolate souffle with roasted strawberries and organic ice cream

Black sesame blancmange with pineapple-strawberry salsa and coconut milk reduction

Lemon gâteau with yuzu-infused mascarpone mousse

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Friday, August 01, 2008

It works because you want it to.

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Youth is over-rated.

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