Heir Down There

Ingelmo S/S 09 contains this low top in silver and gold

The Ingelmo family has built shoes for nearly a century. At the turn of the 20th century an Ingelmo had a shoe cobbling shop in Spain. Now the company is directed by that man's great grandson but they continue to work with the softest leathers, the best materials.

Designer Alejandro Ingelmo sat down with Nymag for an interview. He discusses his beginnings in fashion accessories, his suspicion of prints, where he sees women's shoes going in coming seasons, and Ingelmo designed bags on the horizon.


Spring Is Here (Retail-Wise...in a few places...ish)

Dior Homme € 473.00

I love spring. From the wrinkled, faded mountains of sale merchandise emerge the new goods from all my favorite designers. Luisa Viaroma has a bunch of luxury items available from the best vendors some of which will certainly be haunting me over the next few months.

Puma x Mihara Yasuhiro € 163.00

From left to right: a brand apart bag € 728.00, Rick Owens hooded washed leather jacket € 1863.00, Back Pocket Leather Jacket € 2012.00

Spring can't get here soon enough. Now that the parties are winding down its time to start saving those pennies. Maybe get a second job. One that's off the books.

All items are available now for pre-order at LUISAVIAROMA

Morrissey Releases A New (Pretty Awesome) Single

Speaking of maudlin, no one does it better than Morrissey. No one. Period. Before Elliott Smith there was a Moz. Before Jeff Buckley there was a Moz. In the beginning was Moz. Got it?

His great voice and his black humor combined continue to serve up great songs of loveless time and witty social commentary. New Wave junkies have been waiting to hear a new LP for a year and a half. Hopefully the album, Years of Refusal, sounds as good as the new single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris". Moz is looking for love but only the city streets will show him some affection. I find this hard to believe a) having seen a dozen concert videos of men and women throwing themselves at Mr. Morrissey's feet b) having tried to love streets before (I'm looking at you Rivington! I gave you my heart!) and receiving nothing but tetanus and pneumonia.

Download it here: I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris

The Sound of Settling: Death Cab for Zooey

Maybe I'll feel better about this in the morning. Maybe it won't hurt so bad after a morning cigarette and breakfast beer. Actress and musician Zooey Deschanel is now engaged to Death Cab for Cutie's frontman. How is Ben Gibbard going to write sappy breakup albums if he's marrying the quintessential indie princess? How could Zooey betrothe a guy who sings "now we know all the words were true in the sappiest love songs" and genuinely inquires "can you tell me why you're so sad"? Is this sound of settling? Is this the sound of my heart breaking? Right now I feel like if Zooey had to pass me over she could have at least wound up with someone awesome like Glenn Danzig and not Le Petite Prince d'Ennui, but I'm gonna go write some morose love songs and figure this shit out.


Designer DNA

I first got wind of Yang Li in an interview on Dazed Digital and now Fashion 156 has serveral images to mull over. Li warps the structure of basics beyond their essence with a short sleeved jacket with micro lapels, and a shirt with wide front pouches that function as another layer.

Like in evolution all it takes is a couple of flipped chromosomes to lead to disorder or the next step in species future. Tinkering with proportion and composition, Li is clearly looking forward but he is not beyond making wearable clothes. The operation revolves around change and erasure. What is a jacket? Does that definition include the term long sleeve? Change in meaning over garment components leads to the erasure of preconceptions. The intended endgame: "creation of forms with no limits". The images reveal a promising effort from someone so young.

Follow Li here @ www.clothlabel.com.au/yang

Creepers Crepers Crappers

I wish I could wear creepers and thick crepe soles. When they're crafted with clean lines and classic materials of course. I'm not a fan of animal print inserts. Unfortunately as far as wearing this style of shoe goes I'm tall and skinny, my calves are built like tentpoles, and I have thin (wiry) ankles. One of the few examples where I actually wish I wasn't skinny so that I could wear an accessory. Oh well.

These creeper style shoes by Undercover caught my attention and inspired this dead-end tangent. Dr. Marten, an old high school favorite, has been taking advantage of high fashion interests in heavy soles for the past few years. They have produced some noteworthy collaborations with Yohji Yamamato and Raf Simons. The good: Yohji has produced some clear winners for men and women. The bad: While Raf has sent his models out in a wide range of creeper inspired shoes before, and many of those examples are desirable, nothing could posess me to slip into these mandal (man+sandal) versions(WTF were you thinking?!?).


Garth Merenghi's Dark Place

About two years ago I was doing what I typically do when I have a lot of downtime. I was sitting at a bar, Wombat, having a few drinks with myself. Eventually I started chatting over a mutual interest with the bartender, who was a fan of A Mighty Boosh. He recommended Garth Merenghi's Dark Place which co-starred one of the actors from Boosh. I didn't get around to watching it for several months but when I did I was blown away. If you watch the intro below you'll get a good feel for the mini-series.

Its not a show I care to explain, the premise is intentionally convoluted, but I have to say its some of the funniest shit I've ever encountered. Thanks to the interweb you can watch all the episodes online.

Motor Folk

HighSnobriety reports that Undercover, a japanese brand helmed by Jun Takahashi, has successfully gene-spliced biker with gypsy.

The motorcycle jacket has been the subject of a lot of attention over the past few seasons, with Junya Watanabe, Stefano Pilati, and Raf Simons all having their fun with one of the more iconic pieces of menswear. So far we've seen silk, neon, and trenchcoat interpretations. Personally I'm a big fan of this trend and think that its been a fun ride so far though nothing will ever replace the benefits of genuine leather during the coldest months of winter.

And if the gypsy blend of biker jacket doesn't turn you on than maybe Marianne Faithful will decked in Lanvin designed leather? The Way Out girls hunted down Girl on a Motorcycle on their highly entertaining biker-centric site.



I appreciate any design group capable of making something as unappealing as a chain-link fence worth taking a second look. Demakersvan's designs cause the viewer to pause; confusion melts away into amusement. Nothing says "keep off the grass" like a flower embroidered in wire. The bold graphic lines and playful humor of their furniture and tools may come at a price too steep for some, but they can be seen rather cheaply in the MoMa.


The War on Chromaphobia

Thanks to Susie Bubble for reminding me. about this chronic wardrobe malfunction. Every year I tell myself I'm going to wear more color and sometimes I even trick myself into thinking that I am. Once while going on a spirited tirade about men not wearing any color I was silenced by a friend who noted that I myself wasn't wearing any color at the time and usually wear a lot of blacks and grays. A glance down at my outfit revealed that in fact I was only wearing black. How did this happen?

I'd like to say that its just a symptom of being a New Yorker but a New York Magazine article from last spring showed a few examples of New Yorkers who can't get enough of color. Even if those rare examples are strictly monochromatic. It was hard not to get excited about color again looking through the collections shown this year, as sober blues have given way to more vibrant yellows. Cyan, Neon, and Mustard. This year, of all houses, Gucci surprised me with a fun psychedelic collection, even if it was uneven.

Gucci and Jil Sander

Asos Slip On Boat Shoes £34.26

All three looks from Yves Saint Laurent SS09

Stefano Pilati showed a crisp range of delicate hues: salmon, navy, and many different earth tones. Every look combined luxury with comfort and teased a dialectic between vulnerability and strength.

My strategy to break away from black is simple:
  1. I buy black because of its versatility, but earth tones and grays do the trick just as well.
  2. Accessorize more. After migrating south for spring I found myself dressing down by default and therefore accessorizing more, but accessories allow for an easy addition of color to an outfit.
  3. Watermelon sneakers.


It's almost over.


Another Astral Inter-Planet Space Captain Infinite Voyage Christmas with Sufjan

Perhaps Christmas sweaters, Christmas guests, and gaudy decorations have you down. Don't forget all the good things this holiday season like new Sufjan Stevens electro-Christmas albums.

The Astral Inter Planet Space Captain Infinite Voyage may not be the shortest album title ever (or the longest thanks to Fiona Crapple. 90 words!) but its one of the nicest ones your bound to hear this season and its absolutely free. Here it is in all of its gentle electro glory.

Angels We Have Heard On High
Do You See What I See?
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Christmas In The Room
Good King Wenceslas
Joy To The World
The Child With The Star On His Head

The Brave and the Bold

Just a little while ago while election excitement was at its peak and the trades were stuffed with images of teary eyed voters in patriotic colors I started to wonder about the design flexibility of the american flag. I've been jealous of the union jack for a long time. In my mind its associated with british punk as much as with the Queen. Even though I have some rights to a dual citizenship I've lived my whole life with apple and rather than kidney pie. Perhaps its just my own personal familiarity but I can't see the american flag looking as cool on anyone as the british banner.

This photo taken by Facehunter makes me think of colonial costume, revolutionary war re-enactment, and Sam the Eagle.


Iconoclasts: Yohji Yamamoto Hates Fashion

Rummaging obsessively through the theoretically infinite internet occasionally yields a few treasures, sometimes finding an old high school rival's police reports, or stumbling onto an insightful quote from one of your favorite creators. Today it was the latter.

Apparently Yamamoto just makes clothes to help mature cultured women look really cool. Nothing wrong with that. I stumbled onto this great interview from several years ago with the elusive designer Yohji Yamamoto over at TheFashionSpot. Here are a few of my favorite parts.

How does you quest for freedom find expression in your work?

(Long break, he thinks). Ever since I began my career I have always questioned fashion, I could also put it that way: I hate fashion.

From the beginning until today?

Yes, I may be making fashion in the sense of craftmanship, but I hate the world of fashion.

Why do you hate it?

Fashion sighs after trends. I want timeless elegance. Fashion has no time. I do. I say.: Hello Lady, how can I help you? Fashion has no time to even ask such a question, because it is constantly concerned with finding out: What will come next? It is more about helping women to suffer less, to attain more freedom and independence.

I'll give you some terms and you tell me what you connect with them, OK? The first term is: minimalism.

Just another word for sloth.

German culture?

(Laughs). German culture?

The following on the beginnings of his partnership with Adidas...

I was given a guided tour through the (adidas) company archives, which has inspired me very much. I like old things. I was a beginner in the area of sports fashion, senakers, but one thing was clear to em from the beginning: the stuff out on the market is horrible. This can only get better. I paid a visit ot the Nike World Store in New York, stood before the shelves and had to scream, because I found everything so horrible. The shoes seemed like monsters to me - high-tech monsters.

The image of Yohji having a nervous fit in front of a wall of Nike's overdesigned sports shoes is priceless and one of the reasons I love fashion even if Yohji does not. Yamamoto is one of the greats. If you've ever worn his clothes, or known a Yohji addict you'll have experienced clothes which are strange yet sophisticated. Clothes that don't give a damn about fitting in. Yamamoto's clothes are stylish if sometimes anti-fashion. Be sure to read the rest of the interview as Yohji complains about logo-centric fashion, and ducks a probe into his short-lived musical career (which I had never heard of, the interviewer seemed to think it was good).

I Sadly Wish This Weren't Fake

This is unfortunately a bunch of movie clips glued together and digitally painted to look like a Hollyood live action version of Thundercats one of my favorite cartoons as a little kid. The clips include some shots from Troy, one of the Mummy movies, X-men, and several other horrible flicks.

The Next Big Trend: Watermelon Sneakers

I have a serious problem with watermelons. When I was ten years old I ate my last slice of watermelon. The sun was blazing that day. Some friends were over, and we were all eating watermelons like they were the last ones on earth. Two of my best friends, my little sister, and me had our fill of the melon. Afterwards, and too soon, we headed over to the pool. My sister jumped in last, and she was only in the pool for a few seconds. She immediately hopped out and started vomiting. Naturally I did what any ten year old brother would do while his sister was doubled over and ill; I exploded in laughter along with the rest of my friends.

Then looking at all of the melon colored puke. I joined her, and then my friends did as well. We were all gagging. We were all sick the rest of the day learning the hard way not to mix swimming and full stomachs. What had started out as good clean fun soon devolved into a grotesque nightmare borne from the sinister loins of melon patch hell. I recovered, but my taste for watermelon did not.

That said, maybe its just the black in me but I can't help getting a smile out of these Watermelon shoes made by Vans. They are releasing an entire line of watermelon sneakers in all styles. I kind of need them, at least for an inappropriate and racially insensitive halloween costume that I've been meaning to do for years.

(via HighSnobriety)


Looking Forward: Lone Costume SS09

The Korean designer Juun J bases his line Lone Costume around structural transformations and novelty. Veering off the familiar path of men's tailoring Juun pushes the forms into new silhouettes. The SS09 collection displayed earlier this year saw a departure from his past trench coat obsession with reproductions of the iconic motorcycle jacket, the cardigan, and oxford shirt with stunningly irreverent results.

The jackets were extended and wrapped around into cloaks. Cardigans were sewn into the waistlines of pants. It's hard to pick a favorite, but several of these pieces stood out as covetable as a double breasted jumpsuit in gray.

A few accents of color were present in a two button blazer with an extended back panel produced in coral and sky blue.

The jackets were layered and extended like a fruit being unpeeled but there was an edge to it too. Juun believes that Fashion is both an art and a business. Looking back on his collection its easy to see his attempt to bring his vision to life while also creating desirable clothes. Lone Costume is unisex but skews towards masculinity. The clothes are playful, relaxed, and progressive yet essentially examples of good tailoring.

His recent collection will be available for sale at Seven in the spring. Watch out, Costume tends to sell quickly. Some recent additions to Seven's stock already sold out like this hi-top collaboration with Reebok.


Composite Sex: Highlights from Prada Linea Rossa lookbook S/S 09

Even from a collection which includes numerous feminized pieces such as scoop neck shirts that cropped just at the waistline and cropped jackets which suspended from from the model's shoulders, Prada's Linea Rossa line contains a number of covetable luxury sportswear items. The bronze woven hooded jacket is both modern and elegant, visually simply wonderful to look at. In this earth toned world shirts are fastened with zippers. While Miuccia Prada seems incapable of boring, her collections of late rely on applying delicate vulnerable shapes attributed to womenswear to the opposite sex. The range of bronze, beiges, and militant greens supply some contrast however many of the pieces propel the androgynous male into further, perhaps extreme, depths. The materials are light, often synthetic, much like the deployed concepts.


Hats On The Rise This Spring

The top hat was once the mark of an elegant gentleman, women carefully preserved their collections of felt, and straw hats embellished with beading, feathers, and embroidery. Outside of a few ceremonial events formal hats are rare if not extinct and in casual wear heads are covered with the graceless baseball cap. Nowadays, hardly anyone can distinguish between different hat styles. What's the difference between an opera hat and a top hat, for instance? Between a trilby and a fedora? One might as well be speaking a foreign language. This broad disuse and ignorance makes it difficult of course for those who appreciate the use of a hat. But why? A man should easily recognize the practical use of putting a beaver short-hair felt hat on during a brutal winter or a straw hat with a decent sized brim during brutal summer heat. A trained eye will observe the anatomy of a hat lends itself to a wide range of variations. The crown, and brim are the main elements and the wearer should be careful to select shapes that complement him best.

A wide brim will compliment a shorter face, those who have less a defined jaw. The severity or subtlety of the brims curve can play with facial features in interesting ways. Take the time to try on different shapes to discover what works best with your jaw line. The crown will either widen or narrow towards the top. If you have a short round jaw a crown that tapers at the top will make those features stronger, you would be better off with crown that either widens or only tapers slightly. A contrasting band will also add length to the face. Obviously if you tilt it forward you will lose even length.

The past decade has shown an increasing interest in men's headwear, but most men have felt wary of venturing past a couple of styles which soon were oversaturating the market (the fedora and the trilby especially). Now there is a surge of interest in felt bowlers but rather than be tied to trends, why not branch out? There's nothing wrong with following trends but personal style requires an original touch whether it comes from a unique shape, material, or color. The past SS09 shows have given us distressed straw panama hats with tapered crowns from Junya Watanabe, Burberry and Obedient Sons emerged with wilted bucket hats. Ute Ploier played with the classic bowler while Marjan Pejoski presented old world conical hats.

Top right and top left: Ute Ploier SS09. Bottom left and right: Marjan Pejoski SS09

Junya Watanabe SS09

Whatever decision is made the direction appears to be clearly in favor of the hat once again. And while certain styles such as a D'Orsay top hat might not work for one, and a grey felt porkpie may not suit another there is a hat out there for everyone. We spend so much time fixed upon anothers faces in discourse that it is well worth the time framing ourselves in this way, and perhaps taking our daily wardrobe to the next stage.

some guy wearing a bowler by Barbara Feinman

Solar Powered Man Purse

Thank Apollo this holiday season folks. You can now officially plug your laptop and iPhone directly into the sun with Voltaic Systems solar panel bag series. The bags act as generators and provide a full charge for a laptop. Excess solar energy is stored in battery packs for further use. The bags are also made of recycled plastics which is great, because plastics are non-biodegradable. That means plastics are here to stay and ruin everything as Vbs.tv's documentary "Garbage Island" illustrates.

Voltaic solar bags are available now at Voltaic Systems. Prices start at $199.


Thieves Like Us, Er...You

The RIAA has given up its attempt sue all of you shifty types who share music online. As Vulture notes this crusade against the internet has lead record labels to hunt down unusual suspects: small children, people without computers, and even the dead. The RIAA's belated strategy shared the same foresight as the war on liquor and the war on drugs. Organizations and governments cannot hope to micro-police transient commodities. Consistently, these agendas have backfired and the commodities have gone onto black markets which are impossible to stamp out.

Still, you people out there should be ashamed of yourselves. Whomever you might be.

New York I Love You: Greenpoint

This marks the first of what will hopefully be a regular series of profiles on one of my favorite topics, New York City.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn is neighborhood with a large eastern european population. You'll see plenty of unremarkable strip-mall shops but the area is also home to a number of unique vintage and thrift stores like Alter Men(109 Franklin St. near Greenpoint Ave. Brooklyn, NY. 718-784-8818). Alter is known for taking apart old garments and creating original one-off pieces under the label This Old Thing and also offering a variety of indie brands like Hyden Yoo, Cheap Monday, and Kill City.

If you still need another reason to check out this shop they provide this hook on their site: You can shop at a cute, uncrowded, independently-owned boutique just minutes from Manhattan. A store with no long lines, no gross music and no frumpy sales people to take away your holiday cheer. A place like Alter.

A perfect description.

After treating yourself to Alter head over to Lost and Found (113 Franklin St) where you can have the world's best bloody mary/meal substitute. You can also play a few games of skee-ball in the arcade and take a picture with your new gear in the photobooth.


Mad Mensch

It seems like an eternity until Mad Men season three. Looking desperately for a sixties office drama fix I turned to The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacClaine. According to Mad Men creator Matt Weir the film served as an a inspiration. In tone however, The Apartment is more of a drama - romantic comedy which we now know to be bad for our health.

The film centers on C.C.Baxter(Lemmon) and follows his ascension as an employee in an insurance company. We watch him fall in love with elevator attendant, Fran Kubelik, played by MacClain. The gender roles of Baxter and Rubelik clash in one particularly satisfying scene where Rubelik has just had her self-esteem steamrolled and Lemmon is reveling in his new position at work. Along with the job comes an office, and an appropriate hat.

The film correctly correlates the derby hat, or bowler, with status. It was a symbol of the gentleman and class distinction when men were still myths dressed in wool suits. Class carried expectations of character. The cynicism in The Apartment will be familiar to viewers of Mad Man but there's healthy dose of mostly successful camp humor in the mix too. Both show a dogma of masculinity that is about to fall apart. The Apartment milks the confusion for laughs.

Hail to the Sale

Gilt Groupe is having a sale of epic proportions. If you can afford to shop the wares of Alexander McQueen and Hickey are at your fingertips for the taking. This sale ends right before midnight, so hurry. The price reductions are insane. They have a great selection of coats, light jackets, and shirts.

Keep tabs on more upcoming sales with Gilt.

Black Arts: Antonin Tron SS 09

Designers like young Antonin Tron (and every one who lays their hand on a new material or method of construction) has a great design godmother in Elsa Schiaparelli. Once Chanel called her an "artist who makes clothes". Her humor, surrealist inspired shapes, colorful, and opulent garments are not just artistic clothes but prime examples of how fun fashion has been and can be. Elsa invented hot pink.

I came across this interview of Tron dicussing his current collection "La Jetee" with Dazed Digital. He discusses his inspirations: the Danse Macabre. The translation provides even more medieval looks for a moody spring. The looks towards this period, the high renaissance with its new worlds and unstable empires provide a fruitful comparison I'd like to delve into sometime soon here on the blog.

The embellishments of gold, and amber elevate the pieces and also add a sense of power and light to an otherwise gothic portrait of a man, while volume is built up with an elegant modern hand. I believe the drama would make Schiaparelli proud.


Whatever Happened To Gemma Ward?

Apparently the doll-faced Supermodel starred in a couple of movies this year. She terrorized a suburban family in The Strangers as the masked murderer known appropriately as "doll-face" in the script and then she starred in the critically acclaimed film Black Balloon. Her performance was praised for being natural and warm proving once again that models are not glorified mannequins.

I haven't seen the film myself but I am excited to do so. Having done my dues in front of and behind the camera on some fashion shoots I am easily annoyed by the lazy opinion concerning models by some folks. Perhaps I was spoiled, but almost all of the models I know personally are the fun and intelligent breed. I applaud Gemma displaying her talents and look forward to more from her in whatever form.

Remembering Sprouse

The late Stephen Sprouse who rocked the boat with an independentfashion line inspired by punk and graffiti is the subject of much attention these days in the fashion rags. I had no idea who he was until a few months ago when Marc Jacobs (the other MJ) showed off several pieces giving stylistic tribute to his friend who passed away of in 2004. Originally conceived just for the catwalk the neon scrawled bags and shoes were a huge hit catching Louis V corporate a bit off guard. Jacobs sent the fashion obsessed hip hop crowd in a frenzy.

Shortcuts: Personal Cheapskate Holiday Shopper

Not me. I'm not a festive person (i.e. single, militant atheist, etc) but everyone's probably shopping, no? Shop It To Me takes your sizes and favorite labels then runs superfast all over the internet to find sales and discounts. The personalized newsletter will be delivered right to your email inbox so fear not and be of good cheer.

Palais Royale

Gnarlitude has posted a few scans from this suprisingly beautiful French Playboy editorial. What's the difference between American Playboy and Playboy au francais? Its high fashion and the models aren't made of silicone and ethanol. This may explain why the French take such long work breaks.

Renaissance Man: Bernhard Willhelm A/W 08/09

Bernhard Willhelm is a fascinating designer that every style obsessed youth knows about even if they've never seen a piece in person. Any man who sends models down the catwalk in pretzel and sausage inspired accessories deserves attention. I stand by my original (negative) impressions of Berhard's recent mens catwalk show. I was right. He needed to update the looks and he did, so I readily admit I am enthusiastic about how he has translated those medieval forms into fresh modern silhouettes. I am absolutely delighted by the presence of razorbacks in this collection and the graphic print on the sleevless tee is a smart play on renaissance iconography. T-shirt screen-printers take note.

The pieces are full of subtle detail (such as the denim collar above) and bold experiment (a 'cod piece' on slim corduroy pants)

I'm in love with the cowls on the oversized hoodies and sweaters, it cuts a great profile and opens up the neckline. I can't wait to add a piece or two to my collection and I'm sure I'm not alone. My only complaint is that I wish there was a drop more of color. The girls line is practically overflowing with rich dazzling color, in contrast.


Tom Ford S/S 09 Lookbook

Artist or celebrity? Provocateur or craftsman? Propping up dichotomies like those will get you laughed out of many an artsy social set but indeed James Joyce once naively drew a line to contrast Proper art and Improper art. Improper art is either Pornographic or Didactic. "Pornographic" art is crafted to inspire desire and "Didactic" art is of course instructive.

Tom Ford is guilty of at least being "pornographic" and at his best being "didactic". The designer and provocateur is a bit polarizing. Ford is not afraid to shock or delve into what some would call poor taste. This has lead him to be a style expatriate. "If I was ever going to become a good designer, I had to leave America. My own culture was inhibiting me. Too much style in America is tacky. It's looked down upon to be too stylish. Europeans, however, appreciate style."(NYT)

And that sense of freedom is present in this collection. The look is virile and bold. A nimble silhouette suggests the spirit of Marcello Mastrionni at play and work. The colors are rich, even decadent: plums, bronzes, and ruby red appropriate for a Medici. It may be the red, white, and blue suggest a hint of patriotism.

It may not be proper; it's too young for that. Its unlikely that Joyce would call it art at all, but will buyers care when the collection appears this cool, relaxed, and optimistic?