Friday, August 24, 2007

Men: Stylish Footwear

Dress shoes are fairly homogeneous -- while you may look sharp, you risk losing your highly individualized toe-steez. Enter Narrative Footwear's "Souliers"... Handmade in Italy, Souliers were designed by Kurt Geiger alum Scott Emerson, who yearned for footwear that'd express his innumerable influences -- everything from classical English styles to "the futuristic electronic funk of Detroit" (which you can clearly see in the sole). Emerson's collection features 50 distinct pairs, ranging from everyman-friendly burnished moccasins to ebony-and-ivory two-tones you could only pull off if you were a Zoot Suit Riot veteran, or, due to a horrible industrial accident, had a two-toned face.

Some standouts:

The Bari Zip: A black leather quarter-boot -- short enough to wear in summer, tall enough to hide your tiny shamrock tattoo.

The Emi Oxford: Undercuts the casual elitism of lawn-party shoes with a sneakerishly subtle red detailing -- ensuring you'll be the first man to ever play croquet without the help wishing you dead.

The Bari Derby Gold: As resplendent as you can make your feet without some ghoulish podophiliac cutting them off and marrying them for their money.

...for better perspective on Narrative's range click the website's "souliers" tab. If you're still not satisfied, you'll be stuck flashing your individuality with elegant dress mandals and jaunty, multihued toenail polish.

Source: Thrillist

I read about Narrative Footwear in the September 2007 Detail's magazine. There were many interestingy shoe designs with a good article. I will scan it when I figure out the scanner. But the article says Kurt Geiger drew inspiration from "...the classic brogues he trafficked at at his old job and the Nikes in his personal collection."

And here are a few shoes I am into:

Creative Recreation Rocco $154.00

Printed leather upper with perforated trim and a smooth rubber outsole, doubled and the toe and trimmed with a fuchsia stripe

I have a bag with a similar pattern... maybe that's why I was so drawn to them.

Kim Jones for Umbro
Hi Woven $180.00

This pair has a woven leather upper trimmed with solid leather at the toe and heel...
I have been so into this woven look... These shoes are a nice way to accessorize an understated outfit. Pair with a gray sweater and a slim navy trouser pant.

Kim Jones for Umbro Mork Hi $154.00

This pair has a white canvas upper trimmed with subtle gold stripes at the heel.
I am always a fan of white crisp canvas classic, especially when paired with unexpected pieces. I suggest wearing gray dress pants and a simple tee.

What I love most about these shoes is they can so easily transition from a casual workplace setting to a night time rendez-vous.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Men: Suit Your Shape

A GQ primer for the hard-to-fit

So you’re not the size of a male model—welcome to the club. Whether you’re tall or short, stocky or lanky, there are style secrets to making a suit look right for your body. Here, we take four celebrated body shapes and show you exactly how to look your best—without lifting a weight or counting a calorie.

The Short Man
Apolo Ohno: Gold-medal-winning Olympic speed skater, Dancing with the Stars champ
5’8”165 lbs
“All the suits I buy have to be tailored, no matter what. But it’s not just because of my height; it’s because I’ve been skating for so long. My waist is very small, but my legs are just huge. Most really nice suitmakers are Italian, and usually they make suit pants for Italian men. I’m like, Those Italians must have pretty skinny legs.”

Don’t wear a longer suit jacket. It just makes your legs look shorter.
• Don’t wear fat ties and wide lapels; keep it slim.

The 5 Tips Every Short Man Should Know
1) Be honest with yourself. Admit you’re short and buy short-length suits.
2) A pant leg with very little break will help you look taller.
3) Show some cuff to lengthen the look of your arms.
4) A peak lapel helps elongate your physique.
5) A lower button stance creates long lines, and that essentially stretches you out.
Suit, $2,120, by Gucci. Shirt, $250, by Ralph Lauren Black Label. Tie, $210, by Dolce & Gabbana. Shoes, $1,100 by Hermés.

A Belt Makes You Look Shorter…
The more pared-down you are, the taller you’ll appear. So ditch the belt. Going beltless looks cool, and if your suit fits properly, your pants will stay in place.

Short Man, Slim Shoe
You don’t want to look like you’ve got weights around your ankles. Wear slender shoes.

The Tall Man
Raja Bell: Shooting guard, Phoenix Suns
6’5”210 lbs
”When I first got into the NBA, I tried to buy a couple of suits off the rack, but they didn’t fit. To get the length I needed, I also got boxiness. They would have to taper the jacket, but then I felt like I had wings under the armpits. So I started going to a tailor. And that’s the key: Pick out a good tailor and just trust him… You want the suit to fit the way you want it to fit, but let him handle the details. That’s what he gets paid to do.”

• Don’t buy suits with oversize, padded shoulders. They swallow you up, making you look frailer, not bigger.
• Don’t wear extra-slim ties. You need ties with a bit of width so they won’t appear to elongate your torso.

The 5 Tips Every Tall Man Should Know
1) Lighter colors add width to a narrow frame.
2) A two-button suit works great on a tall man—as long as the suit has relatively high-cut lapels.
3) Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you need an extra-long suit size. Try on a long first.
4) Keep the amount of cuff you show to a minimum.
5) Ask for a decent amount of break in your trousers, so your long legs don’t look too long.
Suit, $1,830, by Prada at Barneys New York. Shirt, $640, by Jil Sander at Barneys New York. Tie, $150, by Gucci. Shoes, $315, by Allen-Edmonds.
Tall Man, Rounded Shoe
Take a pass on those pointy dress shoes—you don’t want to make your feet look longer than they are. Opt instead for a slightly rounder toe, to help keep your foot size in check.

Get in the Loop
After you knot your tie, never have enough length left to reach the back loop? Don’t buy a new, longer tie; just ask your tailor to move up the loop.

Divide and Conquer
When you’re tall, you want your clothes to play down your height—to keep things in proportion. Accessories that cut across your body, such as belts, quarter-folded pocket squares, and horizontally striped ties, help accomplish this.

The Large Man
Horatio Sanz: Actor/comedian, Saturday Night Live alum
5’9”250 lbs
“One of the problems I have is with shirts: Getting my neck size to match my body size is difficult, and sometimes the collar is too high, too—I end up feeling choked. With pants, I wear mine a little high, and sometimes they ride up too much or feel like they’re going to fall off if they’re not high enough. Basically, I’ve spent my life trying to avoid wearing suits on a regular basis. The last suit I bought from a store was for my junior prom. It was kind of silver in color, and my mom adjusted it for me.”

• Don’t wear a roomy suit. It doesn’t make you look slimmer—it makes you look sloppy.
• Don’t go untucked.

The 5 Tips Every Large Man Should Know
1) Wear a pocket square. It brings the focus to your chest, not your gut.
2) Keep your jacket buttoned unless you’re sitting down.
3) Wear a simple, elegant shirt. Avoid plaids and checks.
4) You can wear flat-front pants. They are engineered to be comfortable, even without pleats. 5) Avoid superskinny ties and lapels. Proportion with your torso is key.
Suit, $2,485, and shirt, $235, by Ermenegildo Zegna. Tie, $170, by Dsquared. Shoes, $795, by Church’s. Cuff links and pocket square by Paul Stuart. Watch by Cartier.

Suspend Your Weight
Avoid having to choose between strapping your pants above or below your belly: Wear suspenders and float your waist.

Big Man, Solid Shoe
Choose shoes that have a substantial sole. You need something solid to anchor your weight.

The Athletic Man
Chuck Liddell: Ultimate Fighting champion
6’2”205 lbs
“I hear ‘You actually look good in a suit!’ a lot. It’s kind of a sideways compliment. Like, What, you don’t expect me to look good in a suit? But the fact is, it’s hard finding something that fits right everywhere. Some of the shirts I get are too short in the torso because of my shoulders. And I have a pretty big neck for my size—between eighteen and a half and nineteen inches. A normal shirt isn’t made for that big of a neck. If it is, they think you’re three feet wide and weigh 300 pounds.”
• Don’t wear peak lapels. Your chest and shoulders are broad enough—no need to accentuate them.
• Don’t wear a pocket square. It’s not necessary to call more attention to your already proud chest.

The 5 Tips Every Athletic Man Should Know
1) A solid build doesn’t mean your suit should be a size too large.
2) Two-button jackets sync up with the V shape of your torso.
3) Low-collar shirts work well with a thicker neck.
4) Your jacket will likely need to be taken in at the sides.
5) Yes, you can wear narrow-cut trousers. It’s your chest that needs room, not your ankles.
Suit, $1,995, by Dolce & Gabbana. Shirt, $695, and tie, $135, by Giorgio Armani. Shoes, $575, by Marc Jacobs.

Fit Torso, Fitted Shirt
Look for shirts labeled “slim” or “athletic.” You don’t need excess fabric hanging off that toned midsection of yours.

Strong Man, Solid Shoe
You don’t want anything clunky on your feet, but you also don’t want to look like you’re wearing ballet flats.

SUIT YOUR SHAPE: Watch the video and slide show for more tips on getting the perfect fit, brought to life by GQ’s fashion team


Every man should own a suit. It is a key staple in all men's wardrobes... I don't care what you do for a living but always have a nice tailored suit on hand. Plus, suits are hot... wear them more.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cristóbal Balenciaga: "the master of us all"

- Chrisitan Dior

Cristóbal Balenciaga Eisaguirre was a Spanish fashion designer and the founder of the Balenciaga fashion house...

Balenciaga was successful during his early career as a designer in Spain. He opened a boutique in San Sebastián, Spain, in 1914, which expanded to include branches in Madrid and Barcelona. The Spanish royal family and the aristocracy wore his designs, but when the Spanish Civil War forced him to close his stores, Balenciaga moved to Paris. Balenciaga opened his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in August 1937.

However, it was not until the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness of this highly original designer became evident. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist. In 1955, he designed the tunic dress, which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. And eventually, in 1959, his work culminated in the Empire line, with high-waisted dresses and coats cut like kimonos. His often spare, sculptural creations were considered masterworks of haute couture in the 1950s and 1960s.

Balenciaga closed his house in 1968 after being disillusioned with the advent of prêt-à-porter, which was being introduced by the French.

He taught fashion design classes, inspiring other designers such as Oscar de la Renta, André Courrèges, Emanuel Ungaro, and Hubert de Givenchy. Today the Balenciaga fashion house continues under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière and under the ownership of the Gucci Group.
Bio taken from

First lady Laura Bush attended the exhibit in May.

Balenciaga Designs -Here you can see how Balenciaga experimented with volume and the female silhouette to create inspiring and timeless pieces.
Balenciaga Exhibit Info -And since the exhibit is over. I'll share my experience with an extra credit paper I wrote for Fashion History:

Yvette Cortez
Spring, 2007

The Legacy of Cristóbal Balenciaga

Not being a morning person, I usually cringe at the thought of waking up at six in the morning. However, tomorrow morning was different. For my two fashion-obsessed friends and I had planned a road trip to Dallas; for a day at the first U.S. Balenciaga Exhibit in more that 20 years and a night of boogying in style.

Both groggy and excited, the three of us stumbled into the hall filled with tweed and wool structured suits. The museum also housed some Balenciaga influenced Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy garments which were so beautifully made.

I was sure to read every plaque of every garment displayed and stared in awe at the masterpieces that stood before me. I made my way into what I will call a ballroom because it was filled with about forty ballroom gowns that seemed like they were slightly swaying to the beat of my footsteps and seemed as if they were dancing. As I passed each garment I received chills instantly.

The exhibit showcased seventy of the Spanish-born designer’s works which spanned his most creative period from 1949 to 1968. I felt honored to be viewing this rarely seen collection of Balenciaga gowns, hats and other ensembles.

Cristóbal Balenciaga lived through a period of fashion history rich in creativity and invention. Many of his couture designs were inspired by a distinctly Spanish style, from his bullfighter “bolero” jackets to his use of madroños, an ornamental trim of tassels, to his Goyaesque shapes and colors.

The exhibition explores Balenciaga’s legacy from the perspective of the women he dressed, the buyers and fashion editors who helped him build an international brand. The exhibition relies on the stories of Balenciaga’s most devoted Texas clients to examine his lasting influence; Claudia Heard de Osborne, a Texas oil heiress and international socialite, had a close friendship with him. The other woman whose gowns will be on display is Neiman Marcus fashion buyer Bert de Winter. Her prophetic sense of style in the 1950s helped shape Dallas as a fashion mecca.

Cristóbal Balenciaga is arguably the most innovative, influential, admired and recognized Spanish haute couture designer of the 20th century, and his cult of perfection has influenced a generation of designers and will no doubt continue to do so.

The Sartorialist in Sweden

I love street fashion blogs but most specifically, The Sartorialist.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from his recent trip to Sweden.

I love how she experimented with proportion here... I've been searching for some pants like this. I have similar but these are killer. I basically want this outfit.

and this one too...

Those jeans are pretty amazing... high waisted and skinny. The high waist helps elongate the torso making the body more proportionate. These pants give the illusion of longer legs especially when worn with heels. i love the detail of the pants and her nonchalant manner.

Her hair and makeup is really edgy... which is the perfect clash with her outfit.
Note the wing tip flats with the innocent, almost childish dress.

This is beautiful in so many ways.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Madonna Inspired Levi's 471

Levi’s 471 Fall/Winter 2007-08
High Waist Skinny Jeans Inspired By Madonna

Levi’s have created a new shape of jeans inspired by Madonna. The new 471 High Waist Skinny, a part of Levi’s Red Tab Girls Autumn/Winter 07 collection.
The new style combines the high waist jeanswear trend of the 1980’s with a modern skinny silhouette. Levi’s 471 are available in a‘Black Dipped’ and ‘Light Hazy’ a washed out 80’s denim.

Source: Style Crunch

These sound pretty sexy so I'm down to try them on soon. After all, the high waist trend is most flattering to the female form.

Jordache Ad Campaign

... featuring Heidi Klum.

Less than a year after having her third child, Heidi Klum has returned to high-profile modeling with sexy new Jordache ads in which she wears little more than jeans and a stare.

Um... I think I need these jeans.