September 29, 2014

TAKE ME BACK TO CHEUNG CHAU

And I’m finally back in town after an easy break in Hong Kong.
(Easy Saturday Morning - the view from my window.)
Finding peace in the Manila is about as likely as seeing to the bottom of murky Manila Bay. The traffic, pollution, groggy mornings and cranky afternoons, which make for one uptight Betty.
(Home if where the heart is: South of Hollywood Road and Cat Street)
Rewind - given Hong Kong's reputation for skyscrapers and smog, a full day was spent cycling around the quiet alleys of Cheung Chau, and late afternoons at my antique dealer’s den, scavenging for vintage posters to frame, tassels for my lamps and more 19th century Qing Dynasty emperor figures for my coffee table. 
The other two days were just spent visiting my tailor in Kowloon, long brunches at Fish and Meat, NOSH, Classified, and cocktails at Café Gray and Sevva.

September 26, 2014

NOTHING BUT SQUARZI

Unique, casual and deconstructed, Alessandro Squarzi, founder and director of the namesake showroom and consultancy in Bologna, is arguably the master of Italian sprezz and never looks short of sartorial. 
Arguably the most iconic street style subject in Italy, this man adores Solaro fabric, cotton, vintage, Ralph Lauren, and a well-polished pair of shoes.
“Shopping rituals? I tend to buy whatever excites me.” With Squarzi, it is never something pre-planned. I think that’s all that really needs to be said.

August 15, 2014

CLOSET STAPLE: WORKWEAR FOR CREATIVES

It has been almost 13 years since graduating from university and joining the workforce and I still see a lot of men who do not dress appropriately at work.
I know!  For freelancers, chances are, you will find yourself employed at some point in your life, and dressing the part can be a tricky water to navigate (well, for some).
I have always believed that how you dress is a direct reflection of what you hope to achieve on that particular day. It really is all about self-respect and a way of saying, “I care.”
Finding my sweet spot for style and sort of knowing how to do that was really a function of the time I grew up. In the early 90s, my parents required us to wear collared shirts even at socials at home or birthday parties, to be taken seriously (Yes, I think I was 8 or 9!).
I work in a creative environment and as stated above, how you dress is a direct reflection of what you are going to get out of your day. By which I mean, if you make the effort, people notice and you'll feel better and those around you feel better (unless you want to look like a hobo all day in front of your laptop, I’m definitely not stopping you).
Like a perfect shift dress and a pair of Jimmy Choos, for us men, a great pair of trousers is probably the foundation of any guy’s wardrobe from evening to daytime to business occasion and yes, invest in a really great jacket.  And if you have those two things, you will be able to go to any situation, anytime.
Here are a few key pieces, I believe every man should have in his closet:

Perfectly tailored navy and grey 100% wool suit. (I have a couple from my tailor in Hong Kong and Manila - The fits are just perfect.)
Slim fitted semi spread collar button down shirt in white, pale blue and baby pink
 
Pocket Squares
 
T: Brown or cordovan cap toe oxford shoes and B: shirts in plaid and gingham from Aware & Present

Slim straight selvedge jeans from SOSO
 
Soft constructed navy sport coat and accessorize with the perfect watch and a sturdy and classic bag from Filson

 
Trust me, these items will get you into almost anywhere for almost any situation.

August 12, 2014

TUESDAY DAYDREAMING AND POSSIBLE QUARTER LIFE

Things have started to hit me since I turned a year older a few days ago. Quarter life? I’ve no clue!
My mother once told me to stop being too optimistic and be more realistic – of course I never listened. Even my sister think I daydream too much. I mean, what’s wrong?

Growing up, I think I have always been a dreamer - the “eyes open” kind as my father says. I used to dream of the places I could go, the things I could be, you do that when you’re young - I guess I still do … but they also know who I am. You find that out when you put yourself in the world, when you build something, manage a team, a class of 20 7 year olds, teach them that it takes courage and hopefully give them some. 

I made a career out of my passions and life out of my dreams and now I have something in my life that I have not had in a while – time. Time to dream new dreams, time to follow them.

Every man looks out of the horizon and sees something, something worth the journey. You don’t always know how to get there, or what there even looks like but you keep moving forward, keep finding, keep discovering.
My father used to say, “you can’t get lost if you don’t know where you are going…” I think I finally know what he means. But the truth I found is, the only time you’re ever truly lost is when you move backwards. If you take your eye off the horizon, and you stop dreaming and you stop moving forward towards your goal.