Nuts huh? It's not me. If your wondering why you have not herd from me in a while it's because I've been working furiously on other things and it's taking up my time!! Clearly I still have plenty of perfecting to do on my time management. Interesting enough, just now pondering the uses of my my free time and how others do the same; a interesting man became a customer of mine for the first time today. His story is unlike any that I've ever herd and followed on some thoughts on living in his shoes.
Today I get a call for formal wear and formal accessories. Clearly a well-to-do retired man who looks careless and has a very subtle tone of a gentle giant. Rather large, maybe 6'2 and today was looking for a outfit for an upcoming cocktail event. The common problem, I haven't had a reason to wear a suit "for years". Much less a tuxedo! As we did our thing guiding him to the right styling and fit that would have him the talk of his well respected country club I decided to finally get to know this man a little more and what I found out is just mind blowing.
In my own words, this man had a very successful furniture design house that catered to major retailers and private customers ( usually incredibly wealthy much like my own ). Long story short after going through all of is famous customer list that he has sold in his past, he told me that after he sold his business he bought an island in Panama. Yes, a island! Where off the coast? I'm not sure. But it's mind blowing to me. In fact, not only did he purchase the secluded island where he was the only one who lived on it; he also build a large tree house where he was 26 feet in the air above sea level. Some how he broke into civilization and met a girl to finally move into the area. After meeting his 'now wife' he sold his island to a French drug lord who wasn't afraid to tell him about his activities. The french drug lord purchases the island for cash and now my customer is living in normal civilization. Here are a couple of questions I asked him about in regards to what it's like to live on a secluded island for a duration of 3 years solo. Let's name the interviewee Castaway:
So Mr. Castaway, when you purchased the island, tell me, how doe's on go about finding and buying a island?
I have always thought about buying a island for myself to live on. I've always wanted to do it. To find a island is much easier than it was three years ago, there are several web brokerages that shows islands for sale all over the world.
What were some of the difficulties of living by yourself on your island?
Well for some just the fact that there are no people around could be considered difficult. I actually like it! However, the most difficult pertaining to living on my island was building my tree house with current amenities such as pressurized hot water and air conditioning which required running electricity to the island. There were many processes to make that happen and it wasn't always nice.
What were some of the things you learned about yourself during this time?
Living by yourself definitely has some advantages. Consider it detoxing from today's society of constant advertising and social media exposure. The amount of information thrown at us daily puts most of us at a zombie state and we just go through the motions. I found that without all of these distractions I was well into the moment and had more joy because I was in the moment. I was able to enjoy the current happenings which were rather simple. One morning I was woken up by a dolphin blowing water through the top and he was splashing and playing. I remember thinking, this is the best experience of my life because I am seeing all of this in a totally different lens. When I had my business I would always be on the move and never thinking about the present. I highly recommend you to try doing this to regain clarity.
What would you do for food?
I planted many different plants like bananas, potato based vegetables, coffee, mangos and got most of my protein out of the sea.
There are many more questions that I've asked more in detail about how to live on a private island and how to actually acquire one but I will do a second post about this. Also, it will be interesting to find out more about building a house size tree house. I found a site called www.privateislandsonline.com where you can find islands for sale.
Interview with Christian Barker: Co-Founder of Billionaire Magazine & Founder Editor of August Man & The Rake
Christian Barker was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of digital luxury platform Billionaire.com, the founding editor-in-chief of men’s elegance publication The Rake magazine, and a founding editor of Singapore lifestyle title August Man magazine. He is currently an editorial, social and content consultant, journalist, and Asia editor-at-large for The Rake. Follow him on Twitter @cbbarker
There are many publications that I keep up with to help fuel my own inspiration in the menswear space. Religiously I take about thirty minutes out of my day to check out latest posting on my tumblr and Instagram feeds. Some of you have asked me to post more about some commendable Instagram feeds that displays sartorial stye. Most I filter out the noise by searching #sprezzatura and #sprezz to catch some of the latest Italian inspired sartorialists sitting on the banks of Pitti and taking pictures of themselves. If I wasn't so busy with my own clients and other work matters then I would love to do the same! Lately, I've also have been reading New York Times Fashion & Style to see some of the latest designers inspired by street style. Street style observation is a great predictor of fashion trends and finding your own interpretation of your own style within that trend. Reading The Rake is incredible and I encourage all of you to subscribe to it. They articulate the processes of finely crafted products and tell the story so well. This is a very high quality read!
Below is my interview with Christian Barker and it has been a great pleasure connecting with him and learning about his new endeavor Billionaire Magazine. Enjoy!
Someone like yourself, who is well established in the menswear aficionado space, I can't help but wonder about your childhood. Could you share with us what you life was like as a child. For instance, what did your parents do for work and what was life growing up like a child?
My father was some sort of consultant, which was always a difficult occupation for me to comprehend as a child, but I knew he wore suits to work, he wore them well, and that had an impact on me. Before I was born, he’d worked for Alitalia and spent a great deal of time in Italy, which can’t help but lift a man’s dapperness levels. Dad passed a lot of his sartorial knowledge down to me from an early age; I’ll never forget the first time he took me to his tailor when I was 17, kitting me out with my first blazer, some grey flannel trousers and a made-to-measure charcoal pinstripe suit: the basics. My mother was and is a keen seamstress, and she used to make a lot of the clothes my brother and I would wear, which bred in me an appreciation for handmade, unique garments. I vividly recall asking her to make me a white Don Johnson ‘Miami Vice’ suit to wear to my school dance in sixth grade. So, the signs were always there, I suppose.
What were some of your jobs before starting The Rake and your other magazines?
Out of university, I worked in the music business, promoting and marketing dance music at record companies in Australia in the mid- to late-’90s, and then when CD burners and file-sharing came along and decimated the industry, I shifted over into music journalism. I’d always wanted to be a writer. Music writing transitioned into lifestyle, travel and style journalism, and before long I ended up editing men’s magazines.
Tell me about your wardrobe. If I were to go into your closet what would I see?
You’d see too much! I know it’s bad for them, but the suits are like sardines in there, sadly. I think I’ve reached ‘peak menswear’ and need to begin scaling back. Problem is, most of what I buy is classic, perennial stuff that doesn’t really go out of style, so I’m loath to get rid of anything. Despite the volume, like most of us, I’m often found wearing certain favourites over and over again. There’s a peak-lapel, one-button, brown glenplaid with orange overcheck bespoke Hardy Amies suit I love, it’s really pan-seasonal and versatile. When I’m headed somewhere cool I rely on my Steven Hitchcock bespoke grey flannel, two-button single breasted — so classic. My Gucci camel coat is my other winter lifesaver. In Singapore, due to the climate, I wear a lot of linen; I’ve got a bespoke Rubinacci three-button cream vintage linen suit with a rust windowpane check, that’s brilliant. You have to be careful around red wine though. I wear a lot of blue blazers, my favourite at the moment is a made-to-measure Zegna ‘casual luxury’ example in silk/wool, and there’s a Tom Ford ready-to-wear blazer with his signature pumped-up peak-lapel I’ve worn the hell out of. I almost always wear a white shirt, Brooks Brothers OCBDs my go-to. Footwear-wise, I’ve got every shape and size (plus plenty of old-school Adidas, Nike and Converse) but my absolute favourites would have to be my Berluti Alessandro whole-cuts, which started life in a greenish tone called ‘caviar’, but were recently re-patinated to midnight blue. My array of suede Tod’s Gomminos get plenty of wear during the European summer and at home in constantly sweltering Singapore.
Let's talk about the real world in our industry right now and I can't wait for you to chime in on this. I live in reality, where I design and sell other international designers’ clothing for 'real people'. People from size 32 waist to size 52 inch waist. People with severe postural issues. People who are so completely confused by seeing million dollar ads of dramatic images with skinny teenage depressed boys sporting wetsuit tight bizarre outfits (including suitings) that would never make sense for the normal 'average' human being. What advice can you give to new designers in the sartorial space for effective advertising of their brand in magazines like yours?
There’s this odd disconnect in that the majority of guys who can afford high-end menswear are in their late 30s and beyond — a man’s peak earning years are between 45-55 — but the models featured in most marketing campaigns are maybe 20, and so often high-fashion menswear is designed such that it will only suit 20-year-olds; more mature men will look like the proverbial ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. While marketing and the media will always present a somewhat idealised image, I think many brands and magazines miss a trick trying to foist $5,000 suits on youngsters, very few of whom have the wherewithal to actually buy high luxury products. Over the past few years, it’s been refreshing to see more mature, characterful gentlemen featuring in fashion ads and magazine editorials — men like the model Aiden Shaw, who frequently appears in The Rake, or actors Willem Dafoe and Michael Shannon, recent faces of Prada. I think that’s much easier for the target consumer to identify with.
What were the beginning stages of The Rake and what would you describe as the turning point of making it grow?
When The Rake’s founder and publisher Wei Koh first outlined his vision for a magazine based on classic men’s elegance and craftsmanship to me, it really struck a chord as I’d been sensing a shift in the marketplace away from capricious fashion, towards an appreciation of bespoke, artisanal products and buying ‘less but better’. Launching a magazine focused on what might loosely be defined as luxury in 2008, in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, was challenging, but in a way the timing couldn’t have been better — the tough times promoted an even greater swing away from profligate consumerism, creating an even stronger appetite for long-term investment pieces. Especially in the menswear realm, consumers were seeking out quality goods that provided value for money, and because of the iffy economic conditions, men wanted to look their best in a professional setting, which basically comes down to sharp tailoring. The Rake was perfectly placed to provide guidance in those areas. It was absolutely in tune with the zeitgeist.
And what about Billionaire.com, which you went on to launch in 2012?
Again, the editorial philosophy was shaped in response to what I felt was a prevailing mood in the marketplace. Speaking with the top brass at leading luxury brands like Gucci and Ermenegildo Zegna, it had become clear that CSR and sustainability were becoming ever more important priorities for these companies and their consumers, which was borne out in my dealings with the affluent individuals who form the core of luxury brands’ client base. At Billionaire.com, we set out to combine a focus on craftsmanship, unique goods and services and legitimate luxury, with culture and the arts, philanthropy, social responsibility and sustainability — key touchstones for the affluent audience today.
Who have been your favorite successful people that you’ve met in the industry thus far and why?
I love what Tom Ford does, and the people he’s surrounded himself with at the top of his organisation are all marvellous human beings. Mr Ford’s business partner Domenico De Sole was a very inspiring interviewee. The Zegna family are terrific — CEO Gildo Zegna is an incredibly sage, savvy individual, and his sister Anna is one of the warmest, most lovely people in the business. Berluti’s Alessandro Sartori, who I first met back when he was with Z Zegna, is an utter genius, and such a serene, humble, kind gentleman. Paul Smith is a hero from both a business and creative standpoint, and a fantastically cool guy. I have enormous respect and regard for Diego Della Valle, his brother Andrea, and Tod’s CEO Stefano Sincini. And the Rubinacci family are all amazing people. But I’m often most inspired speaking with the craftspeople who actually make the wonderful things I’m privileged to write about — their passion and perfectionism is infectious.
Singapore is very similar in the climate as Boca Raton, Florida (South Florida). Tell me about some of the current style that you notice in Singapore.
Dressing for Singapore is tough because it’s always sweltering and super humid outdoors, but frostily air-conditioned wherever you go indoors! A lot of men here dispense with jackets altogether, going about in shirtsleeves and tie, which I think is a horrible look. My friend, the leading Singapore bespoke tailor Kevin Seah, is an expert at creating light, breathable yet sharp suiting custom designed for the sort of climate we face in this equatorial country. Unlined and half-lined jackets in openweave cloths such as Fresco or linen are always terrific for warmer climes, and in general, there’s been a great swing toward less structured tailoring globally — men who’ve grown up wearing casual attire expect the same level of comfort from their suiting.
What advice would you recommend to the readers who want to get into the magazine/media business? Any books that helped you with your career?
I’m a great believer that focusing on serving the reader is paramount. There’s a brilliant speech by the publisher Felix Dennis, featured in a book called The Art of Making Magazines, where he explains his belief that “The reader is king,” and the most important “ability of an editorial person is to put themselves in the shoes of the reader and provide what the reader wants, whether or not the reader knew what they wanted before they opened the magazine. This ability is the magic bullet to professional success… Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Always, always pause to consider: What is it my reader needs? What is it my reader wants? What will get readers buying this magazine or visiting this site over and over again?” I always try to keep that in mind.
@hnwlondon - Handmade ties and accessories for men. Based in London. Ties handmade in England. www.hnwhite.co.uk
There are many wool mills that maintain rare and precious materials. These wool and wool blended fabric selections are purchased through the most discerning customers wanting uniqueness and value far greater than what's available to the mass market such as department stores and outlets. Even some of the most notable menswear suiting brands and steered away from finer fabrics due to the company's expense and profitability goals. Another problem is the ability for big brands and department stores to hire sales professionals that have the technical and tailoring expertise to charge a purchase such as this. Mostly, successful independents and clothier speciality stores are able to offer finer garment wool fabrics as mentioned below.
It's a true fact that of the 75 million sheep that live currently live in Australia that only 18 produce wool with he fineness inferior to 19 Microns. Of the 32 million sheep living living in New Zealand, only 2.2 million produce wool with fineness of inferior to 21 microns. ( What are Microns ? A unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter, used in many technological and scientific fields. More specifically, used to measure the fineness of wool textiles for suitings. )
WISH from Loro Piana
Wish SUPER 170'S is obtained from batches of wool whose average does not exceed 15 microns. This is compared with China's best cashmere that varies between 14 to 16 microns and offers extraordinary fluid and soft hand to be immediately perceived to the first touch. The WISH collection can be worn throughout the year and it adapts perfectly to each season and to every climate and latitude, guaranteeing maximum comfort at all times. - LORO PIANA
I have used several fabrics from the WISH collection and I want to note that this is the ideal collection for luxury garments that fit the bill for timeless elegance and perfect drape. It is indefinitely soft to the touch like most 100% cashmere fabrics and also offers timeless coloring in the selection. I usually recommend it to clients who want to upgrade their basics. Obviously there are far superior fabrics out there from other mills if you wanted the utmost luxurious basic suitings. However, I don't think you can go wrong with the WISH selections.
Picture: Instagram @geoffreytweed
Christian Barker is one of Menswear & Luxury's best in the editorial world. He holds a slew of positions that include contributing editor at GQ Australia, features editor of Nylon magazine Australia, one of the founding editors of successful Asian men's lifestyle magazine August Man, and founding editor-in-chief of world renowned men's classic elegance publication The Rake. To add to his resume, Christian is also former CEO and currently Editor at Large at Billionaire.com which is a luxury lifestyle site and magazine featuring the world's finest goods and services to the most discerning readers around the world.
Some questions for this interview include:
How Christian balances his day with running company's, family and writing content.
See how Christian got his start in his career and how he arrived where he is now.
Learn what it takes for a niche media magazine to become successful and helpful strategies Christian has used to get there.
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Having world class style takes years of misses and downfalls until one is refined enough to establish his or her own unique sophistication. These men have shown countless examples of their international fashion sense while inspiring many everyday. The quality of their taste level far exceeds the average and personally gives me inspiration on design and dressing my own clients.
Below are some of my favorites style mavens of Instagram. Enjoy! - Tim
This guy is a bit of a mystery but I love his Instagram pics. Noted as self proclaimed world traveler and lover of suitings. His style is really spectacular. Recently he has been matching colors with his shoes, socks and ties. He always is looking very sartorial with Italian silhouettes.
So this isn't exactly a menswear page to follow. However, Maria Giovanna Paone's taste and style is the exact feminine version of Kiton. Knowing Kiton menswear the way that I do since I offer it in my store, I can see constant examples of the eccentric sartorial style could possibly be from the influence of the men' division. I give her a lot of credit for trying to expand the family business and for her stepping up to the plate while living in her father's shadow. This is definitely not easy! I would love to give an interview of Maria to find out more on her collection progression and struggles she has had thus far. Her collections give me tons of inspiration for eccentric color and my own aspirations to design for women. Follow her and boost her up in the comments, she's doing great!
First of all, look at this full zip jacket. This is me all day. Davidson is a designer and apparently has clients and working in NYC. I love his style and for me is a very talented inspiration for my own work. I sent him an email not to long ago about a fabric he had shown that a client of mine wanted for a coat but never got a response, but I found it anyways. What's up with that Davidson!? Other than that, I totally dig his style.
I love watching this guy. From what I've seen he is a cigar connoisseur trapped in a suit and tie daily. It reminds me when I met Mr. Greycliff from Greycliff cigars at his restaurant in the Bahamas. Park shows great menswear pieces and does a great job at setting the mood for the distinguished gentleman. I wonder what his favorite cigar is?
How many did I miss? Tell me, who are some of your favorite stylish Instagram gurus? I hope you enjoyed!
Characterized by its luxuriously soft fibres, Cashmere has long been considered one of the most timeless and quintessential of fashion staples. An all-season must-have and a great long-term investment, cashmere will almost certainly never go out of fashion. Its silky soft natural fibres ensure it hangs better, lasts longer and is undoubtedly the lightest and most breathable article of clothing one could ever own. From pashmina shawls, scarves, gloves, tank-tops and v-neck sweaters, to tie-front ballet tops, wrap cardigans, camisoles and more. Cashmere makes for a tasteful, elegant and effortlessly chic addition to any outfit for men.
Made from the fine soft down coat of the Kashmir goat (whose natural habitat is the high plateaux of Asia - which is why its coat is naturally so warm), cashmere first attracted the attention of Europeans in the early 1800s. Having been woven into shawls and worn in India for years (shawls made of coarser cashmere 'guard hair' were more common while those made of finer quality hair were rarer and generally reserved for noble men and women), travellers, explorers and military personnel began to appreciate its beauty and warmth, bringing it back to Europe as presents for loved ones. Once in Europe cashmere fast became the preserve of noble women - its coveted status assured because of its high value.
The value of cashmere wool tends to vary depending on which part of the Kashmir goat the fur came from. The highest quality cashmere tends to come from the goat's throat and underbelly and, as a result, garners the highest price. The goat's legs and back produce fibres of a lesser quality, which (although still of high worth) gain a lower price value.
Although I represent many different knitting manufacturers, I have found that some of the best quality of cashmere selections comes from both Dalmine & Gran Sasso of Italy. I love to wear their knits myself. Dalmine is a bit more in pricing but both are superior in quality and both have a great design team to execute their products. Specifically, Dalmine offers different qualities of cashmere:
Top Cashmere Pure cashmere yarn, achieved through a particular production process that gives it a very fine thread that makes it extremely soft and fluffy to the touch. After a study of the raw material lasting several decades, Loro Piana has obtained this exclusive yarn, transmitting the quality into a tangible reality.
Cashmere & Silk It is among the most refined and precious yarns that exist, combining in an intimate blend the softness and thermal properties of the finest cashmere, with the typical gloss and lightness of silk. The result is a delicate garment, slim and lightweight, equipped with important advantages for our well-being, such as allowing the body to adapt with ease to changes in temperature.
When looking for top quality cashmere to buy, first feel the fabric. Lower end cashmere has the feeling of a marino wool and a bit harder to the touch than superior top quality. It's a no brainer for anyone to touch and notice the softness and the easiness of wearability when touching a top quality cashmere. Above all, try on the sweater and feel it against your skin. It's a wonderful feeling!
Scabal's “Diamond Chip” cloth is a 260g Super 150’s silk in a plain basket weave.
Scabal sources its diamond fragments from a highly respected company in Antwerp, one of the centres of the world’s diamond trade. Since the late 1990s, Scabal has won a global reputation for its technical skill in developing cloth that combines precious stones and metals with superfine fabrics. Gold, platinum and lapis lazuli, as well as diamonds, are all used in Scabal’s specialist cloths. Always with their eyes on the demands of the global luxury goods market, the design and technical teams at Scabal continue to blend human creativity and technical excellence. The “Diamond Chip” jacketings selection is yet another first for Scabal. The ideal complement to this jacketings selection is Scabal’s superb “Concerto” collection for trousers. In 100% wool, this Super 150’s quality weighs 240gr and is available in 26 plain twill fabrics, with a palette running from beige to black
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The term Bespoke is seriously overused. I see both designers and manufacturers in the fashion industry use the term incredibly loosely and often confusing buyers. Here is a answer to a reader's question about the correct terminology of the term "bespoke". Below the terms "made to measure", "bespoke" and "ready to wear" are broken down so you may learn the difference. Enjoy! - Tim
What exactly is a bespoke suit and what goes into it? Simply put, a bespoke suit is a suit made by a tailor to the individual measurements of the customer who commissioned it.
But, what exactly does that term mean? The word "bespoke" is more often used in British English than in American English, which uses "custom-made" instead. Terms like "made to order" and "made to measure" are also used. All these terms signify something that's the opposite of ready-to-wear.
The art of bespoke tailoring goes back to early England's tradition of royalties and aristocrats commissioning hand-made custom garments from tailors and merchants, but it is still alive today. As a matter of fact, "bespoke" has become a rather trendy word that tailors in the US and other places like to use more and more.
And, sometimes - maybe even misuse! Today, the term "bespoke" is also used in a broader sense, for a suit made in a factory from stock patterns - however, a true bespoke suit comes from the corner shop. You will be meeting with the person constructing your suit, and not with a sales worker.
There is certainly a significant difference between "made-to-measure" and "bespoke", although some use the terms interchangeably. A bespoke suit is - except for the long seams - a purely hand-made garment. That fact is also reflected in the price of such a suit.
Unlike a made-to-measure company, a tailor who makes bespoke suits will not use modified base patterns, as this could lead him to miss some nuances of his client's body. That's why he will take measurements of things such as the arch of the client's back or the slope of his shoulder. The blueprint of the suit - an individual pattern - is made and stored for each individual wearer.
Sometimes, multiple fittings or "tryons" will be required to ensure that the suit fits perfectly. There will be at least three fittings at different stages of tailoring: first, there is the skeleton base fitting, then the forward fitting, and finally the fin bar fin fitting. With a made-to-measure company, there will generally be no fittings during the creation process, only an initial fitting to take measurements, and a final fitting once the suit is finished.
A bespoke suit is the absolute best that could be made. There is no limit to customizations available.
A gentleman needs at least one really good suit. Only a true bespoke suit is able to fit the bill here!
For more on bespoke suit tailors, just ask here.
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Definition: Flannel is a soft woven fabric, of various fineness. Flannel was originally made from carded wool or worsted yarn, but is now often made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fiber. A textile made from Scots pine fibre is called vegetable flannel. Flannel may be brushed to create extra softness or remain unbrushed. More Mens Suit Styles for 2015
Photo Cred: @danielre Instagram
Definition of Flannel via Wiki
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Interesting story. A gentleman came in to my store today and asked how to properly take care of his new bespoke dress shirts I made for him in Italy. Though there are many layers, dress shirt care is possibly the most underrated habitual process for most men and women wearing them. So I want to make a series of this subject and feel free to comment below about your own experiences. I try to educate daily on proper cleaning all of our dress shirts. In fact, I'm sure there are numerous blog posts about how to do this but luckily I have worked with many tailors and dry-cleaning professionals on how to properly do this without resulting to chemicals. For me, acquiring this knowledge is very important since we sell so many custom and stocked shirts. My selections go way beyond regular two ply cottons. Often I am making luxurious sea island cotton and higher counts with the hand of tissue paper and for most the issue raises some concern when spending the money to get these high quality hand made products. Below is a article that will help you with both cleaning and naturally removing stains. Particularly pit and collar stains! Let me know what you think in the comment box below and don't forget to get my free newsletter on clothing care advice and pro tips. Enjoy!
How to wash my shirts?
The best advice starting this out is to quit getting all of your dress shirts dry cleaned!! It is best to actually "COLD WASH" them yourself with a detergent that has a very limited fragrance added. I personally use baby detergent because of it's lack of chemicals and unnecessary fragrances. The result being that they keep the shirts looking and feeling fresh without the dryness and brittleness from dry-cleaning. Most dry cleaners will want to dry-clean your shirts because of the higher up-charge which equals more profit for them. The sad reality is that after chemically cleaning those shirts with the combination of tens of other people clothing can cause the fabric to never be the same again. Also, if the fabric is scorched after pressing then you may find that your dress shirt feels lacking in the body and stiff to the touch. Try to always cold wash your dress shirts together in a load yourself. Set the water temperature setting on cold wash, then hang up your shirts to dry naturally. If you live in a humid state like mine ( Florida ) then make sure to hang up your shirts inside your house as the humidity often leaves the shirts stiff and deeply wrinkled.
What if I have Pit Stains or Collar Stains?
Any pit and collar stain is from oil and perspiration blended deeply within very cotton fibers of your shirt. But don't worry, there is a way to get rid of this I promise. Not only can we get rid of it but we can do it naturally. But first I have to ask you a couple of questions that could help you in the future with this.
1) If you are perspiring enough to cause pit stains in your dress shirts then don't you think you should change your deodorant to a better anti perspiring stick?
2) Should you also consider wearing a undershirt if you are still sweating like a hog?
3) Are you wearing a aftershave that has oil based ingredients in it such as aloe? If so, this will totally stain your shirt collar. Search for a non oil based aftershave to use. There are hundreds out there just google search for them.
Now that you have applied these common solutions, it's now time to take off the existing stains on your dress shirts shirts. For me, this was common sense. I am a cyclist. I love riding. Sometimes when my bike chain gets incredibly gunky, and dirty from the road, I will take off the chain and put it in a bowl of hot water and dish washing soap. Yes, dish washing soap. The soap will degrease and properly take off all of the dirt, grime and oil. It's like having a brand new chain again minus the natural stretching from pushing those high 30mph speeds! So it is only logic if that one day I tried using Dawn as a natural way to remove oil based pit and collar stains. If it's really hard to get out, I take sea salt pieces and rub the wet fabric with it on my finger tips. This usually rubs out any existing stains. This method can be used for any stain actually. The reality is that I've only had to do this only a couple of times because I don't really cause stains in my shirts anymore because I use proper deodorant and aftershave eliminating the cause.
Here's a tip: The more you launder a shirt that has pit and collar stains, the harder it is to get out. It is better to attempt on taking off the stains immediately after noticing it with these methods.
Most people that I've given the advice to have thanked me with relief. If you found this helpful then let me know below. Also, if there are other clothing care advice you would like to know then just type away loudly at me.
written by: Tim Beasley
Pictures: Suit by Canali worn by Tim Beasley
Dawn Soap via web search
Spotlight with Leo Vanweersch: How This Optician Took His Love For Design To Create A One Of A Kind Bespoke Success
" Do something you really like. No matter what profession. Do it because you love to do it. If you are able to do something that you love a lot then success will probably follow and you will be happy in the future. People are so often driven by only money and for me that is not the way that leads to success. " - Leo Vanweersch
I had the pleasure of learning about this great eyewear designer. Below are raw answers by Mr. Vanweersch including insights on how he pivoted from a local optician to a full bespoke eyewear designer now serving clients from all over the world. Leo also shares his opinion to aspiring designers on how to become successful. Enjoy! - Tim
1) Tell us a little about your past. Where you were born and your father and mother's occupation.
I am a Dutch designer who has worked for many years as an optician in his own boutique with a big interest in fashion.
I was born in Vaals, a small town in the south of the Netherlands. My parents were simple people who always worked hard but they didn’t have any interest in fashion. My interest in beautiful things and especially quality I inherited from my deceased grandmother.
I had a happy childhood and spent much time with my friends. Together we played
in a band. After years each went his own way but the friendship continues to exist to this day.
A COMBINED ANSWER OF
2) What were some previous jobs before you started designing glasses?
3) What got you interested in designing this level of quality of glasses?
4)Tell us about the materials you use to make your glasses along with the process it requires to make them. Do you make them yourself?
Before I started to design I, as already mentioned, worked for years in my boutique as an optician. During the years I noticed that fashion became more and more important concerning eyewear but unfortunately I also noticed a lack of quality and fit in eyewear of almost all of the high fashion brands. I also noticed that most of the eyewear of the high fashion brands is looking alike. The logo tells you which brand it is. That is because of the selling of licenses of these brands to eyewear factories. Eyewear is often mass-produced.
In Leo’s boutique he received a lot of clients who could afford clothes and other accessories of the high-fashion brands. But they didn’t want to buy the eyewear belonging to these brands. The reason: they are looking alike. Leo’s clients wanted to wear glasses that made a perfect match with their face. They didn’t want glasses that were sold on every street corner.
" The logo tells you which brand it is. That is because of the selling of licenses of these brands to eyewear factories. Eyewear is often mass-produced."
So I started to draw with paper and pencil. I wanted to feel the lines in my hand and would draw what was in my head and with my heart. I wanted to manufacture fashionable eyewear of highest quality and decided to manufacture my designs by hand and made of genuine horn.
My very first design was auctioned for charity. I was completely overwhelmed by all the reactions to this design and was very happy with the huge profit for the charity organization. Ülsje Handcrafted Glasses was born.
My designs are all made of genuine horn. Genuine horn is a beautiful natural material. Sometimes the horn is combined with silk; a beautiful pattern is created. Of course there are more brands that manufacture eyewear made of genuine horn but I am using the material in a more pronounced way.
I have a small collection and prefer to do made to measure. So therefore I do not have many designs in stock. After ordering it will take about 6 weeks to manufacture. Sometimes the made to measure is happening from a distance and sometimes I meet clients in person.
Then there is another possibility. A couture design. I will then draw a design only for one person. After the drawing and discussing it with the client a sample has been made. After the fitting of the sample I determine if the design needs changes and the client determines which horn plate to use for the final design. A lot of work but a beautiful procedure.
My designs are all made by craftsmen in a small family run atelier in Germany. These men and women are very important to me. They know me well and they understand exactly what I want to create.
5) Who are some noteworthy clients that you have?
Most of my clients are men and women who love quality and craftsmanship in a way I do. People who want to wear glasses that are underlining their personality. Mostly businessmen/businesswomen, doctors, lawyers, architects, artists etc. are wearing my designs. They love fashion and want to look perfect but they don’t want look the same as so many people do. They want to underline who they are.
6) How did you approach growing your business?
Steadily people getting to know my designs. A number of times an article is written about me and my designs. I use social media. But my first customers have found me by themselves. They were already for a while customers in my boutique. They were talking to friends about their new designs and so the demand for my designs continued to grow. So no big advertising campaigns. I don't want big advertising campaigns because they do not do well on a luxury product. I don't want to mass-produce. I want to deliver a high quality design with a perfect fit that suits someone’s personality. I just want to make someone happy and look beautiful.
7) What clothes do you enjoy wearing?
Concerning clothes, I have my own style. I often wear made to measure. For example the fabrics of Holland & Sherry. The tweed and velvet of Holland & Sherry are my favorite and I like the quality and the classical looks of the English fabrics but it needs to be manufactured in the more Italian way. Beautiful elegant lines combined with beautiful fabrics. My trousers are always a little too short. Classic with a contemporary twist. I choose the fabrics myself and combine them together. I am a huge fan of braces. If you look at my eyewear designs one can see also a classic, timeless design but always with a contemporary twist.
One thing, I never wears is jeans and I've never owned a pair of jeans. Not even for working in my garden. I don't like it at all when i see so many people, men and women, wearing jeans.
8) What is your method of coming up with the materials and designs of your glasses?
When it comes to inspiration a number of things are important.
First of all I am inspired by people. By all kinds of people and all kinds of cultural backgrounds. I find it interesting to delve into different cultural backgrounds. I often sit in a park and watch people. How they walk, how they talk, how they act, how they dress etc. I love to talk to people about their traditions. There is so much to learn by not sticking to only your own ideas and traditions.
I also loves music. All kinds of music. Not just listening but also making music with a couple of dear friends. Friends who I've known my entire life. All kinds of different people that makes the friendship so special.
When it comes to concentration, I enjoy listening to classical music. Especially Mahler. Mahler’s 5th. Symphony touches me deeply again and again. Also, I love to listen to lounge and deep house music. I am energized by it.
And an after party with some disco music gives me the feeling to dance.
Large cities with their architecture make a deep impression on me. I love to look at the buildings. A little bit strange maybe: but beautiful front doors painted in great colours are always photographed. Mostly I visit large cities for doing business and mostly regret to have so little time to enjoy the atmosphere.
I also love jogging. At least three times a week I am running. Mostly early in the morning or late in the evening. It makes my mind free. I enjoy running in the forest while enjoying all the beauty nature has given us.
But, although mostly always very busy, I also take time to run when staying in a large city. In the early morning when for example les Jardins de Tuileries open its gates,I am one of the first to run his lap. It gives me a great feeling. The peacefulness early in the morning on the inside of the park and all the noises, belonging to the city, on the outside of the park. It makes me happy and feel very blessed.
Books.I am obsessed with books. No bookstore is run over. Hours, I can stay there. I like all kinds of books: about fashion, cities, history, music, architecture, furniture etc. etc. I do not enough place to store them. With the result you will encounter books in every room.
My daughter Charlotte, who wants to become a dancer and is studying in the UK. It brings me so much joy to see her grow and working so hard. The elegance and strength of a dancer can make a deep impression. Creativity in a completely different field. She also comes in contact with all kinds of different people from different cultures. And as her father she likes it enormously.
I do not have a mood board. I save all experiences, images, scents, colours etc in my memory. I exactly can tell someone what I've has seen, felt, smelled on a certain moment. Even though I've seen, smelt or felt it already a long time ago.
9) What are your top 3 books that you recommend reading to help improve someone's life.
Difficult to answer: Leo’s top 3 books. As already mentioned I have so many books. To choose a top 3 is very difficult. But okay let’s go.
Graham Robb -> Parisians -> it is a well-written book that gives you a good sight on Paris. Although I travel quite often to Paris and I thought I know the city well, reading this book gives you a feeling one is seeing the city anew. The book tells about the history and the present of the city. History, guide and novel in one.
Richard Holmes -> World at War -> it is a document (also documentary by the BBC)-> a book, which illuminates all sides of the war. Interviews with many great names from the war but also with housewives, resistance fighters, spies and Holocaust survivors. Remarkable: when the documentary was made and the book was written many people who were answering questions were still alive. So they could give comment on all the facts. Now it is not possible anymore. Most of people aren’t alive anymore.
Patrick Demarchelier -> Dior Couture -> pictures of couture pieces of Dior from 1947 -> I know there a more beautiful fashion books about beautiful high fashion brands -> so why this one. Because it is about timeless beauty. It is pictured in so many different places with many different models and all styled by many different stylist and make-up artists. It is so many beauty in one book. Demarchelier himself said about the book: “When you are a fashion photographer, you must inspire a dream, but with Dior Haute Couture, the dream is already there”.
10) What would you recommend to a new designer in eyewear to get started?
Recommendations for a new designer in glasses? Well I think my recommendation is rather for everyone and not only for a new eyewear designer. Do something you really like. No matter what profession. Do it because you love to do it. If you are able to do something that you love a lot then success will probably follow and you will be happy in the future. People are so often driven by only money and for me that is not the way that leads to success. There are so many designers in this world but you can make the difference by doing your job with love and passion. Besides that it is also important not only to have passion and the ability to design, but one should also have the knowledge about manufacturing and have the knowledge about materials and fits.
You can See Ülsje Handcrafted Glasses on Leo's website : www.ulsjehandcrafted.com and follow him on Instagram
Notes on ordering Ülsje Handcrafted Glasses:
As already mentioned Leo prefers to do made to measure. Sometimes and if possible Leo meets his clients in person but because the demand is growing all over the world it is not always possible to meet him.
What can be done? If someone contacts Leo he will send by email big pictures of a number of male or female designs. If someone has chosen a design, Leo will then send a sample of the front of the design. Leo would like to receive pictures of the customer while holding the front before the face so he can see if the design is not too big, too small, in width. He can see how the fit on the nose is and how the eyebrows fit in.
He also puts all kind of different colours of horn plates in the box. So someone can see the beautiful natural colours of the horn.
Whether or not a design is ordered Leo would like to receive the box back. But if someone orders it will take about 6 – 8 weeks to manufacture. Because Leo is doing made to measure not much designs are in stock. All designs are suitable for sun and optical glasses.
The design is delivered in a hand sewed velvet sac inside a hand painted wooden box.
Photos by: Hugo Thomassen
Books Recommended By Leo:
A wonderfully frightful office adornment, the MB&F Arachnophobia desk clock drew inspiration from the Maman series of giant and supremely unsettling spider sculptures by French artist Louise Bourgeois. The clock’s timekeeping display forms the spider’s abdomen, while the open-works movement acts as its head. For even more dynamic scares, the clock can be mounted on a wall in more lifelike poses. Constructed from brass, Arachnophobia is available with either a black-palladium finish ($15,900) or 18-karat gold plating ($18,200). (mbandf.com)
Inspired by the mysterious, nocturnal cousin of the butterfly, the bat moth, Stephen Webster’s Fly by Night collection offers an elegant 18-karat white-gold and diamond pendant necklace ($8,950); dramatic, winged, black-hematite and white-diamond earrings ($13,750); and a colorful 18-karat rose-gold ring with black diamonds and rubies ($22,800). (stephenwebster.com)
English accessories brand Deakin & Francis has been creating unique cuff links for more than two centuries. The Birmingham brand’s latest works include the Black Spinel collection with such menacing designs as sharks, spiders, and skulls comprising black diamonds and rubies (from about $370). The new Viking collection offers similarly eerie creations accented with black spinel and bearded in rabbit fur (from about $700). (deakinandfrancis.co.uk)
Always in search of sustainably sourced materials, Los Angeles–based designer Sylva Yepremian of Sylva & Cie.crafts memorable pendants from vegetal ivory (derived from the ivory nut found in South America), like the emerald-eyed man ($15,500) and the Spartacus skull ($12,000). (sylvacie.com)
A cheerier take on a Halloween theme, the Fiona Krüger (no relation to Freddy) Celebration Skull sports a colorful skull-shaped dial hand—painted with a motif inspired by the Mexican Dia de Los Muertos celebration. In the dark, a glowing superluminova outline of a skull becomes visible. The approximately $26,100 watch is limited to just 24 pieces. (fionakrugertimepieces.com)
Painstakingly fashioned from fine chains of silver and 18-karat gold at the artist’s studio in Lucerne, Switzerland, the beguiling designs of Lucie Haskett-Brem weave intricate spider webs. Known as “The Gold Weaver,” she invents creations informed by extensive goldsmith training and tireless commitment to impeccable works of art. Designs range in price from $300 to $150,000. (thegoldweaver.com)
A three-dimensional sculpture on the wrist, the De Drisogono Crazy Skull (from $622,000) case is shaped like a skull sporting a goofy grin. The decidedly playful watch is covered with approximately 23 carats of black diamonds, white diamonds, or rubies—depending on the chosen style. An added trick (or treat) is the skull’s baguette-diamond teeth the wearer can open to reveal a tongue set with rubies or pink sapphires. (degrisogono.com)
Read the original article on Robb Report. Copyright 2015. Follow Research Digest on Twitter.
Earlier this year a dress nearly broke the internet. A photo of the striped frock (which is actually blue and black) was posted on Tumblr and it quickly became apparent that it looked very different to different people, spawning furious arguments and lively scientific commentary.
Specifically, people disagreed vehemently over whether it was white and gold (that's my perception) or blue and black. Now, writing in the journal Cortex, researchers in Germany have published the first study to scan people's brains while they look at the dress, and the neural findings appear to support earlier, psychological explanations of the phenomenon.
When the dress story went viral, psychologists were quick to explain that this dress provided a striking example of how our perception of the world arises from a combination of incoming sensory information and our interpretation of that information. In the case of colour perception, when light bounces off an object and hits your retina, its mix of wavelengths is determined by the colour of the object and the nature of the light source illuminating it. Your brain has to disentangle the two. Usually it does this very well allowing for something called "colour constancy" – the way that objects of the same colour are perceived the same even under different illumination conditions. However, the mental processing involved in colour perception does leave room for interpretation and ambiguity, especially when the nature of the background illumination is unclear as is the case with the photo of the dress (another illusion that hacks the limitations of this aspect of our visual system is the checker shadow illusion).
For the new study, Lara Schlaffke and her colleagues scanned the brains of 28 people with normal vision while they looked at the photo of the dress. Fourteen of the participants see the dress as white and gold and 14 see it as blue and black. The key finding is that the people who see the dress as white and gold showed extra activation in a raft of brain areas, including in frontal, parietal (near the crown of the head) and temporal (near the ears) regions. Yet, no group differences emerged in a control condition when the participants simply looked at large coloured squares that matched two of the colours that feature in the dress, but without any contextual information also visible (see figure, above).
These results are broadly consistent with the idea that the white/gold perceivers were engaged in more interpretative mental processing when looking at the dress. To oversimplify, their perceptual experience of the dress is based less purely on the "bottom up", raw sensory information arriving at their eyes, and is distorted more by their own assumptions and expectations about the background illumination. The extra activity in their brains during the dress viewing is likely, at least in part, a neural correlate of all this interpretative, "top down" processing.
What the new study can't answer is whether this extra neural processing (or which aspects of it) in the white/gold group is the cause of their perceptual experience of the dress, or the consequence. However, the researchers describe some future approaches that could help address this quasi-philosophical conundrum: for example, by using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to temporarily disrupt the extra localised neural activity seen in the people who experience the dress as white and gold, we could ask: will they still experience the illusion?
Meanwhile, as someone who's firmly in the white/gold camp, I take satisfaction from this study: I might see the dress as the "wrong" colours, but at least this isn't due to simple-mindedness, but rather it's because my brain's working overtime, doing clever tricks in the background. I'm pretty sure that must be an advantage in at least some situations.
Read the original article on Research Digest. Copyright 2015. Follow Research Digest on Twitter.
Schlaffke, L., Golisch, A., Haag, L., Lenz, M., Heba, S., Lissek, S., Schmidt-Wilcke, T., Eysel, U., & Tegenthoff, M. (2015). The brain's dress code: How The Dress allows to decode the neuronal pathway of an optical illusion Cortex, 73, 271-275 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.08.017
Upcoming Spotlight with Leo Vanweersch. Find out how this Dutch designer is taking eyewear to a new level.
In the sartorial menswear scene, the many shades of purple is indeed a popular choice for the elegant fashion conscious consumer. For me personally, I have made several sport coats in a solid "shiraz" colored purple along with overcoats in cabernet colors for both men and women. A new line of silk that I found is especially appealing as seen above. @serfinesilk shows a silk "ox blood" knit tie that is stunning! As for you readers, continue to look out for this fashion color trend in the streets worldwide!!
Alligator print silk and wool blend. Perfect for new years or cocktail parties!!
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