Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mixing stripes, checks, friends, drinks, and second lives

New navy espadrilles 01

I find it strange that out of the three new pairs I bought, this navy one fits the best. A little note for those who want the genuine articles: look at the stitches, besides the lettering on the soles. Now if only I had a shirt that has the same print on this rubber mat … Doesn't it remind you of a Dries Van Noten pattern?


If I were only in a summer villa somewhere very very far from any central business district, then I wouldn't need to wear a neck tie. Of course a light cardigan would still be nice, and maybe also some things striped and checked (even more leeway for polka dots and prints!).


But the thing is I was at work today and could only escape to places in my mind, even if my espadrilled feet could have very easily imagined sand with a few patches of grass (even if, as expected, it rained hard today).

Emporio Armani shirt and tie: both thrifted; cardigan, Dean & Trent; trousers, Martin Margiela; belt, Brave Beltworks; navy espadrilles from Spain

Photos by Patricia Suzara


But that doesn't mean that work — or the hours after work with colleagues — doesn't bring its own confessions and discoveries.


It was mentioned tonight, over drinks and a long table of dishes, that with the kind of work our team does and with our hours, it was inevitable that people did other things besides: they had to lead second, more interesting lives. Besides the usual freelance jobs for writers and editors, a few confessed of maintaining, like me, their own blogs. One even boasted of thousands of daily hits…

I suppose there (here), no one needs to abide by dress, or even moral (!), codes. No stripes on shirts, no bars to limit the excesses of the mind.

New navy espadrilles 02

Though I myself am immersed in several extra-curricular projects, when it comes to leading second lives, I wouldn't put any number. Without taking extra jobs or publishing blogs, just reading books opens multiples of universes. Writing literature exposes all of them.

So I leave you with one short paragraph that I finished reading this morning, on my way to work, that I'm sure no colleague could second guess what emotions they inspired:

At the same time Himmelfarb realized he could never convey the sudden stampeding of the heart, sickening of the pulses, enmity of familiar streets, the sharp, glandular stench of unreasonable fear. For words are the tools of reason… (Riders in the Chariot, Patrick White)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wear your bling on your sleeve

Shirt bling 01

Or rather, on your jacket's bust, lapels, and shoulders. Here is an ingenious way of going military without resorting to epaulets.

Shirt bling 02

For the women out there, you can use brooches instead of medals, shown exemplarily by Jane Aldridge.

Shirt bling 03

As inspired by the Fall 2010 lookbook of J. Crew.

I don't think the possibilities stop here. Can you think of anything else you can pin on your jacket?

Top image from Stockholm Street Style

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Benetton IT'S:MY:TIME Fall 2010 campaign preview

Benetton Its My Time Fall 2010 campaign 01

After three days in New York (more for those stranded because of ash fall) and lots of conversations with new IT'S:MY:TIME friends from almost all parts of the world, some of the campaign shots for the Fall-Winter 2010 campaign of United Colors of Benetton are finally available for preview on Benetton's site.

Can't wait to see all the images splashed on magazines, newspapers, and Benetton stores globally.

From left: Janelle Quick, Magali Berthon, Michelangelo Loppo, Abe Kober Gueye, Tania Shcheglova, Melanie Alexander David, and Francis Lane

Benetton Its My Time Fall 2010 campaign 02
Janelle Quick, Kiko Rustia, and Nataliya Reznichenko

Benetton Its My Time Fall 2010 campaign 03
Francis Lane, Soraya Khalil, Patricia Nooyen, and Abe Kober Gueye

Benetton Its My Time Fall 2010 campaign 04
Melanie Alexander David, Nataliya Reznichenko, and Tania Shcheglova

Excited to see pics of the others: David Sheldrick, Benny Asgari, Kevin De Vuyst, Sarah Droste Santana, Elizabeth Ho, Gisela Guerra, Tera Kunderová, and Sumit Patwari. Only a few more days!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My favorite things, part 1: Espadrilles, books, and leather notebooks

My Favorite Things 01a

My mom just returned from Davao with the top three espadrille colors I ordered (there are of course more, but they can wait). Got another navy blue pair, plus two basics, since the one I have will be giving way soon. Right now I'm in the process of breaking them in. Strange that for me, things happen in reverse: the espadrilles are initially loose, then my feet get used to filling out the fabric.

My Favorite Things 01b

I am aware that Tommy Ton's amazing blog, Jak & Jil, does My Favorite Things posts for fashion people. I suppose my version is different, since I think only half of my favorite things can be worn, and not a lot of them can be categorized into "lifestyle" items.

These three leather notebooks have been collected over time (their many predecessors are tucked inside a drawer). The top one in checkered suede was a gift from a friend, the one with leaves and butterflies I bought from an artisan in Beijing, and the large, chocolate brown notebook is the latest acquisition. Inside them are doodles and mostly poems and drafts and snippets of poems, my thoughts, and impressions from different periods in my life.

My Favorite Things 01c

Literature is my first love, and much of the form and content of this blog, believe it or not, has been influenced by what I have read. Here, the row of books looks just like something from a store shelf. You can only see colors, titles, and names. Nothing is surrendered as instantly as clothes surrender shape and texture to both our eyes and our hands. But inside these pages are stories of generations that span continents and many wars, people stranded in forests of sighs, not to mention Chinese silks, exquisite kimonos, and all the finery of the Colonial era.

The sun shines through words as it pierces gossamer, honey, amber, diamonds, or simply: salt.

My Favorite Things 01d

So what do espadrilles, notebooks, and books have in common? They have all taken me on journeys, whether points A and B are places, people, stories, or the destinations that only silence can reach.

I have relatives coming to Manila from Davao in August. For those interested to buy espadrilles, kindly drop a word.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A tribute to my readers on the blog's second anniversary

Reader collage

Once again, a big thank you to all my readers. For the comments, the emails, the inquiries and hellos on social networks, the high fives and even for the boos. For your largely silent presence. Even though this is a diary, I am glad that some of its pages have been of use, for insight, inspiration, or simply to start a conversation.

Can you find your picture in this collage? Recognize anybody?

Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer inspiration

Weekend inspiration 01

The first things I'll do next summer is to look for a straw hat and new sandals — strappy ones or with Y-straps.

Weekend inspiration 02

Hmmm. How indeed to make a tank work. Still about the hat?

Weekend inspiration 03

This is an interesting version of the bolo (necklace-like piece). The most stylish thing about this picture? Hair, on his head and as stubble.

Weekend inspiration 04

And before I forget: next summer I have to get serious about wearing shorts! Surprisingly the length of the shorts here prevent the look from appearing all beach-y. I'd choose different footwear though.

Images from Stockholm Streetstyle and Vanessa Jackman

Friday, July 23, 2010

Up in the air


No, I didn't just throw my 2-year-old niece in the air. Neither am I waiting for a lizard to fall from the ceiling (or yesterday's pizza for that matter).


Counting one red balloon for July 22 2008 - July 22 2009, when I had the foolish idea that maybe I too can blog even if I didn't grow as a teenager with an insatiable "passion for fashion" (now this phrase sounds inflated).

It is also my brother's birthday today, so double cause for celebration.


There's the other balloon, counting for El Bosquejo's 2nd year from 2009-2010, when I was flown to New York and made amazing friends, when young designers from all places started noticing, when I covered fashion shows and met other bloggers, wrote for more magazines.


The two years have been amazing, and though this page remains as volatile as helium, I hope you too have been having as much fun as I am (even if most of the time I sound so heavy and serious).


And there it goes again. I wonder what events will bring the coming year. Hopefully more wonderful friends.


I have had my share of crazy commenters (no exaggeration), lazy and low days, but all in all the time has been worth it. Looking forward, no other way than up.

Tee, Zara; jeans, Bench; jacket, thrifted; sneakers, Bass; belt from Divisoria

Thursday, July 22, 2010

El Bosquejo turns two today

jackets 01

I have been reminding myself of the date since last month, but things always have a way of squeezing in. Like the jackets, cardigans, and sweaters in my untidy clothes rack, it may take more time for me than just a single blog post to take a look at the things that have transpired and changed on this page since the last blog anniversary. Surely the days have been more packed than my suffocating cabinet.

jackets 02

So now I'm thinking of dedicating a month (July 22-August 22) to celebrate. Beginning tomorrow with … guess what? (No, I'm not going to take my shirt off, though it has been suggested…) Aside from that, I am thinking of creating posts using different media and maybe, who knows, hold blog giveaways based on El Bosquejo trivia (Girls and boys, is there anything at all that you covet from my wardrobe? If not, let me hunt something for you…)

As of this moment, all I have are big hugs and thanks. Sorry for my half-heavy eyelids. Tomorrow, let's bring out the balloons!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rain comes to make things shine


For the past week, and maybe even before that, like clockwork, after an entire morning of sun-dappled pavements and ever-so-slight breezes, rain arrives seemingly just to spread gloom. Merely to clog drains and slow down traffic. Bringing the metropolis to a standstill.


But the very next morning (notice the broken branch behind me), fingers of light smooth out any indiscretion. Those stranded the previous night so easily forgive, even to the extent of forgetting that the next afternoon will bring the same thing.

Do you think I am also talking about relationships?


That is why this time I have come prepared, wearing an open v-necked, kurta-like shirt in very light cotton — more open to receive the morning and its heat, tailed by traces of wind perhaps as penitence — while staying armed with a nylon jacket for the impending rain. Call it a lesson in opposites, ie seasonless dressing.

Can we, though, ever prepare for heartbreak?


When there are fewer layers between your skin and the weather, it is easier for your heart to flutter. (Or for you to get sick for that matter.) Best to always bring an extra sheet of synthetic fabric with thread that provides a protective net.

Shirt, Zara; jeans, Jil Sander; belt and jacket: both Izzue; sneakers, Generic Surplus

Photos by Patricia Suzara

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Palmer and Sons belt, cuffs and laptop bag

Palmer & Sons Leather Cuffs No 12c 01

I guess I am still not over the beautifully rugged leather articles by Palmer and Sons. Here is an update on the goods and what I love from their new offering.

Palmer & Sons Leather Cuffs No 12c 02

I have seen these fasteners (clasps?) before, but on a much smaller scale, and on necklaces. Recognize them?

Palmer & Sons Leather Cuffs No 12c 03

At first I am reminded of bracelets from Maison Martin Margiela that increase the scale of small everyday objects, but these cuffs possess none of the (unfortunately) latent pretentiousness of conceptual pieces.

These appear anything but artificial. As if these clasps couldn't have been made for anything else but leather cuffs. They look industrial but at the same time archaic and traditional.

Or simply: pierced tongues!

Palmer & Sons Leather Cuffs No 12c 04

Apparently, the "clasps" have their own story:

We tend to see nice “things” before we then realise them into designs. With the No 12c Cuff we first saw the small chromed pin; it then took us about 3 months to work out what to do with it. This cuff is simple, and light, works well loose or tight fitting. The lettering is stamped letter by letter with a set of 1950’s metal stamps.

10 oz bridle leather; hand polished Chromed pin; handmade throughout; adjustable, wear two ways with pin under or over

Palmer & Sons Leather MacBook Sleeve No 14 01

Now this leather sleeve for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, I admit, came as a surprise.

Palmer & Sons Leather MacBook Sleeve No 14 02

I know I already found a red portfolio and haven't stopped writing about laptop portfolios (one by Kenton Sorenson and several such as those used by the men in Pitti and Milan, but there is still one important thing that they lack.

You guessed it: a strong and sturdy shoulder strap.

Palmer & Sons Leather MacBook Sleeve No 14 03

Just look at that. How can anyone not wax poetic about such beautiful tan leather.

Palmer & Sons Leather MacBook Sleeve No 14 04

With hardware usually only seen on mountain climbers.

Palmer & Sons Leather MacBook Sleeve No 14 05

The veins on the skin and the stitching.

But, and I think this is the first time I'm suggesting this, I think the sleeve/shoulder bag can be improved by adding an option. Why not include a fabric shoulder strap with it, one in a darker shade of brown, just to add a little sophistication. Of course it must, by some feat of engineering, still exert the least possible strain on users' shoulder muscles while still confidently carrying the weight of the laptop. Just a thought.

10 oz  London tan bridle leather, hand-stitched, steelworkers safety clip

Palmer & Sons Leather Belt No 15a 01

I know you spotted that flash of tan on the model's denim, and so did I.

Palmer & Sons Leather Belt No 15a 02

No point really in restricting the use of fantastic hides. This belt is also a standout.

Palmer & Sons Leather Belt No 15a 03

Perfect for raw denim.

Palmer & Sons Leather Belt No 15a 04

Not to mention to add something rustic to your outfit.

10 oz bridle leather, 1.5” wide, solid brass buckle, handmade throughout, solid brass rivets

Palmer & Sons Leather Belt No 15a 05

But if you prefer something other than London tan, Palmer and Sons offers customization with the use of dark brown, jet black, oxblood, Italian cognac, and Havana brown colored leather.

Palmer & Sons Leather customisation

Just think of the possibilities.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A boy and his belts

Jann Gettmann 01

If by chance you encounter Jan in a crowd, you may not instantly notice him. Mr Gettmann doesn't turn heads because he slayed a dragon and used its scales to layer on his jacket epaulets. Nor did he pluck feathers from a bird for use as a scarf.

Jann Gettmann 02

There are no stars, no skulls. Nothing distressed or aged. No nylon made to look vintage.

Jann Gettmann 03

Just a boom box, a monkey, and of course the Union Jack. I wouldn't even go as far as to call his buckles "statements". More like natural rites of passage.

Jann Gettmann 04

Of course the folded shorts help, and some glasses, but what I like most about Jan's style is that it's quiet, almost self-effacing. Like a small joke that only a few people get — funnier because of the fact.