One of the better things about Japanese retail besides having a more educated market, getting better products and being years ahead of us, is the attention to little things. Even at Musem Ark, a retail location well outside the city center of Tokyo, they take the time with almost every shipment to put together a look or two, style is very nicely and post the pictures up. If you're shopping online, just looking at a coat or shirt on a white background is awesome for blogging, but it's not the best if you are trying to understand how it will fit or look on. People need the picture painted for them, it has to help the selling point if you are a retailer. I remember Nomad did a great job of it last spring but I just don't see it in North America. So if things are slow these days and you have some new stock, I would recommend putting in some effort and sepeating yourself from the pack. Make people want to buy the clothes. I want this Comme des Garcons coat now, but it would have looked a bit weird just laying there.
I couldn't help but let the you folks know these have been released again, now at Blackbird. They haven't changed since the fall model as far as I know, they are still great. I'm fairly sure the deck boots are made by Quoddy out on the east coast of the U.S.A. My friend has a pair of these and they look great. They don't take long to get a bit of character and unless you work in a shop where these are sold, you probably won't see too many pairs around. However for some reason this season they seem to have jumped in price quite a bit. They are available on Blackbird's online store for $528 US and I am pretty sure they were around $400 Canadian when they released at Nomad last spring. Albam's fall version, which I believe was made by the same people, or at least the same area, were a lot less in the winter as well. I think they are a tough purchase with that increased tag but no matter your current balance, these are great shoes and I'd welcome them into my wardrobe in a second.
Got your Japanese proxy yet? You might want it for this Beams+ Hunting Parka. With a perfect all season color and weight, this parka is a front runner for a Sierra Designs substitute. Although it's not an eBay bargain, it is only about $340 US which is a pretty reasonable price for a coat that should last you a few years or more. I am not usually a big fan of details like the zipper split hood but with the tonal color change I am not minding the look. However I am really liking the pockets and 4 button system in the front which more than makes up for it. Even the fit looks pretty solid, but it really has to be special for you to take the risk and add the proxy fee if you don't have friends in good places.
Somebody left a comment the other day asking for a bit more photography in the posts. I'm not about to go too crazy but I thought this fellow's work was pretty amazing. Especially this project called "We're all going to die - 100 meters of existence". The photograph is actually 100 meters long and 78cm in height which is pretty much completely mind boggling. Over 20 days in Berlin, Simon shot the 178 people from a bridge capturing an incredible variety of emotions and characters from kisses, to eye patches, to absolutely creepy looking weirdos and even a couple people who knew they were being shot - and subsequently gave the middle finger. The photograph is extremely clear and with the great depth of field capturing blurred air planes in the background and bike handles in the front, it's quite a piece of art worth exploring if you have a few minutes.
Fabien Baron's style and aesthetic are quite recognizable while browsing through one of the printed works he's directed. His use of type, bold letters and large images are balanced with a beautiful use of white space. After working with Vogue, Bazaar and Purple, Mr. Baron took the helm at Interview Magazine for their recent re-vamp, alongside Glen O'Brien. Now after only a few months the rumors are that he is set to leave Interview. The magazine has made some big steps under the celebrated art director and has really bounced back as one of the leading fashion publications. Whether Fabien's job has been done, or there are new creative differences, once he leaves I am interested to see what happens. Going in a new direction would make things look unstable and inconsistent, while having somebody try to emulate his timeless fashion sense might not be great either. Whatever the case, Fabien, if you're looking for an intern position I could use some help.
These are probably my top choice for footwear right now that I don't have. Michael Williams picked up a pair in the fall in Japan and they have been on my mind since. Lately I've had a personal resurgence in my love for Redwing and these Wabasha chukka boots are leading the cause. I actually hadn't been wearing my 875's much in the fall and winter as I had some other boots in rotation. However the last few weeks I have worn my Redwings almost everyday. I don't care if lots of people have them, have seen them, have blogged them, or think they are 'on trend'. They are great boots and I'm happy to wear them, and that's whats important. I know I would feel the same with these Wabasha models as well, except most people wouldn't even know they are Redwings as they have been exclusively sold in Japan until this spring.
It might not be an absolute must have for everyone, but it made for a better blog title. I would highly recommend a yellow jacket for the spring. It could be a rain slicker by Shipley & Halmos or J. Crew, a poplin blazer or a pull over, like this one by 45rpm. I think you can even go with a bright yellow or a more muted tone, either way it adds an element of spring color while remaining functional. Especially in these transitional months heading into spring when it's still dark and rainy, a yellow jacket will brighten up your day. I find yellow compliments a lot of the colors I am already wearing so it would be easy to throw in the mix. I don't personally like to add a ton of color into an item I can't take off either, so keeping it on the outerwear is also a good idea for minute to minute versatility. Go find one.
Is there something wrong with me if I know the shirt isn't going to fit but I want it just as bad still? Regardless, that's what's going on in my head right now with the first of many Band of Outsiders spring arrivals at Blackbird. I'm loving these solid coloured batiste shirts which are a nice alternative to grainier oxfords. The grey is OK, the black is nice but the red is definitely my favourite. Probably not a shirt you could wear everyday, but a nice vibrant colour for spring that's surprisingly hard to find. Toss a navy linen jacket on overtop and you're set. The contrast button-hole stitching is a nice touch too. I know BoO has become extremely popular lately and I've heard that their garments aren't the best quality and whatnot which turns a lot of people off of but it's still a great label in my opinion. I just wish the shirts were longer.