Friday, December 02, 2005


The Holidays are coming, so everyone is publishing their Holiday Gift Guides. Well, you won’t find one here. I would not want my readers to roll their eyes after from boredom after the second sentence of this post. So, instead I decided to write a blog entry about Collector’s items. Yes, yes, view fashion as art with utilitarian purpose – and you become a collector. The list below is a result of years of careful and discriminating hands-on fashion experience, and if you do want to treat yourself or your loved one to something indeed special - take a look. This list is androgynous, by the way – and, in the words of late Hunter Thompson, why not?

LEATHER JACKETS – What’s a man or a woman without a leather jacket?! Well, I’m not the one to say “nothing,” because that’s a pretty stupid assessment. However, a leather jacket is a staple that no other items of clothing can rival. I like my leather washed, beat up, stomped on, run over by an 18-wheeler truck and otherwise annihilated to achieve that nonchalant, comfortable, cool look.

Carpe Diem – this is the king of leather. The small label produced in Perugia, Italy by a former Chrome Hearts designer Maurizio Altieri. Each piece is virtually hand made of highest grade leather. The fabric takes a long time to prepare because of different treatments it undergoes, such as washing, burying in the soil, painting, etc. etc. Their most famous item is the leather shirt – which is really a jacket.

Ann Demeulemeester – Her leather jackets and coats are absolutely stunning. These days Ann favors paper-thin and therefore paper-light, yet durable leather. Her asymmetric designs add nonchalance to her clothes.

Rick Owens – this Paris-based designer from Los Angeles does wonders with leather. I love his cuts, which hug the body, and the leathers are soft but durable. He likes the sleeves long, but because they are skinny, they bunch up nicely. Rick favors earthy, dusty colors and silver hardware on his jackets – rock’n’roll!

FOOTWEAR – now that you own your dream leather jacket, shouldn’t you compliment it with a pair of kick-ass boots?! Yes, you should. I know I don’t have to convince girls on that one, but I have to say that I don’t like sneakers on guys in any way, shape, or form.

Carpe Diem – yes, you will see some repetition throughout this post, but I can’t help if these great designers are in the habit of turning out great products in more than one category. Yes, they make the best footwear as well. Everything is hand-made, and the materials vary from the usual leather to horse-hide and anaconda.

Carol Christian Poell – this great Austrian designer, who also operates out of Italy produces some unbelievable footwear. All pairs are hand-made in tiny quantities, with a lot of attention to detail. On this picture (courtesy of my friends at Atelier boutique) you can see the top pair has an asymmetrical zipper and the bottom one has a wrap around piece that allows you to put your pant-leg through.

Ann Demeulemeester – Ann is the queen of rock’n’roll and her boots speaks to it. Immortalized by Nicole Kidman in September ‘03Vogue, her boots are one of the most covetable fashion items.

KNITWEAR – It’s getting cold, isn’t it? It is in New York. I love knitwear – there is nothing like a beautiful chunky knit sweater to make me feel warm, comfortable, and cozy. Besides, don’t you want to soften that killer rock’n’roll look so people don't get scared of you on the street?

Raf Simons – Raf makes best knitwear, hands down. Raf is a menswear designer, but hey – what’s stopping a girl from wearing it? Nothing. Raf’s knitwear is produced by a small atelier in Belgium. The wool is usually of superb quality, and full of intricate weaves.

Rick Owens – Rick’s knitwear is also very beautiful. His lightly knit, feather-weight sweaters and asymmetric cardigans are a joy to wear. Once again, he likes dusty, earthy colors and unusual blends, such as cashmere ans silk.

DENIM – Last but not least, the jeans. By now you probably realized that my choice won’t be Seven or Rogan or any garbage like that. I favor REAL denim – that is Japanese selvage denim. There is nothing like it.

Dior Homme – One of the best jeans I’ve ever seen, and the most perfectly fitting. Almost everything is made directly in Japan. Hint – try hunting for jeans from earlier seasons, because Dior quality is rapidly declining – you can thank the greed of Louis Vuitton for that one.

Junya Watanabe – Junya’s jeans made in collaboration with Levi’s and are of superb quality, artfully distressed. I have only one picture unfortunately, but this is my favorite pair ever (yes, I have these).

45RPM – this is a Japanese label that’s been making jeans for several decades now. They own their own looms in Japan, so their denim is theirs! Their most expensive jeans are naturally dyed – if you are feeling fancy.

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