Friday, June 29, 2012

#2208 WIWT – Outlier and Little Brother

This outfit is significant for two reasons: 1. It marks the first time in as long as I can remember that I've willingly worn shorts outside of the house for anything other than exercisational purposes; and 2. It features the first Little Brother Spring/Summer 2012/2013 sample in the form of that short sleeve grey crewneck sweater. The shorts were kindly donated to the cause by the fine gents at Outlier – a company that prides itself on tailored garments that will literally stand up to anything you can throw at them. Named the Three-Way-Shorts, they're breathable (good for walking), stretchy (good for running) and they feature mesh lined pockets (good for avoiding awkward bulges while swimming). Most of the brand's fabrics come from a high-tech mill in Western Europe and boast water and stain resistance, plus a four-way stretch. I'm not sure about other guys, but I wasn't familiar with stretch fabrics till I tried these on, and the experience is not unlike that time Audi gave me a car for a week. When I hopped back into my Honda Civic, I knew life would never be the same again. Ditto all my other pants. And on the Little Brother front, we've got our big sample meeting this evening at 6:00pm my time. So much anticipation... so little time!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#2207 The facts of life

My favourite piece of the menswear season to date, illustrated by Richard Haines for T.
1. On Sunday last week I was walking down the street when I saw my old mate Karen Inderbitzen Waller standing outside a pub. I ran over to her, screamed her name and twirled her round and round in a bear hug. When she told me to let her go in a very American accent, I realised my mistake, apologised about ten thousand times and put her down. Seven days later, my old mates Zara Mirkin and Zippora Seven had a house warming party at their new place. I walked in the door, and the real life Karen Inderbitzen Waller was sitting in their garden. It was like I willed her to be in New York and she appeared. Who says the power of positive thinking is all a myth?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#2206 Good Question

Aiden Andrews in Prada S/S 2013. Photo: The Fashionisto
Are you, like me, generally disappointed by Menswear S/S 2013 so far? I found Jil Sander's return very weak and the only shows I have enjoyed were Jonathan Saunders and Ermenegildo Zegna. Thoughts? 

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed with the season thus far, but my reaction to the shows has surprised me a little bit. It's all relative. Because I've been so focussed on wearable menswear (as opposed to high fashion menswear) for the past six months, anything that extends beyond the bounds of what the average well-dressed guy could conceivably throw on and pull off is suddenly ludicrous to me. So on the first day, I was looking at Burberry with its metallic shirting or Jil Sander with its sleeveless three quarter length coats and shaking my head. But the more I see, the easier it is to understand the direction things are heading. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

#2205 The Likes List – Pitti Streetstyle Edition

Photos: Tommy Ton for GQ
1. This guy on the right is wearing the Thom Browne of neck ties and I am into it. He's like a naughty schoolboy trapped in a middle-aged Korean man's body.

Friday, June 22, 2012

#2204 The Tom & Isaac Show at Park & Bond Take II – the outtakes

Photos: Rose Callahan
We were scheduled to shoot the second installment of The Tom & Isaac Show for Park & Bond at 10:00am last Friday, but Murphy intervened. By 10:30am the clothes still hadn't shown, and we were asked if we could move it to 4:00pm to allow for a courier who had no regard for the word URGENT (probably a New Zealander). 11:00am passed. Then 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:45pm, 4:15pm and still nothing. This posed a problem: We had our team, made up of Rose the photographer, Olivia the styling assistant and Mike the lighting guy; we had Tom walking around the apartment in a towel; and we had me beginning to panic at the thought of styling eight different outfits while running amok around Williamsburg.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

#2203 What's in store at Acne – the outtakes

Photos: Noah Emrich of NOVH fame
We shot our latest What's in store at the brand new Acne store in SoHo precisely one hour after it had officially opened for business. That meant that the retail crew were still ironing out a couple of kinks and construction workers were putting the final nails in the dressing room adjacent to the one that I filled with every men's piece in sight. Highlights included Amy, the Kiwi shop assistant; the fact that the trousers fit better off the rack than the ones I've been getting tailored recently; not to mention the miracle that Noah and I didn't squabble once, which is particularly rare, seeing as we typically bicker like an old married couple. God bless that boy. Click here to check out all the photos and the full story over on the Times site, and below to see all the outtakes that didn't make the cut. Did I mention it's 36 degrees in New York today? I'm freaking out man!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#2202 The facts of life

An exceptional navy blue polka dot short sleeve shirt, by Engineered Garments.
1. On Thursday last week The Model Alliance held a screening for the documentary Girl Model, which chronicles the scouting of a 13 year old Siberian girl named Nadya, her excitement at leaving Russia to go to work in Tokyo, and her eventual heartbreak as the promised $8000 USD contract turns out to be worth less than the paper it was printed on. Besides moments that include the wealthy 30-something year old American scout talking about how many of the 12 and 13 year old girls who leave Russia will turn to prostitution to support themselves, the most gut-wrenching bit for me was a phone call that Nadya has with her mother where she says that she's not being fed properly in Tokyo. "I'll try to send you some money," her mother says. "No don't," is her reply. "If you send me money you won't be able to eat." Imagine having that kind of consciousness at 13 years of age.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#2201 Good Question

Corinna Studier for GQ's Like The Boys – styled by me, shot by Justin Chung.
Anonymous Asks: Hi! I am a girl and I want to buy my first pair of high tops. My only problem is that I am not sure how to wear them with jeans. Any suggestions? 

Hi! Good question. I hope by high tops you mean navy blue high top Chuck Taylors, and then you're speaking my language, but maybe you're talking about white Chucks or Desert Boots or Air Huaraches or something and that'd be fresh too. (One caveat: Steer away from anything too chunky or tall or you'll end up looking like Kevin Federline.) When you're a girl wearing jeans and high tops, it's pretty simple: Do as Corinna does in the photograph above – roll a pair of boyish jeans up over the shoes so there's a tiny bit of skin showing in between, or, if your jeans are skinny and not too long, you probably only need to turn them up once to get a similar effect. (Do not, under any circumstances, tuck your pants into your shoes. It's a surefire way to make yourself look like an Ugg Boot-wearing reality TV star from LA.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

#2200 The Likes List – The Week That Was

It was an eventful week – Tom Bull flew into town for 48 hours after a campaign shoot in Australia to shoot the second installment of The Tom & Isaac Show for Park & Bond (he flew out to Milan for the menswear shows this afternoon); Jack Tame made the trek down to Williamsburg from SpaHa (Spanish Harlem) all of three times; and I made a new mate in the form of Nemo Brown the dog (and I don't even like dogs). Add to all that the fact that my heels got so nailed by a pair of leather shoes worn on Friday that I now can't walk without blood literally spraying off the back of my feet; we went ten pin bowling last night and I won for the first time in my 28 years; and Noah Emrich and I shot our next What's in Store for the Times. I'm just about ready to call it a week. Here are a few photos my roommate Lubo Golic took over the past few days. Let's hope the week to come is equally fruitful. Happy Monday, everybody!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

#2199 WIWT Wednesday

Photo: Lubo Golic
Seersucker is my new favourite fabric, and these pants – purchased at J Crew, and tapered, shortened and cuffed by the fine folk at New York Tailor Shop – are my new favourite pair. You know those days when nothing goes your way? That was me today. First of all, I had a phone call I've waited two weeks to receive get postponed later and later from 10:30am to 4:30pm, then, at 4:45pm, after hearing nothing, I got an email asking me why I hadn't called them. The worst bit was that it was my own fault – I hadn't read the bottom of the email which expressly stated that I was to do the dialing. By that stage, the person who I was supposed to be talking to had already walked into another meeting. Then, I went to buy the god damn J Crew Ludlow suit in seersucker that I tried on last week (and which fit like a dream) and found that it's sold out across the entire company. And they're not getting any more in. To add insult to injury, today's GQ Rules is all about the benefits of owning a seersucker suit. Kill me. There'll be no photos of my head today, because it's too twisted with bitterness.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

#2198 The facts of life

Once upon a time in Paris. Photo: Katherine Lowe
1. Things that make me ludicrously happy: When GQ debuts a new GQ Rules video style series. This time round, it's 15 ways to look good this summer without breaking a sweat. Cue tips on cotton suits, colour combos, the right socks (or lack thereof), how to match your tie to your pocket square to your shirt and all sorts of other helpful tidbits from Messers Moore and Hainey. What can I say? I'm a nerd. But it's such a good time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#2197 Good Question

Magdalena Frackowiak backstage at Christian Dior Haute Couture, June 2009.
Anonymous asks: Hi Isaac I'm going to be visiting Paris during Couture Week. What are some things I must do? Places to eat and places to see, ideas on where to watch the fashion crowd and how to sneak into shows?

I remember my first Couture Week like it was yesterday... I bolted all over the city with photographer Steve Wood and spent the trip sneaking into shows, running amok backstage, holding remote lights, attempting to chat up supermodels and generally making a nuisance of myself everywhere I went. It was the most fun fashion week experience I've ever had. Highlights include getting backstage at Chanel and snapping photographs of Karl Lagerfeld, meeting Natasha Poly, Sasha Pivovarova and Jean Paul Gaultier backstage at his show, and pulling off the unthinkable at Christian Dior – first up, getting in (security is tighter than US border control), second, taking the above photograph of Magdalena Frackowiak with my Blackberry.

Monday, June 11, 2012

#2196 The Likes List – Short Sleeve Shirt Edition

In lieu of an actual list today, I decided to shoot Ashika Pratt in a couple of boys' short sleeve shirts I had lying around the house, for the simple reason that they're what I like the most right now, and she looks so good in them. The first and second are striped shirts from TopMan and the last is a polka dot version I bought from All Saints that is far too small for me (she gets to keep that one). The moral of the story is simple: Everybody should wear short sleeve shirts this summer. Everybody! I am officially obsessed.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

#2195 Words to live by

“There’s a moment in life when you can’t recover anymore from another break up. And even if this person bugs you 60% of the time, you still can’t live without them. And even if he wakes you up every day by sneezing right in your face, well, you love his sneezes more than anybody else’s kisses.”

Probably the most romantic thing I've ever heard. Watch 2 Days in Paris. It might just change your life. Also, Japanese movie posters are way better than ours.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

#2194 WIWT Wednesday

Three things happened in the past three weeks: My love affair with menswear was rekindled, I got a new bike, and my Mum sent me an article about narcissism that she cut out of The Listener – New Zealand's answer to Time Magazine. With the clothing obsession came an unbridled attempt to drain the contents of my bank account, and with the bike came a cheap new way to travel around the city – thus equilibrium was restored. The article threw me a little. It would seem that this new-found obsession with self isn't doing any of us any favours – we post innumerable photographs of ourselves on Facebook, we write lengthy, rambling posts about ourselves on our blogs, and many of us apparently hold ourselves in quite high regard. But quelle horreur, none of these exemplary societal developments appear to have had any impact whatsoever on our work ethics or our levels of success.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

#2193 The facts of life

1. I recently started reading Bob Dylan's autobiography Chronicles and the thing that separated him from the masses is the fact that he spent every waking moment tirelessly pursuing his dream. He performed for free, for tips, for empty rooms, for drunken buffoons, and for anybody who'd listen before finally catching a break in the form of a management contract. As far as I can tell, the moral of that story is to have extreme tunnel vision. Focus on one thing and perfect it before moving onto anything else. Being a jack of all trades is overrated. Master one.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

#2192 Good Question(s)

Tony Curtis in a good shirt and tie. Photo: GQ
What do you think are the best ways to overcome post breakup anger/sadness and feelings-of-outrage?

I'm a firm believer in cutting all contact with the ex in question – delete them on Facebook, stop hanging out with their friends, don't go to places where you know they'll be, never, ever drunk dial them; but most importantly, try not to spend all your waking hours dwelling on them. Self-preservation is key. Nobody else is going to look out for you, you have to look out for yourself. Focus on the positives in life – forget how happy your ex seems to be or how they've gotten straight into another relationship or how they didn't have to deal with any consequences for being such a jerk. Throw yourself into your work, exercise, friendships etc. Volunteer at the City Mission. Do whatever you can to take your mind off the break up. And for God's sakes, don't let it be the only thing you ever talk about with your friends. They'll end up wanting to break up with you too. Best of luck.

Monday, June 4, 2012

#2191 The Likes List – Summer Menswear Edition

1. It's fairly well documented by now that everything Ovadia & Sons does is solid gold, but the brothers' indigo linen pants are so fecking good, I don't even know what to do with myself.

Friday, June 1, 2012

#2190 The Tom & Isaac Show At Park & Bond

Photos: Noah Emrich of NOVH fame
My first foray into menswear came courtesy of Murray Crane at Little Brother, but my introduction to the world of menswear media can be attributed solely to and its editors Tyler Thoreson and Josh Peskowitz. Before I had ever met those two in real life I'd emailed them both asking for internships (to no avail), and after I ran into Josh at the Hugo Boss show on my first day of the Paris Men's Collections back in 2009, I started sending him about three emails a month in the hopes of a leg-up.