Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kenton Sorenson's laptop portfolio + dopp kit

Kenton Sorenson Leather 01

Truth be told, a leather portfolio for your laptop does not offer that much protection, or even functionality. Once you drop it, you risk not just losing your files but also getting out of touch from much of your wired life.

But just try touching the grain of naturally finished leather — like what Kenton Sorenson uses for its 15-inch laptop portfolio — and your hands will not suffer to part, much less slip from such an "impractical", albeit wonderfully sensual, everyday article.

Kenton Sorenson Natural Leather goods continue to impress. The latest Kenton creation is his most impressive yet. Form meets function in this 15" Natural Leather Laptop Sleeve and Portfolio. Kenton's signature strap closure allows the portfolio to expand to comfortably to fit a laptop, magazine, and paperwork. Kenton's hand conditioned vegetable tanned natural leather will become golden brown with consistent use and will last a lifetime. Attractive and extremely versatile.

Hand Made in Wisconsin
5oz Vegetable Tanned Leather
Length 15.5", height 12", and 1.25" deep

Kenton Sorenson Leather 02

The thick stitches are also a sight to behold. The ruggedness left by the touch of an artisan lasts long after the skin's natural oils have stiffened.

Open the flap, touch the underside of the leather like how you rub the soft down of a puppy's belly.

Kenton Sorenson Leather 03

So what if you are not convinced that this portfolio can replace your tote or your messenger. Even if you place it inside another, larger bag, the portfolio remains a personal pleasure.

Kenton Sorenson Leather 04

And how about this dopp kit, which looks like a slab of butter? Not just in color, but also the softness it promises.

Again, with no compartments, one questions the practicality (not to mention untidiness) of it, but have you tried keeping your stuff together by a string of suede instead of buttons or noisy velcro?

The Kenton Sorenson dopp kit is the perfect holiday gift. This dopp kit is hand made in Wisconsin using natural leather that will develop an amazing deep golden brown color with regular use. The kit has a simple leather wrap around tie closure that can also be used to keep the kit open while in use.

Made in the USA
100% Leather, Limited production
8 3/4 " long, 4" wide, 4" high

Kenton Sorenson Leather 05

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The day in detail

Day in details 01a

Some days go slow, some days pass in an unrecognizable and undifferentiated blur. They start in a rush.

Day in details 01b

Like in George Seferis's poem "Epiphany", many times all we have are the details.

Here is a cross-section of what I wore today:
Tee, Penguin; trousers, Y-3; tasseled moccasins and scarf: both thirsted; PVC bag, 5cm.

Day in details 01c

The moccasins I thrifted months before. I think they go well worn sockless and with the buttoned hem of the pants.

Here I am standing on the pavement in front of our house. The office day just ended.

Day in details 01d

Even when we are already sleeping, nothing stops. The history of the day moves right beneath our eyelids. We are still traveling, archiving, our memory picking out the details. Tidying the shelves as we tidy our cabinets so we can decide what to wear the next day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The red and the white

thorocraft fall 2010
The Ross, from the Fall 2010 collection of Throcraft

Made of premium leather, the Ross is the perfect spring time shoe. Hand-stitched bison leather sole, rubber heel strike, cushioned insole support, and suede interior backing make this an instant classic. Shoes include bamboo shoe laces and individual canvas shoe bags.

Crocket & Jones brogue
Suffolk style white brogues from a collaboration between Crockett & Jones and the Mr. Start section at Start London

More and more, after the passing of each day, I am needing — nay, craving, dreaming — brogues and woven laceups in my life.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Clothes" by Wisława Szymborska


You take off, we take off, they take off
coats, jackets, blouses, double-breasted suits,
made of wool, cotton, cotton-polyester,
skirts, shirts, underwear, slacks, slips, socks,
putting, hanging, tossing them across
the backs of chairs, the wings of metal screens;
for now, the doctor says, it's not too bad,
you may get dressed, get rested up, get out of town,
take one in case, at bedtime, after lunch,
show up in a couple of months, next spring, next year;
you see, and you thought, and we were afraid that,
and he imagined, and you all believed;
it's time to tie, to fasten with shaking hands
shoelaces, buckles, velcro, zippers, snaps,
belts, buttons, cuff links, collars, neckties, clasps
and to pull out of handbags, pockets, sleeves
a crumpled, dotted, flowered, checkered scarf
whose usefulness has suddenly been prolonged.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ikat and faux fur


To my surprise (okay, I was aware of it, but not the date), all the lights on the street shut off and our house stood out of the dark. Then I remembered that it was Earth Hour. Thinking fast, I grabbed the faux fur jacket I thrifted recently and wore it over the Dries Van Noten ikat tee I wrote about just a few days ago. I like how the ensemble turned out against the black backdrop.


The scarf I borrowed from my sister (from a flea market trip that she didn't tell me about), and here also is my "Salvador" onyx necklace. The fake fur pattern is not as gaudy when worn — after all.


I know I couldn't hide my oily forehead — with the heat and the jacket, the shine could probably generate some kilowatts — but this has something practical to it. I have just had my US visa approved and an April trip to New York confirmed. I know it sounds silly to wear faux fur in spring (not sure yet if I will), but I really have no gauge, since I am quite sensitive to the cold and the last time I experienced spring was in 1999 (kids were skating in Innsbruck — or was it Salzburg — only in their tees while I had thermals and fleece).


Some advice from New Yorkers out there? What are we expecting in mid-April? The flight jacket I thirfted is still with the tailor for repair. A shirt, cardigan, and blazer? Denim and fleece? Wool? What would you wear?

Faux fur jacket and scarf: both thrifted; ikat tee, Dries Van Noten; jeans, Bench; belt, Brave Beltworks; necklace, Bosquejo

Friday, March 26, 2010

Asia Wysoczynska's pliant samurai

Asia Wysoczynska 01

The first time I heard of Asia Wysoczynska* was when she herself sent me a message on Facebook, saying she came across the blog. If it weren't for that, I think it would have taken me a little longer to stumble upon her collections.

Her silk organza pieces for men last Spring 2010, part of the "Androgyny Tighten Up" collection", piqued my interest. For Fall 2010, entitled "HEorSHE", Asia continues her androgynous ethic, but this time extending it to enigma of the the samurai.

I love how this coat — apart from its geometric construction — simulates the obi.

Asia Wysoczynska 02

Inspired by the rich yet modest world of Samura, the 'HEroSHE' collection reveals fascination for the double nature of things. The samurai’s outfit — from the simplest kimono and kataginu or hakama, to the most elaborate ceremonial armour. Simple soldier, the emperor, lady samurai ... This is my voyage through time, space and gender. Crossing and bending boundaries.**

Asia Wysoczynska 03

The men's skirts are floppy enough with their creases, but maintain structure to still keep them masculine.

Asia Wysoczynska 04

The front apron helps to achieve this. The shape of the v-neck goes well without the skirt.

Asia Wysoczynska 05

Notice that there are two sets of peaks here: one on the shoulders, and the other other near pant pockets that make the trousers look like jodhpurs.

Asia Wysoczynska 06

I like the women's "skirt" more than the men's.

Asia Wysoczynska 07

They are actually trouser, which I think it are androgynous enough for both sexes.

Asia Wysoczynska 08

The play with cut and the qualities of the fabrics aim to express the true nature of things, which is often different from the image they may convey looking at them for the first time. Delicate silk appearing like silver armor, layers giving an impression of being stiff while moving gently with every wearer’s step.

Asia Wysoczynska 09

It is wonderful how the appearance and perception of the pieces change with movement. Here, various cultural references are mixed with the Japanese.

Asia Wysoczynska 10

Addressed to both women and men, the collection provides a range of high quality items.

Asia Wysoczynska 11

As dramatic as a theatrical stage.

Asia Wysoczynska 12

Here I am. The Warrior. HEroSHE. Armour stained with blood. Neon-like mark of the inside. Fragile flesh ... Blackness of being ... Smooth, sharp moves. Cut and blood. Again. Pain of awareness. Awareness of destiny.

*Asia Wysoczynska established her label in 2008 in Warsaw, Poland. Before graduating with honours from the International School of Costume and Fashion Design in 2010, she also studied Psychology of Creativity and Art at Jagiellonian University, Cracow, which gave her deeper look on fashion design.

** Italicized text quoted from the designer's press release


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nick Emilian G from Recklinghausen

Nick Emilian B 01

Nick G is a 19-year-old student from Germany.

Nick Emilian B 02

With just his tees, tanks, and occasional shirts and coats — with no need for embellishment — he is able to express the inexpressible.

Message from his Lookbook page:
In my eyes fashion is the best way to express who you are without speaking. I just want to inspire the unwilling and prove the doubtful wrong.

Nick Emilian B 03

From the silence, you can almost read the things that he thinks, tell what he wants to be, maybe even sense some history.

Nick Emilian B 04

Of course, I may only be over-interpreting.

Nick Emilian B 05

It may really just be his fantastic side-swiped hair or his steady gaze.

Nick Emilian B 06

But you get the feeling from whatever he's wearing that he is exactly where he should be.

Nick Emilian B 07

There is neither excess nor hunger.

Nick Emilian B 08

Of course, there is playfulness now and then, but in a spread — at the moment at least — that is merely part of the finer print.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wearing batik to the office

batik 02

I still have memories of my grandfather going to certain official functions wearing batik prints. He brought up his family in Davao, in southern Philippines, the same place I bought this shirt from.

I like it because its blue theme guarantees that it is not that outlandish. Also because of the gold detailing.

batik 01

I wore the shirt yesterday with a kimono robe I paired with a tank long, long ago. Plus navy wool tie, mustard skinny belt, and drawstring pants.

More than two cultures and three textures in one outfit.

Shirt, from Davao; wool tie, kimono robe, Liv Sport belt, and Izzue pants: all thrifted

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FT How to Spend It: The Merchant Prints

The Merchant Prints 01
Jacquard and tapestry jacket, silk and wool scarf, and knitted silk cardigan: all by Gucci; trousers, Lanvin

Though I am all for wearing prints and even floral in fall and winter, one must admit they only bloom on spring. Tapestry! Now that has yet to enter my menswear vocabulary; the pattern on the jacket reminds me of Latin American motifs.

The Merchant Prints 02
Cotton Pourpe Gladiola jacket, matching trousers, cotton jersey t-shirt, and calf leather Pourpe belt: all by Bottega Venetta; hand-embroidered cashmere scarf, Baba Art Emporium

Quite different to see these Bottega Veneta prints under the sun.

The Merchant Prints 03
Cotton shirt and painted felt trilby: both by Alexander McQueen; silk scarf, Baba Art Emporium

This Alexander McQueen shirt also takes on a totally different context worn casually and with a scarf.

The Merchant Prints 04
Cotton reindeer-print shirt, Dunhill; cashmere scarf and jodhpur trousers, Baba Art Emporium; straw hat, Paul Smith

The Merchant Prints 05
Crumpled silk jacket, matching cotton t-shirt, flocked cotton trousers: all by Emporio Armani; leather and macrame sandals, Lanvin

I want the silk jacket, but the flocked trousers look exquisite — especially since the design is not always obvious.

The Merchant Prints 06
Silk twill shirt, silk twill Carré scarf, woven cotton and leather Acores belt, and leather Syphnos sandals: all by Hermès; cotton shorts, Emporio Armani; antique loom-made throw, Baba Art Emporium

Will you wear a throw as a scarf?

The Merchant Prints 07
Cotton shirt, cotton string vest, and paper hat: all by Paul Smith; wool trousers, Dunhill; distressed leather boots, Alexander McQueen

I like the silhouette, even if it is old and a bit tired. This picture makes it worth reminiscing about.

Photographs, Yval Hen, Styling Damian Foxe
FT How to Spend It

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sheer and prints shopping Sunday

Dries Van Noten tee

Tracy set another thrift shopping trip to Pasig. Unfortunately, nobody else confirmed. But Tracy was kind enough to accompany me to go through the stores again. Unfortunately or fortunately, we decided to meet at Shangri-La Mall, where Homme et Femme was located.

I took a peek, and of course told myself it won't go beyond that. This ikat print tee by Dries Van Noten, from his Spring 2010 collection, was hard to let go. I like how the printing mimics woven fabric.

Maison Martin Margiela trousers

Letting caution go, I asked the sales assistants if their satellite on-sale shop was still open. It was, and this is what I got next: Maison Martin Margiela cotton and wool trousers that appears to be woven. I like the texture, and the fit! I couldn't remember though from which collection or year this was form as I was informed that they were selling not just last season's items.

Liberty 02

Besides my purchases, I also liked these Liberty ties embellished with brass (?) beads.

Liberty 01

Very nice and also quite expensive. Ideas for my accessories line!

Esprit shirt 01

So returning to my agenda that afternoon, Tracy and I finally went thrift shopping. This was the first piece that grabbed my interest: a cotton-polyester mix shirt that is good for cooler weather, or worn as a shirt jacket.

Esprit 02

Besides the fabric, the arm pocket also got me.

Izzue 01

Next was this funny print worn backwards.

Izzue 02

I see birds, horses, revolvers, keys, helicopters, leaves, rabbits, guitars… What a strange and endearing mix!

Prudence 01

And this, this is what got me all excited. The fabric of this shirt looks thick, sack-like. But, if you knew me, you'd know what I would reveal next.

Prudence 02

You guessed it. The "model of prudence" is sheer.

Ensemble 01

After toying a bit with the images of this post, I came up with these four outfits.

Ensemble 02

Which one do you like best?

Ensemble 03

Depends on you if you want the tee worn over or under.

Ensemble 04

But in this case, there is only one way to wear this shirt — reversed.