I do not endorse forgeries, and I do not condone knock-offs. You can write this down as one of my rules. And like all rules, there is always an exception that proves them. Self realized hypocrisy can really make a person stronger. Looking at things from both sides, understanding different perspectives, and analyzing situations on a variety of levels are all characteristics I find in my very best friends.
So what do you get when a fake is so good? I have a few examples...
1. The Tribute Band: Forever Diamond is a Neil Diamond tribute band that I have seen a few times in Cincinnati. They are amazing. I was turned onto them by my mother (of all people!) The lead singer and acoustic guitarist are the sons of two of her good friends. I love a good ND song, and hearing a whole show of them where you can sing along with a crowd is spectacular. No, Vassar College Sunday Brunch piano rendition of Sweet Caroline doesn't count! One song isn't really a "tribute," more "an excuse to bang on the table." I'm eager to hear what other kinds of tribute bands are out there...
2. When Designers Don't Make What You Want: A little DIY/homage project never hurt anyone...I saw a pair of these in NYC a few fashion weeks ago. I ran across the room and begged the man wearing them to disclose where he got them. He made them out of an old pair of Vans and a Canal St. Goyard bag. GENIUS. Just don't sell them.
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 1:55 PM
KICKIN' IT OLD SCHOOL
My niece just went on a back to school shopping trip for her first day outfit. I remember LOVING this trip! Looking back, I can't believe some of the things I wanted to wear. Lucky for me I had a mom who loved me enough to get them anyway...
One thing that I do wish I could go back and get were some of the shoes I had. I was obsesses with carrying my lunch money/token in my Kangaroo shoes. Like all things 80s, they are back and available to adults. While my lunch may cost more, it still is fun to carry that extra $20 around in the little pouch.
Now, why can't other fun kid shoes be made available to adults?! I realize that a sexy adult shoe is more acceptable on most occasions, but sometimes a fun shoe is just more, well, FUN. Below are some shoes I would love to add to the floor of my closet...if they only came in my size...
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 1:43 PM
INTO THE WILD-ISH
A good pocketknife is a wonderful thing to have. Swiss Army is the staple, and in celebration of the 125th Anniversary, Swiss Army has been traveling the country in a fully-branded , showcasing the history of Swiss Army through film, photographs, iconic products and new limited edition pieces (some shown above).
If you turn your nose up at a $450 pocket knife, i suppose the next most wonderful thing to get would be the trailer...It has a great mountain view built in, and you get that great pocket knife feel when you release the canopy! I or one adore traveling in style, but this may be a little too 60 Thompson for my camping needs.
On the other hand, a tear drop trailer is PERFECT! I first was able to camp with them when a friend of mine who hand builds them took me along for a trip. It was so cute and fun, like staying in a Smurf mushroom house. Instead of buffering my outdoors experience, it really enhanced the whole thing. And, when you hand make them, you have the options of including anything you want and going as luxe as you want. It is another great way to express your style...and bring it all over the country! Up for it? Wiki can show you how...
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 11:57 AM
DECISIONS FOR THE UNDECIDED
I Don't know if it is because there is a lot on my mind...actually, I know it is because I have a lot on my mind, but I just don't know what it is on my mind's plate that is keeping me from making some (i suppose not so important) decisions...but decisions all the same. This is pitifully hypocritical of me since I value and am quite drawn to people who can make up their mind easily.
My quandary is this: While rummaging around the backs of my closets and bottoms of boxes, I have managed to resurrect a few pieces into my new fall line up. I just don't really know what direction I want to move in. There is 1) this retro-urban-punk-skater-nautical-prep idea that I am quite drawn to, and 2) this futuristic-90's grunge-layers-black&white-texture moment I would like to draw out.
So these are they - on me - I would love to hear what others think of these looks (in general, on me, on them - attach a photo). It isn't the most important thing you may decide on today, but, hey, at least it is one...
...and while you are feeling judgmental, take a listen to these here groups and think which one might be better on a fall ipod...I can't decide between these either...
sharon jones & the dap kings
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 9:23 AM
BELT IT OUT
I have been wanting to write about belts for a while. I like them. I wear them. I used to have a ton of them in rotation. I usually wear one for a few days, slide on a new one, add contrast or color to an outfit with a special one, and my floor always looked like the reptile house at the zoo. But something happened...
A few months back I noticed that my floor was much safer, and I was only wearing two belts...EVER. I tried a little experiment where I put all of my belts (save these two below) into a box. I was going to see what belts I would miss. I only saved one (the thin grey one that I took a chain off of), but have worn it three times.
These two woven belts have gotten me through every fashion situation I have encountered for almost half a year! That is nuts! I have to question if I am getting more refined and settled in my ways (think designers' uniform), or if I am just getting lazy (think couch potato) ...
This little grey MJ one is interesting, but I don't think it is really revving my juices up. I must fall somewhere between the two posited extremes: I am happy with my belts, but wouldn't mind spicing up the repertoire.
Enter Raf Simons. His Spring 2010 collection really excited me. It worked as a litmus type test on my imagination to see if it was still buzzing. I was floored and amused by all the ways he worked belts into his looks. For such an unassuming/utilitarian accessory, it really can add whimsy and distortion. I'm not sure if I can really sport any of these, but at least these looks have gotten me thinking more about what a belt can really do, and less about keeping my pants up...I know, I know...
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 10:00 AM
INTO THE ATO-MOSPHERE
Fall is just around the corner! Yikes. This summer has flown by so fast that now I keep finding myself making mini "bucket lists" of things I want to do before it is completely over. Some of the ideas are pretty un-doable (another road trip...), but some are quite check-off-able. One think I really wanted to do was see a killer summer concert. Lucky for me my buddies in the Donnas went on tour with Blondie and Pat Benatar, and as they rolled through the Midwest, I was able to catch an amazing show! Thanks girls!
Aside from the tix, I was also treated to a delightful video of the Ds getting their scramble on! I went from feeling accomplished, to feeling overwhelmed quicker than you could say "Heartbreaker." My list just got longer! I have got to get on some good rides before the summer ends! I can't just drop everything to become a "ride warrior," so I will have to combine it with the ever present task of finding amazing clothes...
The fashion calendar just seems to be getting more and more confusing. I've already posted a bunch of stuff for S/S 2010, but fall hasn't even sprung yet. Going back and looking forward, I've paired up a few of my favorite rides of all time with some looks from one of my favorite A/W 09 shows. ATO displayed an amazing crop of bomber inspired looks that get my Adrenalin going. In case I don't make it on every ride to get my pulse racing, I can jump-start it in these fine aeronautical silhouettes.
LIFE OF THE PARTY
Vacation time also proved to be a lesson on party time. I always knew my family was fun, but I didn't realize how much fun they were until I had a substantial amount of assumed A-list fun under my belt, and my family put it to SHAME. While a favorite favor has got to be Denise Richards' Funbags, I have to say that topping the list now is GAMES!
It was refreshing (to say the least) to get out of the "party scene" and into a *party scene* for a while...as a person can sometimes forget that a party should be playful and not work. The NY Times actually notes an under-current trend in un-working parties in this article, and I fully endorse! My BFF in WeHo used to host Ga(y)me Nights at his place and they were a blast except for the debauch photos that were instantly available on Facebook...well, some of them really are great photos...
Now, weather or not you allow photos, you have to loosen up and get some games at your parties! Sitting around with the people you came with not talking because you are nose deep in your iPhone texting people who may or may not come is not cool. Below are two easy and amazing games I have recently played and never had more genuine fun! Be a good host and supply them, or be a better guest and bring one! Whoonu is kind of like Apples to Apples (also an amazing game) and lets you learn about the people you are partying with in a non-prying way. Pinatas...do I really have to defend these? Fill them with anything you'd like, pass a bat around, and let the good time roll!
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 11:52 AM
KING OF BIBELOT
Money burns a hole in my pocket. It always has. Until I really learned to control my spending (...well...I'm still working on it...), carrying cash was a problem. One guilty pleasure that never really lost its power over me is the candy/gumball/toy vending machine. They just stare me down and beg for my change every time I pass by a wall of them. "Pick me! Buy me! Just $.50!" they say, and who am I to deny them? My mother?
So, now that I have my own means, I seem to have way more brick-a-brack around. Some are useless, most are even more useless. However, the latest find I placed on my shelf is actually pretty amazing, and I can't believe I got it for two quarters and a sharp turn of the wrist. They are called Miijii. According to the website, they are "mystical creatures generally depicted in a smooth form with short legs to avoid trouble." Here is how I made mine:
I don't know how magical they are, but artist Spencer Hibert really made my Ohio day by creating these silly things. What am amazing way to get some Japanese pop art out the the masses! They are a little bit Cracker Jack and a little bit Murakami. They remind me a little bit of the Kidrobot bunnies I used to buy at Urban Outfitters or the issue of Visionaire I got a few years ago.
Some call these things dust collectors, but I have to disagree. There is an argument for them being art. I like the idea of how ephemeral the candy machine Miijii are in comparison to the highbrow artist toys. We could also start a dialogue on the ideas surrounding an object and its relationship to its environment.
What we can't argue is that these things are fun, and for fifty cents there isn't a better burn/deal around. See if you can find some!
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 4:07 PM
I love the beach. The sun, the water, the people, it is all so good. Ironically, I'm not such a big fan of sand. I appreciate it - I love beach glass, sand castles (u.s. open sand castle competition is this weekend!), and a great exfoliate, but when it sticks all over me...fuggedaboutit...
This used to be a difficult task, but thanks to technology, there are a slew of products out there that make it simple to keep the sand off your body when applying summer necessities. Below are a few of my favorites shown off with a few summer bodies (hey, it's August already! Gotta show it while we can). These hands-off sprays are just the trick to keep you free and clear from spreading those pesky little grains around.
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 9:46 AM
The first week of August has always been reserved for a family vacation down in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We have been going for as long as I can remember, and it is always a blast. For the past few years I haven't been able to make it down, but this year swore I would make it!
Now, here I am, and man is it taking me back...down memory lane and...to the store. I forgot that there are dress codes! I've been in such a [Los Angeles] style bubble that I forgot that sometimes you have to pop out of it and adjust to propriety. Not that I'm going to be chased out of town, but it would be nice to play a round of golf with my father. In preparation for that round, I need to get a polo shirt! It's been a while since I've looked for one, but after some digging, I think I have found some options that are cool enough to even wear off the links.
Wings + Bones
PLAY Comme Des Garcons
Or...if you have time, head over to polo.com and build yourself the ultimate prep staple. There is a huge selection of colors and styles to work with, and how fun is it to get your initials up on that S*?! Man this reminds me of high school, except the best I could do was go to the store and pick the color I wanted out of the available selection.
*My favorite is when the little polo guy is actually colored like a little guy riding a horse, not just a solid color.
Posted by JAMES 3.0 at 3:50 PM