Sunday, September 28, 2008


     A show, hastily cobbled together, and frenetically staged. I paid little attention to myself, resolving to pick clothing that was easy more than anything else. All craziness aside, it was extremely satisfying. All about that hustle, son.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

WANT WANT WANT: Manly Jewelry

Giles & Brother leather wrap bracelet with hook, $122 @ Oak

     I'd like to think that in our day and age, we're past the point where men find the idea of jewelry too inherently feminine. There was an era (the landscape of memory is dominated by DIESEL and D&G stamped on an endless sea of dogtags and big watches and bracelets) when men felt the need to overly display their masculinity, needing something big and shiny and sharp, as though to make their jewelry anti-jewelry. In recent years, menswear has opened itself to a much larger notion of what men can wear. The spectrum from dandy to derelict (as espoused by everyone from Paul Smith to Rick Owens) has also brought a sense of refinement; the fashionable teens of the 90s have turned into the tasteful, restrained men of the 2000s. How else can I explain the emergence of such sophisticated work like Philip Crangi's collaboration with his sister Giles — Giles & Brother? Their ability to marry different materials, ideas, and aesthetics into one distinctly masculine vision of jewelry has got me itching for an excuse to blow a wad of cash on some new trinkets..

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Smells Like...

Endymion by Penhaligon's

     ...a quiet day in a cafĂ©. The stirring of a latte matches the revolutions of the lazy fan overhead. Newspapers, folded and refolded, haphazardly lie on a table. Worn leather chairs quietly protest as warm bodies leave for another cup of coffee. Occasionally, the steam wand hisses. A silent, comfortable sort of romance.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Rise of the Douche

     Since when did you have to be a total douchebag to be cool? What happened here? Skimming over the Internets, I've noticed several trends, but most of them can be considered a subset of the ultimate trend: being a douchebag. The Oakland Art Museum recently had an exhibit on the birth of "cool"; that is, the concept of "cool" and how it was first defined, how it began to spread, and finally how it came to be commercially packaged. I think I've hit upon a similar notion. In mathematical terms:

American Apparel
some form of irony
affected androgyny
douchebag behavior

     How did we let this happen? I use "we" in a very loose sense, seeing as how I would like to think that I've done nothing contribute to the creation of this soul-sucking scene. I guess you can say that there's always been an attempt by every burgeoning generation to define itself, to set itself apart from the loins that birthed it, but this is just getting out of hand. The namechecks, the gratuitous drunkenness, the LA-manufactured uniform, the refusal to acknowledge the 80s as the vortex of tacky costume that it was — it's just too much.

     Some folks would like to say that I'm talking about "hipsters" (Adbusters has gone to great lengths discussing the word), but I don't know what exactly I'm talking about. There are some folks that I see, that I sense, that I can practically smell who would fall very much into this categorization, but it's more than just what people have been wearing. Flipping through any catalog, any channel, or any product geared towards youth and you don't see anything of any real value, in either social, intellectual, or aesthetic terms. To borrow a phrase, they all "rook arike".

     Am I part of the problem? Maybe. The problem with discussing the problem is that to engage in any dialogue about the subject requires you to employ the vernacular involved. So even if I were to use the word "hipster", and I don't necessarily always do, but if I were, I would have to talk about it in terms of my own role within the greater orbit of hipsterdom. This doesn't change the fact, however, that the majority of people who are being tagged "cool", for better or for worse, behave in a way that unequivocally demands the label "douchebag".

     This certainly isn't the most articulate polemic issued about the topic. In fact, I'm not very sure what my topic really is. But I do know that there's something going wrong here. When you need to guzzle as much alcohol as possible, make out with as many members of the same sex (despite your oft-repeated love of the opposite one), restrict your wardrobe to a narrow set of ideas, and simultaneously befriend and alienate everyone you see in order to prove your "cool" factor, then there's something wrong with "cool", you douchebag, you.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008



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Play on Gray

     I enjoy dressing up. Comparing my time spent in shirts and slacks to my time in tee and jeans reveals a noticeable dearth of energy and money spent towards defining how I like to dress when I'm supposed to dress. Now that I've passed the halfway point, I feel like it's time to start gearing up for what's next (knowing what's next is an entirely separate matter).

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Jonathan Saunders for Target

     A friend recently noted the dearth of discussion about womenswear and I blame school work, magazine work, and work work for my inability to muster up anything worth saying. But while helping Connie pack for her trip to Fashion Week, we wound up talking a lot about high-end designers and their low-end collaborations. Succeeding Richard Chai as the latest Target Go International Designer, British colorblocking extraordinaire Jonathan Saunders has created a whole range of looks that take his signature aesthetic and tones it down a little.
     This isn't to say that it's watered-down Saunders; the prints on some of these pieces are definitely out of the mainstream tastes. But with more manageable silhouettes and a quite a few separates, I'm sure everyone is going to find something they like. What really interests me, though, are those boots that the model is wearing. What can I say, I obviously have a thing for strapped boots. Now if only I could find a pair that would work for me...

(Images from Nylon and NYMag)

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008


     And so the vicious cycle continues. The influx of black continues even as the sun refuses to turn it down a notch. But when it does decide to scale it back a little, I'm definitely going to be prepared. I've been on a big multi-function sort of kick lately, so this sleeveless top with attached scarves from Diet Butcher Slim Skin was a natural draw. Add cashmere and silk and you've got one sold customer. For brisk fall days, I've got this Lad Musician jacket with a roll-away hood if I'm in a pinch. These April 77 Chelsea slacks are actually intended for a super secret event next week, but if I said what it was, then it wouldn't be so secret, now would it?

     But with every itch you scratch, you always wind up with another. And some of these itches are not easy to scratch. Maybe for a reason? Fiscal responsibility notwithstanding, I've still get my eyes peeled for what's next and — surprise, surprise — it's more black. I'm don't usually consider myself a big sneaker head, but these canvas high-tops from Diet Butcher Slim Skin's fall collection ($390 @ Blackbird) would give anyone reason to pause.
     As great as my current bag is, I can't help but feel the need for something a bit more professional. I'm not any big proponent of the green fashion movement, but I don't see any reason to pooh-pooh something just because it's vegan leather or anything. And the Jobs briefcase from Matt & Nat ($258 @ Alter) might make me turn over a new leaf. Everything from the zippers to the handle to the subtle branding certainly makes a persuasive argument for eco-friendly consumerism.
     Also, the jewelry hunt goes on (does it every really end, though?) and this acrylic feather pendant from Alex & Chloe ($48 @ Alex & Chloe) is just the touch of light humor that my slowly darkening wardrobe could use. Who knows? Maybe I'll really step outside the box and try it in fluorescent pink? Well. Definitely not. But I'd give the white version a chance. See? I'm trying to be adventurous.
     So maybe I lied. Maybe this isn't all black. This grey, high collar, double-breasted jacket from Endovanera has positively set my knees a shaking. I tried it on at Acrimony the other day and had a really hard time taking it off. Sharon, I blame you for any and all future calamity that befalls my checking account.

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Monday, September 01, 2008


I promise that things are going to start changing. And then it'll get really interesting.

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Please stop chiding me. It's not like I haven't been desperately trying to book an appointment to get my hair cut. Because I have.

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