Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Big Deal Of Small Details

A friend of mine who is a Uniqlo kind of guy was recently totally enamoured with the shirts of Junya Watanabe Man. Although he would not pay Mr Watanabe’s prohibitive prices, he was still full of admiration. It is not difficult to understand why any guy would fall in love with these shirts. They are shirts as shirts should be, but they are also a little bit more than the shirts of Reg Joe.

Having collaborated with the venerated Brooks Brothers and the cool-again Fred Perry, Mr Watanabe knows how to make a good shirt. But what set his shirts apart are the seemingly small but not insignificant details. I like, as shown above, the contrast-fabric split yolk, the binding tape that frames the collar (but not entirely), and the new-shape breast pocket. Unlike the typical pocket of a business shirt, this season’s has a jagged bottom. If you look closely, it’s a clever and geometrically interesting shape. The longer part can clearly hold a pen, and the abbreviated other half can contain a train ticket or a BTS stored-value card!

It’s the sum of these little parts that arouses the dormant fashion interest of those not usually bothered with what’s shown on catwalks. Because, at the end of the day, no matter what innovation is introduced to men’s basic top, a shirt should always look like a shirt.

Junya Watanabe Man is available at Club 21 Men, Erawan

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Cake On A Full Moon

I wait till the supermarket is nearly closed, but the moon cake sellers rather pack away the seen-once-a-year pastry than offer them marked down. I give up; I will succumb to one. This evening, under the one full moon, it’ll be one mooncake with one egg yolk and one cup of tea. The singular sensation is really typical of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Chang-Er is all alone in the moon. Her only companion is a rabbit. The lone animal on a desolate star. It’s puzzling why some think this is a very romantic season.

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Space Capsule? Building? Or Shoe?

Marc Newson’s exploration of organic shapes as a designer is, of course, not new, but in collaborating with Nike, is he approaching the Zvezdochka slip-on as edifice or footwear?

The original Zvezdochka appeared in 2004. It is apparently inspired by Mr Newson’s personal encounter with space socks worn by astronauts at the Russian Space Institute. To up the shoe’s cute factor, it is named Zvezdochka, the dog that took to space in the Sputnik 10 on 25 March 1961. Zvezdochka means “little star” in Russian and it was chosen by Yuri Gagarin.

This year’s version is produced in conjunction with Mr Newson’s  New York exhibition “Transport”, in which the designer’s urban transportation designs are displayed for those keen on seeing what influence the man has on human locomotion. I supposed shoes can be considered vehicles since we need them to commute, and if you’re space-bound, they can be Sputniks too!

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Graphic Arms

While it seems to be receiving little attention, the Gaspard Yurkievich corner in Central Chidlom’s meekly re-fashioned guy’s floor, Luxe Men, is quietly putting out pieces from the more attractively-priced Y line that is several cuts above the other labels. Take this jacket, for example. I will be the first to admit that I am a little bored with patchwork and contrast-colour panels, but the treatment here is classic tailoring with a defiant air (check the lapels!). Amid so many black and navy jackets that dominate Luxe Men, this is as welcome as a cold beer on a hot, dusty Bangkok day.

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Fave Pic | Bouyed by Bjork

No matter what she wears, the Icelandic chanteuse Bjork will be considered a little dotty. She has never ever lived down the swan dress she wore to the 2006 Academy Awards presentation. Every outfit she donned publicly after that was dismissed as a mistake of a woman unwilling to see fashion through conventional eyes. Lady Gaga can looked like a depraved she-ghost in dangly bits and pieces not remotely connected to dressmaking, but Bjork is the weird one.

On the latest issue of Another Magazine, she’s envisoned as some kind of a post-apocalypotic beauty channeling Mary Queen of Scot, wearing her ruff around her face. This is not exactly shocking. I was expecting her to wear a farthingale over her head! But it is delightful, and seeing Bjork looking every bit as unusual as her voice and singing are is knowing that she will never bow down to Mrs Jones from next door. And that’s precisely why I like it.

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