Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thom Browne Spring 2010: Before the show

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At first glance, it may seem that for Spring 2010, Thom Browne has finally run out of new ideas for his quirky collections.

Top shot by Scott Schuman, below by Tommy Ton. Apologies for the absence...

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But what still seems remarkable about his latest show is his unfailing ability to use basic details — jacket piping, gold buttons, and polka dots to name a few — to exaggerate them and put them together in his signature cuts, which now include holes.

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The clothes look as if someone played a trick on the tailor, giving suits the measles or cutting them according to the proportion of Alice in Wonderland characters.

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That is inevitably Thom Browne's undeniable charm.

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Some of the colors and silhouettes could have just as easily been scribbled by a child with crayons — the trench, the wide legs, the cropped jackets, even the pajama prints. Well maybe not the skorts.

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Maybe for swimming? The fishing hats are perfect for the navy jackets with thick piping. The striped shirt, of course, is a nice sailor touch. Notice the large neck buckle on the sleeveless hoodie? So it seems some things are miniature, while others are made bigger.

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The imagination also plays naughty, as the fishing hats are transformed into Looney Tunes hat-glasses. The serious bit in this picture is the stitching on the jacket, which doesn't really aim to give it a threadbare look, but just age. Also the fit. I don't think I've seen as much emphasis on the upper back. The silhouette is youthful, serious, yet at the same time fun.

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It's as if these clothes were made for kids who just fit into adult uniforms, or reversely, have just outgrown what their parents bought them. The drama is in the transition.

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What fabric! It is that special ingredient in the alchemy of fit, cut, and fancy. (I am referring to the white jacket, but am not that wary of praising the yellow vest and trench.

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The halter effect of the shirt in the middle may be reminiscent of Prada's air ties, but it is the sailor-collared jacket that introduces a totally new combination. The good thing about this is, if you are not partial to the shirt, there are plenty of ways to style the jacket — with an actual sailor shirt for starters.

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So the socks are out of the preppie bag.

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So you may only be reminded of shower curtains by some of the polka dot items, but you have to admit that it would be a dream to mix them with other patterns and match them with solids.

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The layering possibilities are endless.

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It is interesting to note that Thom Browne has assimilated Givenchy's shorts layering into his preppy pieces. Of course, the cottage cheese holes are more original.


More to follow...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gray uniforms for battle

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Quite a tiring day today. Went home hours later than usual, a bit exhausted and with a slight headache to show for it.

I suppose monochrome should help to keep focus. No accessories to play around with. Not even a sheer sweater's loose thread to catch my attention.


Shirt, G200; jeans, Jil Sander; jacket and wool tie, thrifted; PVC belt, Izzue; sneakers, Surface to Air; watch, Tissot

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random ribbed shirt idea

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Bought a new Belkin case for my iPod 3GS. Doesn't it look nifty? I like the feel of it. If only ribbed shirts also had such patterns, and not just boring stripes.


White tee, cK Calvin Klein; sheer sweater, Zara; jeans, Gap; espadrilles from Davao

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Color lessons from Vanessa Jackman

01 Duncan Campbell, Acne Paper


This is Duncan Campbell, editor of Acne Paper. Plenty of little things to note from his outfit that make it casually stylish, but what gets to me the most is the black piping of his jacket, which subtly pulls everything together. The reason why his ensemble is low-key is because the colors — navy, teal, and purple — are closely related, are all bound by blue.

Of course, his gold wristwatch and signet ring become the icing.

02 Joe Jackson


Besides the obvious fact that Joe Jackson's outfit is built around the color of his eyes, it is the buttoned collar of his polo shirt that introduces subtlety.

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This club collar, on the other hand, is barely there, and may have otherwise have been a Mandarin collar. But Vanessa is right: the highlight of this picture is his hair. None better to go with his schoolboy's attire, and which, not coincidentally, is a color complement of blue.

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You could probably notice these Pippi Longstocking socks coming to you from the next block, but what fascinates me more are the shape of his shoes ad his two-tone shirt.

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The collar and the patent-toe Lanvin sneakers are the perfect muted partners.

06 Joe Jackson


Though on an actor as seriously-looking as Joe Jackson, I would have wished brown leather shoes. Doubling the white cancels the charming effect of his polo shirt.

07 Carlos Rivera


You may think that there is nothing subtle about Carlos Rivera's "costume", but he has been quite successful in taming his pink floral shirt with his matching jacket and spectacles. Not to mention with the violet, black, and blue pattern of his pocket square.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brown, rust, and red

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Trust me, you wouldn't want to know why my hair appears straight out of bed. Moving to the next topic, I think I have mentioned before that for days when I neither have the inspiration nor the time to dress up according to how I feel (and sometimes, when I rush, i don't even know what this is), I rely on tested outfits.

I think I must have also mentioned that I trust monochrome — especially monochrome neutrals. Such outfits do not require that much thought, but they have the advantage of focussing your attention on different things. Bracelets and a portfolio clutch in this case.

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Think what you may, but I am not saying whether the configuration of these accessories — bracelets made from tiger's eye beads, ethnic patterns, wood, and twine — has anything to do with my unkempt hair.

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I do not even know why some friends have said it is better unstyled.

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For those who may not remember this envelope clutch I thrifted in Cubao, here it is again.


Tee, British India; jeans, Zara; laceups, Marlboro Classics; envelope clutch, thrifted

Outfit photos by Patricia Suzara

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Seasonless dressing

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Not that Manila has that many seasons — only summer and the rainy season. But the weather has been so inordinately unpredictable that any sort of precaution can be swept by monsoon winds.

It was sunny this morning. I was wearing a sheer shirt and a vest, and the addition of the scarf was only for indoor airconditioning. If needed, I could easily have removed my vest and scarf — and even my tie — to suit the blazing heat.

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But this is what I saw outside office windows by the afternoon*. Quite menacing to the uninitiated. After a few moments, everything was white with rain.

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And before I knew it, by 5pm, the weather was clear again — capricious and temperamental by any standard. Better layered than sorry.


Shirt, vest, and tie: all thrifted; jeans, Bossini; scarf, vintage; loafers, Dexter

Photos by Patricia Suzara
*Taken with an iPhone 3GS

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The male Diane Pernet

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Diane Pernet is behind A Shaded View on Fashion, while Jujiin Samonte has his own eponymous blog

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The DIY safety pin imperative

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Yvan Rodic captures Pelayo's latest DIY project. The Central Saint Martin student says he'll make a safety pin shirt for you if you are interested.

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At the Vena Cava show, as snapped by Susie.

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I know many of you will say that this trend was introduced years ago, but I want to make something especially my own. Here are several images I am hoping I'll cull inspiration from.

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Moschino's Uomo shirt. Though gold pins would have been better than gold foil or paint.

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Safety pin dresses by Gareth Pugh for his Fall 2008 collection.

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A safety pin bow tie brooch by Augustine Wong.

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A winged shirt from Instructable.

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I am thinking of doing this for actual bow ties and not just brooches. White with silver pins?

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What's good with the Instructable site is that it offers detailed DIY steps. This shows how important it is to sew down your pins into place.

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A cameo necklace from Realm Jewelry. I love the configuration of the pins. I'm sure there's a way to tone this down or make it look more like hardware for a cameo-less male version.

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Time to buy hundreds! In gold, silver, bronze, and in all sizes!

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More necklaces from Realm Jewelry.

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Surely, safety pin shirts or jackets require painstaking dedication and careful planning.

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Time to begin!

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ADDENDUM

Katy 01


Katy, a blogger and college writing student, has created her own version of the Vena cava safety pin. With medium-sized pins instead of the giant ones, I dare say they look better. Even the people from Vena Cava agree.

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Now I'm thinking I definitely need a dummy. Do they make one for the male build?

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I am also more convinced that a removable top is infinetely better than pinning them permanently on a shirt.

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I am thinking that a male version of this would be a vest. Thanks again Katy for the comment and the inspiration!