April 24, 2010

Think Mutual Bank Man

Vogue Hommes Japan Back Issues

This post goes out to Fabulous Florida Mommy (FFM) (who runs this marvelous blog) as she deserves full credit for helping me go about obtaining issues of Vogue Hommes Japan. After posting about the publication's then-upcoming fourth issue back in March, FFM kindly directed me (thank you!) toward the OPR website, which sells the biannual subscription for about $20/issue.

At the time, not only was I interested in obtaining the soon-to-be-released issue, but I was also intent on tracking down the magazine's previous three issues. Unfortunately, OPR didn't have any available to sell to me. But the fact that FFM had found me an online business that sold this specific magazine gave me hope that there'd be others offering what I was looking for.

Enter Magazine Cafe, a Manhattan magazine store that also has an online website for people like me...who live in the boonies...and find the foreign magazine selection at B&N quite upsetting and dismal. Although their asking price for an issue was slightly higher ($25/issue), a nice employee/owner(?) named Bhanu was able to sell me the first three issues. Not only was he great with answering emails, but when my actual order arrived, I found that somebody over there had taken the time to wrap the magazines and then place them in a sturdy box to ship. Now that's service! I've never been a fan of subscribing to US magazines for the very reason that they always come in a flimsy plastic wrap (if that sometimes!) and often times, there's holes and rips and creases in the magazines themselves on arrival. Call me OCD, but I prefer the luxury of going to a magazine stand in person and picking out that copy that sits in the way back that nobody's touched yet.

Anyway, so I have the first three issues of Vogue Hommes Japan, and I'm so thoroughly pleased with the content...I only wish I knew how to read Japanese! As a source of visual distraction, however, VHJ delivers. The editorial layouts are some of the most creative and stimulating I've seen in a men's fashion magazine, and the quality of the magazine in general rivals that of better women's Conde Nast foreign publications. The focus is definitely on progressive trends and the models who pull them off, which is very refreshing to see, given US options for men's reading have all this extra crap -- meant to reassure the average American dude it's okay to read a magazine with fashion features I'm convinced -- that just bogs everything down...full length articles not even related to menswear in addition to cooking recipes, lifestyle musings, sports...please, not for me...

I've yet to obtain the Spring 2010 VHJ issue that sparked my interest in this magazine and subsequently started me on this mini-adventure. FFM, my initial plan was to use OPR and save a couple bucks...but it looks like it's sold out already! So, it looks like I'll be going through Magazine Cafe again at least for the fourth issue...and before September rolls around, I definitely plan on getting a one-year subscription ;) Thanks again for your help, FFM!

The Fruits of My Labors

Spring is definitely in full swing here in Minnesota...too bad it'll only last for all of two weeks before the mosquitos arrive and the humidity sets in...actually, I don't mind the humidity. But on the upside, my crack at trying to boast a green thumb worked! Above are a set of tulips on their way into full bloom at my parent's place.

I sunk these bulbs into the ground last October on a whim...the bulbs themselves were cheap at Hy-Vee -- $3 for a box -- so I figured, why not...

I couldn't be happier with the results. I'm excited about the really dark purple ones (there's one in the above background)...too bad they're just not black altogether...if anybody comes across the existence of actual black tulips, let me know!

April 22, 2010

J. Crew May 2010 Catalog

THE MODELS ARE BACK for next month! After a two month hiatus where the men's sections of J. Crew's catalogs featured unfamiliar (albeit, often times still good looking) faces of the masses, I find it nice that the company has once again decided to advertise via the age-old tried and true method of dressing up individuals who are unbelievably gifted in terms of looks.

For example, the above page features classic mainstay RJ Rogenski on the left. As for the man on the right, can somebody either confirm this, or shoot me down completely, but is that Nathan Bogle? As in the Nathan Bogle formerly of Rag & Bone? And previously connected to Natalie Portman back in '07? He's been in so many issues of the J. Crew catalog at this point, and I've always secretly wondered all this time...

Final thought...any chance the men's spreads could get a bit more editorial flavor worked into them to match the women's pages? I absolutely love the creativity that goes into selling the women's merchandise...and I realize that whimsy doesn't necessarily appeal to the common man...but imagine if it did!

April 18, 2010

Marc by Marc Jacobs Black Multi Brushed Back Speckled Denim Half Kilt

Woe is me. How did I miss this one? Granted, it's my fault for not having perused images of the collection when they first went up online. Btw, does anybody out there besides me feel like the theme behind this MbMJ Resort 09 Mens collection was more cohesive and intact than normal? I'm really loving it -- the somber cool tones with splashes of fluorescence here and there, the leggings/long johns... But there's nothing quite as disheartening as discovering an item for the first time...except you found it on the sale page of Barneys, and it's already sold out :(

I want this kilt. Okay, so perhaps it's because I secretly want to look like Marc Jacobs himself and still need to play catchup to his kilt-wearing phase...but seriously, men don't have very many options when it comes to "skirt-ed" wear these days...and this piece would have been an awesome option.

Crossing my fingers that I can find it elsewhere online (a cursory look yielded zilch)...or perhaps GILT at a later date? Guys...some help here??

April 15, 2010

The J. Crew Vintage Splattered Sweatshirt, Part 2

I received the most wonderful package in the mail yesterday. And I wasn't sure if it was even going to come in the first place, so the surprise was most welcome. I've been coveting this piece since I first laid eyes on it at the beginning of the new year (backstory: HERE). Upon spotting this sweatshirt online at J. Crew, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical if I actually wanted it given the online rendition seemed a bit pared down with less details than the featured sample at the spring preview (backstory: HERE).

However, I figured I'd ultimately decide for myself and check out the piece in person given there was no indication that it was a catalog/jcrew.com only item. Unfortunately, when I went scouting around for it last week, I learned that most likely none of the Minnesota stores received the product! And by that time, the size I wanted had been sold out online for ages. But a very nice saleslady at the Rosedale Mall location not only called around the area stores for me, but also had me fill out a form to search for the piece nation-wide. What's the service called? I believe I read on JCA that it's called "We Will Find It." Shipping was free, and the lady even let me use my student status for a discount to sweeten the deal. Per her instructions, she noted that the search would be done, if nothing came up, then I'd get a phone call in a couple of days.

A couple of days passed, nobody called. I became hopeful.

So it appears the Natick Mall out near Boston had what I was looking for.

Upon opening the package, I can't say this enough (in fact, I've been blabbing about it to anybody who'll listen), but I was VERY very impressed with what I received. There's paint, there's bleach, there's holes and frayed edges, and there ARE actually elbow patches! -- one on each elbow done up in different proportions and shades. In total, the one I received seemed more detail-oriented than the one used for the online pictures. It's sold out online now, and that makes me even more satisfied to have secured one for myself (in the nick of time too! it made its way onto the spring sale page -- with only XL's left -- for the better part of a day before disappearing into oblivion...but I don't think searches are done on sale items, so, WHEW!)

I can't wait to wear this piece out this season on cooler days and casual nights.

Truly a novelty item.

April 4, 2010

Daniel Liu for J. Crew Fall Winter 2010 Presentation

Check out what Flashbang from tFS found from Habitually Chic! I think it's cool Mr. Liu has become a J. Crew regular.

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