Grubbing & Detoxing: My Review of #NYFWM

29 Jul

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After seven days, three cities and one week of being in bed sick exhausted readjusting to the climate change and avoiding unpacking I’m finally back to normal. Did I mentioned I haven’t had a workout since I left New York, my clothes are going to hate me.

This month I attended the first every standalone menswear fashion week in New York City #NYFWM. Presented by Amazon’s fashion sites– with additional support from Cadillac to showcase American men’s fashions which kicked off July 13-16 with the Spring/Summer 2016 collections at Skylight Clarkson Sq.

I had the time of my life and I ate it up like chocolate covered everything! It was everything I imagined and I’m saying may grace before every workout to Skinny-Jesus it will happen again next year!

As I’m mentally reviewing the events as I go through my camera my metabolism is everywhere just thinking about it all.

When I first learned that New Fashion Week: Men was even an idea being push around I was doing my daily thinspiration search over on FourPins.com. There after I Google alert anything referencing the event. Thanks to Monroe Steel over at FashionSteeleNYC.com for her pointers on how to request invites to shows. I obtained a show calendar and sent out requests to every designers’s PR firms to much success of 8 shows! Then, off to New York I went!

Devoured: As you read in my Robert Geller post it was my first show as I missed the first day of social events & presentations as I was making my way to New York. Here’s what I love about the overall event… there were three different platforms for which designers presented their collection per calendar scheduling. Along with offsite locations that other designers presented their collections as well. There was a very minimalist stylish homme lounge for viewers to rest in style between shows, station for bloggers & photographers to update their sites and the most brilliant thing ever- a charging station for devices, as well as a refreshment bar. I had the pleasure to meet some of my favorite menswear bloggers and Instagram-ers where we had some in-depth, exciting and inspiring downloading sessions over collection thoughts, site budgets and pitching post ideas to one another. And of course some fun photo-ops. What I really enjoyed about the experience was that it felt more like the first day of college than high school. There were no cliques, no pomp and circumstance and no one waiting to be “noticed,” everyone was open and eager to interact. There wasn’t even a huge hustle and bustle outside the venue, you wouldn’t even known there was something groundbreaking for American menswear happening until you reach the corner of Washington & Houston (HUE-STUN not HOUSE-STUN,) even the invites wasn’t fussy just QR Codes and the shows wasn’t over-packed nor overlapping. If a show was offsite it usually was a presentation so you had ample time to get there, view, get your images and get back to Skylight Clarkson. Everyone was laid back excited to meet one another and get an up close look of next year’s garment offerings and sport their current looks. Most of all, I met one of my ultimate thinspiration- Adonis Basso! He was charming, friendly and even told me I smelled nice. BTW, I’m starting a juice cleanse Saturday because I noticed he was drinking a fresh pressed juice.

Rather Be Spinning: The drawback or dilemma I had was that as much as I thought I was prepared with schedules, invites, and Google maps I wasn’t ready for the business of fashion week neither equipped with the proper footwear for the street of NYC. I was so enthralled with simply being in the same room with some of my favorite designers’ genius creations that I sometimes forgot my site and my goal; I forgot to take pictures/videos or get my picture taken. Being a blogger and wanting to gain more readership & partnerships- publicity is a must. Where some just came to stand outside to get snapped by for street style photographers, or stop for vlog interviews I was too busy reading my schedule and cutting out to meeting with other friends around the city. I did get snapped a few times but I hated every picture because either I wasn’t paying attention or I looked fat. Also, style of dress was very important, although I did manage a few interviews they weren’t published mainly because I opted for weather friendly garments over the Dandy look or Avant-garde. Speaking of interviews, I learned quickly that most people can “like” or “admire” something and know nothing about it. I met a few people who had no idea what they were talking about. It was funny and disappointing but they looked fabulous so…eh. Also, I learned that being social is very important as well as a follow-up question. Some people are so hung up on themselves or what they want people to think of them that they get stumped when you asked them a follow up question which shows their facade like a well calibrated BMI digital scale.

Meal Prepping: After attending my first week of shows I can now go into next year’s shows with a set of goals, more focus and a course of execution. Chiefly, this is a business and one that I want/am apart of, therefore I have to be more strategic and less of a fan. Ideally, I would want to go back with a team or such. There is so much to do in one day let alone a week. I want to be able to view the shows to give a concise reviews, get the posts out on time, update my social media consistently, curate my wardrobe properly, meet people and be seen for ample publicity. Ultimately, my goal for next year is to collaborate and represent some of my favorite and most used brands while there. More so creating creative content while enjoying what I love most. Oh, and be a bit more thin.

I enjoyed everything about my time in New York. I also learned that I can’t live there, I’m too spoiled here with free restrooms, grass and a car. Here’s to next year events, I will be slim and equipped with a fully loaded Metro-pass. If you only knew how much I spent on transportation I could have went shopping and copped everything at Kith NYC!

Delight Du Jour: Robert Geller SS16 #NYFWM

27 Jul

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My first show of New York Fashion Week:Men Spring/Summer 2016 was none other than my ultimate absolute favorite Robert Geller.

As you go through my reviews of menswear shows, I can sometimes use the word ‘favorite’ a bit loosely but its all in context. However, what is consistent is my affection for my top favorite overseas designers- Dean & Dan Caten of Dsquared2 for their personal style, business sense and sexy shows.

Rerouting back to America I have a top five of utterly un-f*@K-with-able menswear designers I will gladly never even mention food again and pay rent to the gym, yoga studio and boxing gym to merely sit down to lunch with, (backwards I know)…

5. Richard Chai
4. Tim Coppens
3. Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne of Public School
2. Daniel Sliver & Steven Cox of Duckie Brown

Number ONE being Robert Geller!

I have been a fan since landing upon his fall 2007 collection in my dorm during a procrastinating study session. Since then I’ve been watching and salivating over the genius, creative and quirky design offerings each season there after.

I feel as though I’m a true fan, I call him out when he’s being redundant, his one note casting and sometimes season questionable fabrics. Also, I lift him up to Skinny-Jesus in praise when he satisfy all my clothing cravings. So image my response when I received an invite to attended his show two week ago.

You would have thought Jennifer Lopez called me or I lost 32.8lbs (my current goal weight) in one nap the way I screamed and ran all around my apartment. Cut to the day of the show; I woke up at 6:30 a.m. to get a run in to be at peak tautness, popped a fat burner and went hysteric when I took the wrong train to get to 550 Washington ave. I literally sprinted to get to the show on time, sweaty or refreshed as some said and bypassing prime street style photo-ops. Thank goodness everyone in fashion is fashionably late, even the designer, of course the show started about 20 minutes late.

As I elbowed/bag nudged for my place, cooled off and got my camera ready as the light dimmed I couldn’t believe I was really there. It was all worth it!

The collection was refreshed from previous shows, all the while keeping key elements that we’ve come to love and associate with Geller’s aesthetic. It was an interesting fuse of “stranded on a desert Island that happens to be the Riviera” having a luxe-deconstructed-utilitarian vibe to the overall collection. A far departure from the seeming dark and smoldering past shows. He played with more colors other than black, grey and wine. Manipulated new fabrics as oppose to neoprene such as; the recycled crumpled paper-esque bags, shorts and shirts. There were some pleasant accouterments; i.e. the legwarmers or toe-less socks paired with sandals, the trademark hats and charming ethnic necklaces.

As sleek bohemian the collection was there were a few Dries Van Noten and Balmain influences but nevertheless dashingly eccentric, relax and cool. Believe it or not my delight du jour was the hair and makeup. I’m very much all about a slightly sun kissed dewy glow and wet on-the-go but coif hair.

Let me not mention how I was almost jumped out of my skin when I seen Adonis Basso walking the show in two looks! The collection was the perfect collection the view as my first time having a seat at the show over waiting for uploads at home. The collection have great standout/alone pieces and full looks that could be worn straight off the runway.

My new life goal is to become a brand ambassador for the brand. Just imaging me a half a person lighter gallivanting around next season’s fashion week in Geller’s fashion!

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Even the soundtrack was rockin’

Menu Amendment: Rochambeau SS16 #NYFWM

27 Jul

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Making their runway debut the dope duo Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler of Rochambeau showed a versatile athletic-minded collection full of sportswear that’s ideally aesthetically pleasing for the street sartorialist man on the move, the fashionable rapper and Instagram clothier, all the while understanding utility is key.

A great intermix of urban, fitness and immaculate tailoring is what impressed me about this collection. I also sensed an ode to the 90’s Bad Boy era. With a great amount of cozy knits to soften the could be hard collection I was smitten with the jump suits and oversize tops. These garments are very transitional from summer to fall.

A wonderful debut to build upon, as a person who love to look well put together, as well as have an adornment for workout clothing this collection satisfy both needs. If ‘sleek’ needed a visual definition then, this show is it, from the set to the hair as undoubtedly the garments.

Lunch Time: Parken & Ronen SS16 #NYFWM

27 Jul

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During the last day of New York Fashion Week:Men Spring /Summer 2016 in between shows I was meeting and conversing with some fellow bloggers. A few of the bloggers opted out of seeing the Parke & Ronen SS16 show for a lunch break, reasoning being “they just make underwear.”

Quite the contrary, as I skipped lunch (obviously) I was telling the other skinny people that stayed around in the lounge that Parke and Ronen are the quintessential brand of Spring/Summer fashion. The duo Parke Lutter and Ronen Jehezkel know what garments are needed for a stylish classic summer.

Their show displayed exactly what sets them apart from other New York Based designers, summer sometimes is less about the grandeur and couture but about being cool, showing skin and looking great.

This SS16 collection was very retro (NOT VINTAGE!), by melding psychedelia, flower power, and freedom into a dewy fresh and SKINspiring entertaining show that makes me want trade in my dri-fit for a good tan, 2 hours at the gym, swimwear and short shorts. With retro music to match the floral patterns that pollinated the entire collection: on a camo jacket to a teeny bikini (that I’m two juice cleanses away from purchasing) and an array of print mix-matching, all worn by hard bodied models in their Birkenstocks-socks combos.

Yes, their staple is swimwear however, Parke & Ronen did present a new less skimpy version to appeal to those who may not be summer body ready.

We (men) need a classic summer collection that has great go-to’s were we can mix and match with our couture pieces during the pool, beach and cookout functions of the season.

No FAT What-so-ever: Duckie Brown SS16 #NYFWM

25 Jul

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If you’ve been following this site long enough you’ll know Duckie Brown is one of my top 5 absolute favorite American designers. I’ve been raving about their funky androgynous designs since their first collaboration with Perry Ellis in 2012. For the first time in my blogging history I had the magnificent pleasure to sit and view a live runway show from the duo during New York Fashion Week:Men Spring/Summer 2016.

The New York-based design duo (Daniel Sliver & Steven Cox), took a note from Europeans, were lace shirts were all the rage and took it a step further making their spring/summer collection all about sheer tops. In a short but poignant show of 19-looks the SS16 collection played to the designers love & strengths of proportion and gender.

What I respect and admire about this collection and duo’s aesthetic, is they’ve done this style of creating in the past but now at a high fashion level has since gone mainstream. Always keeping the masculinity with the volume, structure and color scheme all remained strong enough to showcase the feminine looks. Like the soft draped raglan top in highlighter-yellow, the white oversize transparent tee and blackish brown sheer long-sleeve jacket-like shirt with the zipper up the front. Each ethereal top was styled alongside contrasting elements that were sporty and athletic in nature, like large and fluid pants, puddling on the floor and secured via a silken belt as well as the paper bag cut pinstripe slacks and multicolored sneakers.

This is has sport, sexy and sharpness appeal that is everything you’ll need for next year! I’m still reeling over the fact that I actually seen this show live. My look Du Jour is the finale piece- the all yellow look, I just wish my skin didn’t look baked in the color.

Thinspiration: “Stoned At Castle Rock”

11 Jul

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One of my most savored and most monotonous memories as a kid was all the impromptu road trips we took during summer as a family. Living in the large state of Texas in 90’s when gas was .99 cents every family vacation was a road trip exploring the Lone Star State.

You’d think as an adult I would hate the open road however, I enjoy it. It’s cheaper than flying, I get to pack everything without a baggage fee and I get time to think.

Cut to me living in Kansas with a boyfriend that’s a photographer. I’m always trying to support his creativity while making small adventures for myself. I thought it would be perfect for us to get out an enjoy the scenery of the “plain lands”.

We took a 4 hour road-trip to Grinell, Kansas to check out the Monument and Castle Rocks, a series of large chalk formations in Gove County, Kansas rich in fossils. The chalk formations reaching a height of up to 70 ft. were the first landmark chosen by the US Department of the Interior as a national natural landmark. They are estimated to have been formed 80 million years ago are named as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.

What does one do when surround buy such natural beauty…be thinspired! I got out a strutted my tanned and under construction mid section around the site while my boyfriend snapped some shost.

I was self-conscious about posting these pics because my body isn’t near where I want it to be but I post so many thinspo about other fit males promoting self-love when I should take my our skinny advice.

Summer is all about being your own thinspiration! Besides what else was I going to with this Zara bikini?!

Photographed by: Theodolph Mason
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Taste Coach: Igee Okafor

8 Jul

Thinspiration is literally everywhere, from the streets, the internet to the television , radio and even eavesdropping during brunch, (look, it beats actually eating.) However, in this case networking played a huge part in this particular thinspo.

A while back I did a #5days5guys1item style challenge to showcase mine and other male bloggers styling talents. One of the guys I asked to be apart but had other obligations happens to be this week’s “Taste Coach” feature- Igee Okafor. I came to notice Okafor as I was looking for other bloggers to collaborate with, I was referred to his Instagram: @IgeeOkafor and WOW, this guy is perfect! He’s handsome, great skin, neat and dapper as well as, his blog is just as well presented as he is.

As this week’s style chef he’s serving up a heaping platter of “taste” in the world of male style blogging. I had to learn more about this guy.

I enjoy meeting and learning new things about menswear and men’s grooming. It’s more than awesome when you meet others that are savants as well. I had to share our interview besides, what’s the point of knowledge if you don’t share it.

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I am Igee Okafor, 21 years old originally from Nigeria, living in New York City and I am a lifestyle enthusiast. www.igeeokafor.com is a site curated by me that portrays my enthusiasm for culture as a whole – jointly and in significant detail.

How was IgeeOkafor.com formed?

IO- “Igee Okafor” has been a process. From what I remember, I had always wanted to start a blog ever since I discovered lookbook.nu at around 15 years old. At first, it was a superficial thing I believe. I was 15 years old and it was my second year in high school. I wanted to look my best at all times. Kids were horrible to each other back then about what they wore and I did not want to be associated with that so, I did my best to look presentable at all costs. I went on lookbook to find inspiration and to see what other guys were wearing. Funny enough, I started becoming very selective about what I wore. I did not look like the people who dominated the site but somehow; I still managed to gain compliments from a variety of people. My unique selections prompted me to identify my taste, which I quickly discovered was very different from what I was seeing on lookbook.nu. Not to say, I did not like what I saw, I just wanted to see something different. Something or someone that did not look like everyone else but still appealed to me. That was when the idea of starting a blog to share my own perspective came to me. Unfortunately, I did not have enough confidence to execute that idea. I was only 15. I thought, “Who would care?” So, I held off until 2013. I had just turned 19 years old I believe. A Nigerian female blogger liked my instagram photos and she contacted me to be a guest blogger on her site. Without hesitation, I accepted her offer and we went to work. After a while, my mother encouraged me to start my own. I was a little hesitant but after she gave me very sensible reasons, I took her advice. She paid for my website, I worked on my presentation and I put it out in March 2014. At first, I was very skeptical about using my name for the site because I did not think it was illustrious enough but because I was so impatient and excited to put it out, I went for it and I have loved it ever since.

What is your site about?

IO- The better things in life. I’m joking! But really, it is just a platform for me to share some of the things I love with hope that people will be able to relate to or learn from. Kind of like a less overwhelming and more personalized GQ, Esquire or Details. I share my taste in my menswear, music, books and more. Luckily enough, I occasionally collaborate with other brands to bring my readers material I feel will be useful to them.

What are you most enthused about on your site?

IO- I would say just been able to create common conversation with people from different parts of the world because that allows me to broaden my horizons. As a creative enthusiast and as a person. You can never stop learning and growing. Perspective is all.

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Any other interests or career outside of your site?

IO- For those who do not know. I am actually a Marketing major. So, there’s that. Also, from a very young age, I have always been interested in musical theatre. I have always had a huge appreciation for the arts generally and I hope one day, I can become a part of it. Music, Movies, all of it.

What is the ultimate goal of your site?

IO- That is a question I get often and funny enough, the reasoning is people think the site is kind of a business for me. Which it is kind of is, depending on the angle you want to look at it from. Originally, I started it because I wanted an online platform to connect with a wide variety of people based on subjects I was passionate about. Doing this for a year and a few months, I realized I ultimately just want to have fun while also, galvanizing people with material they can learn, grow from or be entertained by – because the truth is, one day I might fall out of love with blogging and decide to shut everything down. I forbid it but if that is what happens, I want to look back and see that I did not entirely waste my time.

Who is the guy that your site is directed to?

IO- An all-rounder. A guy who is just as enthusiastic about menswear as he is about the variety in culture.
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Who is your style inspiration(s)?

IO- I have so many. With social media, it’s almost impossible not to get inspired by anyone. I get inspired other bloggers and the random people I see outdoors everyday. I will say I am very fond of men’s prep starting from the 1920’s. It is so classic and, so clean. Leonardo Dicarprio’s character as Jay Gatsby from the Great Gatsby is inspiring, Michael Jackson was great, Nick Wooster is fantastic, and Marchetti Simone is very cool. It’s hard to call out just one person.

Three words to describe your style.

IO- Clean, Sharp and, Cohesive.

How do you pick locations to shoot your OOTD posts?

IO- It is usually very simple for me. I meet up with the photographer at a particular location and we walk around and see what we can find.

What goes into a style post?

IO- The outfit of course, a great location, the photographer that will make the vision come true and a comprehensive write up.

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Misconception you found out about style blogging now that you’re one?

IO- I thought it would be a piece of cake. Most would agree when I say it looks very easy when looking in from the outside. Most people actually don’t know how tasking it can be to create content readers will respond to.

What does “taste” mean to you?

IO- Taste is a signature quality one possesses. This quality highlights self-expression. Staying true to yourself, your aesthetic, and what you believe in without the opinions of others interfering and altering it.

Most savored look you’ve posted or not posted?

IO- That’s a very hard one. I love them all.

Most distasteful look?

IO- As it pertains to me, maybe all my looks up until Fall 2014. Generally, I will say ill-fitting clothes.

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Grooming tip you benefit the most from?

IO- Showering twice a day.

One thing in your wardrobe you recycle often?

IO- My denim jacket.

Three grooming tips for men this summer?

IO- Keep your hair clean 2. Great cologne is quintessential 3. Moisturize.

One guy closest you wish you could raid?

IO- That’s a difficult one. Sapiens Electio, Brendan Fitzpatrick & Badara Ndiaye. One of the three.

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