August 26, 2013

Remembering a moment with i-D

I have probably said this before, but i-D is one of my absolute favorite magazines.  I have every issue since I was 16 or 17 years old.  Their point of view on zeitgeist and youth culture always impresses me, and I have remained an unwavering fan over the years.  So when my friend Ashley told me that she needed help with a shoot for i-D, I immediately collapsed to the floor in tears I said of course!  Helping to style this shoot was a dream come true - and all done with a team of good friends.  I didn't post this during my hiatus for some reason, but taking subway selfies on the security camera today reminded me of one of my favorite memories in New York.  Here is the write up from i-D's website:

“My main objective was to capture the essence of New York City. Having recently moved here I wanted to highlight both its alluring charm but also the harsh reality of a cold city, literally and metaphorically. New York can often feel overwhelming and lonely, which is something people may draw from watching this. Often we find ourselves on trains or in the street surrounded by strangers yet we feel completely alone, brushing past each other but never touching. My choice behind shooting sequences from the air had to do with the idea that events we experience can be viewed from many different perspectives. I wanted to create an environment for the viewer to know exactly where they were but more importantly to make a more believable experience. I guess you could call this project a self-portrait of sorts. I may not physically be in the film however you can see me in every frame.”
Photographer, Videographer and Director: Marco TorresStyling: Ashley Abtahie
Styling Assistants: Brandon Giordano and Jerome Ison
Model: Teresa Oman @ Re:Quest Model Management / The Agency Australia
Make-up: Dana Rae AshburnHair: Jeanie Syfu
All original music by Cove
Look 1: Shirt and Jacket 3.1 Phillip Lim. Skirt Amarcord Vintage Fashion. Sunglasses Mercura, Necklace Organic Peroxide NYC. Look 2 (in camera): Jacket Blank NYC. T-shirt, Dress and Boots 3.1 Phillip Lim. Leggings stylist’s own. Necklace Organic Peroxide NYC. Look 3: Jacket and overalls 3.1 Phillip Lim. Shirt Amarcord Vintage Fashion. Vest Amarcord Vintage Fashion. Boots Carven. Necklaces Organic Peroxide NYC. Look 4: Trench coat Valentino. Shirt Only Hearts NYC. Trousers Amarcord Vintage Fashion. Sunglasses Mercura. Necklace Organic Peroxide NYC.
Phillip Lim is one of my favorite designers, so it made me happy to play with a story that included many pieces from his brand.  I was also floored by the eyewear at Mercura NYC!  How gorgeous are the pearl shades?!  A large part of the shoot included pieces from Amacord Vintage.  As up and coming stylists, we do not always have access to major designers.  I think it is important to know how to style with any set of options you are afforded - and vintage is an amazing resource.  Clothing is not rendered unfashionable just because it was not made this season.  Truly great stylists can pull looks from the past that are relevant to the current mood in fashion.

- jerome

August 25, 2013

Souvenir Jacket/Skazan/Sukajan No. 2

Vintage Script Japan souvenir jacket, J.Crew tee, Levis denim, Frecap Shoes

Here is another souvenir jacket in my collection.  I acquired it in a small thrift store in Seoul.  It was in pretty awful shape, but it reminded me of an antique that just needed a little refurbishing.  The colors shine bright after dry cleaning and the details in the embroidery stand out.  A few stains remain to remind me of its age.  Red, gold, and green combined is lovely.  This jacket reminds me of the holidays without looking costume - I think of home whenever I look at it.

Script Flower Trip Orchestra is a brand from Japan that creates beautiful souvenir jackets.  The colors they use are unique and their quality is unmatched.  Looking through their current offerings online, I am intensely overwhelmed by how many styles I want to get.  There is an attention to detail that makes each jacket worth every yen penny.  All of their souvenir jackets are reversible: one side featuring the standard double breast design front with contrast sleeves and the other side with embroidery encompassing the entire garment, often over seams and zippers.

This particular jacket may be a brand special.  The bird (I am not sure if it is a crane or phoenix) is actually the brand's logo - not to mention the brand name "SCRIPT" emblazoned on the back.  The other side features a beautiful dragon that wraps around the shoulders and onto the chest.  I like the symbolism of a phoenix and dragon in one piece - masculine and feminine.

- jerome

August 9, 2013

Hard and Soft

Alexander Wang by Melvin Sokolsky for Harper's Bazaar US August 2013 

Alexander Wang presented stunning marbled pieces for his first collection at Balenciaga.  His unexpected succession to Nicholas Ghesquière had me nervous for what was to come.  Ghesquière's whimsical genius made me a fan and I thought Wang's aesthetic, though cool in a different way, was a departure from what made Balenciaga a powerhouse in contemporary fashion.  When I clicked through the looks, it was clear that Wang had stayed true to his point of view while innovating in the spirit of Balenciaga, thereby creating a new identity for the brand separate of Ghesquière.  Success!

In my head marbled prints translated well for fashion, but it was not until I saw this photo in Harper's Bazaar that I got excited about applying marble print in textiles for interior design.  The marble printed chair Wang is sitting in comes from designer Maurizio Galante's collection "Louis XV goes to Sparta."  My brain is telling me that the chair should be as cold and hard as marble, but the silhouette would lead me to believe that it is as comfy as any vintage velvet arm chair - AND THAT I NEED ONE BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

My obsession with marble patterns comes from my mother.  When our house was being built, she was very specific with her marble choices - everything imported, everything authentic.  I would lay down on the cool floors of our foyer on hot summer days, tracing the cloudy lines in the marble tiles with my fingers and making up stories with the shapes.  I could hear the clicking of shoes every time someone came through the front door.  The luster that appears when the sun hits the stone at the right angle still reminds me of my childhood.  I like how marble can be manipulated in different ways.  It is hard and cold, but can be chiseled into the most stunning and timeless sculptures.  The unique patterns in marble can be seen everywhere in nature, but the minimalist in me loves a good monochromatic moment that comes from the rock.

And what do you need to go with your marble arm chair?  Marble duvet covers of course!!  These duvet sets from Safe House USA are another great use of a marble print.  Once again, the print is used to create a soft and comfortable product.  While the pillows maintain a rectangular, solid shape, the duvet is more fluid.  I love marble sculptures of people that are worked so masterfully you can almost feel the softness of the fabric through the hard stone.

I have this grand, ornate, baroque style bed frame, so this wouldn't match my bedroom very well, but I am almost tempted to get a set just for my couch in the winter months.  So great!  If anyone sees anything else like this, a play on hard and soft, please let me know.

- jerome  

August 6, 2013

Peace, Love, and Understanding

Peace, Love, and Understanding tank, Codes Combine leather pants, 5cm x Dr. Martens Boots 
Peace, Love, and Understanding tank, Shipley & Halmos shorts, Nike Flynknit Racer shoes
Peace, Love, and Understanding tank, Levis denim, Nike x Fragment Design shoes

I first heard about Peace, Love, and Understanding when Opening Ceremony did their Korean designer focus - and I kept them in mind when I visited the country earlier this year.  Anime character design will always be a major weakness for me, so it was exciting when I stumbled upon these designs while in Seoul.  My friend Aaron was with me, and as soon as I stepped out he told me how flattering the tank was.  After crying inside because I always think when people say "that is flattering" they are really saying "you don't look as fat as you really are" I was happy to hear this and walked out with Peace and Understanding.  Both tanks were worn before my trip was even over, so I went back to buy Love.

The tanks are quite long and wide because they are one size fits all.  Of course, they may be originally designed to fit oversized on petit Korean frames, but I am happy with how the tanks look on me.  The bold graphic on the back is a nice touch, and the message behind the brand's name is quite sweet.  Check out their full collection on their website, and visit their store to buy these tanks and other great apparel with the coolest prints.

Getting back into the swing of things, I have to experiment with lighting in my NYC apartment.  My apologies for the dark ass photos and my awkward poses.  I am horrible with candidness and/or modeling of any kind.  Virtually any camera, including the ones I have control of, cause me to become inept at life.  Ha!

- jerome

August 2, 2013

Souvenir Jacket/Skazan/Sukajan No. 1

Japanese Traditional Vintage souvenir jacket, J.Crew tee and chinos, Burberry Prorsum loafers, Ugo Cacciatori and Enrique Muthuan rings

Hello, everyone!  I am excited to share the first souvenir jacket in my collection.  After months of hunting them down here in New York, I had no luck finding ANYTHING.  It was in Seoul that I was finally able to acquire a few pieces.  This isn't the first one I bought but I definitely used it the most when I amassed my starter set.  They come in the most beautiful colors and fabrics, and they are delicate so scoring vintage ones in great condition is quite hard.  

For those who don't already know, souvenir jackets originated in Asian countries when occupying forces would visit local artisans to embroider traditional motifs onto their jackets as souvenirs while stationed abroad.  This originated in Japan in Yokosuka, and the jackets came to be known as "Yokosuka Jumpers," or Sukajyan for short.  In Korea, they are known as Skazan.  The jackets are normally reversible with one side being more intricately adorned.  Each design is embroidered directly into the silk, rayon, or polyester that is regularly used to build the garment.

Of course the first one I choose to show you is one sided and a XXXL, but it is the only non-reversible souvenir jacket I own so far.  I love how big this one is.  It is a great shape that reminds me of Juun. J, or even a boyfriend jacket.  The off-the-shoulder thing comes pretty natural because of the size, but it is also nice to shrug off when it gets hot but you don't want to put such a stain-magnet down at a bar or club.  And apparently I was really into the Mr. Peanut while shooting this so ignore my crossed legs.

As loud as these jackets can get, I am happy I was able to find one in more neutral hues.  The embroidery is so detailed.  When I saw the dragons on the sleeves and the back, I had to have it.  These bad boys can cost a pretty penny, but I was able to grab this one for around $60 USD after bartering with the shop people.  I love that you can bring down prices in Hongdae vintage shops.  That is a steal for this kind of jacket, in this condition, that is made in Japan.  More to come soon!

- jerome