#JJStyle: Outlook for Ralph Lauren S/S 2014, Mix and Match

I’m a big Ralph Lauren fan. Even though they’re very commercially oriented, they do menswear correct most of the time. For their Spring-Summer 2014 it seems like they’re pulling concepts from everywhere for Polo, Purple, and Black label. That’s fine… I guess. I can see purchasing one or two good items from each collection and making my own cohesive #JJStyle look because obviously from the looks of it, their own style set up is all over the place. There’s a bit “Wolf of Wall Street”, there’s a bit Safari, a bit hippy frat boy, a bit Let’s-climb-the-grand-canyons. Hope they can work towards a more focused collection for the next seasons.

Meanwhile, it’s certainly better than the Mod 60’s Black and White womenswear offering for the same season. Say what?

WEAR Ralph Lauren via Harrod’s

JJ.

#JJStyle: Poetry and Romance Blooms Lose and Easy for Burberry Prorsum S/S 2014

To continue my train of thought from the last blog post re: Lane Crawford’s “Botanica’ Ad Campaign, I just wanted to do another post on a fashion label which I think is doing this floral-inspired theme really well. Coming out strong for this season… Christopher Bailey’s S/S 2014 color palette for Burberry Prorsum, is I think his strongest collection yet for the label. Debuting last Summer, expect to see his “Garden Party” inspired color palette with an edgier more color blocked solid direction for men, and a softer and more sheer take for the women, really influencing all kinds of fashion on the street for this coming year.

Themed “Writers & Painters”, his menswear collection is inspired by personalities like Alan Bennett and the artworks of David Hockney. There’s an emphasis here on knitwear as outwear, shirts as outerwear, unstructured paperweight trench coats, and  collection of relaxed knits in colors such as blue, greys, camel, olive, terracotta, pink, dusty yellow, dusty green, bright red, and blues… all in homage to “The New Tailoring” which is the combination of the Artist’s Jacket and the loose tie.

For the women, Bailey was really inspired by the “English Rose”, a collection of loose 3/4 length coats, lacy pencil skirts, soft spring knits… all polka dotted with costume jewelry-like embellishments in dusky pinks, mint greens, lavenders, and pale yellows. Compared to the men, the women get soft drapings, bright sandals, sheer fits… all pairing well with the debut of the brand’s “Petal” bag.

The lesson here for this season… keep it loose, keep it easy… but everything is very structured and tailored… and bright.

SHOP Burberry All Labels via Harrod’s / SHOP Burberry Prorsum Select Pieces via theWanderlister+ Shop

JJ.

#JJStyle: Bursting With Floral Freshness, ‘Botanica’ by Katsuya Kamo at Lane Crawford for S/S 2014 

After Chinese New Year is through, expect a big burst of color celebrating Spring and Summer 2014’s floral trends in fashion with Lane Crawford’s new collaboration with one of the world’s top hair designers, Katsuya Kamo. The collaboration, titled Botanica, will showcase 300 of his iconic floral headpieces across five Lane Crawford stores in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. Kamo’s past creations have been included in publications such as Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Dazed & Confused, and Wallpaper*. His one-of-a-kind dream like flower pieces for Chanel’s Spring 2009 Haute Couture collection will also be at Lane Crawford on display.

To commemorate this amazing partnership, Lane Crawford will be exhibiting several striking visual installations with today’s “IT” creatives, KaCaMa, Kim Tang, Fiona Emerald Faerie, Stickyline, Mark Goss, and Ikumi Nagasawa.

Additionally, over 800 mannequins will be draped in Botanica-inspired styles at all locations, which will include works by Chinese Designers, Ms Min, Helen Lee, and Chictopia, and International labels such as Stella Jean, DELPOZO, NO.21.

Check out, Katsuya Kamo’s home here via The Selby. #iLike.

VISIT Katsuya Kamo’s BOTANICA Exhibition . 27 JAN 2014 - 14 APR 2014 . Lane Crawford IFC Mall, Canton Road Harbour City, Times Square, Seasons Place Beijing, Times Square Shanghai 

JJ.

#JJStyle: Red and Blue At The Lonestar State

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Two weeks ago, I decided to give myself a break and purchased a last minute ticket online to fly back for my annual family Christmas get together in Fort Worth, Texas (aka “The Lonestar State”)… my hometown. 

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As expected with most all-American (relatively) mid-sized towns like Fort Worth, everything is all spread out. In Texas we call this spread a “sprawl”, the opposite of Hong Kong density.

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Texas is SPRAWLING.

Below and Above, The Kimbell Museum designed by Louis Khan.

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For this brief non-Asia specific blog post, I wanted to present my photos of Texan “sprawl” as it relates to some of Fort Worth’s most unique cultural treasures, a group of world class museums which emerge lightly like an oasis on a sea of a very flat wintery beige landscape.

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First off, I find the sheer existence of these museums, with their breathtaking and unique collections set… in the middle of Fort Worth’s vast flat grassland really oddly fascinating. How did these clusters of museums get built on this site… amongst the flatness, the occasional taco stand, the gas station, and some 1950’s post-war reconstruction government edifices, in the first place?!

Well thanks to Oil Money and a very philanthropic minded Oil Family (the Bass Family), all these museums stand here today. That said, I’m thankful to have had such an access to the Kimbell Art Museum’s rare permanent collections at such formative years. The Kimbell houses a highly curated and select collection of important works by old-world masters such as, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, El Greco, Velazquez, in an intimate building designed by none other than a master, Louis Kahn. It’s no surprise that I ended up following a creative career path with that kind of cultural influence in my own back yard.

As I recently walked in and around Kahn’s introverted yet timeless building most notable for its series of barrel-vaulted roofs, I was immediately transported back to all those moments when my relationship with art and architecture first bloomed right there in that very museum.

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imageAbove, the Kimbell Extension by Renzo Piano.

Other buildings I visited in the museum complex; the newly opened glass roof extension to The Kimbell, by Italian architect, Renzo Piano. Across the street, and about twice the size of the Kahn’s Kimbell, at two full stories, my other favorite; The Modern, by Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, with a collection of contemporary masterpieces.

Below, The Modern by Tadao Ando.

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Both buildings by Piano and Ando, with their repetitive roof forms, also sit lightly on a generally flat site just like The Kimbell. Both designs are strongly influenced by Khan’s Kimbell planning, the Kimbell being at the core of Fort Worth’s museum complex, tying three beautiful modern buildings together.

Lucky Forth Worth.

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I just want to add that before I flew to Texas, I was graciously gifted one of only 74 limited edition travel satchels… a special red and blue colored Seventy Eight Percent ”Dimitri”, designed by an amazing person, Hong Kong based- Israeli designer, Shai Levy, a creative I covered on this blog several times before. 

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What makes the bag special is that it is Seventy Eight Percent’s first collaborative bag ever, this one with noted New York accessories designer, Eddie Borgo, a jewellery wunderkid who is known for his luxuriously sleek-yet-punk triangular and pyramid shaped motifs. This bag’s print of “interlocking triangles” is definitely a great example of that formal obsession with the triangle…. my favorite shape.

Below, Bag by Seventy Eight Percent x Eddie Borgo, Levi’s Jeans, Club Monaco Blazer, Watch by Daniel Wellington, shirt by J.Crew, Shoes by Ralph Lauren.

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The “Dimitri” Eddie Borgo bag was a perfect travel companion to the States for me. I was able to fit everything in this stress-free and stylish lightweight carry-all… my SLR camera, sunglasses, passport, travel documents, wallet, iPad, keys, diary, and smartphone. With everything that I placed inside, it was still a surprisingly light carry.

Material of the leather is vegetable tanned (great for the environment), and the canvas a Japanese cotton.

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The limited edition Eddie Borgo bag is available now at Lane Crawford Hong Kong (IFC, Harbour City, Times Square Causeway Bay) and Lane Crawford online and comes in Beige and Brown. Another collaborative line is with Brooklyn-based artist, Julia Chiang, available in all Blue and Beige and Green. A portion of the proceeds of the collaborative bags go to the Changing Lives Foundation, a foundation focused on reaching out to underprivileged youngsters in Hong Kong and Mainland.

And because it’s red and blue, it was THE perfect travel accessory for a trip to the U.S.of.A! It was good to be back, albeit briefly.

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SHOP Seventy Eight Percent x Eddie Borgo . Seventy Eight Percent x Julia Chiang / WEAR Seventy Eight Percent / WEAR Eddie Borgo / FOLLOW Julia Chiang Artist / VISIT Kimbell Art Museum / VISIT The Modern Fort Worth / CHARITY INFORMATION Changing Lives Foundation in Hong Kong

Style Photography Courtesy of Travis Guba Los Angeles

JJ.

#JJStyle: Independent Kickstarter Brand, RPMWEST Jeans, Kicks It With Me In Hong Kong

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New denim darlings on the scene, RPMWEST, founded in May 2012 by Manuel Rappard, a former Google employee and NYU Graduate, has successfully raised over 100,000 USD this year via their Kickstarter campaign to launch amazing jeans for gentlemen, that is democratically ethical, as much as it stylish. I first heard about the brand via my friend Paul S., a cross-continental fashion photographer, who’s cousin is married to an RPMWEST collaborator. Paul S. also shot the latest lookbook which can be seen in this blog here. The San Francisco based brand prides itself on the quality of the denim, a Raw Japanese Selvedge, and its artisan craftsmanship, 100% made-in-the-USA. 

Not that “none-made-in-the-USA” items are bad, per se, it’s just that in this day and age when it’s tough to guarantee exploit-free labor practices, an investment is made to go towards building an artisan trade in close proximity to where the jeans are actually designed and conceptualized. This idea of USA made jeans is not new, but the price tag, under 100USD, makes the production of artisan jeans more accessible to a market beyond the luxury buyer… which is great!

With the success of their Kickstarter campaign, the RMPWEST guys are now able to not only make their dreams (high quality fancy homegrown jeans at a not so fancy price) come true, but also implement a “Home Try On” program, where they can send three pairs to anywhere in the world (including Hong Kong), and you keep the pair that fits you the best. Right now, RPMWEST is shipping single pairs to kickstarter investors and brand supporters (including me!) and will open their website (hopefully) in November to a growing wait list, just in time for the Christmas shopping season. 

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A few more details… i’m wearing the New Classics with a stiff raw selvedge. (Less stiff over time.) The name “Selvedge” is reserved for denim made on vintage shuttle looms, which is how it was usually produced by classic brands prior to the 1970’s. This selvedge is usually heavier and higher quality than other denims you’re used to. Another thing that most brands these days get wrong with new Selvedge or Selvedge reproductions, is that the cutting is all wrong for the material. Thank God the moment I tried RMPWEST New Classic’s on, I immediately loved the fit. It’s roomy where it needs to be (around the thighs and knees), and fit snuggly where you want it to be (around the hips, bum, and calves.) 

Photos above also show the details that come along with the Jean; Chain Stitching, 100% Leather brand patch, Metal Tack buttons, reinforced front pockets, reinforced back pockets (plane with no crazy design), and tucked belt loops (Will not rip off.) I’m truly proud of these guys’ Kickstarter project, and that they’re actually making less of a brand profit with zero retail markup, in order to make socially conscious jeans more available to a market looking for high quality that doesn’t break the bank.

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Photos of me in my RPMWEST Jeans taken at the old lanes and the playground in and around Hong Kong’s Wing Lee Street off Bridges Street. Check out RPMWEST’s successful Kickstarter page here for more information on their brand and videos.

WEAR RPMWEST

JJ.

#JJStyle: Indie Label Tangram Collaborates With Hong Kong’s Iconic G.O.D. Shop

Fresh off their amazing launch at K11 with accessories label, Matter Matters, indie label, Tangram’s, head designer, Paola Sinisterra and her husband and co-collaborator, Ignacio Garcia, have teamed up yet again but this time with an even bigger collaboration… the iconic design shop in Hong Kong, G.O.D. Goods of Desire. For those who have been big fans of Tangram as I have (I went to their firstp preview at Whitespace, when just starting this blog), fans and fashion mavens can even get more of Tangram with a new capsule collection derived from Chinese inspired graphics and patterns, but with that casual and fun youthful attitude. 

There are two things I love about this new collection, 1) that it’s with G.O.D., a store of original goods filled with consumer items full of iconic tongue-in-cheek messages which refer back to Hong Kong’s vintage design culture, and 2) that finally those of us guys who are in love with the Tangram aesthetic can now wear their clothes since most of the styles are unisex and a bit tomboyish!

Via Douglas Young, proprietor of G.O.D.:

The collaboration with Paola and Tangram is a true representation of Hong Kong - a hybridisation yet mutual respect of each other’s cultures. Paola and Ignacio have a great respect and appreciation for Hong Kong culture and it’s that, which made this collaboration an easy decision. We have a joint desire to create something meaningful, not just something that can be from anywhere, but something that could only be from Hong Kong. 

Via Paola:

We are super excited to collaborate with G.O.D. because they are a contemporary Hong Kong reference that rescues the city’s idiosyncrasies and creates new things from them. The brand has always been committed to highlighting the crazy, raw beauty of this place we love so much, but also because they have given us free creative reign. The sheer excitement of working with other creatives with which we share not only a language but also a similar approach to the business of doing what we believe in. 

Watch for Tangram for Goods of Desire at the G.O.D. shop on Hollywood Road starting next Wednesday, November 27, 2013!

WEAR Tangram / SHOP G.O.D. Goods of Desire . GF, 48 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong . T: +852-28051876

JJ.

#JJStyle: Mr Porter Meets Hong Kong Menswear, A/W 2013

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Sometimes I wonder how my love for fashion began, especially because I grew up in Forth Worth, Texas, where I had very limited access to style and trends. As i look back at that (relatively) small city, and where my love for self-styling actually began, it’s even a wonder how I was able to literally “scrape” by and be content with just what we had there for choice. My taste in Fashion was shaped by the STYLE sections of the Dallas Morning News, and copies of Details or W Magazine, that was available at the local Wal-Mart. Sure local Department Stores; Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus, and Dillard’s, carried my then favorite brands; Prada, DKNY (very different in the 90s), and Hugo Boss, but they never carried any of the styles that were at the time deemed too edgy for that Texan market.

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Looking back, I was one of those weird boys in High School that put together runway looks via re-appropriated GAP and Banana Republic wares, and additionally… I spent hours at the Vintage Thrift Shop. Anyway, I was thinking about all of this as I was modelling Thom Browne on the roof of Hong Kong’s Woolloomooloo Bar in Wanchai for a Mr. Porter Profile on Hong Kong’s “stylish” gents.  I wouldn’t say I’m the most fashionable guy in the city, I think the rest of the guys in the shoot are way more fashionable than me… (Looking at you Sean and Roger!)… and definitely I’ve had my regrettable phases (one whole year wearing nothing but neon in HK as an homage to DIPLO, for example), but definitely its nice to know that my “style” obsession does not go unnoticed. Alot of people may say, “who cares about style or fashion?”. But I say, “I Do. I care.” I want to look good, I want to feel good, and it makes me happy.

PS. Oh and by the way, my camera I take on vacation is my tiny Fuji X-F1 NOT an X-S1 as the article states… but thanks Tom M. Ford for the interview, Dan May for the amazing styling, and last and the best, Jason Capobianco for the photographs. Grace Lam you rock for putting my name in. It’s really cool of you.

Here’s some behind the scenes photos from the shoot!

Jason and Mr. May having a chat on concepts.

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The most stylish gents, Sean Fitzpatrick and the fabulous Dickey Blue.

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Roger Ouk looking dapper and very serious!

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Met this Boy Wonder, a 17 year old professional Race Car Driver, named Matthew Solomon, whose father owns Electric Sekki.

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Jason’s wife, Voguechina Editor, Grace Lam, came by to take a peek with the little one.

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And a little preview!

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I have a little video of it on my Instagram Profile. But anyway enjoy my interview it’s pretty cool. Read it here!

SHOP Shop by Designer at MR PORTER

JJ.

#JJStyle: Sunny With A Side of Unar Coffee

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Now that i’ve finally got some personal time to do nothing on a Sunday… (no traveling, no lunches, no brunches, no meetings, no dinners, no events, etc.), I find myself wondering what it is I CAN do with this personal time that would make it the most effective use of the time that I do have to myself. I can’t possibly do Nothing? But I can’t possibly do ANYTHING because that would defeat the point of personal time. So trying to figure out what to do during a moment’s peace just ended up stressing me out big time. HASHTAG WORKAHOLIC.

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So instead, I decided to call it quits on worrying and for today’s actually sunny Sunday I decided to just enjoy Hong Kong’s rarely pleasant Autumn weather. While some friends were out on a junk and others were meeting family, I took this “personal time” and met up with my pal Katrina to take a meander around the Tai Hang hood to our favorite coffee joint, Unar Coffee Company, for some late arvo chat with some caffeine (probably the best in town).

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I love sitting outside at Unar, especially on a beautiful Autumn Hong Kong day like today. Reading the Sunday International New York Times on the iPad and chatting with the neighbors is the best idea ever. Hope you had a great Sunday doing nothing as well! Loving the season already. Ready to dress like a grandpa until March.

#JJStyle Notes: Cardigan by LEE Jeans, Jeans by LEE Jeans reTHINK Eco-Friendly Denim Collection, Shoes by VANS x Liberty London, Sunglasses by Subcrew x MIKLI, Watch by NIXON, iPad Case by Hammer & Needle

DRINK Unar Coffee Company . GF, No.4 Second Lane, Tai Hang, Hong Kong . +852-28385231

JJ.

#JJStyle: Givenchy Goes Lumberjack Butch For Autumn Winter 2013

Riccardo Tisci explores his obsession with checks for his latest collection with Givenchy. These exclusive lumberjack prints and tartans come in black/red or brown, in garments and accessories. Shirts play with graphic patches of multiple checks, with matching ties. Trainers, pouches, and scarves alternate plain versions and others mixed with stars. 

All these looks available at the Givenchy store or on my Online shop here.

WEAR Givenchy . Ocean Centre, Shop 142, LVL 1 Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Hong Kong / SHOP Givenchy on theWandershop+

JJ.

#JJStyle: COS Autumn Winter 2013. And Men.

I love COS. I was really happy that the brand opened in Hong Kong in the first place a couple of years ago. I love their clean modern look. I Love their design. Yes, sometimes some pieces fit and work better than others, but usually, overall, you cannot go wrong with their overall European, slim, and tailored looks and fit. Another thing that happens when brands open in Hong Kong is that they suddenly go upmarket, raising the price of their products 20-40%. Not with COS. What you pay in Hong Kong, is what you pay anywhere else globally at their stores. So i’m a big fan.

For Autumn Winter 2013, COS is celebrating their “Tailoring collection” with a series of men’s portraits celebrating five men from different disciplines photographed in their home cities.

From Top To Bottom:

+ Charlie Porter is Currently the men’s fashion critic for the Financial Times, Charlie Porter has previously worked at Fantastic Man, GQ, The Guardian and The Times. Charlie is also the curator and writer of his own blog. In his own time he is passionate East London gardener, favouring long-limbed plants including Hollyhocks and Verbenas.

David Waddington is a restaurateur. After managing the Bricklayer’s Arms pub in East London during the mid-nineties, he opened Bistrotheque in a converted warehouse with Pablo Flack. Together they went on to open a series of pop-up restaurants, including winter-themed Reindeer in 2006 and Studio East – overlooking the Olympic Park in 2012. Their latest restaurants, Shrimpy’s, can be found in a disused filling station in North London until next year.

+ After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, Fredrik Paulsen set up his own furniture design studio in Stockholm. His straightforward attitude toward design is seen in his pragmatic constructions and playful approach to typically mundane articles of hardware. The result is the creation of furniture appearing more like working prototypes, rather than objects of mass production.

+ Nacho Alegre is the creative director and co-founder of Apartamento, an independent magazine dedicated to everyday life interiors. Based in Barcelona, he also works as a photographer exploring playful precision in still life photography.

+ Based in London, Zak Kyes (who looks alot like my friend, David Michon from Moncole Magazine lol) is a graphic designer and the founder of design office Zak Group. Quintessentially known for his critical approach to graphic design, Zak’s work encompasses publishing, curating and site-specific projects for cultural institutions around the world. He is also a Lecturer and Art Director at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

WEAR Cos . Located on Queens Road Central and Harbour City in Hong Kong

JJ.