Sunday, February 28, 2010

The best Pumas by Alexander McQueen

McQueen-Puma05


No, I don't mean the latest release: the Black Tech Ko trainers, now available at Oak.


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They only remind me of shoes by other labels.


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What I mean are the Scarred Street Luxe stingray trainers released way back in 2007, when this blog barely existed. Here is the best color combination.


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These are the animal equivalent of disco ball mirrors on clothing. For men, that is, since I consider python best carried by women (given exceptions, of course).


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Trivia: pairs in this last color were only available at 111VOX.com in Sweden.


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These are shoes made for the touch. How many different textures can you count?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The front tuck + The in-between bag

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It's the first time I've done it with a shirt and not just a tee. (I know it sounds boring, but bear with me.) Though what I'm wearing is a little too stiff to achieve those loungy summer creases, I like what tucking does to the shirt's sheen. Also noticed that its better with a belt with a big buckle.


canvas bag


The point is, I didn't tuck the back, but before that here is my trusty canvas bag, which was given for free many Christmases ago by a favorite bookstore that I sorely miss (It's been closed for quite a while.) For the longest time, I've been using it to load all my stuff from my bag each time I go home, so that, whichever bag I use the next day, I'll be sure not to leave anything in a stray pocket. Like keys and my company ID. (Today I used it to bring gym stuff.)

Does this habit sound strange? Does anybody else have this problem?

I've heard of a compartmentalized "inner" bag that you put in an "outer" bag to fulfill the same purpose. But that just bothers me. It's like you have a fake bag and a real one, the former just for show.


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So back to my back. Creases from all the sitting and slouching I've been doing this morning. Not bad, I say. And I don't think it would be the same if I had tucked it in. (Not a bald spot. Cowlicks.)


Shirt, Ben Sherman; jeans, Levi's; belt, Brave Beltworks

Outfit photos by Patricia Suzara

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fashion posse

Stil in Berlin - The new men


These London lads photographed by Stil in Berlin look as if they came from different eras. Or are really just superheroes trying hard to conceal their secret identities.


Jak & Jil - Watchmen


The Watchmen in full regalia assembled by Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil. Would you call them villains?


Jak & Jil - Kanye


Kanye West's colorful suitcase posse, also captured by Tommy.


South Park - Kanye


And as interpreted by South Park.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blogged for Benetton: Style in Manila

Below is something I submitted for the blog page of Benetton's IT'S:MY:TIME global casting competition.


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At first I thought it was impossible to even think about it — a streetstyle blog that documents style in Manila. My apprehensions included my perception that there just weren’t enough stylish people, that it’s impossible to dress up well in a tropical country since we couldn’t use many layers, and that, well, the Philippines is a third-world country and one needs money to dress well.

Guess what? I was proven wrong time and again.


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The pictures I have taken for my other blog, La Folie Douce, show that people with different personalities have their own way of showing them through their clothing, which even in a single layer are more than enough. I have found stylish people not just in fashion shows and amongst the fashion crowd; I have also spotted them in the numerous malls scattered across Manila, bumping into them while walking in the business district or finding my way in the dirty, littered streets of the old capital. Of course, not all of them were wearing designer clothing. I have found that the more creative and sophisticated are the most well-versed in flea-market bargaining.


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Indeed, style is everywhere. One need only to pay attention and look close enough.


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Someone asked me what I looked for when I took pictures. I said that no matter what they were wearing, every piece should be “them”—a part of their identity, like an unmistakable badge. I know it’s very abstract, but you’ll know it when you see it.


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I find that such stylish people find it easier to smile and laugh at themselves while staying confident. This I’m sure is true not just for Manila, much less, just for the "third-world".

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Flight, fur, and denim jackets, pinstriped blazers, a linen shirt, and more

Fur jacket 01


First I saw it, then looked again, thinking it was ridiculous. Then I remembered December in -15 degree Beijing, wearing a puffer with fur on the hood. I didn't like that jacket that much. I could have worn this instead.


Fur jacket 02


So of course I bought it, thinking of future (hopefully impending) trips. Just think deeply about it. Taste, but more sense: the label caught me off-guard as well.


Flight jacket 01


This took less consideration. Looks like an old bag, used every day for years. Marked by places and turns of events. It weighs heavier though than your typical weekender.


Flight jacket 02


According to Wiki, Avirex was fonded in 1975 to keep on producing traditional World War II-style pilot jackets, among other garments, issued to the then USAAF. I don't know why its website is currently out of commission.


Flight jacket 03


This is what is on the lining. I suppose this is what the soldiers wore on their backs while they had folded pin-ups in their pockets. I wonder if the other members of the Allied Forces were as cheerful.


Flight jacket 04


A closer look at the tag. 1978.


Flight jacket 05


Now this part made me think twice if the jacket was genuine. Why Italy? And how did it reach Japan? (The thrift store I bought it in mostly had goods from Japan.)

Must admit the other tag contained something new for me. I suppose the jacket I got never went to the dry cleaners. Note that "old leather" is trademarked. Another cause for doubt.


Flight jacke 06


There are parts where the leather is cracked and worn, but that didn't stop me. Another detail of note: the zipper with its leather pull-handle that matched the brand tag.


Sheer blazer 01


Now this picture doesn't do justice to this sheer pinstriped blazer for spring. Promise to show you in a future cameo. I love the double pinstripe with a very subtle cross-hatch.


Sheer blazer 02


But this is what really got me ecstatic (and I'm rarely ecstatic about anything) about this blazer: the double back vents and the flap that reminds me of doors for dogs in kitchens.

Can't wait to wear this blazer, which is perfect for summer. A dream actually for the coming seasonal furnace.


Black pinstripe


This is a heavier blazer, which perhaps should be confined to the office or during summer nights. It's in black and its"pinstripes" are actually white, red, and green dots.


Denim jacket 01


Now, as with the fur and flight jackets, I've also never had a denim jacket before. Guess I was waiting for the right design, fit, and fabric. I never expected to find something I quite liked in a flea market.

What drew me to this were the vertical pleats beside the placket, together with the horizontal stitching. Also the the diagonal at the pocket. Seemingly very minor things that caught my eye.


Denim jacket 02


I like the fact that the jacket is adjustable. Given that it already fits, the back buttons make good details.


Ties and belt


A forest green wool tie (rightmost), a silk tie with a nice pattern, and a cord, which I plan on using as a belt.


Blue obi


Also found this beautiful obi (kimono not included). Originally thought of using it as fabric for pouches for my necklaces, but am still thinking about it since cutting up the fabric will be a shame.


Red linen shirt


Winding down, here is a linen shirt in a shade of chestnut or terra cotta, with mother of pearl buttons. Another find for summer.


Cream polo shirt


And lastly, a cream-colored polo shirt which is part-shiny and part-sheer. Just the way I like it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Luca Rubinacci on The Sartorialist

Luca Rubinacci 01


Time for some, lots of color.


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Luca Rubinacci 03


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I wonder why Scott Schuman still hasn't done a style profile on Luca Rubinacci.


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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Changing weather

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As word of blizzards and heavy snow cover the news in New York and other parts, the first day of El Niño in Manila and other areas make us half-wish for whiter, cooler weather. Ideas of what is more pleasant of course depends on what is not available.

Summer!

Mardi Gras passed and I wasn't even aware of it. The next day I was wondering why so many people had dirty foreheads...

Time for a change of place. Ironically, that may be the solution for my displacement.


Hoodie, Izzue; polo shirt, Armani Exchange; jeans, Neil Barrett; woven belt, Nautica; necklace, Bosquejo

Photo by Patricia Suzara

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vinoodh Matadin for Lanvin

Lanvin - Vinoodh Matadin


I think this, and other images from the campaign (yes, even of Inez van Lamsweerde, nude and in Pucci-esque body paint, french-kissing Vinoodh, her husband), capture the romantic mood of the clothes from Lanvin's Spring 2010 collection.

Nothing is ever that serious. The attitude, most characterized by the threaded hems, is playful. So even if the fashion-photographer couple has done similar images before, I see no problem of them once again letting the public in to their personal relationship, which I feel is the content of these images, besides the clothing.

There is light music in the air, as easy and transparent as the sheer fabrics...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Alexander McQueen: The beautiful and the grotesque

Things will never be the same way again: true. Death casts a forgiving glow: true. The fashion industry has lost an irreplaceable son: also true. It is likewise true that things will eventually unwind and settle — through the roil of strong emotions, vivid memories, and stark, awe-inspiring imagery. In repose, we are left, level-headed, to marvel and pay homage to the unique talent of Alexander McQueen: the visionary.


Alexander McQueen 01


Who knows what was going on in his head when he designed his men's collection for Fall 2010? It would be obvious to point out that intricate skull patterns reveal the inner workings of someone who's disturbed. Are those those souls and the layers, levels of hell?

What I see is the opposite. I am reminded — I don't know how — of Red Dragon, the book/movie about the beginnings of Hannibal Lecter. What I see, as in these two black outfits, is clear determination. It is McQueen gathering all his energy: putting together all his experiments in patterns and splattering, in cuts and in fabric.

Instead of putting coats over jackets, he gilds the outer layer with patent leather that moves supply enough to make it look like tar. The star specks of the shirt on the left and the embroidery on the collar on the right pull things together — as the stirrups on the left do for shoes.


Alexander McQueen 02


Like looking down a deep wishing well, or looking up at an entire hemisphere.


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Now the leather is matted and the coats look as if jackets were worn over instead of under them. The leather looks paper thin. Notice that the collar is in the opposing woolen fabric. The footwear on the right looks alien.


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Coats in black and charcoal may very well protect from rain, and splatters that look like copious tears.


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But the same pattern — though somewhat smudged — in a slimmer silhouette, brings the source of your sorrow back.


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Your skin is your own protection: this jacket and coat have the feel of lab gloves, but with lines indicating separate digits, even veins.


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The patterns now infect the shoes. McQueen makes (let me hold off using the past tense) the pajama suit his own. Coat cut like a shell.


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This print is what you see when you lay on a bed of grass — underwater, that is. Paired well with ice-dyed (my term) shirts (below).


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And here's the fur. And the chain mail printed on fabric.


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It is only in seeing the patterns repeated for an entire outfit can one appreciate their potential as camouflage or armor — not that they are unremarkable as separates.


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And here we come upon Alexander McQueen's iconography: the skull as the statement piece. How else to do it in Fall but in fur and cable knit? I am curious to find out what fabric the parka on the left is made of.


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So you say you are reminded of a little Prada, some Balenciaga, even Comme des Garçons, but McQueen has made this motif all his own. Just mention mollusc and jellyfish.


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The smoke effect he used in Spring 2009 exerts its echo on the digital prints, and vaguely, even Spring 2007's butterflies on the splatters.


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McQueen took his surrealist and primitive paint markings in Spring 2010 and soaked everything in the abstract energy of the cosmos, resulting in the mysterious and the archaic. Regal because it is unfathomable. A Rorschach test?


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Inevitably, we return to snakes: to their geometric skin, the links, the chains, the textures. The shedding. Is it guilt that requires all this hiding?


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Tweed the color of chaff and drying grass, where serpents lay. Or are even these merely prints?


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Snakes become rope, twine, and hemp. Tangle amongst themselves. From the worldly tribes of his Fall 2008, McQueen conjures an ethnicity based on psychosis.


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Based on skulls and intestines, his last men's collection is both cerebral and visceral. We who love it cover for anything else that is missing.