Archive for the ‘The Smartorialist’ Category
There once was a little cravat named, Knit. Knit was unlike all the other ties in his class. Knit was flexible. Knit had texture. When properly looped, Knit would make a variety of masculine, yet sophisticated knots about the neck. But all his classmates made fun of him, because he lacked ‘a point’. The pointy ties were favorites among all the power players; you know, businessmen — captains of industry. Knit’s pointy collegues were traditional, accepted by EVERYONE, and thus, far more popular than knit could ever hope to be.
But one day, the Bold Graduate came along. Debonnaire, in an artsy-book-smartsy kind of way. He was respected and reputable, well-versed and cultured. The Bold Graduate approached the class of cravats — poised and perspicaciously. He once-overed the Broad, Power ties — quickly writing them off for being too ostentatious and gaudy. The narrow, yet structured Repp ties desparately grabbed his attention, causing the Bold Graduate to vacillate a bit. Eventually, he broke their subdued trance and moved beyond them as well. Skinny, Bow, and Ascot…all starved for attention; he would not indulge them on this day. Finally, in his periphery stood Knit — bashful and quiet — yet, confident.
The Bold Graduate was intrigued by Knit’s humility. Knit seemed to get along with EVERYTHING knit came in contact with. Knit was refined, and had an accent. Most of all, Knit, by design, did not look like everyone else — The Bold Graduate could identify with that wholly. The Bold Graduate and Knit went on to become great friends, showing Spring how to be a modern rebel…and to look good while doing it. The END.
I’m perpetually astonished by men who avoid color. On every blog we’ve been featured on, every bit of style advice delivered through the u|T|o lens, we offer ‘pops of color’ as the most readily-integrable sartorial option for fellas. But, some just don’t listen.
Fine. We’re wiping the slate clean — winter is ending (slowly, esp. for mid-atlantic and northeasterners), and Spring is anxiously peering around the corner. Invest in COLOR NOW.
As guys, we have a tendency to “go COMPLETELY IN“. Why have a hamburger when I can order a STEAK (it’s ALL red meat…right)? Don’t give me a $10 haircut…I want the tapered fade, the edge up, the beard and mustache trim — why be half-assed?
Fine. Have it YOUR way.
Green is a regal color when worn properly. In terms of hue, aim for rich tones (True Green, India Green, Hunter Green = GOOD; Chartreuse = BAD). Avoid all military greens — period. Pair with light-colored trousers (i.e. bone, white, khaki), or denim. In my opinion…pair with anything EXCEPT…more green (you will look like Leprechaun in the Hood).
Use the picture above as an example of what you want to look like….use the picture below as an example of the Jacket you want…but not the follow through you need (baby steps, baby steps). I mean, c’mon….what’s the worst that could happen — you looking like a Tournament champion fresh from Augusta??
For the winter….sometimes you need that heavy duty, in-between coat (you know, not a topcoat, but not as short as a peacoat). INSERT>> the Duffle Coat! This badboy is truly a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe. Generally they are 3/4 length, and come with durable hoods. I’ve run across several with cashmere lining on the interior, or, simply a really unique plaid or tartan patterned interior, which adds a bit of character to your outfit. Blue and black are the most common colors — but I’m partial to the camel colored ones.
Historically, the jacket was a must among Navy shipman, artic fisherman, etc. — basically, anybody who needed to be warm at all times! The staple feature of the Duffle are the toggles (some people know them as frogs) — see below. These nifty little latch systems were essential for frigid weather — they made it possible to snap up that coat while wearing thick gloves and whatnot.
If you’re looking to complete the look, opt for a pair of dark denim, or cords. You want to push a consistent message: “weather-proof”. Top it off with a knit cap, and a pair of distressed boots or my personal fav…Redwing 875′s. Done deal.
If you’ll be in the NYC area in 10 days, MARK YOUR CALENDERS for a night of fashionable debauchery like no other! In an effort to resurrect the shopping spirit in less than enthusiastic economic times, American Vogue along with tourism group NYC & Co., the City of New York and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) have joined forces to boost the consumer spirit in America’s fashion capital, the Big Friggin’ Apple. Starting on the evening of the first day of NY Fashion Week, your favorite designer’s stores will be open until 11PM featuring extravagant shopping events. So far, over 700 stores in all five boroughs will be participating in events that range from sewing circles and barbecues to shoe capsules and sweepstakes. The city will be lite ablaze in celebratory glory as people are encouraged to take the competition out of fashion and shop (x3) alongside music and various other festivities.
What started off as the Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s brainchild, has matured into an event of epic proportions. “Little did I think when the idea of Fashion’s Night Out was first dreamed up this past March during the Paris collections that we would have over 700 and counting retailers, designers, and brands joining us on the night of September 10.” The celebration kicks off at Macy’s Queen Center at 5PM. Wintour, Michael Kors and a “surprise celebrity guest” will sign t-shirts for the first 50 people (Or should I say “customers” to keep within the theme of shopping?).
This special event will bring out a host of celebrities, designers and models who will join in on the festivities. Scheduled to appear are Manolo Blahnik, Thom Browne, Tory Burch, Roberto Cavalli, Francisco Costa, Frédéric Fekkai, Alberta Ferretti, Patricia Field, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger, Derek Lam, Nanette Lepore, Trish McEvoy, Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Mulleavy, Josie Natori, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Oscar de la Renta, Narciso Rodriguez, Lela Rose, Rachel Roy, Maria Sharapova, Elie Tahari, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang, Yeohlee, David Yurman, Lauren Bush, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Cindy Crawford, Lynda Carter, Hugh Jackman, Karolina Kurkova, Liev Schreiber, Stephanie Seymour and Ivanka Trump (just to name a few). Via WWD.
There will be limited edition FNO t-shirts being sold at participating retailers throughout NY. I’ve been thinking about copping one since I saw one at this store in Soho. Forty percent of the proceeds from the sale of these shirts go to the National September 11th Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center. There will also be a clothing drive at various retailers for the NYC AIDS Fund from September 10th to the 12th. Urban Grads and Graduettes, this will be a great start to an amazing Fashion Week.
To view a complete list of the events in NYC go here and then click on the respective designer’s name.
Graduettes and Grads, the Sultan of Sartorialism Scott Schuman is finally putting all of his photographic work into one bound, street-inspired collection of the same name as his applauded website, THE SARTORIALIST.
The long-awaited book will come in paperback and a special hardcover edition, and will consist of 500 pages of his personally favorite photographs. The paperback will be significantly cheaper than the hardcover. “This was very important to me because as a photographer I wanted a beautiful book to showcase my images – but I didn’t want to do just another expensive coffee table book that would be too expensive for many of my readers.”
To launch the book there will be a “Sartorialust” pop-up shop in Barneys New York. So mark your calenders on August 12th for the US release of Scott Schuman’s masterpiece of the human fashion menagerie. The hardcover “Bespoke Edition” is available now on Amazon.com.
Check out more coverage from the man himself at http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2009/01/sartorialist-book.html.
We’re revisiting Kindom Comme: the key choices that Comme des Garcons has made to become a luxe-hybrid brand. In the last installment [Part 1], I mentioned the Junya Watanabe Effect. For a little background info, Junya became an apprentice at Comme des Garcons in 1984, working as a patternmaker. Now, through several power moves, Junya became one of the most influential designers at the label — in fact, he’s responsible for much of the Homme line’s character. Eventually he was given the appropriate title of “Rei’s Protege”.
Junya has a keen interest in using “technologically-advanced textiles and fabrics”, not to mention his use of cotton. [HOW CROSS-OVER is THAT!!] Think back to some of Junya’s most noted contributions — they come in the form of collaborations. And whom does he collaborate with…Iconic Sneaker Brands. Converse, New Balance, Nike, and Vans all have been blessed by the Rei Protege’ (under eYe), just as runways in Paris and Milan have. And the whole time, Junya’s connection to Comme only strengthened, doing more exploration of patterns and male silhouettes with his label eYe and Comme des Garcons at the helm. “How did Comme benefit,” you ask. Well, they were provided with the PERFECT Petri dish to test nontraditional Comme des Garcons concepts…..like working with common treasures.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of Kingdom Comme, where we’ll discuss the positioning tactics Comme has used to broaden it’s luxe-hybrid market.
Urban Takeøut knows that its been about hi-top sneakers and dress pants for a while now. It hasn’t been an extremely popular look, or pulled off very often, but thanks to recent Dior Homme shows, it may become more prevalent. So before that look blows up, we wanted to take it back to basics for a second…the man’s oxford shoe.
Let’s face it, Luxury brands aren’t for everyone — by design. Whether it’s the cost, the availability, or the product construct, luxury labels present a huge barrier-to-entry. However, Comme des Garcons has been slowly transforming into what we call, the Luxe-Hybrid — an entity that straddles the fence between fashion elitism and common trend.
Rei Kawakubo has been known for her avant garde style, infusing deconstruction concepts, asymmetry, and monochromatic colour treatments into garments for years. And up until recently — these looks were merely…looks: ensembles so impractical or unattainable that “fiscally-challenged” trendsetters could only use the pictures for inspiration. Between 1969 and 2009 — Rei & Co. had a change of heart…or something like it (Let’s just name that the Junya Watanabe Effect – we’ll come back to this).
Somewhere along the line, Comme embraced “the collaboration”. They have brought the labels’ high-end style concepts to several of the industry’s reputable yet more “practical” brands – strategically placing Comme des Garcons within the grasp of cult followers. And in my humble smartorialistic opinion, therein marks the definitive luxe-hybrid turning point. In this 4 part smARTORIALIST series , we will discuss Kindom Comme: the key choices that Comme des Garcons has made to sustain it’s luxury-edge while gently floating down to Earth (or somewhere near it’s atmosphere). Stay tuned.
A style savant once told me, “A man’s ankles should only be seen by an athletic trainer — that is all“. Well, our good friend Mr. Thom Browne clearly thinks otherwise (as do I). As GQ Mag’s Designer of the Year (2009), his signature “high-water” look has become suprisingly….dapper. However, I felt it was necessary to lay out some lightweight “boundaries”, because quite frankly, some of the attempts end up as follies.
This “Flood” look goes best with NO SOCKS. As far as shoes are concerned, your best bets are simple sneakers (Jack Purcell’s, oxfords, topsiders), boat/deck shoes (Sperry), or good ‘ol church goin’ hard bottoms (sans clunkiness).
Now, the trousers themselves should be slimming slacks — not denim. Here’s the magic trick: The bottom of the pant leg–cuffed or uncuffed– should fall just shy OF THE SHOE (not the ankle). That way, when you walk or sit, you maintain just the right amount of ankle exposure.
**Please tread these unfriendly waters with extreme caution. I would hate to catch you out of pocket, looking like a clamdigger fresh from the sea.
Fellas, we all know that shopping for an Urban Graduette is a task that Ethan Hunt wouldn’t want to come anywhere near. You have sooo many variables to think about — and most of all, you never want to disappoint. Well, u|T|ø is here to help. But first, let’s lay down the ground rules for sh[e]opping.
1. NEVER buy her a pair of shoes. (My grandma always told me, “She’ll walk right on out your life”)
2. KNOW HER SIZE! If you don’t – get the smallest size you can find.
3. ASK for opinions from other women. (Hell, THEY are who she is trying to impress….not you)
4. JEWELRY = Explanation. (If it shines, sparkles, or glistens in the moonlight, be sure to have a solid paragraph memorized to explain your reasoning)
Now, with that out the way, here are some Go-To product lines that will appeal to the Urban Graduette. Remember, it’s not all about the “BIG LABELS” — it’s about the thought and the significance.
Janelle Ford Handbags – Exclusivity at it’s Finest, this designer uses a range of materials (ostrich?!) to hand make high-quality bags; $$ – $$$
Philosophy Cosmetics – Think…Bath and Body Works, SQUARED. It’s more of a lifestyle brand, and it demonstrates attention to her details; $ – $$
The Picnica Tote - A tote bag that comes from the innards of a bunny. I know it sounds harsh and very anti-PETA but just look at the pics; $ – $$
It is rare that I endorse a particular object. I’m usually a fan of learning through observation, and then refining to one’s particular taste. However, TODAY, I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone and suggest that every guy acquire one specific book this holiday season – Esquire’s The Handbook of Style: A Man’s Guide to Looking Good.
This book is going to provide some key information about men’s wardrobing that can be used for years and years. Materials, cuts, outerwear, basic essentials, accessories……The Works — all the information you need to develop or preserve your style are inside it.
With that said, LADIES…if you need a gift idea….Ding, Ding. This is one of those gifts that will show A) you care about his appearance, B) you’re thoughtful, and C) you are really knowledgable about random things. Please be sure to put your order in quickly, because this item WILL sell out (release date isn’t until January 6, 2009).
This is why Fall is my favorite season…LAYERING. Layering clothing is one of those intricate sciences of fashion. If done well, one can look like a million bucks and have people wondering if they should be taking a picture with you. If it’s done wrong then you can look uncomfortable, a mess, and worst of all…hot. There is no possible way that you can look cool if you are constantly trying not to exert any energy. There are a lot of great examples of layering all over the internet.
Here are some tips on the all important art of layering:
1. Make sure that you start with a thin layer (oxford dress shirt, a nice v-neck, etc). You still want to be able to get down to this layer and be comfortable if it heats up unexpectedly.
2. Next, step it up in thickness. You may want to try a thin cardigan, a sweater, or a vest. Great Fall colors are navy, black, browns, and grays. But at this point in the process, you can add a little color if you choose to. I would recommend rich colors. For example instead of purple, try a wine colored knit of some sort.
3. Don’t forget the accessories…ties and scarves.
4. Now here is where it gets thick; literally. Slap on the outerwear, a peacoat, trench, chunky knit shawl collar cardigan, leather jacket, etc. I know it sounds like you would just be coming up with the same look, but that’s why I posted those pictures first.
5. Remember, layering doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to wear a jacket; AND layering is for casual dress. Hopefully you won’t crash and burn like Eddie Murphy’s last three to four movies. Enjoy.