Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arena Homme Plus - Buffalo Past: Monarchy in the UK

Past 01
The Soldier

This is my second post about the 80s movement of stylists (when the concept first surfaced), photographers, hair and make-up artists, models, designers, and musicians – as featured in the Autumn-Winter 2009 issue of Arena Homme Plus. And this, Buffalo Past, is just the first among three editorials that revisit the Buffalo sensibility.

Photography by Jamie Morgan, Styling by Barry Kamen and Mitzi Lorenz

Past 02
The Young King

Never thought that sport could meet the Middle Ages.

Past 03
The Prince

Past 04
The Painter

Nostalgic yes, but still vibrantly fresh.

Past 05
The Bishop

Past 06
The Cardinal

Past 07
The Courtier

Past 08
The King's Brother

Now imagine all these characters in a football game.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Two pattern-print sneakers, crocheted sandals, and rose-print slippers made of hair

Two Percent sneakers 01

It was raining last Sunday. As usual, my espadrilles were caught unaware. Coming from Quezon City, I decided to visit just one thrift shop in Anonas, and though my hemp and rubber (what's left of them) soles were wet and squishy, I found not one, not two, but four new-old pairs.

Two Percent sneakers 02

The pattern on these Two Percent Homme mid-cut sneakers may well represent the wave upon wave of floodwater in Manila. Of course they could also be scales.

Two Percent sneakers 03

Or hills with scarce grass, blue with nostalgia.

Converse All Stars 01

There was also another printed pair, in the same color but not hue.

Converse All Stars 02

These Converse All Stars were covered in cornflowers (since they're blue, not yellow). I like the dark navy.

Converse All Stars 03

The print is now one of my happy thoughts, right beside Garfield and Friends.

Ronsports 01

I could easily have gone home after spotting the two sneakers, but persistence led me to this: a pair of Ronsports sandals (made in Spain) with something that looks crocheted. Not sure if these were for girls or guys, but I didn't care once I was able to put them on.

Ronsports 02

The material follows the contours of your feet.

Ronsports 03

My foot hammocks!

Cactus Cactus 01

Then, just as I thought things couldn't get any better, I spied upon these wild things.

Cactus Cactus 02

Cat-like creatures with shiny hair and rose and leaf patterns instead of spots.

Cactus Cactus 03

Instinctively, I moved away from them, not in fear, but to gauge them from afar.

Cactus Cactus 04

Again, it was only when I wore them that I was convinced that I had to have them. Against my skin, they seem to almost purr.

Cactus Cactus 05

They have furrows like eyebrows. I still have to think what I will wear them with, but that can wait.

Thrift quartet 01

Together, my thrift shoe quartet sang in chorus in my room. An unlikely group if there was any.

Thrift quartet 02

Most certainly, another unexpected thrift shoe experience. (Though there was also a jacket, but for that, as for so many other things, there is next time...)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday is in the details

For the week's day of rest, I have decided to sort some of my things and clean (dust off/wipe, moisturize, and buff) some of my shoes and bags.

Young Camel - fabric hole

I had just gotten this Young Camel satchel back from the repair shop after I had some parts restitched. If I wanted I also could have had the entire canvas lining on the underside of the flap replaced. But I didn't, opting instead to leave the marks left by the bag's unknowable history.

I know there is great pleasure in buying something new and leaving your own imprint on the object, with each mark reminding you of a specific event — to buy something to make it a part of your life. But I also find equal if not greater satisfaction in being able to use something that already has the marks of use. I feel that I know the object better since I know how its materials and components both improve and decline with age. Not far from knowing one's self (call me morbid) and even other people.

Rabeanco 01

Here is another leather bag, Rabeanco. It is only shiny because I had it saddle-soaped and shined at the shop months ago. This is what one side of the shoulder strap looks like.

Rabeanco 02

The buckle on the other side broke. What I immediately did to be able to still bring the bag to work (it broke in transit) was to tie the leather strap (from which the tag hangs) to attach the buckle to one of the loops. The shop probably has to replace the buckle, but I just haven't bothered since my little contraption has been able to survive my usual load of stuff.

Helmut Lang - stitches

I haven't been able to use these Helmut Lang leather trainers for a while since the corner of the soles keep on separating from the shoe. The shop suggested before to just have the entire sole stitched, but I didn't want that since stitches expose the base of the shoes to water. What a waste if these got squishy!

I finally acquiesced to their compromise of only stitching the part of the sole that didn't touch the floor, and indeed where it kept on separating from the shoe (bad engineering).

I gasped when I first saw how they were serviced, but then agreed with the shopkeeper that the gray dye of the stitches make them less obvious (from afar, that is). Better than keeping them white, or even using black.

Young Camel satchel and Rabeanco bag: both thrifted

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Buttero: Shoes with gills and other types of sneaker skin

Buttero 01

Leather goods don't have to have rivets to to be rivetting. Though this first pair of sneakers from Buttero's Spring 2011 preview at Pitti Immagine Uomo seems more like sandals, at first glance they take my breath away.

Buttero 02

The twisted slits are meant to look like gills, but since another material (leather) is used, the shoe looks industrial (no matter again that the collection is named “Naturally Collection”). And though I would have lengthened the slits and made more of them (to really make the sneaker more like a sandal), I don't think I can easily forget these. (The design has swum deep into my consciousness.)

Buttero 03

Though this second pair only has small teeth, they still bite into my excitement. Though maybe not for long. Would you rather have the candy-colored sprinkles on the soles as bigger splotches?

Buttero 04

This one is good as a mobile bulletin board, but of course, you know what I'm thinking: use the other holes for more laces!

Buttero 05

Rhino skin? Elephantine? I like the staining.

Buttero 06

This color may be better than ubiquitous blue.

Buttero 07

Woven leather, but maybe not the design of the shoe.

Buttero 08

Here are some details shots of pieces from Buttero's current collections, both men's and women's.

Buttero 09

Handmade is heartfelt.

Buttero 10

Buttero 11

Buttero 12

Some interesting ads that have gone on print.

Buttero 13

Buttero 14

Yes, hands really do it.

Buttero 15

And boggly eyes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The second day of summer


Well, not today, but last Wednesday, and not in Manila, but in the US and other parts in the west. But does it matter where a season ends and where another one begins?

Just saying, since it's been quite a while since a pleasant summer visited the Philippines, and I suppose nothing's wrong with sharing in another hemisphere's joy. (We are, after all, still in the tropics and you can say summer is all year round.)


If there is only one thing that I attribute with summer it is ripe, yellow mangoes. The fatter the fruit flesh the better, and eaten by not slicing through the sweetness, but by peeling the skin entirely.

Yellow is also the theme I have chosen to bind another denim-on-denim outfit.


But since mangoes are out of season (yeah, yeah, seasons are there for a reason), I just settle for lemon tea, or something that I utterly enjoyed while I was in China: chrysanthemum!

Soaked in warm water, the bright yellow summer flower releases not just the memories of the sun (like dandelion in wine), but all the sensations of childhood.

Shirt, Topman; jeans, Calvin Klein Jeans; Claiborne belt and Blanche loafers: both thrifted; gold-plated automatic watch, vintage Omega Seamaster

Photos by Patricia Suzara

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Men and their bags, Pitti and Milan


Out of these 15 bags shot by Tommy Ton for GQ in the streets of Pitti and Milan, only three (with the third, barely so) men were carrying them by their handles.


Well of course most of them were also portfolios. In aged croc leather no less!


In colorful but muted paisley.


Seems they weren't carrying many things.


Just remove the buckle and this becomes a portfolio.


I wonder how many years this man has been carrying his portfolio like this.



Another costume change.


Like skin! Though sometimes you really just need a bigger bag.


This I want.


And this will keep your hands free, though I'm not sure for how long.


These peacocks are having a hard time reading their invites just because they have to carry their bags in a certain way.


When they are built to allow for movement. Men and their bags: I thought the relationship should be no-nonsense.


Subdued and practical.


Though with bags like these that, as Tommy rightly points out, age like fine wine, who wants anything less than fantastic?