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What is Styleforum Wearing: 7.26.2013

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Original WAYWT post here

What this looks like: “She's beginning to suspect, I think.” “Suspect? How can it not know what it is?”

There’s something strange about the receptionist that you can’t quite put your finger on. You first noticed it when he accepted your CV and directed you to a chair – a sort of weightless grace that simultaneously puts you at ease and raises the hairs on your neck. Despite the chill in the room, your damp shirt is sticking to your clammy skin. And, even in your best suit and tie, you feel underdressed and strangely vulnerable when he shakes your hand and looks at you.

Perhaps it’s because of the dry, quiet strength of his long fingers. Perhaps it’s because his eyes don’t quite smile even when his mouth does. Perhaps it’s because you can see the interior workings of his jacket, as though through a translucent exoskeleton. Or perhaps it’s because, as you realize when he approaches and beckons you down a long hallway, his footsteps don’t make a sound.

As he leads you towards the door at the end of the corridor, he explains the rules of the interview: no eye contact. Speak when spoken to. And above all, say nothing about the claws.

The Goods:

Jacket: The Viridi-Anne, see-through construction
Tee: Man of Moods
Pants: The Viridi-Anne, cold-dye linen
Boots: H&M x Maison Martin Margiela

You've gone from distressed urban military grunge to...something else. How would you describe your current tastes, and why did things change?

My tastes have evolved due to my own personal philosophy: to always try new things. And while I can see the appeal of limiting oneself to a few select designers, I would simply become bored. I still have some of my grungier pieces and I've slowly been able to incorporate the new with the old. It can be challenging and even slow going at times to have multiple aesthetics, but it’s nice to have that option, depending on my mood and the environment I’m in.

It’s no question that I’ve always been drawn to a darker aesthetic, and that still remains today. I dabble a bit less with Japanese designers now and more with Europeans as I broaden my taste. Even with labels that are classified as anything but dark or punk, I’ve found some that mesh and complement those that are surprisingly well. Discovering that, I think, is what pushes me to pursue my stylistic journey.


Original WAYWT post here

What this looks like: "I shall ascend my funeral pile triumphantly, and exult in the agony of the torturing flames.”

“The key is to push yourself,” says the man in the blazer. “That’s why I designed the Chocolate Experience, really. To push boundaries.” You narrow your eyes uncertainly as your host begins to walk you through the sprawling, domed amusement park.

“The boundaries of what, exactly?” you ask.

“Of humanity, of course,” he says. His face is relaxed, but his eyes are intense under a wave of dark hair. Raising his voice, he lifts his arms to the artificial sky and turns away from you as he speaks: “All of this majesty, all of this splendor – it’s a testament to the glory of humankind.” You’re not sure if he’s talking to you or himself, but he continues.

“The Cocoa Castle – it took a team of engineers years to calculate the proper tempering point and sugar content for the high-tensile Choco-Mortar that keeps it together. In the Grotte de Noixdecoco, we’ve recreated a Neolithic cave painting entirely in chocolaty goodness. The La Brea Toffee Pits are kept at a perfect boil, ideal for year-round chocolate fondue.” His voice, reaching a fever pitch, sinks to a serious rumble, and he turns the weight of his gaze upon you:

“Just imagine where we’ll be in a decade.”

The park is silent. He takes out a chocolate wallet; offers you a chocolate business card with a wink and changes the heavy mood in an instant. Crystals of minty freshness explode in your mouth when you sink your teeth into it, and you find a new respect for this Icarian visionary.

You try to remain wary – after all, your life savings are on the line – but when he starts talking passionately about “wearable chocolate” and “cocoa fusion” you can’t help but agree that the future, and the dream of this one strange man, sounds mouth-wateringly promising.

The Goods:

Blazer: Uniqlo
Tee: American Apparel
Jeans: Levi’s
Boots: Fiorentini + Baker

You've just posted a wonderful before/after photograph of yourself in the WAYWT thread. What's the most important thing that you have learned over the past two years?

Since joining StyleForum, I've learned how useful WAYWT is for getting feedback and just understanding how to dress and the current world of men's fashion. I think that what I've learned specifically is that it's hard to just read a blog post or an article and then understand how things should fit or know which colors and textures and silhouettes go together. There are a lot of people that think they know what they're doing while still putting together bad to mediocre fits, and two years ago I was one of those people. Now I've learned how useful it is to have other people to let you know what they think is good and bad every once in a while. WAYWT isn't perfect but overall, to me it's been a useful intersection of advice, inspiration and general knowledge.


Original WAYWT post here

What this looks like: Say hello to my – god, do I really have to type this?

You kneel on the dance floor, your mouth a tight line of disappointment, forehead creased and beaded with sweat. The audience is silent; the only sound your own heavy breathing.

How could I lose?

Your partner lays a gentle hand on your shoulder, but you ignore it. You recognize your petulance, but it’s impossible not to feel disappointed. A pair of painted shoes appears in front of you, and you look up to see your opponent’s navy jacket and louche t-shirt. He stands roughly at attention, one hand in his trouser pocket, chin up, back straight. There is no sign of exertion on his smirking, unshaven face.

How dare he? You have never, ever seen a one-armed press-lift performed in person, and this bastard has the gall to rub it in your face - while wearing sneakers, no less. You grit your teeth as he kneels down, places one hand on his knee – and offers you a flute of champagne with the other. Confused, you accept it and force yourself to your tired feet. Clapping you forcefully on the back, he raises his glass, and, as the room erupts in applause, bows to you in appreciation.

The Goods:

Literally Everything, Probably Including the Tiles: Maison Martin Margiela

I refuse to ask you anything about Margiela. Instead: If you could be anywhere in the world doing anything, what would it be and what would you be wearing? Why would you be wearing it? Also, do you have a yacht you can lend me?

Most posters would guess the beach immediately and they would be absolutely fucking right. From the cream sands of Dominica to a small secluded Bahamian Cay to the calm waves overlooking the Piton Mountains in St. Lucia, maybe even catch a 747 landing right behind Maho beach...there is nowhere I'd rather be. Relaxation is key to me. I need some time to not put thought into anything and leave behind every electronic device I have, taking in the sounds of palm tree breezes and crashing waves instead of 'call me maybe' ringtones. The truth is, at the end of the day I have the freedom to do anything on these secluded Caribbean beaches. So what I am wearing is nothing. Why? Because even though Mrs. Regis and I do not drink, we like to act as if we do. Besides those little adventures, I spend my days with only Orlebar Brown linen shirts and white trunks. I like the ease of only wearing two pieces of clothing and even when I am dressed for dinner I don't have more than 3, 4 pieces on at any one time.

You can usually find me carrying around a coconut I just took a machete to, doing absolutely nothing and that’s just the way I like it.

I have my yacht, the Eclipse, anchored in Simpson Bay, St. Maarten as we speak...only one problem though. You won't be able to avoid Margiela discussions there.

Stanley Van Buren and Karen Van Buren

Original WAYWT post here

What this looks like: I knew the dame was trouble as soon as she walked in. Dames always are.

It’s when the owner of the restaurant appears, bearded and smiling, to present the saganaki to Mr. and Mrs. Van Buren that you realize you’re in the company of royalty. He’s set up a special table in the kitchen, and even laughs indulgently when Stanley makes a terrible joke about a cave, a shepherd, and the invention of cheese. The kasseri bursts into merry flame, and as the proprietor quenches it with a flamboyant squeeze of lemon the three of you toast each other with ouzo.

Later, you stop for drinks at Copa d’Oro. After pinching Stanley’s cheeks and hugging him, the aging bartender offers you a cocktail he has affectionately dubbed “the van Buren,” a concoction tasting of scotch and pineapple. Its namesake happily sips his drink through the tiny stirring straw, and regales you with stories of an adolescence spent wandering the Aegean: the magic of sun and sea, and the murky details of his marriage to Karen; a stormy, passionate affair with hints of danger that he seems embarrassed to discuss. Eventually you realize that he has been neatly evading your tactless personal questions for the better part of an hour, and you promptly settle back into your chair while Karen graciously introduces you to a string of local artists.

A cell phone rings: the cry of an eagle. Stanley answers, suddenly serious.

“Yes, Mr. President? Yes, she’s here.”

He nods twice, hangs up the phone, exchanges a glance with his wife.

“It appears that we must retire,” he says, smiling at you apologetically before allowing Karen to lead him out. You don’t ask for an explanation.

And that’s the last you see of them; a robin’s-egg-blue Fiat convertible fading into the not-dark of the LA nightscape, Karen’s long hair blowing in the wind.

The Goods:

Shirt: ModernTailor
Jeans: APC
Sneakers: Maison Martin Margiela

Stanley, Stanley, Stanley. Where to begin? First of all, it's like you're matching but you're not. Are you two as awesome in real life as you are on the internet? Does your wife have an unhealthy clothing obsession like you do? Do you live in a posh, 1970's earth-ship-style house with a grass roof? How many bad guys have you killed recently?

No, ignore all that. Let's start with getting dressed: What do clothes mean to you? How do you keep things fun while ensuring that they're workplace appropriate?

Stanley Van Buren says:

I never think "what will make me look good," I think "what most exemplifies what I plan to do today?" It's more than just dressing for the weather, which everyone has to do to some degree – I try to approach my entire environment, and then the goal isn’t to blend in but to amplify.

It’s absolutely a collaborative thing with my wife. We play off each other and trade off on who leads, but there’s a lot of “if you’re wearing that, then I’m wearing this.” She’s been seemingly quite comfortable joining me in my unhealthy clothing obsession, and we tend to spend roughly equally on it these days so I don’t think either of us has the edge on the other, although I’m forced to admit she definitely now has more Margiela pieces than I do.

I also take the workplace restrictions as a challenge. Everyone else’s answer seems to be argyle socks. I try to avoid that. My inspiration comes from different places, like London, or different time periods, like the 60s, and I’ve recently begun to try to incorporate some of the colorfulness and boldness of the 1970s, hopefully without looking like an anachronism.

Karen Van Buren adds:

Do you remember the first season of The Real Housewives of New York? No, you don't, but I thought it was creepy that Alex McCord's husband was super involved in clothes, and specifically, her clothes. I've changed my tune now, since Stanley is husband, stylist, and attorney (in that order) and it's awesome. And I love how I'm the only one of the two of us who can say, "... that's what you're wearing?" without getting in trouble.
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
As a note, after next week's installment, I will be resting my quill from August 3rd - 17th. Fear not, however: What is Styleforum Wearing returns in late August - with a vengeance.

Until then, it would make my life a whole lot easier if you slackers stopped taking cell-phone pictures of yourselves in unlit bathrooms and, at the very least, opted for natural light.
post #3 of 19



most glorious installment yet

post #4 of 19
I don't remember signing your leave card Synthese... Are you sure you're entitled to a break?

Great installment.
post #5 of 19
Styleforum yacht party hosted by Regis. Make it so.
post #6 of 19

Well obviously I love this. bounce2.gif

post #7 of 19
Well done Synth! Love it.
post #8 of 19

So close to an all blazers and t-shirt edition!


second person narrative is so good, synth. 


p.s. caseyfud fit is great. SF success story.

post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by Parker View Post

So close to an all blazers and t-shirt edition!



post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by Synthese View Post

Until then, it would make my life a whole lot easier if you slackers stopped taking cell-phone pictures of yourselves in unlit bathrooms and, at the very least, opted for natural light.

This is directed at me? It's directed at me. I can tell.

Eagerly awaiting the moment we realize that all the What this looks like: essays form a connected, if nonlinear, meta-narrative.
post #11 of 19
Thumbs up to this whole thread, awesome stuff as usual from Synth
post #12 of 19
So you still have the chance to get featured in one of these if you post something cool during your period of absence?
post #13 of 19
Funeral pile? Pyre?

love reading these, keep going!
post #14 of 19
I feel like I've finally made it.
post #15 of 19
Not only is your writing getting better, but the responses this week are some of the best – in particular, Regis and the Van Buren family blew me away.
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