Top : Raf Simons SS05 Sleeveless , Number (N)ine Tank
Jeans : Robert Geller
Accessories : Robert Geller Sunglasses, Braided Bracelet, Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver bead bracelet
Shoes : Converse Chuck Taylor
When did you first start becoming interested in fashion and how did you develop that interest into a career?
I first became interested in style through music and skating. I have always drawn and been interested in design, my mom still has these line sheets I would make for skate brands I wanted to start when I was 13. I first got into the fashion industry managing a punk fashion store in DC called Commander Salamander.
I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I figured the best way to get started would be work at a cool shop. I kept working my way up through retail: buying (Deep Sleep Philadlphia, Urban Outfitters) and managing(Denim Bar Arlington. Odin New York) I was learning more about fashion and the business side of it over the years before I began working with Robert Geller as his design assistant. I now work freelance doing styling/wardrobe, graphic design and consulting. Working through the fashion industry the way I did I gained so much hands on experience working with every aspect of the business I’m very fortunate for this.
The greatest experience I’ve gained is through my time with Robert Geller it was an unparalleled experience: the hands on work, the nuances of design, the work required to succeed, the amount I learned was amazing. Working with some one like that in a close small team is something I felt helped me to grow so much.
Jacket : Raf Simons SS08 Blazer
Top : Robert Geller Button Up, Rick Owens Tank
Jeans : Robert Geller
Shoes : Robert Geller x Common Projects Zip Boot
How would you describe your personal style philosophy and the influences that helped inspire it.
I guess the philosophy to my personal style is just founded on wearing things I like by designers who’s aesthetic and ethos appeal to me. I have to believe in something to wear it, I don’t just wear a piece of clothing because it’s cool, that means nothing to me.
I need to feel a connection to the designer, their inspiration, and the construction. All of it is important. The influences of my personal style are ’80’s DC hardcore kids and Japanese street style. I’m pretty understated in my own look to be honest. I pretty much only wear jeans, tee shirts, sneakers and jackets.
You’ve worked as a stylist on many different jobs, what unique challenges does styling present? How has it broadened your perspectives on fashion?
The unique challenges of doing styling jobs are the various demands. It’s a very demanding profession with very little room for error on many jobs. Your working with time constraints, budget constraints, direction coming from different angles whether it be management, production, photographer/director, talent or your self. It’s a balancing act for sure. Styling requires you to always be on your toes and adjust your plan on the fly: concepts, dates these things all change out of the blue you have to be ready you can’t get flustered.
Having worked as a buyer and in sales I guess I’ve had a broad perspective on fashion. Working in different roles you see how different people view and react to fashion reguarly; those jobs helped give me a big upper hand in styling.
Do you do most of your clothes shopping online or in person?
I actually don’t shop much, I think I buy myself more stuff for soccer than clothing for every day. I guess I do buy more in person I like to have that tactile experience of handling the garments myself as well as the instant satisfaction of taking it home then and there.
Jacket : Robert Geller Moto Vest
Tops : Ann Demeulemeester Sleeveless Tee, Number (N)ine Tank
Jeans : UU Uniqlo x Undercover
Accesories : Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver bead bracelet , Braided Bracelet
Shoes : Undercover Chucks
How has your experience as a designer affected how you shop for yourself?
Being a designer affected my shopping a lot, it made me not want to at all really. I wouldn’t say it jaded me at all but I was fortunate to be able have many of the things I wanted because well we made them at Robert Geller. Designing really made me even pickier then I already was about clothing.
Top : Raf Simons AW04-05 Crewneck
Bottoms : Robert Geller Shorts
Shoes : Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Lunarspider +
Accessories : Robert Geller Sunglasses, Ann Demeulemeester Stud Belt, Nike ACG Camo Backpack, Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver bead bracelet , Braided Bracelet
What do you think about the current state of men’s fashion?
I think the current state of men’s fashion is just that its not inspiring. It’s been dull to me, the excitement and youth is gone. Men’s fashion has become a hashtag, an internet idea. Menswear to so many is based on what’s safe (what’s now considered cool): plaid button ups, chinos, loafers etc. Its not about ideas, fits or materials. The excitement of the early 2000’s when menswear really started to take risks and have a youthful edge is gone.
The other big issue I’ve been noticing is that there is so little middle ground, the avant garde have gone way out there and the heritage aesthetics has gotten to be a caricatures of themselves. In the early 2000s you saw Helmut, Heidi, and Raf really intertwine the avante garde design with classic beautiful menswear. For example when Helmut made a perfectly tailored black blazer with elastic bondage straps. That subtlety is gone and I miss it. The mystery and subversion is isn’t there any more, both camps are just trying to hit you over the head with their extremes.
GHSTS of NY.
Special Thanks to Paul Wax for the photography.
Words by Rocky Li
Photography by Paul Wax
Recently I had been hearing from some friends about a new store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called GRAYMARKET. I got in touch with one of the store’s founders Alex Kasavin and he invited me to visit the space this past week. While Williamsburg has been making strides in terms of nightlife and restaurants the neighborhood has never been known for its designer-clothing options. Founders Alex Kasavin and Wei Du set-out to provide what they call ‘archival designer clothing’ for men and women and I am happy to report that they have succeeded in creating a very special shop that stands alone in New York.
On the shops neatly organized racks I found jackets, tops , bottoms and shoes from some of my personal favorite brands : Givenchy, Number (N)ine, Undercover, Rick Owens and Carol Christian Poell just to name a few. It was truly a joy browsing the shop’s strange and wonderful assortment of items that I have always been very particular about mixing and matching with pieces across brands and collections and I am sure anyone with a similar outlook will find something for them at Graymarket.
Alex and Wei were gracious enough to answer a few questions I had about Graymarket.
Please introduce the concept behind Graymarket and how it came to fruition
Graymarket is a retail project inspired by our interest in fashion, art, and alternative modes of commerce. Graymarket offers a curated selection of archival items from a range of artisanal and luxury designers and presents a unique narrative through the juxtaposition of bleak avant-garde and polished glam aesthetics.
Graymarket is the unexpected result of endless hours of discussion. We did not aim to create a retail concept. The idea developed organically and we pursued it.
What made you feel that Williamsburg was the right neighborhood to open your shop?
We have lived, worked, and partied here for many years. We derive constant inspiration from Williamsburg’s vibrant culture of music, art, design, and fashion. We can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Despite the diverse range of pieces across and seasons available for sale there is a certain cohesiveness in the stock you carry. How were you able to curate such an interesting assortment of pieces?
In general we seek out pieces that we see ourselves and our friends wearing. We are especially drawn to garments that bear their creator’s indelible mark and can’t be mistaken for the work of another designer. Beyond that we look for pieces that can be combined to form interesting silhouettes.
I was quite impressed by the womenswear pieces available, does your buying philosophy differ when it comes to women as opposed to men?
We take a similar approach to our women’s selection. Ultimately it’s about finding bold, wearable pieces that convey the vision of the designer.
Which labels or designers have been impressing you of late?
Givenchy! The recent Spring Summer 2013 presentation demonstrates the power and breadth of Riccardo Tisci’s vision. We are impressed with his ability to combine evocative prints with various leitmotifs that range from somber to whimsical with unique color palettes and innovative yet seemingly effortless silhouettes.
Where do you find inspiration for your personal style from outside the fashion world?
We are primarily inspired by our neighborhood, each other, and our friends. We are also influenced by street culture ranging from punk to hip hop, paramilitary attire favored by various revolutionary groups, and contemporary art.
How do you see Graymarket growing and evolving in the future?
This is a wonderful and chaotic time in fashion and we consider ourselves lucky to be a small part of it. We want to do the best that we can now and prefer to take things day by day rather than looking too far ahead.
You can visit Graymarket at 242 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn
Words and Photography by Rocky Li
Image via hapsical
Jun Takahashi has gone so many directions with the Undercover brand over the years. After a somewhat lackluster SS11 ‘Underman’ season Jun has been in top form. While I definitely enjoyed the styling found in the SS2012 lookbook for the ‘Open Strings’ collection I feel the styling and backdrop found in this editorial for Non-No is pretty much perfect. I look forward to seeing more detailed shots of some of the items below, particuarly the polka dot shirt, plaid blazer and leather riders jacket.
If the above images weren’t enough for you, check out this 12 minute video that showcases the collection for both men and women.
My interest in techwear has definitely increased in recent months. Menswear has become quite stale in my opinion and I have come to appreciate the few brands that strive to innovate both in design and function.
Despite the questionable brand name, I am not too familar with Fingercroxx but came across this video of their FW2011 collection and enjoyed the presentation of it. I am always partial to ‘video game’ style lookbooks and this video is no exception. I can’t vouch for the quality of the garments but I’ll be sure to look out for their product in the near future
Find more out about Fingercroxx on their website : http://fingercroxx.com.hk/
I have begun to explore further into the world of Japanese menswear and the history of it’s development. While browsing LN-CC I came accross this feature in which LN-CC speaks with Hiromichi Ochiai of Facetasm and the design team behind SASQUATCHfabrix The Wonder Workers Guerilla band.
An excerpt from the terrific feature below.
‘It was against this background that a new movement of street fashion and culture began to gather momentum. Centered around a small area of Harajuku, a rag-tag collection of young designers and retailers began to make their mark on Tokyo’s landscape of fashion and culture. Known by Japanese fashion press as the “Ura-Harajuku movement”, the group was spearheaded by designers, proprietors and cultural figureheads such as Hiroshi Fujiwara, Nigo (A Bathing Ape) and Takahashi Jun (Undercover). Through their proposal of a new concept of design and retail, one which centred on the notions of “identity” and “exclusivity”, the “Ura-Harajuku” movement was to have a profound influence on Tokyo fashion and youth culture.
According to SASQUATCHfabrix designer Yokoyama, “In those days, rather than fashion, the notion of “limited”, “deadstock” and “exclusive” were the real buzzwords. Through these rare items you could become part of a minority – a minority based on a high sense of style. Searching, collecting and completing were the things we adhered to, we were all totally enveloped in the mania for this.”
Another notable feature of this period was the emergence of a variety of Japanese men’s’ fashion magazines who had a central role in communicating the values attached with the Ura-Harajuku movement to a wider audience. To this day, Japanese offline fashion press continues to have an undeniably strong influence on menswear trends through the country. The roots of this role can in many ways be traced back to this period when magazine’s like Popeye, Mens Non-no and Hot Dog championed the movement, providing key cultural figures the opportunity to express not only the garments but the wider cultural context of art, fashion and music which informed their lifestyle of their culture. This in turn served to fuel an army of “fanatics” who would rush to the stores like Nigo and Takahashi Jun’s “Nowhere” to snap up any new limited edition items featured in the latest issue, or hunt far and wide for the more hard-to-find pieces. ‘
Read the entire piece here
One of my favorite editorials from Arena Homme Plus. This shoot is well styled and features some killer pieces : Givecnhy leggings & hoodcoat, Raf Simons Cape, and one of the Raf Simons Oversized MA-1 Bomber jackets.
Photographer Alasdair McLellan / Styling Panos Yiapanis / Models Joey Kirchner, Simon Nessman, Ryan Bertroche
For more scans of this editorial visit COUTE QUE COUTE
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