One of my favorite retailers, The Goodhood Store, has been updating their online shop with S/S 2012 pieces from some all-star labels. As always, YMC and Scandinavian-based Norse Projects kill it with simple pieces that every man should have in their wardrobe. Another place that's top on my list is New York City's Nepenthes. Nepenthes has become stomping ground for style junkies, and they've released some new looks from Engineered Garments. I'm digging the reversible Brookline jacket, which gives you the option to keep it simple, or rock some bold camouflage. Happy Spring, fellas. Have fun.
Norse Projects Gunnar Cornprint Shirt (Via The Goodhood Store):
Norse Projects Herman TC Trousers (Via The Goodhood Store):
The Holy Grail of Menswear, Pitti Uomo happened last weekend, and Men's fashion week is currently under way in Paris. I haven't been able to attend either, but I've come across some dope (and not-so-dope) looks on the interwebs. My childhood hero, Walter Van Beirendonck nailed it. Walter's collections are always over-the-top spectacles that never fail to impress, or a at least open your eyes. This season there was a mix of creepy and wacky. Masked models came out wearing eye-popping colors and rubber boots. The nod to fetishism would normally garner an eye-roll, but it's not a tired, hyper masculine Tom of Finland vibe that we've all seen before. It's like Jason Voorhees jumped in a tub of orange paint and decided to hit the town. Walter's been reminding us to have fun with clothes for over two decades, and is one of the few designers who can truly play with fashion without pumping out fatuous garbage. I'll be rocking some of this stuff next winter, if my bank account permits me to do so.
I've recently moved back to the east coast, so I'm pretty excited about fall. It's been a minute since I've rocked twelve layers, a scarf, and a hat. Here are some of my favorite fall looks for F/W 2012, and some things I think you should stray away from. As much as I love fall, remember that some things make you look like a clown, fellas. Keep it simple, and remember that belts are only to be worn around your waist. No need to be cinching that waist unless it's Halloween and you're dressing up as Halle Berry in Catwoman. A cap, a jacket (or two), a scarf, and some dope shoes and you're good to go.
YMC v Gloverall coat:
Norse Projects Husavivk Scarf:
Norse Projects Flat Cap:
Oliver Spencer Suede Shoe:
And here's some wack-ass F/W/ shit I've come across on the interwebs. You need a swift kick to the head if you're even considering wearing this stuff.
Lady Gaga goes to San Tropez ain't gonna get you laid, dude.
Last time I checked this was called a purse.
I love CdG, but come on, you want to walk around looking like an Oriental rug/extra in a Bruce Lee film? Also, as I stated above, a belt should not be worn around a jacket. This just screams GET A GRIP, MOTHAFUCKA.
Fashion's crypt keeper is at it again. For S/S 2012, Jeremy Scott has moved on from french fries to a transvestite rodeo. Unsure of what to get your pops for Father's Day? Try buying him a denim peek-a-boo bustier top that will be sure to get the ladies all hot and bothered. I'm all for having fun with fashion and playing with gender roles, but this shit is so ridiculous that even Oscar De La Hoya is like "oh girl, no she didn't!" Everything in this collection is sure to hit the Gilt site two days after dropping in stores. You need a lobotomy if you think wearing Jeremy Scott makes you the coolest kid on the block. Get a grip, mothafucka.
This is my dear, dear friend Timothy Williamson. Timothy was the first friend I made when I moved to San Francisco two years ago. In fact, we were already BFFs via email before I moved out west. Timothy's one of the very few people I know who is unapologetic about walking in to a San Francisco leather/crystal meth/Idon'tknowwhatthefucktocallyou bar wearing white loafers, a bowtie, and an irreverent grin. There's never a time when Timothy doesn't look impeccable. He has the best hair in San Francisco, hands down.
We've had over 2,000 drunken conversations about the early 2000s. How has your style evolved from the early 2000s to today?
For starters, my clothes aren't so goddamned tight. In 2002 I dressed like an irony-drenched sausage, complete with Monica Lewinski's haircut. Honestly, I'm a terribly lazy dresser so it's probably more remarkable how my style, or at least MO, hasn't changed that much. I have a habit of picking a uniform and just hoarding a bunch of similar pieces and rotating them. But the same themes keep popping up: borrowed nostalgia, prep school, class tourism, self-deprecation, Molly Ringwald.
Is your Electroclash garb tucked away in the back of your closet?
Oh god, you've seen my apartment. I have a hard time editing. A lot of it's gone, but I kept all of the vintage designer logo stuff. It's so timelessly vulgar. I still have neon Christian Dior slap bracelets circa 2001. And my 70s Gucci shopper tote still proves excellent for occasional beer smuggling.
Jarvis Cocker sits next to you at a bar and asks for a light: would you shit your pants?
Who wouldn't? The only thing better would be if Tracey Emin sat down on the other side and asked me for money for an abortion.
Tell me about working at a vintage store in Seattle.
On paper it was terrible. I was the poorest I've been in my adult life, uninsured for the bulk of 7 years, the building would reach 100 degrees in the summer, I had to deal with junkie miscreants on an hourly basis, some of the regular pickers were borderline sociopaths. And it was the best fucking job I've ever had. Everyone gives a ton of lip service to independent spirit or whatnot, but cities are inherently expensive places and you don't always have the option to run a business 100 percent by your rules. The owners were this yuppie stoner couple that made their fortune exporting vintage denim to Japan in the 80s and 90s, but had no desire to run a business anymore. They also owned the building, so overhead was virtually zero, which meant we could truly do whatever we wanted as long as it made some money. So I got to work every day with my best friends, and it was like a pop culture museum meets neighborhood clubhouse. Plus I nearly mastered the fine art of drinking on the job. It was amazing.
Your feelings on San Francisco "style"?
I get frustrated by the fact that SF can be so rigid when it comes to style. Body type strongly dictates, at least for faggots, where you drink, who you hang out with, how you dress, who you fuck, etc. And let's be honest, the daddies run this town. Which is why I get off on showing up at, say, The Powerhouse dressed like a complete dandy poof. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love slumming. But I'm also totally offended by the notion that "real men" not only don't dress well, but actually go out of their way to be studiously unfashionable. It's smacks of internalized homophobia. Fuck you and your cargo shorts.
There are very few people who have been (or currently in) the spotlight who have their own style. Turn on the television and you see celebrity after celebrity rocking designer garb with no thought. Men certainly don't stand out. I've always admired people who are not afraid to incorporate some pizazz in their look. This brings me to one of my style heroes, Biggie Smalls.
Not only one of the greatest MC's of the past two decades, he did it with style and in-your-face flamboyance. Biggie always had a distinct look: Kangol tilted to the side, big sunglasses, and a "fuck you" attitude. No one will ever make a fur jacket look quite as good as he did. Cosby sweaters and big chains: this dude was not someone who would go unnoticed when walking in a room.
Study Biggie a little, fellas. Don't be afraid to accessorize and have a little swag. The world will be a better place.
This is my dear friend Michael Guerra. Michael's recently relocated from New York City (where we met) to Seattle. I normally find an exclusively black wardrobe to be trite, but Michael makes it look interesting. Never one to compromise on what society deems acceptable for a big man, Michael gets an A+. Michael and I chatted over the phone where we discussed his goth adolescence, body positivity, and ponchos.
You recently moved from New York City to Seattle. How would you describe the differences in style between the two cities?
In my opinion there is a major difference in style between NYC and Seattle, the largest one being NYC's obsession with the latest trends in fashion and Seattle's mentality that seems to exude "anything goes." That's not to say that Seattle isn't up on trends - because it most certainly is, but there is more of a sense of individuality in which the way people dress here. In NYC it doesn't seem to matter that the way you dress represents yourself as far as hobbies, social activities, employment, etc., the population in the city (and Brooklyn) seems to pay attention to what's so-called "hip" and then everyone sort of ends up looking the same. Although I appreciate NYC being on the cutting edge of fashion in the United States I find that the general lack of distinct styles amongst people is very lacking.
A total side note is that I have been in Chicago for the last two month which is the third largest city in the United States with (what I believe to be) the absolute worst fashion sense and overall complete lack of style. I feel uninspired in Chicago, people have no idea how to dress well. In NYC I felt like I wanted to be ahead of the game with how I presented myself with clothing. In Seattle I feel like I can wear whatever I want and just be positive about it.
Tell me about your goth adolescence. Who were your main influences, and how do you take pieces from your past in the present?
Growing up Goth in south Florida was a fashion nightmare. I grew up battling the sun, skinny tanned bodies and a defined line of gender with how males and females "should" be dressed. It wasn't all hell in south Florida, though, I learned how to search for that perfect item of clothing in thrift stores, or just random vintage stores, oddly placed clothing stores in malls or from ordering out of catalogs. I also learned to have a thick skin and a positive attitude about being a fashion fat person since I constantly got ridiculed for dressing the way I did.
As far as influences go, most of the people I have made into my own personal fashion icons are female musicians or people who blur the line of gender with their style. I honestly believe that the people I took most of my style from was the alternative rock group, L7. They ladies in that band were known for brightly colored hair, wearing shorts with tights, combat boots and flannels and t-shirts ... and I somehow turned that style into the adult version of me. In addition to L7 I felt drawn to the style of Siouxsie Sioux, Darlene Conner onRoseanne, and Rayanne Graff on My So-Called Life. Somehow I ended up taking the pieces from my past and refining them into a more simplistic look by becoming an adult and trying to be mature with how I present myself. I still own more pairs of boots than I do shoes or sneakers and I still love wearing band t-shirts and flannels. Ultimately I just prefer clothing that is black, gray or white and I believe that less is more.
What are your feelings on Witch House?
Witch House is a horrid title for a useless genre filled with talentless douche bags who think slowing down a pop song or adding hip hop beats to darkwave sounds is a form of music. These kids should be ashamed of themselves for releasing such trash. I also believe that these children behind Witch House have no clue what Goth music is, nor what Goth fashion was and has now evolved into. They give my favorite genre a bad name.
I've always appreciated the fact that you're not unapologetic about wearing what you like. What do you have to say to the assholes out there who think people of size should dress a certain way?
I have dealt with fat phobia my entire life, specifically for the way I dress. People on the east coast and in the midwest like to "inform" me that fat people should not wear tight pants, or attempt to have any sort of style that isn't just a t-shirt and cargo shorts. Size does not matter when it comes to fashion, what matters is what you do with your style and how you present yourself. Anyone can look good, but on the flip side anyone can look like an idiot. One must be comfortable in their skin before they can be comfortable with what they're putting on it and if people have an issue with it than it's that person's problem NOT yours.
You have a Library Science degree. What's the perfect outfit for a goth librarian?
Black jeans or black pants, a dark colored pair of desert boots, a gray button up and a black cardigan. And do not forget your black framed glasses.
You've recently shared an affinity for the poncho. Was it moving to the west coast that got more in touch with hippie style?
I think my obsession with Mexican culture has transferred over into my fashion sense or maybe all that weed has finally gotten to my head.