September 20, 2012


England – arguably the home of gentlemanly conduct and chivalry and also home of the only hand-crafted shoe maker worth talking about right now – Grenson. They’ve been painstakingly making each individual shoe by hand since 1866 and their process has changed little since then – if it works, why change it?


They’ve became the shoe of choice for celebrities and well-dressed men the world over giving them a freshness and current appeal that is exactly what heritage brands need to be doing in order to survive. It certainly helps when you see your wares gracing the feet of fashion taste maker Nick Wooster or on the red carpet of the latest box office big hitter.
Maybe it’s because they’re made in England’s shoe making capital Northamptonshire, or because there’s just something about Englishmen and brogues that’s extremely trustworthy, either way Grenson have built a global fan base. Here we’ve picked out the best examples of stylish men in Grenson shoes that the internet has to offer and why we should be getting a few pointers from them.

(Wooster definitely knows how to dress up these sweet pair of boots from Grenson!)
Nick Wooster is that guy – the one you see plastered over everyone’s blog and street style photos. You may not know his name, but now you do. People are labelling him as the most stylish guy around right now and they could be right. He certainly knows how to pair up his Grenson shoes with a well-tailored suit.

(David Arquette in Grenson boots - not bad!)

Okay, so David Arquette might not be the coolest guy in the world but by wearing these Grenson boots he deserves to go up in people’s estimation. He’s the man whose character in Scream spawned Scary Movie’s Dewey but now he’s the man who spawned a whole load of new Grenson wearers.

(Spot those sweet brogues - yes, they are from Grenson!)

Here’s one guy – not sure who he is – but who cares when he looks this good? Now this is how to wear Grenson shoes – take note gentlemen. It’s difficult to look this effortlessly cool while waiting for a cab.

(Daniel Radcliffe in a sleek pair of black Grenson)

Not sure if you plan on gracing a red carpet any time soon but if you do then take note that a sleek pair of black Grenson can (and will) stand you in good stead. They’ve managed to transform a geeky boy wizard into a bona fide gent.

This was a guest post written by the guys over at Northern Threads; check them out.
Spotted any of your own that are worth a bit of attention? Post a link in the comments below. 

September 12, 2012


The perfect home is a refuge filled with mementos from foreign and domestic travels and furniture with timeless appeal.

Growing up down south, mom’s pick of homeware was inspired by the enigmatic and work of such great weavers – the Yakans and the Subanons. Not much like Ernest Hemingway, our home is filled with old wooden carved saints from travels, including ceramics and clay tea sets from my grandparents; a coral headstone from Santa Cruz, a blow pipe from Java, Buddha heads in different sizes and art picked up en route to Ubud in Bali.

When it comes to furniture, mom likes it understated but cozy.

Right across the pond, the opening of Artextural last year just gave Angelenos and Filipinos in the west coast an excuse to linger a little longer in the sun-soaked city.

(ARTEXTURAL finally at RONROBINSON | Fred Segal Santa Monica.)

No, I’m not talking about that huge and tacky HOLLYWOOD sign. I’m talking about the real crowd-pleaser that will soon be available at ARTEXTURAL.

Synonymous with quality and artisanship, Mindanao Inspires’ line are upcycled from recycled materials gathered from various communities and are 100% hand-made by women living in different areas of Southern Philippines.

(Upcycled Home Accessories by Mindanao Inspires)

Scrap gold foil, plastic and magazine strips, naturally-dyed yarn – Mia Dragon Floirendo, the woman behind Mindanao Inspires succeeds at making sustainable and eco-friendly look incredibly chic.

Pouring her energy into conservation efforts, she has also partnered with Maej Villanueva, and adopted a whole village in the island as recipient of a comprehensive livelihood program.

(Colorful magazine Paper and Thread Place Mats)

While we should all probably try to live our lives in a sustainable fashion year-round, her line serves as a welcome reminder to do so.

Mindanao Inspires just added up to Artextural’s complete new retail experience. And yes, I’m still eyeing on those blue and red nautical themed crochet pillows.

910 S. Los Angeles Street, Suite 702
Los Angeles, CA 90015

September 11, 2012


The narrow side streets of Wanchai, Happy Valley, the foggy harbor at dawn and to-die-for and dirt cheap Michelin star dimsum at Lei Garden – Oh, Hong Kong, you just don’t know how much I miss you!

I’d rather spend a week in Hong Kong Island than spend a whole day in Kowloon but again, that’s just me. I don’t mind hitting Tsim Sha Tsui though.

(Classified along 31 Wing Fung Street in Wanchai isn't far from the Monocle shop!)

When in Hong Kong, I always make sure to drop by Classified. Since launching in 2006, it has become a brand to be reckoned with. Classified is renowned for its temperature-and humidity-controlled cheese rooms, which holds 50-plus types (yes, you got it! FIFTY FREAKING TYPES ) of artisan cheese.

(Classified: Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Central, Sai Kung, Tai Hang, Happy Valley and Stanley.)

Giddy? I am! They also have an extensive wine selection. And if wine and cheese isn’t your thing, there’s always a good reason to visit – they have the best coffee in town.

Still drooling!

September 06, 2012


For someone who doesn’t fit the usual Asian build like me, buying something off-the-rack - unless in Europe or North America - isn’t really the best option.

I have learned to accept the fact that I will never be stick-thin to fit into a minimalist Jil Sander suit or a shrunken Thom Browne but hey, I look good in Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren.

Growing up having a go-to tailor has made life easy for dad and myself. I mean, not because nothing looked good on us – we just like things our way from the right cut to the right break.

( I have always been a fan of street style star, Nick Wooster. His personal style is just spot on!)

Finding the right tailor isn’t always easy. First, you should always need to know what to ask for. I know a couple of guys who know too much terminology, bordering on menswear know-it-all, also known as that cuckoo asshole but if you don’t know your body well enough, you’ll still look like a boxy Lego figure or worse, Gumby.

(His suits are tailored to perfection!)

Make sure you know how a suit is supposed to fit, and find a tailor you trust to get it there. I have had my share of impulsive bespoke suits from who someone swore was the best – guess what, I never wore it despite 5 alterations.

(Madras blazer in pure perfection - I drool!)

To bespoke virgins, here’s what to look and ask for the next time you get suited up. Trust me, it’ll be orgasmic!

1.Suits now are snugger in the shoulders and more fitted. Take note, fitter suits doesn’t mean it has to be tight.

2.Your jacket sleeve should be no lower than your wrist bone but high enough for a quarter to half-inch of your shirtsleeve to show when you move your arm.

4.Though a lot of designers are doing shorter styles lately, the ideal length hasn’t changed. I’m all for the classic cut!

5.Pant legs shouldn’t be loose nor boxy and yes, no pleats please!

6.Sartorial conservatives like me prefer no break at all but for a virgin like you, slight break wouldn’t hurt.

7.And yes, never trust a local designer who will charge you an arm and a leg for are-tagged pseudo bespoke suit. That’s just plain gross!
(Illustration by Menco Nieuwenhuis of la couleur blanche)

And oh, if you insist wearing a silk suit during daytime, here’s a rope and a pole. I won’t stop you from hanging yourself.

September 05, 2012


I have been swamped with work the past few weeks and barely have the time to update my blog. Not that I am complaining because I shouldn’t! I mean, I would rather be glued on my desk than roll in bed the whole day wearing the same clothes I wore the day before.

No, I haven’t lost my personal life yet though thoughts scroll by at warp speed, as I struggle to balance.

(Oh, that belt and that shirt! I seriously need to shop and update my closet! Photo credit: Sarah Vickers of Classy girls wear pearls)

I haven’t had the time check the carpet and home store not far from where I live.

I haven’t had the time to update my sheets mom sent me last year.

I haven't had the time to send my tailor the fabrics I bought 6 months ago.

I haven’t had the time to drop by the weekend market to but more eucalyptus for my console.

I haven’t had the time to drop by the fabric store.

I haven’t even had the time to cross the street and hit the mall nearby.

To make things worse, my only late night activity aside from hitting the bars on Thursdays for a few shot is putting everything to my cart before hitting the sack and clicking pay the next day.

My free days are temporary, and I will both love and lament the greater freedom every time the president announces another long weekend.

September 03, 2012


Just like dad and mi abuelito, I have always been a fan of leather-soled lace-ups.

Yes, I have plunked down a wad of cash for these sweet pair of brogue lace-ups from Salvatore Ferragamo (Just like my Alden’s, Opening Ceremony, Dries Van Noten, Paul Smith and bespoke lace-ups from my trusted cobbler, it’s worth every penny!) I got a few years back but after years of constant usage, I need to get back its thunder.

(sun’s finally out just for a few hours – fingers crossed it does not rain again!)

It doesn’t bother me whether I slip or slide but damnit, what to do when it rains?

Shoe leather is tough and getting them resoled is part of the deal though I try my best to avoid wearing my pair on rainy days but this bi-polar weather is just unavoidable.

(My pretty much well-scuffed 3 year old brogues)

The availability of overshoes in this part of the pond is zero (I have checked almost all shoe stores even Besa and Mr. Quickie – no luck!) and there’s no way I’m replacing them with rubber soles! Finding a handsome pair with rubber soles is just plain stressful and the idea of wearing one with a suit give me nightmares.

(Having heels fixed this weekend - Part of the logo engraved on the leather sole still shows)

And oh, you ( Yes! You in triple pleated trousers and boxy floral shirts), here are a couple of things for you to remember:

1. The slickest Italian lace-up (please see photo above) won’t look like much without a polish
2. When in doubt, keep the shoes simple. Sturdy black lace-ups go with any suit and on casual days, jeans. Trust me!
3. Round toe not extra pointy nor square. End of story.
4. Black, like brown goes with gray
5. Black suit, black shoes. No need to complicate matters. I mean, seriously!?
6. When buying local and value for money, Bristol’s the way to go
7. Other brands to consider if you are NOT willing to spend extra: Zara, Massimo Dutti, Aldo, Pedro, Bass and Cole Haan