Saturday, October 12, 2013
Needles and Thread and The Whole Damn Thing
Another project that's been floating my boat are shoe bags, and lots of them. Disgusted with clunky shoe boxes that allow cockroaches to move into and better than those shoe trees with their tiny pockets that won't accommodate your chunkier boots, your best bet is to simply sew a few awesome shoe bags. I like really radiant material that gleams as much as the boots inside.
Bijan was the ultimate Beverly Hills Persian made good and lived large, well, up until 2011, when he suffered a fatal stroke. But even his tragic passing could not forestall the continuous flow of billboards showing his deliriously happy smiling face. After his passing the billboard on the western side of SM and Sepulveda announced "The Legend...BIJAN!" with Mr. Pakzad smiling from the beyond, letting us know he's still keeping tabs on things in West LA. Now the billboard on the eastern side announced, "The Legacy...BIJAN!" with his young heir Nicolas cracking a similar goofy smile.
Hell, no! Two months passed by and the new billboards are out with the newer, au courant Bijan smiling reassuringly at us from both billboards, proclaiming, "BIJAN...Designer For Men!" Hope has returned to the Westside. Take that, Ralph Lauren!
The first book is "Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped And Smoothed" by tailor extraordinaire Richard Anderson. Bespoke is one of the best books written about menswear and is absolutely mandatory reading for anyone involved in the craft of tailoring at all.
Anderson goes into great instructional detail all through the book on how to best fit a suit or pants on someone with an uneven body - like 99% of us out there. He explains how to even out a higher shoulder or a lower leg and make everything perfectly fitted. There's a wealth of information in his book that you'll find indispensable, complete with an excellent glossary of tailoring terms. There's also a fairly amusing back story on Abercrombie & Fitch that has to be read to be believed!
The other gem is "Couture Hats" by Louis Bou. Couture Hats has page after page of avant garde hats that stand somewhere between the corner of Alexander McQueen and Paco Rabanne. Even if you're not crazy about hats in general this is still an excellent standalone fashion photography book.
Part of the enjoyment of Couture Hats is picking your favorite designer. My favorite milliner is Stephen Jones for his broad scope of versatility. His designs run the gamut from classic Forties Black Widow noir chapeaux to demented Mardi Gras nightmare chapeaus and beyond.
Both books are available wherever good books are sold and Couture Hats is available on Kindle, too. Both books are highly recommended by me, the man in the polka dot top and silver biker jeans. Aloha.