Sunday, April 26, 2009

Men's accessories

Men's accessories are often overlooked, but are nonetheless essential for the style-conscious guy. By accessories, I am referring to items such as watches, rings, wrist-bands, bracelets, necklaces, belt-buckles, etc.

I find accessories are especially important when you want to dress up a simple outfit, like a t-shirt and jeans. The hip-hop people do this especially well.

But you don't need a $75,000 diamond-encrusted, Jacob The Jeweler watch in order to pull it off. Some of Johnny Depp's beaded bracelets were made by his 4-year old daughter.

One of my favorite places in Toronto to pick up accessories are the kiosks on Queen (corner Peter), right between Lush and the Black Bull. One of the owners of the kiosks, Polo (shown below), is always enthusiastic to show me new, unique pieces.

Here are some pieces that I've picked up over the last year:

The silver finger brace (on the right), is especially unusual and a great topic of conversation at a club. If nothing else, an unusual or unique accessory is a great conversation starter.

One great source of accessories for me has been Butler and Wilson from London. I've ordered a bunch of stuff from their website The pieces shown below are stainless steel, not silver, and they are far from subtle. I can't count how many times people have commented on them (not to mention "borrowed" them for the evening) .

The one downside of the the company is that they don't seem to have nearly as many products for men as they do for women. Also, there doesn't seem to be that much of a diversity of designs. Skulls are cool, but a little overplayed.

Another cool brand is King Baby ( They sell it at Holts though I've never bought any of the items. I think all the pieces are silver and they're not cheap either-- they range from few hundred dollars for the necklaces and about $1,000 for a bracelet.

By far the coolest bracelets I've seen were at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, on the Men's Third Floor. All pieces were silver and had real diamonds, so the pieces were several thousands of dollars, if not more. This will sound lame, but I don't recall the name of the label. But I think you can find cool accessories almost anywhere if you are on the lookout.

I suppose it's worth mentioning that there is a tackiness quotient when dealing with accessories.

Over the years, I've bought some pieces that, on second thought, just appear downright tacky, and I will therefore never wear them. Fellow Stylemountie Mariya thinks a thumb-ring is the tell-tale sign of a douche-bag, and that may be a good working rule of thumb (pardon the pun). I don't know if there are any hard and fast rules as to what constitutes tacky accessories. I guess we each have to find our own way.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fall 2009 Women's RTW Balmain

Now this is what I call fashion porn. Decarnin managed to outdo himself once again this season. The 80's are back in full swing but in a more subdued manner. I am a big fan of his tight mini dresses, studded jackets and most importantly boots. Although, I can't say that there's much of an originality to his work, but he was able to take some trends that had worked in the past and reinvent them with a new refreshing spin.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fall 2009 Women's RTW Mark Fast

Born in Canada, Mark Fast moved to London, England to attend Central Saint Martins, regarded as one of London’s leading art and design institutions. He graduated with a master’s degree in knitwear in 2007, and a year later presented his debut collection at the London Fashion Week.

One can say that his sense of style derives from “gothic elegance”.

I think that his technique of mixing Lycra and viscose threads into knits and weaving holes into them for a spider web effect creates a very sexy fit around a woman’s body. One can find his fabulous creations at Holt Renfrew.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Christian Lacroix Spring 2009 Couture Collection

The poetic vision of Christian Lacroix never fails to show romantic and uplifting creations. The eclecticism of each garment in terms of fabrics, colour, embroidery, to simple polka dots is always refreshing and in the mix. Known to have a theatrical back -round, Lacroix always delivers hodgepodge of patterns, and experimental fabrics. I think his designs incorporate ultra feminine fantasy that every girl wants to be part of.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Runway Model?

"If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." This model's name is Jamie Bochert. You be the judge!

Fall 2009 Women's RTW Lanvin

For all those who may not be familiar with the Lanvin label, it is a fashion house which had originally been started by Jeanne Lanvin, one of the most influential French fashion designers in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Well-known among the wealthy, it almost went into obscurity with the general population but has in recent years made a comeback appointing Alber Elbaz as the head designer for the women’s collection.

The collection resembled a cross between 1940’s Film Noir starlet and a German officer's wife. Elbaz was able to create some timeless pieces in this collection, which I can definitely see being worn five years from now. Details such as drapes, knots, bows were all interesting twists to each garment.