Above TOJ1 Varsity Jacket in the “Jason Bourne” Colorway
Varsity jackets, aka letterman jackets, are a classic wardrobe staple that underwent a strong resurgence in 2008. While traditionally worn by students to represent one’s school and/or team, it is not uncommon to to see various interpretations being offered by labels such as Visvim, Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe, Number (N)ine, and A.P.C. to name a few. Up until this point, the only letterman jackets available for purchase to consumers were either vintage or commissioned to be produced in bulk (Skookum aka Centralia Knitting Mills being one such company); either route usually resulted in a boxy fitting piece with awkward proportions and standard materials. This particular piece resulted from an individual’s effort to fulfill a demand among superfuture members for a high-quality letterman jacket that was also slim fitting and reasonably priced. Although initially started for a small group of members, it quickly caught on and to this day is still one of his most demanded pieces.
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It goes without saying that one of the biggest trends to develop over the past several seasons has been the omnipresence of the clutch bag as the new “it bag” for Autumn/Winter 2012. Nearly every major fashion house pushed their own interpretations back in Spring 2012 with Céline and Balenciaga’s sleek document holders notable standouts from Paris, as was 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Roy Lichtenstein inspired pop-art numbers from New York, and even young start-ups in Tokyo such as Roggykei building buzz with their youthful punk interpretations and street-wear staple Phenomenon getting in on the action with their Head Porter collaborations for Spring/Summer 2013.
I’ve been meaning to buy a clutch portfolio for my day-to-day fashion work and couldn’t find the right one that has just the right amount of understated sleek design, quality craftsmanship, and ability to hold my Macbook Air and other essentials without screaming “Hey look guys I’m carrying a Macbook Air!”.
The search ended when I found this Céline FW 2012 portfolio. Even though Céline is a women’s collection line, the bags and accessories are thoroughly understated/unisex with a growing legion of male fans. This particular version has three large pockets with the middle pocket closeable with a zipper at the top. It perfectly fits my laptop without any bulkiness but still has enough room and compartments for my other items without ruining the case’s sleek lines. Sadly things of beauty do not come cheap with this white version (black, blue, and brown versions are also available) in Spazzolato calfskin costing me 14,000 HKD (roughly $1800 USD) when I purchased it on a business trip to Hong Kong last month.
For those male readers that may be turned off by the idea of carrying a women’s clutch, another recommendation I have is from Valextra. They are an Italian high-end leather goods maker that does an equally subtle but drop-dead gorgeous Macbook Air portfolio in fine-grained calfskin leather. This particular earlier black model has two sleeves, one for the Macbook Air, and another for various documents, an iPad, etc. Sadly this also was quite expensive, running me over $1600 when I purchased it in Tokyo last summer.
Writing and photography by Rajiv Sawhney
My experience has been if you want something really bad, there is a good chance you’ll get it in the end. When I discovered these shoes, the season was already changing and stores were switching to new spring/summer pieces. I called practically every Dior boutique in North America and Europe but to no avail. I scoured the internet, on fashion forums, on eBay, and eventually ended up with a pair of white on white low tops that were 2 sizes too big. After about 6 months of occasionally scanning eBay and ready to give up, I managed to come across a listing for exactly what I was looking for in Germany.
There have been few times when I knew I couldn’t settle for any alternatives, that taking the effort to get what I wanted would be worthwhile, and those pieces would come with a story.
Harry makes his second Coveted contribution to Third Looks. In it he expresses something I’ve definetly experinced myself. Part of the appeal of clothes to me is the hunt. Seeing something you truly want and searching high and low for it until it somehow finally ends up in your possession. It’s the fashion equivalent of serendipity and it’s a truly satisfying feeling owning something you absolutely love, as opposed to buying another piece you just like. There’s been times where I’ve had to save up for months just to afford an items and in many cases those are the things I still treasure to this day. – Rocky
Words and Photography Harry Zhou
This Undercover accessory has a 3D text ‘Fuck’ monogram reminiscent of Goyard and Pierre Hardy printed on textured poly vinyl. Subtly branded Undercover/Undercoverism in gold foil the one zipper compartment is sized to be appropriate for carrying day to day needs such as cards, bills folded notes, receipts, coins and keys. The colorway displayed above is ‘green’ but various accessories including wallets and tote bags with this same monogram can be found in an assortment of colors.
The wallet version is still available at Haven in Bordeax for $321 CDN.
This zip pouch is also available through Oki-Ni for £70.00 in the small size, or £120 for the medium.
Photos by Rocky Li
A few months ago I had read an article in Dwell picking apart the relative values of traditional art pieces and architecture. The author found it disturbing that a Frank Lloyd Wright could be had for a fraction of what a major Warhol piece may cost. This had me thinking about value disparities in the fashion market. I had seen this Undercover jacket pop up for sale a number of times between 2006 to 2009. With every change of hand the price went down, to the point where I found myself asking how such an amazing piece could be offered for so little. I eventually picked it up after it had gone through 7 to 8 owners.
Upon receiving the jacket, I needed to pick at and examine every detail of its construction, and it was overwhelming. Never have I seen something created to be so three-dimensional. Every superfluous detail was not just added to an immediately recognizable garment, but rather integrated into the construction and structure of the jacket. It’s impossible to say the same about something like the Dior Homme ‘Luster’ napoleon jacket, and yet the Dior jacket commands a price 25 to 30 times that of the Undercover in secondhand markets.
It is a shame and a boon at once that such a phenomenon exists in the fashion market. To most, only the most romanticized legends are desired. Those that are able to appreciate the thought, knowledge, and process imbued into a special garment however, this disparity has granted access to an inventory of art that is too often inhibited by retail markets.
Editor’s Note : I love Harry and all but I do resent him a little bit for owning this and humble bragging about how much of a steal he got it for. (Rocky)
Photos and words by Harry Zhou
Above is the Monro Layered Down Hoodie in what they call the “Bohemian Rhapsody” pattern. This down jacket is light, packable, and will keep you insulated from the elements all winter long. The pattern might look loud at first but it’s surprisingly easy to wear. If you always wanted to channel ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with the perfect balance between “one-percenter’ and ‘occasional psychedelic drug user” this is definitely the jacket for you.
Available at Neptenthes for $360.
FW11 Runway Image
Junya Watanabe had a particularly strong Fall/Winter 2011 collection and this blazer exemplifies why. As Junya regularly does, this blazer adds twists on familiar concepts. Details include shawl collar, front patch pockets, and a tastefully-executed fairisle pattern. If you’re looking to add eye-catching outerwear to your fall wardrobe, you won’t go wrong with any of the outerwear from this collection.
Product photos by Rocky Li
Above is a Rick Owens Gradient Leather Jacket from Spring/Summer 2009. This is a classic Rick Owens piece and although he has incorporated the idea of gradients into some of his later work, I haven’t seen this treatment since. While some original buyers of this jacket griped about the Tyvek gradient portion peeling away with wear I think the evolution of the gradient over adds to this item’s appeal. It’s easy to demand perfection from our purchases but it’s the personalized imperfections that endears an item of clothing to us.
Photos by Rocky Li
This Dries Van Noten hooded jacket from the the Spring/Summer 2012 collection will keep you dry in style. The conservative cut and the subtle maroon, black and navy striping mean that the piece can be dressed up or down. Some of the finer details include metal riri zips, zippered pockets, and drawstrings to adjust fit.
You can find this and other Dries pieces on The Corner.
Photos by Rocky Li
Supreme SS06 Codura Duffle Bag
Supreme Leopard Camo and Cordura Camera Bags
Supreme 19th Scatterweave Backpack (2005)
Supreme SS11 Olive Zebra Cordura Backpack
Supreme FW08 Backpack
Supreme SS10 Leopard Camo Guide 28 Backpack
Since the brand’s inception Supreme has been putting out seasonal bags, the most popular of which are the duffle bags and backpacks. While they used to only put out one backpack per year, the increased demand has resulted in Supreme cranking out more models. The first backpack I got was my grey Supreme 19th Scatterweave backpack which was made in the USA and featured tons of great details : hidden compartments , metal zips, and durable construction. While the bags are no longer made in the United States, they still represent great quality, functionality at a price that’s fair (at least if you pay retail). Most of the designs are inspired by hiking, vintage or military packs.
The bags used to be a less hyped item that would sit for most of the season but as with many other items expect any desired models to sell out quickly.
Photos by Rocky Li