ON OWNING MY SEXUALITY

3.29.2013


This outfit is what your grandmother might good-humoredly refer to as a “getup.” I think the effect achieved is a sort of Hasidic/Japanese cultural mash-up as reinterpreted by Mary-Kate Olsen. One guy actually said to me, “Shalom,” in passing. It’s a look not tied to any particular expression of my sexuality, a look that says, “I don’t need you to want to have sex with me. I don’t need to be conventionally attractive to feel good about myself!” And I owned that. I felt that. Until my train arrived and as I stepped onto the car, I saw the cute guy I’d given my number to some months before.

Click through to continue reading this post!

I'M A STRANGER HERE MYSELF

3.28.2013


Or, fuckyeahsockswithsandals.tumblr.com. That's right, your eyes do not deceive you, dear reader - I am wearing the sh*t out of a pair of Birkenstocks right here, with socks. It sounds gross, but you should try it. I never thought I'd be into it until I came across these Birks at 10 ft. Single and fell a little bit in love. With a black sock they just look so...dare I say it? Chic! Current! C'est fantastique! And if you find yourself on the opposite end of the enthusiasm spectrum then you only have Dries Van Noten to blame, whose AW13 collection made the combo look just so sophisticated. Also see: Céline SS13's fur-bottom frankenstein sandal creations.

This outfit showcases my favorite use of a skirt and is the only one I've so far found myself actually wearing on the day-to-day. I feel a bit Annie Hall-ish, but also like a Japanese grandmother? Almost everything here is thrifted; a breakdown: the hat I got for $5 at Vice Versa here in Park Slope. I thought I'd use it more as a prop, but have found it functioning as a legitimate addition to my wardrobe. The top half of this ensemble is the same as what we saw Tuesday, but I've left the shirt untucked to get the extended proportion in the back. The skirt is also thrifted, and is really nice - Brooks Brothers, made in Italy, 100% wool, size 4 petite. Holla at me, ladies and gentlemen, if you wanna traveling pants this thing. The "vegan leather" leggings (seen here and here) are from Urban Outfitters and the bag I'm holding is a vintage rucksack I bought in Zürich.


I've got a bit more to say about this outfit, but have saved that for a special post coming atchu tomorrow. What do we think? Will you do socks + sandals this spring? Photos Anthony Urbano.

GIVING FACE

3.27.2013


This is a skirt that I picked up for $1 in a thrift shop. The tag just says, 'Made in Belgium'. I like to imagine it has fancy origins...look at that badass zipper! I paired it with my CDG blouson (seen here and here) et voilà! I've got a timely "gay" wedding outfit (well, once I find the right oversize clutch to take it to that next level.) Photos Anthony Urbano.

The New Masculinity

3.26.2013


Photos Pete Oliviëra // jacket Crossroads Trading // t-shirt OAKNYC // necklace vintage // skirt-pants Beacons Closet // boots Forfex

As a gay man, I've always been wary of gender ambiguity in my wardrobe. I know what you're thinking - 'you wear ladypants all the time! the whole point of your blog is encouraging us to shop both sides of the aisle!' And yes, some people may see my style as fairly androgynous, but I think I generally play it safe. I often fall back on gender-conforming (or conventional-sex-reaffirming? words!) looks that help me "blend in" rather than stand out, because I already feel feminine and therefore, in our society, vulnerable. Clothing is armor; it can be transgressive and transformative – in good ways and bad. Blending in vs. standing out is a choice we’re privileged with making in this culture and lately, I've found myself getting bored with blending in. Part of this is seasonal - I've been wearing the same things all winter and they are so boring and I am so ready to be able to play dress-up again and not worry about whether or not two pairs of tights will fit under my pants and will I actually end up taking off my sweater at any point during the day?

That being said, I am taking baby steps. I'm not really interested in flamboyance for the sake of flamboyance, or attention for the sake of attention. Full-on drag has never held a particular appeal, though a really gorgeous pair of heels is always tempting. What I'm saying is you won't find me walking down the street in a tie-dyed baby doll dress with Jeremy Scott platforms, um, ever. As I approach the idea of incorporating skirts into my wardrobe, I am  dead set on maintaining my aesthetic and remaining true to my inspirations, which means more Audrey Hepburn and less Lady Gaga. But the outfit! Ok, enough extemporizing: what is going on here?

For the first day of Reimagine: Suiting (that's not an official name, I just made it up), I've paired a thrifted boy's blazer (I'm so Carla Bruni right now) with one of my favorite OAK tees (yes, I'm wearing these virtually non-stop) a vintage statement necklace, and the pièce de résistance, a vintage Jean Paul Gaultier skant. WTF? That's right, this enchantingly weird item is a woman's pair of pants from Jean Paul Gaultier that I'm wearing backwards so that they form a sort of "skant" - a skirt pant, like a skort, you know? Totally normal. Calm down. Worn "correctly," the pant-looking part faces forward and then the extra fabric covers up your backside. I really like the way it looks worn this way, though, and that it brings to mind a Japanese sushi chef's apron. The only problem is that the fly is in the back, of course, but heeeeyo.


I see this garment as "gender non-relational," because whichever sex you are, there's really no relationship between your body and it's construction. It's actually pretty confusing to put on, honestly, but I roll with it. For the rest of this week I'll be sharing some other "skirtfits" and talking about how they make me feel, because this is my online style diary and you can't see it but, 'Why didn't Jimmy ask me to Prom???' is scribbled all over the front.

Disclaimer: I don't think this is necessary, necessarily (!), but this post does not mean that I'll only be wearing skirts from here on out. Ha! I just wanted to set aside a week where I could talk about something new I'm considering. Finding myself comfortable wearing any sort of skirt in public is kind of a big deal for this Southern transplant. While it may seem like nothing to a lot of people in NYC, especially in the LGBT community, it's something I want to be able to do in a way that isn't sensationalist, and that doesn't compromise my standards. But the most important thing, as ever when getting dressed, is just to have fun and not take it too seriously!*

*Also: to push secret queer agenda.

How are y'all looking to switch up your look for Spring? Any man readers out there trying on skirts?

REINVENTING THE WHEEL

3.25.2013


In which we discuss: what is modernity and how do we express it through our sartorial choices, suiting elements in particular since suiting is the crux of the matter in Western menswear?

This post started gestating in my mind when I noticed the recurrence of pinstripes in the AW13 menswear collections, particularly as imagined at J.W. Anderson in the form of an oversized coat with some sort of ruffled wellie action going on. We saw a really similar silhouette for AW13 at Stella McCartney, so long story short: we should all wear pinstriped overcoats with nothing underneath and some sort of rubbery boot for fall. Got it? Good.

The simple stripe got its most disorienting conceptualization in the hands of Rei Kawakubo, who sent pinstriped "suits" down the runway (below) that looked like maybe the model had summoned fabric scraps onto herself for some sort of abstracted woodland nymph interview process performance art piece. You know, the usual.


Kawakubo's designs brought to mind the work of Alan Taylor (above; click image for source), whose "four-dimensional" collection combines textures such as tweed and mesh in unique constructions that challenge the static ideation of a suit. This brand of full-throttle modernity appeals because it provides hope that we're working towards a more diversified portfolio of suiting options, maybe not for every man, but possibly for a man who works at a seriously progressive law firm or in arts insurance.

Speaking of diversity in menswear, my friend Abby asked about this via Twitter last week - why men's fashion tends to lack options. I would say that the history of men's fashions is just as diverse and varied as anything women have ever been offered. But when we come to post-WWII conventions, yes - #menswear gets a bit more stagnant, and then we devolve to contemporary times. The reactionary resurgence of the "dandy" over the last decade, though it seems to be on the decline at this point, may have been born of the socioeconomic stability of the nineties and a resultant collective laziness. Who needs to dress up when you're on top of the world? Not our workforce during the Clinton administrations. As we've faced hardship and financial duress, it seems people want to put their best face forward again and can find it in themselves to embrace Mad Men chic. They want style that harkens back to a time when the world felt smaller, more understandable and easier to control.

I like to think of men's style in a cross-cultural historical sense. Kimonos, turbans, skirts, what have you - yes, we've seen them done for women (at Prada), but you can find them for menfolk, too, if you look East and North and South and everywhere in between. This taxi driver's outfit is a good example of an unexpected sartorial "option" that has its roots in a specific culture; that kind of layering is now cropping up on Western menswear designers' runways.

{lefthand picture, The Sartorialist; righthand picture, my own. All runway photos via Style.com}

On the other hand, one of my favorite movies, The Conformist (which I screencapped here), showcases the kind of Savile Row elegance that I think men were opposed to for a time, and with which a lot of male bloggers and fashion writers have really sought to reacquaint the average man (and themselves) in recent years. Which brings me to E. Tautz, whose AW13 collection was very much influenced by vintage silhouettes, but still felt truly modern and relevant. The photos pretty well speak for themselves, in this instance.

Seeing as the suit plays such an important role in a man's life, but has always played a less pivotal part in the female wardrobe, I've thrown together an unprecedented three outfit posts this week that combine a pinstriped item with a simple suiting palette of black or gray, navy and white. I want to answer the question: how can we play with suiting conventions? What does modern masculinity look like? And, most importantly, how can I be fashion forward for almost $0? What are your feelings re: suiting? Is "dandyism" dead for you?

LUST, CAUTION

3.22.2013


Such beautiful images captured by Paul Wetherell for an edit in T Magazine called, The Modern Man. Next week I'll be discussing the concept of masculinity and modern male beauty in depth...enjoy the weekend!

THE BLUE HOUR


Brian Ferry's Brooklyn apartment on Sight Unseen, a totally awesome new-to-me website that you should check out. That mantle is so wabi-sabi...the living room so inviting...the bedroom so clean! And this is a boy's house, you guys.

Follow *fruitpunch everywhere:

GIRL CRUSHING

3.21.2013


I love both of these looks for Spring. Also, I want a cactus. Top image via; bottom image via.

SUNG JIN PARK

3.20.2013


Husbannnnnd. More on Tumblr. Also, he's on Instagram.

THROWING ON MY LOUBOUTINS


Ummm so Christian Louboutin makes a men's version of those side-fringed booties. I thought they were sort of preposterous and then I tried them on and fell in love. The chunky stacked wood heel is like a Cuban heel on steroids and the fringe, while it borders on absurd, is delightfully bohemian when paired with the right outfit. In a dream world, I'd wear them with black skinny jeans and a chunky knit (probably oversized), preferably from Sandro (maybe the one in the lower left-hand corner?)

[EATING] QUINOA BIBIMBAP

3.19.2013


Oh, wow - it's been two months since my last food post, je suis désolée. It's really tricky for me because while I do love eating and I cook all the time, I don't spend all of my time trying new recipes and styling and photographing my food. Because of this, my new goal is to make food content more about eating rather than cooking. Lately I've been eating a lot of rice and black beans with pan-fried peppers and onions, fajita-style, on top...occasionally I add some sliced avocado. It's healthy, easy and cheap, but gets redundant, so I was overjoyed to find this recipe for vegetarian bibimbap with quinoa on Reclaiming Provincial. While not a "true" bibimbap, the recipe is, as blogger Carey Nershi notes, super customizable, which means you can use whatever you have on hand to make the dish your own - the fun of bibimbap is stirring all of the ingredients together, anyway. I love that Nershi made hers with corn, carrot and avocado. Sometimes the best eating ideas are just a matter of seeing a dish from another perspective.

Click through to check out another recipe!

WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN


I've been thinking a lot about love and particularly marriage lately for a piece that I'm working on. I've been hesitant to pull the trigger when it comes to writing another essay thanks to the whiplash I endured after publishing my last piece. I'm not afraid of being divisive, just articulating something so personal or narrowly defined that it fails to resonate with a wider audience...

Which brings me to these beautiful pictures of French model Caroline de Maigret and her partner, Yarol Poupad, shot by Johan Lindeberg. De Maigret is quoted on the BLKDNM tumblr, alongside these images, saying, "I like to wake up every morning and have the nice surprise of still having my man next to me...I feel I can still run away." It seems a bit shocking to my American sensibilities, this idea that the only thing keeping two people in a relationship is the simple desire to be with one another, not a contract or a social obligation, and the implicit awareness that love burns, and love burns out. It's sort of antithetical to love as I've come understand it - we'll call it Jane Austen brand love, Austen being, by my estimation, the de facto guardian of eternal flames and wedded bliss. I wonder if maybe I've been a bit foolish, buying into the two-hundred-year-old romantic fictions of a woman who herself never partnered. It is a bit thrilling, De Maigret's perspective...maybe hard to make a Pinterest inspiration board for, but what can I say...they look happy. Photos Johan Lindeberg for BLKDNM.

P.S. If you haven't seen the movie this post's title comes from, rent it! I think it's on Netflix...

[STREET STYLE] NAVY BLUE 3 WAYS

3.18.2013



My declaration that winter is over seems to have been a bit preemptive. NYC has been bitterly cold as of late, with every other street turned into a godforsaken wind tunnel. I've noticed a lot of people combatting the chill in navy blue overcoats, such as this incredible looking artist/actor in a beautiful military-style coat, above.

Click through to check out two more navy blue inspirations!

LIVING WITH STYLE

3.15.2013


1stdibs and Bonnie Tsang recently held a Pinterest contest where participants could design their dream living room using their favorite finds on 1stdibs and other interiors-related content on Pinterest. I eagerly partook in the festivities and had more fun than I care to admit - I think I finally understand why boys play video games. Hunting through the impeccably designed and marvelously functional 1stdibs site trying to find the perfect antique Italian brass table lamp, or the most delicious Japanese textile, knowing that there could be a prize at the end if I played my cards right...maybe this is the rush of Halo 4, no? Maybe?

The detail shot above was something of an abstract starting point for me. I love the lamp, the molding on the walls, the lines of the furniture and the simple, sheer window treatments, not to mention the rich warmth of the wood...and that light! I wanted to create a space characterized by down-to-earth glamour, where form and function could co-exist in "luscious simplicity." I found myself drawn to geometric patterns in textiles, art deco influences and unexpected sculptural elements to add texture and depth. (Love the vintage Noh mask below - and how great is that marble surfboard!?)


I included art from Landon Metz, because I love his work...the color, the technique! (Click image for source.)


And I included other decorative art and objects, like these framed drawings. I've been saving every scrap of paper that could ever have sentimental value to me for years now. It's a veritable buffet of drawings and notes that I'll one day have uniformly framed and displayed, gallery style, and it'll look awesome. And would you look at that chair? That is such a beautiful f*cking chair. I can't with this chair. I can't even. There will of course also be plants, stacks of magazines and other reading materials meticulously arranged in corners.


I love the idea of some elements in the room having a raw or industrial feel juxtaposed against the considered design of midcentury pieces and gold and brass features. The patchwork boro textile, a Japanese folk fabric, would add to that raw, recycled aesthetic and look great hanging on a wall, maybe even framed!

Contest winners are announced next week and I don't know what I'll do if I win, aside from poop my pants and maybe buy some art? How do we like my dream living room? All images from my Living With Style Pinterest board.

[NOW PLAYING] RHYE

3.14.2013



Rhye came onto my radar the other week when Dabito blogged about her recently released album. I made a mental note to listen, but forgot until Chels and I were camped out in Mast Brothers one day and she noticed they had the album on repeat. "I was playing this all morning!" squealed Chelsea with delight as she stuffed her face with chocolate samples. And so I was convinced to race back home and Spotify the crap out of this chanteuse I was hearing so much about. Above, you'll find my favorite song off her album, Woman. I already shared this with my mother (second mom reference this week! Being single rocks!) so it's mainly for all of you uncoolies who don't know how to use the internet to find Hot Artists. Ur welcome. Photo Pete Oliviëra with me modeling, heavily inspired by Dab's work!

HIGH-FIVING ANGELS

3.13.2013

photography Pete Oliviëra // coat vintage // scarf Meilleur Ami // shirt Uniqlo (seen here) // denim Levi's (seen here and here) // socks Nigel Knox // shoes Dr. Martens (seen here)

BAM! That's how you do a jump shot, ya'll - nothing but rim! (Rim is like the distance between your feet and the ground, right? Ungh, beskitball.) Today's post is eXtra special, and not least because the title references our dearly departed 30 Rock - it's my first fashion giveaway! But we'll get to that after you've finished reading all about the hot vintage nana I'm wearing. First up: the coat. It's a turn-of-the-century duster, a garment worn by men and women "to protect their clothes when riding in open motorcars" that I got when shooting at the Manhattan Vintage Show. It's a heavy linen and, as the pictures below attest, the detailing is impeccable. The pockets have little envelope flaps and the sleeves have these beautifully chunky cuffs, plus it drapes like no other. I feel very Comme des Garçons-ish in it, with a whiff of unfussy Margiela brilliance.

The scarf, while not vintage, is a very gorgeous silk infinity scarf from French brand Meilleur Ami. I like the way it adds a pop of color near my face, so you can really appreciate the cerulean hues in my eyes. Pairing the coat with my boyfriend jeans (seen here and here) is an easy way to transition something over a hundred years old into a modern wardrobe - just say it's grunge. The shoes are my vintage Dr. Martens, and the supercute striped socks are the special item YOu CouLd WIN! Scroll down for details...


GIVEAWAY! Nigel Knox was nice enough to get in touch with me about their product line, quality socks with charm and spunk. I don't know about you, but I've had trouble finding socks that have a lot of personality and are equally well made. The most fun pairs I've collected over the years have by now sadly deteriorated, but I look forward to many a happy morning padding around the apartment in my Nigel Knox socks. The line is made in Italy in a variety of high-end materials; the pair I'm wearing here is merino wool. Nigel Knox and I are inviting you to take your pick of another "stryped" style, the Barnaby, in whatever colorway you'd like!

Here's how to enter: "Like" *fruitpunch on Facebook (here) and then leave a comment below - it's as easy as that! A winner will be picked randomly and announced via Facebook (and mentioned here, in the comments.) Feel free to share this in any way you can think of - the more, the merrier!

BABES IN BOYLAND

3.12.2013


This is me and my friend Max and I'm basically just sharing this because I want my mom to know that I did go out at least once this month. (Hi, mom! I did it!) Max obviously understands how to pose for Party Pictures, because he's giving that cam some major stankeye. I, on the other hand, have this "slutty librarian" thing going on, as I'm about to have a nip-slip in my deep-V OAK teesh (available here, if you want that otterboi look) and my Warby Park's are halfway down the bridge of my nose. But it's all ok, because they played Trina that night...photo via Gayletter.

INSTAGRAM LIFE VOL. 5

3.11.2013


The last time I did one of these it was 2012, which is complete insanity. I'm starting off the post with the above images because they sort of convey a sense of hibernation and hibernating is what I've been doing all winter. Also I've been taking care of plants and cats, sooo...it all makes sense. Below you can check out some of my outfits that I haven't shot for the blerg. For some reason my selfies do really well on Instagram...mb u guyz r kinda gay for me or something, IDK. Wearing, clockwise from top left: Natural Born Elegance bow tie, Saturdays Surf NYC sweater with leather shorts and tights, Banana Republic tie with J.Crew cardi and Uniqlo belt, and trying on a neon orange quilted workwear jacket with Doc Martens, #trendybish.


These are some things I ate and liked; croque monsieur from Paradis on the left, and strawberries and blueberries with vanilla ice cream on the right!


These are two supercool Japanese people I shot in some supercute outfits that make great use of pattern - also they wear their bags in the same way!


And here's some street style next to some streets, boom.


This is some art I saw and liked, mostly at the Met, but then the photo in the upper right-hand corner is graffiti - but it's so beautiful, no? Art is everywhere, the wind whispers...


You can find all of these (and more!)[and follow me!] over on my Instagram profile, @thisfruitsnaps.

5 BLOGS THAT ARE KILLING PRINT

3.08.2013


I should subtitle this, 'for me', because I don't mean to imply that I've done any research or statistical analysis - that would be ridiculous. The other night I was at a blogger dinner, conversing with someone who said something along the lines of, "I don't want to be a blogger when I'm 40," as he thought that would be kind of silly. He mentioned hoping to get a job at a magazine and I couldn't help but think to myself: you want to jump ship from digital to print? Really?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: blogs are an ever-evolving and almost limitless platform for content. What we can achieve through them is limited only by our gumption and skill sets (and/or budget). Web design is changing (almost always for the better, less Facebook) at a delightfully rapid pace, diversifying the ways content can be shared and compartmentalized online and for mobile devices (iPad reference! I know technology!) This can be couched in the rhetoric of a digital revolution, or we can just tacitly accept the fact that it's What's Next. Duh.

As for print...my magazine buying habits have changed dramatically over the past few years and everyone reading this, whether you are an avid consumer/borderline hoarder of printed matter like me, or a casual Us-Weekly-in-the-checkout-line-picker-upper, knows that it's the internet's fault. Because the internet is a bish like that. These are the blogs that have entered my life and, in one way or another, to some degree, killed print for me. Just a little bit. And P.S. yes these are all fashion-y blogs because I don't read anything else or care about it bluh whatever. Photo Stevie Dance for Shop-Ghost.

Jump the cut to find out which five blogs I'm talking about! Do it!

UNIFORM DRESSING

3.06.2013

photos David Williams (site | blog) // jacket vintage (seen here) // jeans thrifted Mudd (seen here) // belt vintage // pouch vintage // t-shirt OAK (seen here) // scarf J.Crew // beanie H&M (seen here and here)

Last week's outfit post featured one of the "uniforms" I've been wearing all winter (stop by the *fruitpunch fan page to see an eXclusive graphic comparing and contrasting its different incarnations), and this week I'm sharing another look I've defaulted to a lot this season. The key components are my faded black flared-leg Mudd jeans and my vintage varsity jacket, but the real flare (hardy-har-har) comes from my fringed pouch - or, perhaps you know it by its Latin name: "ass pouch". I had the hardest time figuring out how to use this old thing until one of the guys I work with showed up one day with a MUCH more intense fringed pouch of his own, worn through his belt loops around his back, like a John Wayne fanny pack. Cute, right?

The flared leg has been met with mixed reviews, but I, as stated here (and here), am majorly on board with this cut. In fact, I am currently very much on the hunt for a new pair of black bell bottoms in a darker wash - if you find something, tweet me your coordinates. What have you been wearing all winter?
 

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