Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the wings of Dior Homme

Naboonies mentioned it first on his blog, Dunia Fashion, way back in July: the sheer structured jackets at the Dior Homme Spring 2010 show may remind one of the Barong Tagalog, the national costume/uniform of men in the Philippines.

But while the comparison may come to mind, it is the elaboration of ideas throughout Kris Van Assche's collection that brings the concept to its metamorphosis and ushers it into another form.

Dior Homme 01

I have chosen images of moths to juxtapose with runway photos to highlight not just the translucence of the fabric, but also the direct and subtle layers that resemble wings.

The black and white shirt on the left shows the transition from sheer to solid black, with the front part revealing a white layer underneath. The effect is intriguing and sophisticated.

The jacket on the right, on the other hand, is a wonderful trick on the eye, like X-ray vision showing the skeleton of clothing. This piece is probably the best I’ve seen in the all the collections I have dared to review. The reason: the delightful contrast combination of strict form with light, flowing fabric. Of course, to state the obvious and echo Scott Schuman’s observation: just imagine how sheer jackets like this can add life to your outfits.

Dior Homme 02

The vest (left) has been so radically transformed that you almost miss the fact that it is one. Looks as if segments from fabric patterns have been stitched together — which only heightens the finished/unfinished effect. Is that a translucent parka over the jacket on the right?

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What movement! The non-sheer jacket appears to be almost as pliable as the low v-neck underneath. And the wonderfully skinny belts!

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The v-neck, now in a different material: what an amazing variation on the shawl collar. And the cut from the shoulder to where the sleeves should have been gives the piece solid bearing. Now it looks more like a jacket than a shirt.

The good thing about the items here is that they look as good layered or unlayered. I'd say the top on the right is perfect for a hot, tropical night.

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Notice the cummerbund waist of the trousers? The fit of the outfit is both relaxed and athletic.

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I love the placket of the sleeveless shirt. It almost looks part of the pared down jacket (is it called something else?). The one on the right, meanwhile, is double-layered and separates into flaps.

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The collection's biker jacket has been made in an equally fluid fabric. Can the jacket on the right, with its giant lapels making it look oddly similar to the jacket beside it, be considered black-tie?

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Interestingly, the combination of the sleeveless shawl-collared jacket and similarly sheer parka on the right looks like an outdoor robe. At first the length of the parka at the back looks awkward, but I can imagine that the way it moves — not very different from the coat on the left — gives it an exotic, eastern appeal. Interesting also how the two diagonal bands on the collar of the shirt on the left makes the placket look like a tie.

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I imagine that the gray jacket comes in one piece. The flaps looks almost like ruffles. The appropriated cummerbund goes well with the jacket. Did you notice the collar of the shirt underneath? Like the doorways of the Alhambra.

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Rendered casual, contemporary, and opaque.

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Just imagine a sheer coat on top of these: they woul be perfect office wear for the tropics and the East. The sleeveless jackets remind me of sails.

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More of the moth wing vests.

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This version with black shoulders and a zipper looks stylishly street, especially with the trainers and trousers like sweats.

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Variation in black and white.

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Sleeveless jackets and vests for a city safari.

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Can't seem to put my finger on it. What do these "sleeves" remind you of? Is it something Arabic? Or more Star Trek?

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In opaque fabric, these pieces still manage to appear exotic.

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And here come the schoolboys with their long sheer cardigans and deliciously loose shirts and cummerbund trousers. And have I failed to mention the collection's angular club collar?

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The garb of OPEC leaders according to Arthur C. Clarke.

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Look how the tuxedo's shawl collar narrows to a steep V.

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Kris Van Assche looks to the East, and with his innovations and fresh outlook, ushers us into the future.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Street fix: Layers and stripes


Jujiin Samonte and Shahani Gania tell me their stripe and monochrome partnership was not planned. Coincidence like one of those things.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mostly old, nothing new. What I borrowed from you merely made me blue


And I'm back. As silly as ever. Apologizing for missing posts and once again getting lost.


This time I'll stay longer, I assure you (even if this sounds like a cheesy 80s song). The blues will be restricted to ties, polka dots, belts, and ripped Levi's.

Jacket, Sisley; shirt, Topman; jeans, Levi's; sneakers, Generic Surplus; wool tie and belt: both thrifted. Take-away package contains Charlie Chan pasta from Yellow Cab — a favorite

Photographs by Patricia Suzara

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gianni Barbato's woven sneakers

Gianni Barbato 01

I know they look strikingly similar to the Spring 2010 woven shoes and sandals of Dries Van Noten, but as sneakers, the idea takes on a different character.

Gianni Barbato 02

At first strange, the combination of luxury wear woven leather and casual rubber soles may actually make sense for those who have a taste for the finer things but are always on the go or on the road. Or simply refuse to wear less comfortable shoes.

Gianni Barbato 03

Thanks to Imelda for sharing the preview of Gianni Barbato's upcoming collection

Blue and yellow redux

blue and yellow

I think what I wore today is a more successful attempt at the color combination (see attempt #1: Blue, yellow, and a dash of bravery).

I have retained the espadrilles, but have matched them with more summery items (yes, a rainless November day in Manila is as good as summer for some), such as the pinstriped, striped short-sleeved shirt and the adjustable baggy pants.

The good thing about this outfit? Except for two things, all of it is thrifted. The downside? It would have been nice to have had Trish take my photo in the sun (come back from your leave! :P).

Marks & Spencer shirt, Izzue jeans, Liz Sport belt, Gap tote: all thrifted; sheer striped pullover, Zara; espadrilles from Davao

Michael Stipe x Maison Martin Margiela

Michael Stipe X Maison Martin Margiela

I've never been a fan of the endless sundry items like wallets, purses, pencil cases, and even bags designed to look like casette tapes. But this new release from the Belgian house, in collaboration with the musician, may just make me change my mind.

Necklace pendants seem to be the best purpose for these objects of art (heck, tie them to a string of pearls!), but I'd prefer to ring them with my keys.

Source: Hint

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Night in navy blue


Remember the blue Japanese kimono robe I wore with a tank top and sheer sweater last June? Well this is the November outfit version — more suitable for the slight chill in the breeze.


This time I wore the robe loosely tied.

Robe, Dunhill shirt, and tie: all thrifted; jeans, Gap; belt from a market in Milan; nylon sneakers, Acne x Tretorn; vintage watch, Omega Seamaster

Photographs by Patricia Suzara

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some ad campaigns: Fall 2009

Z Zegna 01
Z Zegna

Z Zegna 02

Z Zegna 03

Z Zegna 04



Uniqlo 01

Uniqlo 02

Raf Simons 01
Raf Simons

Raf Simons 02

Fred Perry
Fred Perry x Raf Simons


Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein

Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The art of Ryan McGinley

Ryan McGinley 01

I was assigned to do a "test article" for Status magazine in Manila. They asked me to write, in 250 words, about photographer Ryan McGinley's new book Moonmilk. So, true to form, I read everything I could find about him.

I became so immersed in his previous work — both commercial and purely artistic — that I wasn't anymore thinking about the article, much less figuring out how I could fit my excitement within the word limit.

Here is one of McGinley's spreads for Missoni's Fall 2009 ad campaign. The action shots not only give justice to the terrific pieces and the styling but place them in the context of carefree youth for which McGinley is known for.

Ryan McGinley 02

At 24, he was already exhibiting at the Whitney Museum of American Art and was named Photographer of the Year by American Photo Magazine. The book of photos on show was The Kids are Alright.

You can see from this picture that his portrayal of youth is fresh and free of irony.

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His aesthetic is as much about movement as the expression of free spirit.

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Ryan McGinley 05

His vision may be idealist (the life that many youths want to lead or how they want to see themselves), but it is vivid, unhampered, and endearingly vulnerable.

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This shot of men running naked was used as an album cover.

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Ryan McGinley 08

Yes, there is the absence of pain, or the denial of it, but McGinley's images preserve the precious, fleeting moments that stay in our memories.

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The tender naivete exemplified by these ads shot by McGinley for Levi's.

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Youth is sink-and-swim.

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For McGinley, the days are neither muddled nor traumatic.

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They just pass.

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And come again.

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Kids rise and walk on clouds.

Ryan McGinley 22

Skid on waves.

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Dive but don't sink.

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His starry-eyed images have also been appropriated for ads for Balenciaga.

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Starry-eyed and smoky.

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Except for the clothes and the models, ad pictures look no different from his regular fare.

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Ryan mostly takes images of his friends.

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Only lately has he gone into the business of casting.

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Outdoors or indoors...

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He lets us in.

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Have they been in that tub since they were small?

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For a few years, Ryan has brought a couple of friends roadtripping across America. To stop at various locations to snap random and unplanned pictures. Nudity may only be part of his method to allow what's within to be unclothed and captured on film.

Ryan McGinley 39

Finally we arrive at Moonmilk, McGinley's most recent collection shot in different caves, none repeated.

Ryan McGinley 40

The artist admits that this has been his most ambitious and excruciating project.

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"Moon milk" is an iridescent crystallized substance that one finds in caves. His images also come as strange and almost alien.

Ryan McGinley 42

The rock formations have been untouched for thousands of years. It makes sense to take pictures that bring us back to the primordial. To the genesis or the fountain or the source of the substance of youth in McGinley's images.

Ryan McGinley 43

The scene for darkness unravelled by the colors of long exposures.

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Of total abandon. Returning to the border, the crevice, between language and intelligibility, and the ignorance of perpetual silence.

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Moonmilk is the scene for youth's ecstacy.

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Strangely, this image of a boy and a grizzly bear reminds me of Gus van Sant's Elephant, a movie about a school shooting. This image provides a counterpoint, the separation and interaction between the innocent and the brutal: the balance.

Ryan McGinley 48

Designers like Hedi Slimane have provided images of men on the edge of innocence, pushing a new aesthetic. Photographers like McGinley provide the same thing.

Ryan McGinley 49

He plays with boundaries, ridicules standards.

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While staying within them.

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"We are animals" is a Wrangler campaign shot by Ryan.

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Quite apt, you may say.

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It amplifies the youth's inability to project pathos or inherit their parents' guilt.

Ryan McGinley 54

Yes, soon enough everybody grows up.

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Not just McGinley's friends and models.

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But also he himself, and with him, his aesthetic.

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Yet always, at any age, at any era, we return to the bars, the fields, the caves, and trees of youth that adults are quick to dismiss as "wasted".

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Nevertheless, fashion brands will always exploit it for its trends.

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Youth will always be fun, uninhibited, and innocent.

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As long as new generations inherit the mantle of being young.

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As there will always be a market for sneakers, McGinley's images are timeless.

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Less stylized than Hedi Slimane's, they are more raw.

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While looking less naive.

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More intent, more naked.

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And here is McGinley taken by Slimane.

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Naked in a tub shot by Juergen Teller for Marc Jacobs.

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Yes, many may dismiss McGinley's work as pretentious and plastic — easily adaptable by fashion brands because of their intentional lack of depth.

But isn't that what happens to all our pictures once our memories fade and all we have are images to remind us how beautiful life once was?

Most images sourced from