December 30, 2009

C'est La Vie

I think I am starting to get the hang of this job thing. I woke up this morning to discover I slept through my alarm by almost half an hour and that the bag of coffee my partner bought last night was in bean form (and sadly, a grinder is an appliance we didn't have). I carried on like normal, picking up coffee before hopping on the bus.

During my lunch break, I headed to Louis Vuitton to exchange my previously mentioned Speedy 35 that was manufactured in the USA. I went into the shop-in-shop in Neiman Marcus to seek out my French made goods because that particular location is less busy with sales associates who actually have time to take requests. I mildly panicked when the woman who previously set the bag aside for me was not there, but I was happy that I was able to do the exchange anyway with another, less enthused sales associate. Though I love shopping at flagship stores, sometimes shopping at a smaller location works to your advantage.

By this time, I had finished eating, bagged a new handbag complete with new storage box, and I still had about 40 minutes left. Yes, working downtown sure is convenient. I spent the rest of my free time at the LV flagship, browsing and thoroughly annoying the commission hungry monsters who work there. My next conquests for that brand are the Noe and a custom Monogram Canvas Speedy 40. Having a job is wonderful.

My thirst for Louis Vuitton is kind of a shocker, even for me. I used to be so turned off by the brand, but Japan changed my opinion. For the first time, I saw people carrying the bags in their own way, customizing them with charms and using them to accessorize the perfect outfit. I fell instantly with the most classic model. I love carrying something classic and well known as an unexpected addition to my look.

This is another big indicator as to where my style is going. Style has a tendency to evolve, which is different from change. Stylish individuals with defined tastes always hit the same notes in new ways as their interests evolve. I am starting to shed my black and white, draped/strappy/asymmetrical wardrobe for a more tailored classic look that includes some pop of color or pattern. It is still a little androgynous (without being totally gay) and a futuristic approach to classic looks. At least that is what I am going for this New Year.

Oh yeah, this is probably my last post for 2009. Happy New Year!!! Here is to being healthy, looking good, working to live, saving for a Birkin, and enjoying life!! See you next year :)

- jerome

December 29, 2009

Made in The USA v. Fabriqué en France

Call me a purist, but I believe that when I buy goods from a French Maison, I want them to be made in France. I am not putting down American craftsman ship, but being the OCD person I am, I NEED my French goods to be French.

So when I received my Louis Vuitton Damier Canvas Speedy 35, I knew it was made in the USA because it was purchased online. The label confirmed my suspicion. Working downtown comes in handy because I can settle things like this with a sales associate, especially when it is a personal request. This need for "Made in France" goods is a little crazy (and definitely as stereotypically Asian as the Rilakkuma charm on my cell phone) but I can sleep better when I know where things are made.

Working downtown can also be really dangerous. When I was working as a nightlife photographer, I was able to distance myself from boutiques and flagships by maintaining a nocturnal schedule. Now, in the midst of almost every major luxury brand, my wish list continues to grow unhealthily from both exposure and tangibility! During my visit to Louis Vuitton (what else is there to do during your lunch break?), I stumbled upon the most charming key and change holder. Let us see what I come home with tomorrow!

- jerome

Printed Goodness

I am excited for Givenchy's new ad campaigns. Not only do they depict the amazing SS2010 collection, but it is a sign that soon all of my studded gladiator, printed man-tight dreams are about to come true! It is another sign of my new found love for prints.

- jerome

December 28, 2009

Christmas Loot

Dotted button down by Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, Micro Plaid Oxford by Patrik Ervell, Sky Shirt by Yigal Azrouël, Check Cashmere Jumper by Burberry, Tie T-Shirt by Burberry Prorsum, Damier Canvas Speedy 35 by Louis Vuitton, Calf Skin Degrade Bag by Burberry

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus! How generous of you to celebrate by having everyone exchange gifts! Here is a full frontal of my (fashion related) holiday loot. The Speedy, literature, and Spa certificate were gifts. The rest were gifts to myself. I will not deny that I shop a lot. In fact, I can never really pass up a good sale. Christmas brings family memories, cold weather, and the best darn deals on designer goods ever! I noticed a few trends on my wishlists this holiday season that will probably forecast my look for the new year.

There seems to be a growing number of patterned shirts and jumpers in my closet, particularly in white and blue hues. This comes somewhat as a surprise, seeing as I swore by T-shirts and black-and-white for a very long time. I suppose graduating to a more mature look involves more tailored pieces and skillful use of color. Besides, I adore the polishing a sharp collar can add to an outfit.

As my bag collection continues to grow, so does my fashion library. I received The Sartorialist book and Bringing Home the Birkin, both of which were on a wishlist to my partner. Scott Schuman's blog has served as an inspiration to many in fashion. I regret missing his visit to San Francisco, but at least I have his book. Bringing Home the Birkin is also an interesting read for two reasons: 1) Any strategy and inspiration for getting the holy grail of handbags is a good thing and 2) Gay love and fashion is an entertaining mix (to me anyway). Finally, the Teen Vogue Handbook is something I wish I had in college. It serves as an outline for breaking into the industry. Reading it now is insightful, but I think the post-graduate crisis is still in effect.

I also received the Real Simple: Solutions book. I haven't had time to read it through, but flipping through it I can tell that it is going to be handy! I need storage solutions for my closet and my entire home (which are slowly becoming the same thing aka instant New Year's resolution). I cannot wait for next year. I am thankful for my family, my partner, my health, and my friends. And my wardrobe is one really really really awesome perk too!

- jerome

December 27, 2009

To Buy, or Not To Buy

You wait, and you wait, and finally it is sold out. Your heart aches over it and you discover there are only 2 more in the country. I know this beautiful charm is expensive, but it's luxury, right? What did you think it would cost? I have to make my move tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my day off, which will give me time to update you all on my Christmas loot! Maybe after reviewing what I got will help me make a decision on the Louis Vuitton Trunks and Bags Charm. Classic!

: It is sold out entirely in the US. I am now on a mission to hunt it down, but not on eBay because the ones on there look shady.

- jerome

December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Jumper by N.HOOLYWOOD, Belt by Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane, Jeans by Uniqlo, High Tops by Raf Simons

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, if that is what you celebrate this time of year. Today was "fighting day," the original "black Friday" of the holiday shopping season. It was wonderful to see so many people out shopping. There were tons of great sales. If you are in San Francisco, Saks Fifth Avenue is taking some major markdowns. And for online shopping, I highly suggest Browns Fashion to save up to 50% on brands like Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten. Stimulate that economy and support your designers! I can already feel the difference, now that YSL is no longer on Maiden Lane. There is something so wrong about Union Square realty, when Juicy Couture is next to Hermes, and Yves Saint Laurent is nowhere to be found.

Anyway, I hope you all got what you wanted on your wish lists! I will post an update soon on my gifts. For now, let's just say I am one happy boy!

- jerome

December 23, 2009

The Contributing Editor

One of my favorite online magazines The Contributing Editor has launched their new website. Exciting! If you didn't follow the magazine via the blog, now is your chance to keep up with their amazing work.

- jerome

My Month in Outwerwear

Clockwise from top left: Hooded Cape by Bexist, Rain Jacket by Corpus, News Reporter Jacket by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Boots by alfredoBANNISTER, Nylon Buckleigh Tote by Burberry, Leather High-Tops by Raf Simons

Outerwear options are limited when the elements force us to be practical. For instance, as much as I want to sport a blazer and harness, a raincoat is more appropriate if I have to ride the bus to work on a rainy day. The randomly changing "earthquake" weather of San Francisco has trained me to layer like a pro and prepare for anything with these key pieces.

My San Francisco elemental essentials: Boots, light-weight and water repellent outerwear, wool coat/cape, leather high-tops, water repellent bag. I think you can tell if someone is native to SF if they always bring a sweater just in case (or maybe that is a Filipino thing?).

- jerome

Camp Indulgence

I just watched the Sex and the City 2 trailer this morning. BE PREPARED FOR THE CAMPIEST MOVIE EVER (Xanadu who?). Well, that is just an educated guess after viewing the trailer. It looks like the movie is going to be a non stop montage of the 4 leading ladies stomping it out, side-by-side, all over New York. And some desert. And even some sort of runway. I also wonder whose wedding they attend. My bet is that the gays are getting married, making this movie the campiest, most indulgent film ever. Even if the story sucks (I hope it doesn't because I have loved everything so far), at least it is going to be fashion porn.

I hope. Patricia Field can really turn out some looks, but it takes a while for some of them to translate. Like, we may not get it now, but we will. Her work is a lot like a crop circle.

- jerome

December 20, 2009

God Speed

It has taken my family a while, but I think they are used to my "unusual" fashion choices. Sure, a cape may not be so uncommon, but I am not sure my Aunts and Uncles have ever seen one on a guy before, accompanied by a handbag no less. Thank God I am out. It takes the edge off when going to family parties.

Epi Leather Speedy 30 by Louis Vuitton, Shirt and tie by Tim Hamilton, Hooded Cape by Bexist Japan, Trousers by Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane, Shoes by Topman

The Louis Vuitton Epi Leather Speedy 30 was the bag that started it all. Since I bought it in October, I have been obsessed with obtaining others. There are many gorgeous epi colors but I must exercise self control until after the holidays. I thought it would be appropriate for the Speedy to be my first LV bag because of its classic shape (only the Speedy models 30 and larger work for me, as the 25 is much too small). The countless counterfeits turned me off to LV for the longest time. However, discovering Epi leather has started a new love affair between me, Damier canvas, and a variety of LV goods.

Filipino women are notorious for being born with the Louis Vuitton gene, but I suppose my mother's delayed development was better late than never. I asked for a Damier Speedy 35 in ebony for Christmas, and my mother bought us matching purses. Again, a great piece to start her future LV collection. My anxiousness and impatience spoiled the surprise on a recent trip home, but I was paralyzed by the fact that my mother bought them on the LV website on "Cyber Monday." She could barely work a computer a couple of years ago, but now she is, "saving on shipping... I'll show you on my iPhone." SHOCKING.

I have to wait to get my Speedy on Christmas, but because of my mother's new understanding of my obsession, I think it will prove to be the gift that keeps on giving!

- jerome

December 18, 2009


We don't always have to agree with fashion gods, do we? Despite my current (and perhaps ironic and totally late) Louis Vuitton fetish, I am not so crazy about the last show. I liked some of the shapes and dresses, and there were some handbags that I cannot wait to see in person, but...

I was so happy, then, to watch HABILLÉES POUR L'ÉTÉ 2010 (DRESSED UP FOR SUMMER 2010) (again, totally late) and see Mademoiselle Agnès run the Paris fashion week marathon without immediately embracing Marc Jacobs's show for Louis Vuitton. "Some designers... Whether their collection is good or not, are interviewed for hours," she commented. Wise (fightin') words.

I remember many of my classmates in fashion school at a constant gasp, clutching their pearls every time we were assigned to review different shows during fashion month. Their commentary usually sounded something like, "It was amazing, like really original and just- amazing." But why? They had no real specifics as to why this was "amazing" or how that was original after a week of research and a paper in front of them.

Like men, it takes me some time to fall in love with a collection. I need to figure out how pieces can be worn, how it is art, why I love or hate or am annoyed by it. But there is such a thing as love at first sight, and I respect that.

I will tell you that I cannot wait to see the new speedy bags with shoulder straps, and I am pretty sure I will be picking up a tassel or two.

- jerome

December 15, 2009

The Truth About Christmas Shopping

News Reporter Jacket by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Gray Denim Jacket by h&m, Jumper by N.HOOLYWOOD, Jeans by Uniqlo, Belt by Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane, Boots by alfredoBANNISTER, YSL Easy Bag by Yves Saint Laurent

Happy Holidays, everyone! This is my favorite time of the year, and not just because of the shopping and sales involved. But lets be honest, shopping sales everywhere is always a reason to make something your favorite. On a recent shopping trip, I realized that I have a few personal rules when getting dressed to go shopping. The general theme of my outfit is relaxed but put together. I like to pair tailored pieces with deconstructed or textured layers. This allows me to be stylish, practical, and comfortable which is very important, especially when I am shopping for other people.

Other rules of holiday shopping include: Have a list of people to shop for or else you will end up with more things for yourself, never shop on an empty stomach or you will get cranky and buy more to try and cheer you up, and (when buying for yourself) only buy things that are on sale. The holiday season is perfect for sale items. Full-priced merchandise can be purchased later after a few weeks and paychecks, but sale items in your size or on your list will only be at that low price NOW.

I also find it helpful to have a spacious, but comfortable bag with you. Carry your Moleskin, phone, lists, iPhone, and other essentials with you so you do not forget anything or anyone.

- jerome

December 14, 2009

Here Comes the Rain Again

Shirt and Rain Jacket by Corpus, Houndstooth Bomber Jacket by Reiss London, Jeans by Uniqlo, High-Tops by Raf Simons, Tote by Burberry

San Francisco is notorious for its rainy, gray weather. The random seasons can confuse even locals, which is why the abrupt change from summer to fall this year was a nice surprise. I happen to enjoy the cold for three reasons: comfort food, cuddling, and layering.

I love to layer. The cold presents the opportunity to create new outfits, and gives reason to my leather jacket collection. I am so excited to bust out the sweaters and tall boots! Usually reserved for such an occasion, we can wear some of our favorite pieces when it's wet. I thought it appropriate to start off the rainy season with some of my favorite London labels, thinking of the times I took refuge under awnings when it sprinkled on Oxford Street.

I don't mind rain so much. It is a combination of wind AND rain that kills me. I feel like a woman whose skirt has been blown up whenever the wind bends my umbrella in the wrong direction.

December 11, 2009

Closet Case Vol. 3: Longchamp LM Nylon Tote

"I have an addiction, sir!"

Longchamp LM Nylon Tote

Let's get real. Originally, I was torn between the two LM Nylon collection colors. I love the black (that really looks like navy in certain lighting), but the creamy, paper color was beautiful as well. So I made the decision to buy two styles, one for each color. It was a damn good decision. I used this bad boy today to carry my load to the dry cleaners. I did not realize how amazingly useful the Le Pliage collection is. All of the models in the line conveniently fold down into a compact piece, making the bag ideal for errands and everyday use. I am already in love with my little set!

- jerome

December 8, 2009

Closet Case Vol. 2: Longchamp LM Nylon Clutch

When you are having a rotten day, you realize what a treat it is to work within a 3 block radius from the flagship stores of many beloved luxury retailers. During my lunch break, I did some "window shopping" to lift my spirits. This brought me to Longchamp.

Longchamp has a wide selection of handbags and accessories that fits many different price points. The Le Pliage line had always held my interest: practical, affordable, and well designed. Today, I walked into the store and turned my frown upside down. I did a quick scan, but was stopped in my tracks by the most charming little clutch. I had to have it:
Longchamp LM Nylon Clutch

Measuring at about 11" x 6.5" x 3", this small clutch is the perfect addition to my closet. It fits into my daily handbag and can hold my wallet, phone, lip conditioner, and other essentials. When I am running out for a quick break and do not want to bring my whole bag, I can quickly grab this little guy and go. I am in love with the print and the different textures of black in nylon, cord, and leather. Of course there were other things I wanted (definitely things that WILL be mine), but it was my lunch break and a major purchase would be a little insane. Anyway, I went back to work with a big smile on my face, and the rest of the day turned out to be a blast!

- jerome

December 7, 2009

Closet Case Vol. 1: YSL "Easy" Bag

Boy Blazer (Vintage), Scoop Tee by Pleasure Principle, Pleated Cropped Pants by H&M, Stacked Loafers by Whoop De Doo Harajyuku, YSL Easy Bag by Yves Saint Laurent, Leather Wing Shoulder Harness by Zana Bayne

There is proof that fate exists. I have been at the right place at the right time, walking by a certain window display or following a link to a website, serendipitously stumbling upon the perfect (insert article of clothing, shoes, or accessories here). After the price is revealed, the justification process begins. Unfortunately, I am not part of that tiny population who can walk into Barney's, point to stuff, and tell them to wrap it up; But I do have a passion, a job, and the uncanny ability to get what I want.

I am a firm believer in buying the classics rather the trendy. Every now and then I might pick up the occasional fashion/statement item (if the price is right), but generally I stick to collecting pieces with longevity. If there is a way to have it, then I will see justice done.

This brings us to my first Closet Case blog entry:

I was a bit apprehensive about the YSL Easy bag. I thought it might just be another "it" bag. But my hesitation was canceled during a visit to YSL Hong Kong. I instantly fell for the simple "Y" stitching on exceptionally luxurious leather, the rounded feet, and the versatility of the bag. But the price point was still too high for me to buy it during vacation, especially without knowing for sure the retail value in the U.S.

A month later, I walked into YSL San Francisco and found out that the store was closing. After taking a few minutes to get over the initial shock (Maiden Lane without YSL would seem incomplete), my sense of hearing returned and I tuned into "20% OFF EVERYTHING." I purchased the last Medium YSL Easy bag in black at probably the lowest possible price for a brand new handbag at a flagship store. It was fate; it was total JUSTICE.

The YSL Easy is a great investment if you want a quality handbag that you can actually use. It is understated enough to use everyday while impressing those who are in the know. I use the bag regularly. It is perfect for packing an extra pair of shoes (even boots!), holding the essentials, and carrying around comfortably. It is called the "easy" bag for good reason!

- jerome

December 3, 2009

Too Much of A Good Thing

James Jean
is arguably the king of the illustration today. Though this is old news to many people (I was introduced to his work embarrassingly late) Jean's work continues to grab my attention. I purchased this print as a gift for my partner's birthday, and it is now hanging in our living room.

Jean collaborated with Miuccia Prada some spring/summers ago, during the height of my college education (which may explain how I didn't know about him... excuses!). Honestly, I did not care much for the ready-to-wear, but I lusted after the accessories and handbags. The irony of it all is that I remember vividly watching the silk scarves for this collection being printed while studying abroad in Italy. One piece in particular continues to haunt me.

After much heartache, eBaying, and research, I was severely disappointed to learn that the James Jean Faerie handbags were rare, expensive, and somewhat defective. Apparently, many customers were majorly upset to discover that the ink on the bags bleed when exposed to moisture. This bag was too good to be true, and maybe too much of a good thing.

I have finally decided that it would not be worth buying the bag... on my current salary anyway. To buy it now I would run the risk of buying a fake on eBay or website, and/or waste money on a bag that bleeds thousand dollar ink. Maybe when I can afford a Birkin, I can pick up one of these to collect.

- jerome

December 1, 2009


Hi. My name is Jerome, and I am very pleased to meet you.
(And I am wearing: Shirt by Cosmic Wonder, Shorts by See by Chloe, Shoes by John Varvatos, Canon Rebel Xti)

I am 23 years of age, recently graduated from college with a degree in Fashion Marketing and Management, and currently figuring out what life is like when school is finished. Academics never seemed so finite during finals, but now that it is time to get a job, I sometimes wish I could just stay in school forever.

I decided to start this blog to keep track of everything. I have a deep love for fashion, a new found passion for cooking, and an affinity for creative problem solving. If you are interested in any of these things, I am sure we can find something to talk about.

I am not exactly sure what the first blog post should be about, but I assume establishing purpose is in order: fashion, art, and culture (whatever that means). Pictured here is an illustration of what I am wearing. I find that drawing my outfits is a great way to add in things I wish I had. It is like a visual dressing room, to add things to an ever growing, impossibly long shopping list of clothing, shoes, and accessories. But sometimes I get lazy, and I will probably post some photos.

- jerome