Brutus Magazine Winter Suit Preview

I did this shoot with Brutus magazine last year for the upcoming winter suit collections. Shooting something as static as men's wool suiting, a garment that has changed very little over the past few generations requires a little imagination and change in perspective.

The idea behind the spread was to mimic the late American artist Duane Hanson. He was know for his wax sculptures of Americans engaged in everyday activities; shopping, resting, eating and most commonly, working.

The shoot revolved around men in some facet work, the historical reason to be in a suit in the first place.

To match the feel of Hanson's work, our hands and faces were covered with a matte gel. The poses and expressions were also modeled for suspended animation.

The shoot was really fun and pretty quirky, but looking back, I totally forgot to appreciate the beauty held by every single garment in the room.

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Left: Three piece suit, shirt, tie, pocket square and shoes by Dunhill - $7,699. Right: Three piece suit, shirt, tie, hat and shoes by Paul Smith (Alfred Brown wool) - $2,967.

a bow tie

Left: Suit, tie, shirt, pocket square and shoes by Hugo Boss - $2,853. Right: Suit, shirt, tie, pocket square and shoes by Ermenegildo Zegna - $7,370.

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Left: Suit, shirt, tie, pocket square and shoes by Polo Ralph Lauren - $2,252. Hat by Borsalino - $777. Right: Suit, shirt, tie, cardigan and pocket square by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece - $5,623 (shoes not included). Hat by Borsalino - $777.

The details in this shoot are easy to overlook. The newspaper in my pocket (first photo on the right) was actually from the 70's, as was my luggage cart.

On a personal note, Japanese magazines are always a step above anything published in the USA. I'm saying this not only about the content but as a physical object as well; higher quality paper and printing. I could do an entire post (which I just may do) listing all of the wonderful culture and style mags in Japan.

If you are interested in receiving Brutus every other week, amazon has a smoking deal on right now for the low low price of $257/year.

How to Wear a Bow Tie Vol: 1

how to wear a bow tie

I came across this image from Downey Unlimited a few months ago. I don't know anything about it other than it being a rare example of accessorizing without wandering into the costumey realm. Please use caution while attempting to sport a velvet bow tie with a top hat and polka dot pocket square.

Billy Reids Shindig

I connect well with most everything that comes from Billy Reid. I also like his passive approach to the industry and how he seems to be more interested in his life and community than in keeping up with the NYC pace.

Here is a great short from Dave Anderson of Mr. Reid at his home in Alabama. A nice look at how he came to be in Florence, and this gem - "We just figured out a way to...you know work around our life, instead of live around our work"

How to Tie a Bow Tie Vol: 6

how to tie a bow tie 

I really love this simple image from Bearings, a Southern Lifestyle Guide for men. Check out their site for tons of great posts ranging from food and drink to travel and health.

Thoughts on Classic Tokyo Men's Wear

Image via FourWheelDrift

Tokyo style is easily misunderstood. The most common lens for viewing Tokyo fashion is Fruits or Tune magazine. If you have ever been to Tokyo, or more specifically the corner of Omotesondo and Meiji in Harajuku, you have seen dozens of street photographers sitting on the curb scouting "street style". Every time I walked past that corner I hesitated to get excited, the style walking past seemed just as positioned as the cameras waiting to capture them.

The popularity and successful exportation of Harajuku style puts classic Japanese fashion on a distant back burner. Who wants to see a perfectly tailored suit, handmade shoes, and an antique Rolex on a middle manager hopping off the subway when they can see a Care Bear with a authentic raccoon tail weaved into the hair of a 17 year-old who has decided to skip school today in hopes of getting her "look" in the pages of Fruits magazine?

The men's suit in Tokyo is ubiquitous. It's easy to overlook because every weekday 5 million men are neatly dressed for work. Not only do suits in Tokyo fit well, but the same pride that goes into making the finest cotton shirting, denim and canvas in the industry also goes in the process of getting dressed every morning.

I worked in central Tokyo for several years in a position not requiring a suit and tie, but chose to dress in what equates to work wear. I had long haphazardly pulled back hair and an unruly beard. The looks I received on the subway every morning were very similar to the looks I get now wearing a tailored suit walking home through the Mission in San Francisco.

What we in the United States think of as every day attire, is the suit and tie in Tokyo. The ultimate irony being that Japanese men started wearing suits to model the success and progression of Western culture. Now here we are 100 years later wearing jeans and tee shirts to meetings while a telemarketer in Shibuya is heading to work adjusting his necktie.

The McQueensbury Rules

As far as I'm concerned, this is the greatest men's wear show of all time. If anyone can think of a show that rivals this, I would love to see it.

Check out the McQueen archives to see all of his men's and women's shows spanning the last 10 years.

p.s. - The Girl Who Lived In The Tree from F/W 2008 may very well be the greatest runway show in the history of humanity

New Smith Brand Labels

 a bow tie

Received a wonderful shipment from Rapid Tags this morning. Timely quality service is becoming a difficult thing to come by these days. Thanks guys!

Our First Crack at Neckwear for the Ladies

Threw together this little cotton number today. It is our first foray into the bow tie for her department, worked out really well. It's a Liberty of London print on a Japanese cotton, which translates to an incredibly soft and light, almost silky ideal summer fabric. Hopefully more to come...

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