PRIDE & THE PROBLEM WITH "NORMAL"

6.28.2013

man in dress holding flower
I've blogged it before, but this Tim Walker shot is just so money.

DOMA was just overturned and we're headed into Pride weekend here in New York, which means it's time for some #deepthoughts and a healthy dose of swearing...

Conventional. Traditional. Normal. These words stand diametrically opposed to my understanding of queer identity. Not because queer people are walking around wondering to themselves, "How can I be more oUtRagEoUs?!" but because straight people have more or less always been like, "You frighten us, now we shall stone you to death!" Clothing and other facets of self-presentation have always been an important component of identity to queer peoples, either for purposes of more fulfilling self-expression or as a form of discreet coding to let other "deviants" know you were of a kind. Because I process everything in my world through the lens of (men's) fashion, I wanted to start this off by parsing through some reactions to the recent menswear shows and their wider implications.

RETAIL PORN: TOTOKAELO MAN

6.26.2013


One of the great things about the internet is how it compresses distance, ya? Like when I discovered Totokaelo's gorgeous website and was all like, "Oh shit, another lil' slice of Scandinavian cool to obsess over." Then I realized Totokaelo is actually in Seattle, of all places, which makes no sense to me because I kind of feel like Seattle might as well be in Canada. But I guess now I have a reason to visit the city other than touring all of the sites where 10 Things I Hate About You was filmed. (Photos Jill Wegner; click image for source.)

Totokaelo Man opened this spring. They carry illness from Saturdays Surf, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Martin Margiela, APC...I could go on. It's a nice mix, if somewhat par for the course at this point, but I like how their model wears it all with aplomb:


And their blog photography is great, but you bitches know I'm such a sucker for that analog hipster isht. P.S. sorry I called you a bitch, mom, just checking to see if you're still paying attention.


I want that currency necklace so so bad, plus they sell the Dieppa Restrepo platforms I'm obsessed with! And look how stylish their ladymodels are:


I mean, I would wear that verbatim. And before I forget, look at how sex the store's interior is, ungh:


You can visit Totokaelo in all the places: Instagram, Twitter, women's site, home site. Enjoy!

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IS THE LOOK: MARNI SS14

6.25.2013

I haven't been paying particularly close attention to the menswear shows this season. The most discussed collections inevitably wind up in front of me one way or another, on Tumblr or Facebook, or as tweeted links. But last night I popped over to Style.com to peruse their designer roster and realized I hadn't seen Marni.

I'm kind of a Marni obsessive (for men and women—shoppable on Net-a-Porter and Mr. Porter) and a collection like this is a big part of the reason why. It's conceptual yet applicable; it looks forward while glancing back at a sort-of late-sixties mod retro-futurism. You know? It feels immediately relevant and is more about "style" than "fashion", so you could easily DIY a similar thing or get clever at a thrift store and reverse-engineer the look. A half-tucked dress shirt buttoned all the way up? An apron-front skort thing? And can I get a #fuckyeahbirkenstocks? I could totally wear this right now...and forever, basically.

marni menswear ss14

Photoshop filters are the wurst, but I think the "Crosshatch" effect I used here actually kinda helps in this instance. Maybe? The models are standing on a background by Jacqueline Colley—do yourself a favor and click through to check out her amazeballs body of work. She also has a great Tumblr. Which collections have been your favorites so far? Are you trolling Style.com every day?

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CALIFORNIA SON

6.24.2013

skateboarding inspired style

Why go for "sexy" when you can go for "sk8er boi golf attire"?

#BTS AT MEN'S FASHION WEEK

6.23.2013

behind the scenes men's fashion week

As usual, T Magazine had an incredible roster of photogs descend upon the men's shows and the results are panty-soakin' good. Kevin Tachman (top), Roberta Ridolfi (mid) and Alfredo Piola (bottom) shot Jil Sander, Burberry and Pilati's Zegna, respectively, and it's all so romantic and dreamy. I am definitely more into these shots than the street style at this point, where do you guys fall? (Click image for source.)

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[NOW PLAYING] CHROMATICS

6.20.2013



Thissssss sooongggg! Agh, I love it. I've been a huge fan of producer Johnny Jewel for like, five years or some ridiculously long number by millennial standards. Somehow, this gem of a track from Chromatics slipped under my radar. It is now like, my favorite song ever, almost literally. Start your summer off right—push play! Photo Fernando Farfán.

P.S. Also currently listening to this and this, if you're feeling adventurous.

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LET'S GET GAY MARRIED

6.18.2013


Long-term readers of this blerg will know that I've expressed some divergent thoughts on marriage (hither and thither) and its relative importance to me and my life goals. It's not that I don't fully support equality, on the marriage front as much as any other front, it's just that I'd like the equality debate to not hinge on that implicit dichotomy—singles vs. couples. Those of us in a binding lifelong union vs. those of us who are maybe single, maybe in a non-binding lifelong union, or maybe we're just Nickelback fans and who the f*ck could spend undying eternity with a Nickelback fan?

All of this is just to say that I wish there were more laws on the books that respected and protected a more diverse array of life choices, like planned-for single parenthood or constantly getting a lot of (self-respecting) ass because you feel like it. (I discussed this much more in depth in my last HuffPo piece, FYI.) It seems there's still this underlying fear of a gray area that's informing the marriage debate in this country, but queerness is kind of all about that gray area, you know? I'm hoping that sex education and prevalent social mores come to reflect that in due time...but for now—pretty wedding moodboards!


If I do get married, it's going to be glamorous as f*ck. I'm determined to get married outdoors and I will only get married in June. I'll wear something custom, duh, and the ceremony will also be performance art because I have to upstage Terence Koh's '09 East Hampton wedding.

Miranda Brooks' ceremony (always Miranda) seemed totally gorgeous and not too fussy (you can see the full thing here), so I have that in my head as a sort of low-budget blueprint. I mean, it wasn't even a destination wedding.


Honestly, I just want like, a band of gypsies playing jazz and ribbon dancing and I'll be happy. But I also really want a kid involved, so if I don't have one by then I'll have to borrow somebody's. As far as portrait photography goes, I've always really loved the above shot of NPH and David Burtka—it's actually romantic and not cheesy! But I think it was staged for a photo shoot? C'est la vie...

What are your thoughts on marriage? Will you be getting gay married soon?

Image credits: 1 & 2 // Les Loups, 3 // Stone Fox Bride (click image for source); all moodboard content via Pinterest (and there's more where this all came from, so check it out!)

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Kimono Dressing (Is a Thing)

6.17.2013


Because nothing says "outdoor music festival" like a gay guy in a kimono. Or maybe that's Sienna Miller in wellies...? Either way, this is what I wore yesterday at the Northside Festival, where I saw Solange! And she was gorgeous and I died. Photos McArthur Joseph.

Confession: I did not actually wear this kimono around the whole time. It's from the 1930's! And everyone knows you don't wear your best kimono to an outdoor concert—rookie mistake. I did have the flower crown on, though, and it was a big hit. I bought it at the Brooklyn Flea for $25, though you might be savvy enough to make your own. If you can't, this is the vendor's website, or you could maybe hit them up on Instagram?

Speaking of Instagram, some of you may recognize these pieces from my feed. As you can see, the kimono can be belted, too:


This outfit is also perfect for weddings, in case you were wondering. I almost wore the combo to my cousin's wedding, but rain kind of shut that down. Real talk—I think a kimono is the absolute best for lounging around your house and pointing at things dramatically. You can see how I wore my other kimono (yes, my second kimono) in last week's post.

YOU NEED TO KNOW: MATIN ZAD

6.14.2013


Matin Zad is blowing up the internets right now—he shot a much reblogged Duckie Brown campaign and has done some editorial work to boot. His aesthetic is subversive, minimal, and abstractly peculiar and I love it. If you check out his portfolio you'll see he was a pretty big influence on the art direction for this week's shootPhotography Matin Zad. Find him online and on Tumblr.

Women's Wear As #Menswear

6.10.2013


The other week I popped over to independent designer Jenny Lai's apartment-cum-atelier to talk about her line, NOT, and play dress up. Armed with a duffle bag of some of my ensembular essentials, we excitedly devised ways to take the line, which is solely "women's wear," and see how I could make the pieces my own. We ate 饺子 (dumplings) while listening to Macklemore and xxyyxx and chatted about what it's like to develop and manage a brand, why fashion week isn't relevant anymore, and where the hell is Rihanna when you need her? FIRST LOOK: Oak t-shirt with NOT skirt (looks like pants sorta, no?) and vintage Stacy Adams patent brogues.

LOOK 2: Wearing a twisted seam shirt of two fabrics with contrast piping and an uneven hem worn over another tee with my black skinnies.

Lai has an apparel degree from RISD, though she grew up studying music and has a diverse fine arts background. She interned for houses in London and Amsterdam and even designed jewelry in Rwanda before launching NOT right after school. "It was really important to me to experience the industry from a lot of different viewpoints, not just from the high-fashion side," she tells me. "I didn't feel daunted by the idea of starting my own business...I'm not learning on anybody else's dollar, but I still feel this is my route."

LOOK 3: Collared shirt with "backpack strap" shoulder padding and the sheer side pant.

Production and manufacturing for NOT is entirely based in NYC, and all fabrics are sourced here as well. "It's important to work with a very stable set of people that start to understand how you like your clothing produced," says Lai. "A lot of my clothing is produced in an untraditional way, and it takes time to teach someone how to do that." The techniques are also developed in the city, such as the laser cutting used for her Spring collection. "I would encourage anybody and everybody to understand a little bit better the process behind creating clothes."

LOOK 4: Pink lasercut spandex top and skirt handwoven with flower print tulle strips over my
Commes des Garçons SHIRT shirt.

Lai describes a busy work schedule that requires a precarious balancing act: concepting next season's collection while monitoring the current season's production while maintaining a strong PR presence and trying to attend educational lectures and talks.

"I begin by writing a lot and experimenting with tactile stuff, not necessarily fabric," she says. "I’m always very present when I’m designing the collection. It’s a very personal thing that I’m hoping people will respond to."


LOOK 5 (top): One of my favorite pieces, the sheet dress, worn over jeans and a t-shirt with a custom NOT headpiece; LOOK 6 (bottom): Quilted vest and paneled shorts.

“I’m creating for a woman who’s very creative and versatile...like a million people in one," says Lai. "Every collection is a new language or a new part of my personality." Well I am no one if not a million women in one, so...

We get to discussing the pressures the fashion industry puts on young designers. “The danger of following the seasons is that they come and go so fast, you don’t have time to question what you’re doing and why,” laments Lai. “Some of the big brands are coming out with 12 collections a year, which I guess is what people think they want from a brand.”

For young designers preoccupied with longevity and versatility, it can be difficult to find a foothold in the marketplace. “I don’t understand why something I created last season doesn’t have value now," notes Lai. "For me, it’s just as relevant…I’m trying to create pieces that will always be relevant. It’s really timeless in the sense that it can always be reinvented.”

LOOK 7: NOT skirt worn with one of my kimonos (yes, I have two) and NOT shoes (on my hands).

I really feel like the collection has commercial viability—Lai just needs to get one of her designs on Rihanna! "I've thought about that a lot," admits Lai, and I point out the potential in her floral lace-lensed sunnies (Look 4). If not Rihanna, Katy Perry! I'm pretty sure I am Katy Perry in that outfit.

LOOK 8: Lace-trimmed jumpsuit with lace cutouts.

“What I strive for in continuing to design is that I want to be excited about what I’m doing or else I don’t need to do it…it’s really hard for me to make something that I don’t care about.”

Thank you so much, Jenny, for taking the time to share your brand with me! For more NOT by Jenny Lai, visit the brand's Tumblr, Twitter and/or Facebook fan page. You can shop some of the pieces here.

Like this post? Check out my features on Giles & Brother, In God We Trust, Andy Lifschutz and Ale et Ange.

[TRENDSPOTTING] STACKABLE RINGS

6.07.2013

I, like all other people with eyes and Style.com bookmarked, have been obsessed with the stacked rings at Balenciaga S/S'13 for months now. But I hadn't really even tried to, "Get the look!" because of my giant man hands and the assumption that anything remotely similar (and equally delicate) would be made for slender lady knuckles.

In an attempt to show some sort of solidarity with departed designer Nicolas Ghesquière and his under-appreciated commercial savvy, I picked up a pair of thick vintage brass rings and accepted wearing one on my pointer finger and one on my pinky as the closest I would get to recreating the splendor of The Stacked Effect. Then I left those in a public bathroom (hand washing, be damned!) and resigned myself to misery. But then I stopped by the Flea again (again) last weekend and found a vendor selling these sweet pieces of ass:


Aren't they so perf you could throw up all over yourself? I almost didn't buy them to teach myself a lesson about being responsible and blah blah blah, but then I did buy them to feel cool and pretty. And I do! #winning

You can shop a similar style here, or check out the Brooklyn Flea!

THEYSKENS' THEORY RESORT 2014

6.06.2013


I don't usually post collections as they're happening—I'm admittedly not so trend oriented—but we all get why I'm posting this, right? I mean, we're alllll on the same page here, ya? I am flerping my shit for this. Obviously that first look—I mean, crop tops (bralettes, whatever) are so on my 'dar, ya know?—but that SECOND LOOK. Her jeans are baggy, ripped and PLEATED with a twisted seam. And that sweatshirt? And that belt? I want to go to the store RIGHT NOW and get everything, except obvs I would replace the strappy sandals with some Birks. Exept obvs also I am poor and that would never happen.

Also, I once ran into Hanne Gaby at a Whole Foods. And by "ran into" I mean, "saw from a distance and tried to figure out how I could secretly Instagram her without coming across like a total perv." I couldn't figure out how, so you'll have to take my word for it that this happened at all. Which of course you do, because #newssource. Images via Style.com.

P.S. If you're looking for some more ladyspiration, I highly suggest checking out this edit.

ERIN WASSON X THE COVETEUR

6.05.2013


I remember seeing this shoot on Rackk and Ruin when it first came out, but for one reason or another it didn't stick with me until I revisited it the other day. I love how some elements of Wasson's space are graphic and sculptural while others have an enviable patina, and all of it perfectly reflects her personal brand of rock-'n-roll cowgirl chic. I know I've been on that Scandi grind, but I really like here seeing the way her tchotchkes and mementos and artifacts mesh so well with all sorts of cool rich white lady shit like Prada shoes and expensive candles.





I'm currently apartment hunting like a wild banshee and will hopefully, by some point this summer, have my own #supercute space to share with you guys. Until then, you know where to find me. (Pinterest is where to find me.) All photos via The Coveteur. Like this post? Check out one of my other favorite Coveteur'd interiors here!
 

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