Sunday, August 31, 2008

Richie Tenenbaum: sporty preppy

It's been years since I've reread any of my J.D. Salinger books. Now they're all yellow and moisture stained.

Though the Tenenbaums never quite got the quirks of the Glass family, at least their clothes added to our collective literary imagination.

Richie Tenenbaum's eccentric look reminds me of some outfits from Z Zegna's 2008 Spring/Summer collection.

Though Z Zegna's clothes may be more sophisticated than cerebral, like Richie Tenenbaum, they rely on certain items, mostly jackets, to rein in frivolity.

This unlikely mix of sporty and preppy, dandy and athletic is what makes this look eccentric, show personality.

I'd love to style a shoot on an evolved version of this look.

See the rest of the show:

Runway images from

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cristian Zuzunaga: digital textiles

Cristian Zuzunaga's prints for Royal College of Art fashion graduate Peter Smith stole the show last year. Now he has commissions from several design outfits.

Zuzunaga says he was inspired by Shanghai at night, where buildings turn into gigantic plasma screens, in creating his pixel-based textile designs.

He is the techie combination of Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee.

RCA Menswear Collection designed by Peter Smith

The sketches in themselves are amazing. Seeing them on the runway is surreal.*

No better statement than bold prints on big volume outfits. They look like characters straight from a video game.

There's something definitely street about it, hip-hop yet very of-the-moment. It feels cutting-edge but at the same time retro.

Denim jacket with waxed finish

Springfield sofa by Moroso, printed on Blitz fabric by Kvadrat

Zuzunaga takes pictures of buildings and city skylines, enlarges them, then prints them. He only picks out parts of the image to scan, enlarge, then print again.

I feel that his textile designs could be the beginning of something exciting. They can expand to cover other patterns, develop into a full digital design language.

For example, I wonder how he would interpret paisley prints according to his color pallete and pixel-based design ethic.

Cristian Zuzunaga can reinterpret, like a painter, images according to our electronic consciousness. Maybe it's time for a new, digital cubism.

*I finished shooting my 'Dandy does it' editorial yesterday. Mostly I was satisfied. Can't wait to see it on print.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Layered belts

The premier issue of Vogue Hommes Japan will be out on September 10.

I had worn this combination once before and was reminded of it by the picture.

Without a kimono, the layering of a thin braided belt over a plain thick one somehow feels like wearing an obi, which I suppose was the cover's intent.

You can also wear two thin belts with different textures inside your belt loops. Or wear them out like how this gentleman from Helsinki wears his well below the waist. Room enough for one or two more to complete the obi look.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jil Sander marble + rust-patterned jeans

Another image of urban decay. I saw this the other day while on the road, so I rolled down the window and took a picture. What caught my fancy was the contrast of rust against the splotchy blue paint. Inspect upon closer detail:

This reminded me of another mottled pattern:

I encounter this every day at work, at the lobby of a building, near the elevators:

The pattern is electric.

I thought of Jil Sander FW 08 not because the rust pattern looked anything like it, but because I began conjuring in my mind outfit possibilities:

Many were put off by the appearance of the marbling on every clothing article. But what better way to make a statement? Leave the mix-and-matching to the magazine editorials.

And this blog. The marbled pattern looks most darling on a hooded jacket paired with rust-rugged, splotchy jeans:

Images from and Oki-Ni

Sunday, August 24, 2008

With complements

I took pictures of these two buildings at the front and back of a marketing agency I work in. The old architecture of these offices exudes a nostalgia for the business district of a past era, before all those high-rise towers ruled the skyline.

What I didn't immediately notice though was that the bluish glare from the windows produced a pleasant palette of subdued colors. The mix is similar to that employed for this outfit from Burberry Prorsum's SS 09 collection.

Here, different hues of blue and orange are used for two more outfits from the SS 09 collections of Bottega Veneta, Missoni, Belstaff, and Dolce & Gabbana. Missoni's and Belstaff's vibrant mix takes after one of the best complementary pairs I have ever seen:

But for the bag obsessed, can Ayers Rock (now officially called Uluru) be more breathtaking than Bottega Veneta's new pieces?

Whatever the verdict, I would say, on the matter of complements, the exquisite woven leather bags would look better on the Missoni man.

Images from, GQ Style, and Bagaholic Blog

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dandy does it: Look 6

This Northern dandy finds warmth in electronica and bebop. His fall wardrobe consists mostly of wool, leather, and fur.

The downtown cafe is his daily haunt, catching up with a handful of friends or holding out tenuous conversations with his cappuccino or bitter hot chocolate.

Needless to say, he is a writer. A few more years, he may finally admit he's a failed novelist.

He keeps old receipts and scraps of paper with notes and doodles inside this wallet:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dandy does it: Look 5

Rage at the establishment still exists even after the death of punk; spikes and chains are now brandished by angst.

But this type of dandy is not necessarily a rebel or non-conformist. He may simply like the cold feel of steel on his skin, its clinking.

Like these psychedelic skeleton shirts by Miharayasuhiro, he is predisposed to wear his insides out.

His weapon of subversion used for exposing bones:

Dandy does it: Look 4

This was my grandfather's automatic watch. The repair shop advised to have the strap replaced and the body replated, but that would have robbed it of the romance of patina and tarnish marks, would have somehow erased the past.

This dandy decked in a lawn blazer and torn denim knows that, but equally appreciates the new and unexpected. Not totally traditional like Fiat heir Lapo Elkann (pictured on top), he belongs both to the street and to history.

He also knows there is only one accessory to beat his vintage timepiece and complete this outfit.

Dandy does it: Look 3

Of second generation Mod, he is not immune to the influences of pop and hip-hop. Playboy at heart or impassioned musician, whichever suits his disposition. More often both. He inherited this from his folks:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dandy does it: Look 2

He smokes heavily, preferring pipes. A reclusive raconteur, he devours Pushkin but suspects he may like Amis. Fond of solitary hunting. Though a world traveller, many times he'd trade a month in the South for half a day reading on this worn seat:

Dandy does it: Look 1

Preparing six looks for a menswear shoot. Concept is the dandy, whom I think doesn't need to belong to any particular genre or era.

I do not see him as excessively foppish or fastidious. Rather, he is more strongly attuned to his personal predilections. Hence, prone to flourishes.

For this first look, I see him coasting down a neighborhood lane, not particlarly to fulfill a task or do anything. He is on a scooter, or maybe a Harley. Listens to lots of pure jazz, but swings to acid. The refined version of the Raf Simons and Dior Homme male combined.

Add two or three decades, and he may look like this:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Etro all-stars









Etro has got to be one of my favorite brands for menswear of all time. All that vivid color and unexpected combinations. Fun, ease, carelessness, and more than a hint of decadence.

Though we cannot all dress like this, there are many pieces we can appropriate into our wardrobes for that dandy deviance.

From the S/S 05 - S/S 09 collections. Photos from

Some of the things that will greet you on Etro's site: