Thursday, January 31, 2013

#2287 The facts of life – Awkward Edition

Steve Coogan. Photo: Haw-lin
1. Today I made an inappropriate joke to someone – thinking I was being hilarious – and then discovered that the joke topic was something that had actually happened to them and was therefore the opposite of funny. It was bad and I'm too embarrassed to say what it was, but I will tell you that it wasn't as terrible as a rape joke but it was worse than a your mama joke to someone whose mama is deceased. In honour of my awkward day, this Facts of life is devoted to things I find awkward. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#2286 Apartment Hunting New York


I'm not a procrastinator, but I do have a habit of sitting back and waiting for whatever-I-hope-is-going-to-happen to happen. That's fine when it's something small like breakfast and you can count on your girlfriend to bring you a bagel on her way over to your house, but not so good when it's something bigger like searching out, applying for and eventually being accepted into a new apartment. Welcome to my world. This past month, I've had a gotta-get-out-of-my-house deadline of January the 31st. My room was advertised on Craigslist and within a day of interviews it was filled. I went on a few apartment hunting missions, journeyed up to Harlem a couple of times, saw some great but fecking expensive places in the Lower East Side and a few awful places in Murray Hill, attempted to wrangle my cousin into being my guarantor, failed, and didn't really find anything suitable anyway, and then I quit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

#2285 La Paz, Howlin', Homecore and YMC – My picks from MAN

La Paz.

New York was taken over by the trade-shows last week, which meant long treks though giant warehouses filled with every collection from every designer you've ever heard of. My favourite of the lot was the comparatively small MAN show, held at Industria Studios in the West Village. It's a Parisian event, and most of the brands involved are from that part of the world – France, Belgium, Portugal, etc – with a strong leaning towards handmade, rustic menswear which looks like your Scottish grandma knitted it all from scratch on those cold, lonely, Highland nights. Four brands stood out for their sweet sweaters, socks, beanies, scratchy sportcoats and that perfect woolen fishermen's jacket: La Paz from Portugal, Howlin' from Belgium, Homecore from France and YMC (You Must Create) from England. All are available here in New York, most are available worldwide, and a couple are even stocked at Fabric in Auckland. All my favourite garments below (including a couple of illustrations by everyone's favourite artist Richard Haines), and check out all of Richard's illustrations from the show, here. (If the guy holding the clothes looks familiar, you probably receognise him from that blog Isaac Likes.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

#2284 Good Question


Anon asks: I have been having a feeling that my boyfriend is cheating on me and recently got some pretty strong evidence that he is. I really don't know what to do. I know if I confront him about it, he will flip out and end it with me and if I leave it then I am an idiot for not saying anything. I know it is stupid and I should end it but I really don't want to end it with him... And I don't know what to do.

So... Your boyfriend doesn't sound like a very nice guy. And I'm sure you're a lovely person, but you sound like an absolute pushover. You basically know that he's cheating on you but you're terrified he'll break up with you if you ask him about it. Someone very wise once told me that the fear of pain is often far greater than the pain itself. And my roommate Ljubo told me last night that vampires are a metaphor for anybody who sucks the happiness out of your life. Here's what you've got to ask yourself: Is your boyfriend a vampire? And are you more terrified of the prospect of being alone than actually being alone? Have you considered the possibility that you'll actually be happier once the fang marks heal? Here's my advice: Break up with him immediately. Don't give him the satisfaction of asking if he's cheating on you – I imagine the pretty strong evidence speaks for itself. Stay single for a while and learn to be happy by yourself. Steer clear of the vampires. And don't forget: When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Best advice I've ever received.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

#2283 Tom Bull for Barkers, Take Three


Today we're coming to you live from Go Studios on the Chelsea/Midtown-West border, where Liam Goslett is shooting Tom Bull for the third installment of our seasonal Barkers campaigns. This time around it's suits, suits and more suits – 11 to be exact, in various shades of charcoal, navy blue and black. This campaign will herald the official launch of Barkers' suiting collection in all its slim-fitting, well-priced glory. Check my Tumblr/Instagram for updates throughout the day, and rest assured you won't have to wait long to shop the looks – Barkers is dropping the campaign at the beginning of February. Boom!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

#2282 She's a cold week in New York


It was negative 11 degrees in New York yesterday. Negative 11. Come on! I'm from a subtropical country. My body is not acclimatised to this level of cold. If you weren't born somewhere with a real winter, you grew up reading words like, 'bitter wind,' and 'frozen rivers,' and 'gangrenous, frostbitten toes,' and not really understanding the brevity of such statements. Trust me when I tell you you're not missing out on anything. Seeing as this is an outfit post, here's the part where I tell you that the only upside to this situation is layering. You know the rest: This jacket! My scarf! That hat! You get it, I know, just look at the pictures. Those of you in warmer climes, think of me in my hypothermic state.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

#2281 HUGO war sehr gut! Nein!?


Last night I discovered that Eddie Redmayne and I dream the same dream: To one day play Gavroche in Les Miserables. Seeing as neither of us are getting any younger, I fear our time's gone by, but I did sing Little People to my eight year old classmates in year three, so at least one of us came close. I caught the English actor backstage after the HUGO show, and fresh off the plane from his Golden Globes appearance in LA; you'll all be pleased to know that he is that good looking in real life, he's extremely friendly, and he believes that actors have it far easier than fashion designers – movie stars enjoy a hiatus after a film wraps, while designers get going on the next collection the day after the show walks. Also backstage were Edward Norton (not so approachable, but surprisingly thin), and Renee Zellweger (who mentioned something about a return from her extended hiatus – IMDB confirms that Bridget Jones' Diary 3 is currently in pre-production).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

#2280 Guten Tag, das kleine krokodil!


Hello from sunny Berlin! Is what I would be saying if the temperatures rose above negative five and darkness didn't descend at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Despite the cold and gloom, it is so good to be back in Europe after a year long hiatus – flying into Charles de Gaulle at 6 o'clock this morning reminded me of the Parisian dream; I've never been so tempted to defect. But Berlin's no slouch. This time I vow to leave my hotel room and do some real life sight seeing: First stop Soto, second stop the Holocaust Memorial, and I'm actually going to go inside this time. Besides all that, I'm here for the HUGO show which walks tomorrow at 8:45pm. The team very kindly allowed me to loiter backstage for an hour or so tonight (see above) and these Germans never cease to amaze me – they're so relaxed I swear they have everything nailed a year in advance. Javol! And juuuust in case you were wondering, celebrity guests include Eddie Redmayne, Renee Zellweger and Edward Norton. Check my Instagram and Tumblr for regular updates.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#2279 Carlos Castillo is the guy


There are few bi-annual posts I love doing more than my Pity I'm Not At Pitti series, but I've gotta be honest – give or take a couple of amazing images of the perfect union between Nickelson Wooster's pants leg and shoes, I've felt a bit ho-hum about most of what I've seen in the streetstyle department. It's no fault of the photographers or their subjects, they're just doing what they've always done. It's more a case of this: Now that imagery of amazingly dressed men is so readily available on the internet; because the #menswear blogosphere has done such a good job of propagating the necessity to dress better; and since the mass-market retailers have taken note and designed accordingly; it's like, who doesn't dress like this these days? Everywhere I go I see men in donegal tweed blazers, shetland wool sweaters oxford button downs and cropped/cuffed pants over great socks and amazing shoes. Well dressed men have saturated the market. All that said, the one guy who consistently wins for me is Carlos Castillo – owner of Man 1924 in Madrid – seen above in the blue suit and hat. He kills it every single time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

#2278 Meeting Mr Majd


I would love to say that I charmed Hooman Majd into a meeting with my witty prose and delightful email banter, but the truth is potentially more awesome. Potentially. Hooman Majd doesn't turn down meeting requests. If time permits, he sees them all, and, myself excluded, he's yet to encounter a crazy. We met for coffee the morning after the insomniac blog post was written. The man is in high demand (I had calls from a casting director friend the moment I posted his photo – she'd love him for a campaign she's working on), yet I was the one running late. Only four minutes, but by the time I arrived he was already in his seat, drinking his coffee, looking fresh in an orange cashmere sweater under a blackwatch check Woolrich blazer given to him by Glenn O'Brien. We discussed Iranian politics, the revolution, Argo, that one time he stopped in Auckland (he noticed a lot of wool), and the perils of life as a freelance journalist. In summation, he was the man. Here's to many more meetings in the years to come. (Photo evidence from my Instagram, above.)

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

#2277 A definitely vaguely potential meeting with Hooman Majd

Hooman Majd – Photo: GQ
Do you know what's a strange proposition? Asking someone you've never met before – but whom you follow on the internet – if they'd like to meet IRL. I've been contacted out of the blue for hang-outs via this blog a bunch of times. Some of the people have become great friends, others mere acquaintances, and one was a particularly awkward incident in which an inexplicably aggressive little man demanded I sell myself to him between intermittent monologues about life as a hedge fund manager. Despite that train-wreck of a lunch (oh god I bet he's going to read this and then I'm going to bump into him tomorrow), I've never said no to anybody who's asked. On the other hand, I can count the number of times I've extended the warm hand of uninvited friendship on just one hand. And tonight was one of those times.

Monday, January 7, 2013

#2276 Resolutions

Me in Paris, 2011. Photo: Katherine Lowe
It's 4:27am on Monday morning and I'm insomniac-ing out in my bed right now. Having spent the past hour reading three months' worth of posts from Karley Sciortino I suddenly have a strong inclination to write something. And here we go. Resolutions only work when they're potentially achievable – ie go to the gym three times a week in an attempt to develop those pectoral muscles that never grew of their own accord (I did this last year for about six months and it worked, but then I popped a weird little hernia in my wrist and got frightened and quit and the pecs retracted soon after) – and goals are all very good and well; but what happens when you achieve them and can't think of what to do next?