Michael Crichton mentions the city in his book “Travels” (1988)
There are few sights as exciting as landing in Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong at night. The mountains, the water, the lights of the buildings make it magical, like flying into the center of a glowing jewel. I was tremendously excited as I looked out the window. And then to step off the plane and be assailed by the smells — that peculiarly Asian combination of sea water, dried fish, packed humanity — my excitement increased tenfold. And during in a taxi through the city, past the open, brightly lit stalls, people squatting on the pavement, working, all the street life — fantastic! I had never seen anything like this!
I arrived at the Peninsula Hotel, and it appeared to me the grandest in the world. There was nothing in Europe like this. Everything was subtly different. There were white-liveried people on every floor to help you. The rooms were sumptuous. And in the elegant marble bathroom there was a carafe of drinking water, and a little sign saying that you shouldn’t drink the tap water. Fabulous! Exotic! This combination of expensive marble and the little sign! Europe had nothing like this!
I went to sleep blissfully happy.
I awoke the next day ready to see Asia. Guidebook in hand, I walked the streets of Kowloon, then took the Star Ferry to Victoria. I wandered, enjoying all the street activity. Then I went to the Central Market, thinking markets are always good to look at, a good orientation to how people live. I’d always enjoyed seeing the markets in rural France and North Africa.
The Central Market was a two-story open concrete structure with tiled surfaces. The place smelled like a morgue. They were slaughtering chickens and small animals right on the street. I saw one man slice open a pig’s intestines on the sidewalk, and sluice out the ruffled inner surface with a garden hose.
Suddenly I was exhausted. I had to go lie down. It was jet lag, catching up with me. I returned to my hotel and slept several hours.
That afternoon I took a taxi to Aberdeen, on the other side of Victoria. In those days Aberdeen was a spectacular place, a giant boat basin where thousands of people lived. I hired a boat and went for a tour of the basin. It was terrific to see the vignettes of life on the boats. I was excited again. Afterward I went to the onshore market in Aberdeen, where the boat people purchased their food.
The Chinese place great importance on fresh food. I would often see a Chinese woman carrying a plastic bag filled with water, with a live fish swimming inside it; this, I was told, was her family’s dinner, kept fresh to the last minute.
A brilliant piece directed by Gianluca Migliarotti, O’Mast is a documentary that shows you everything beautiful about Neapolitan tailoring. I remember attending the New York screening with a packed audience. Had to stand at the back throughout its entirety, but it was well worth it.
Wharf Clothing & Wares is one of the few, if not the only, rather comprehensive menswear stores around Providence. They stock a good bunch of mainly outdoors-inspired and American brands, denim, outerwear, and shoes/boots.
Something a little different this time was to style these inherently American pieces only on Asian college students here in Providence. I just wanted to see how everything would look. Nothing up to par as the venerable Black Ivyof course, but still something different from what we see all the time on the interwebs, I hope.
Last week Agyesh invited me to stop by Isaia’s New York showroom. Having only seen most of their stuff online prior to this, it was great to finally have a feel of their registered burgundy tartan and appreciate the general grandeur of what Leonardo Genova has cooked up for this fall. Genova, who primarily focuses on the fabric development of the Neapolitan brand, has really brought something new to the table while staying true to a classic archetype in menswear.
Hopefully the photos manage to capture at least some of the genius behind Isaia, and no doubt did Agyesh do a brilliant job of styling all the mannequins on display. The next time you see that Red Coral on someone’s lapel, you know what’s up.
Although Ascot Chang is a Hong Kong-based bespoke shirtmaker, they have two other stores in America. One in Beverly Hills and the other in Manhattan. I stopped by their store on Central Park South recently to see how things were going, and what struck me was the spacious setup they had compared to their other stores in Hong Kong.
Ascot Chang still prides itself first and foremost as a custom shirtmaker, however this time I went there there was also a solid variety of Isaia RTW. Some awesome neckwear from Breuer as well as a great selection of other accessories for the well-dressed. They also do bespoke PJs and silk robes, yo.
As the WSJ recently revealed Drakes’ buyout by The Armoury, I’m sure some people had their doubts about it. Some of you probably saw this as a sellout by one of the world’s best tie manufacturers. You aren’t to blame, since after brands such as Gieves & Hawkes and Kent & Curwen were bought by a Hong Kong properties developer, both brands were then mass-marketed in Asia pretty much with a purely profit-driven business model. Rest assured, I’m quite certain this won’t be the case for Drake’s.
To be honest, I can’t think of anything more appropriate and deserving than what has happened. The guys at The Armoury are individuals who care about what they do. They fucking love it. They’re a rare breed in the industry. As Michael Drake would “turn down things that might make money if [he] didn’t want to do them,” so would the guys at The Armoury. It’s romantic and comforting that there are people who care about quality and would go to great lengths in order to uphold high standards of craftsmanship. I saw a Prada knit tie today that costs more than one by Drake’s. Personally, I think you should get shot if you chose the former. You can’t trust all luxury brands these days.
Enough talk. Check out some of the pics by Dev, the homie, from a recent visit to their new store in Savile Row. Just glancing at their recent pieces, you can only expect greater things from Michael Hill – head designer at Drake’s. Aside from that, thanks to Jake, Augustine, Chris, and Lal for showing us around. (Excuse us if some photos are blurry, but it’s sprezzy like that)
Been working on this for a while. Hope you do stop by on Thursday to check it out. Means a lot for the “made in Hong Kong”.
Cocktail party launch Thursday, August 11 6 – 9.30pm
G.O.D. Central Store 48 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
RSVP Jordan Mak 92362251 email@example.com
Colonial Goods is proud to present a three-way collaboration with Goods of Desire (G.O.D.) and the Lee Kung Man Knitting Factory (L.K.M.). The essence of this project is to re-introduce a classic T-shirt with much heritage, while showcasing the craftsmanship and traditional methods of production behind a quality product still made in Hong Kong.
The T-shirts are made from vintage tubular-knitting machines dating back to the 1950s at the L.K.M. factory in Hong Kong. L.K.M. – one of Asia’s oldest operating mills – is among the few remaining factories worldwide in possession of such rare machinery. Due to the unique features of such antique knitting hardware and the time-consuming knitting process, the 100% Swiss cotton garments are unmatched in fineness of fabric as well as comfort. From Bruce Lee to the average tea-house goer in the 1960s, this T-shirt was undeniably an iconic staple of the past.
The tshirts will be available in two iconic styles: The “Roundneck” and the “Henley”.
I recently stumbled on a section on Getting Beat Like You Stole Something. I’ve chosen a few excerpts below lest they are lost on the interwebs. It’s run by Jon Moy, one of the three guys behind Run of The Mill. If you already don’t know, Run of The Mill is a small private label which focuses on small collections and footwear. I wouldn’t do them justice to talk about the brand here, but the guys who run it are really doing it first and foremost because of their devotion for quality garments. When people ask me who I turn to for inspiration or motivation in what I do, name-dropping industry magnates is so previous level. Instead, take a closer look at people you see everyday around you. Individuals who are going out on a limb either to support their family, run a business, or building a brand to share products they’re passionate about.
Anyway, I screwed up and missed out on their spread collar oxfords. But there’s always hope in #Menswear. Come fall, I hear they’re cooking some suede joints to make feet sexy for the masses.
I really do love when girls dress like this. It’s not because her boat shoes could be navy chromexcel joints. Not because she has her hair in the one style that is certified boy kryptonite. Nor that she realizes a little collarbone can be the sexiest thing in the world. It’s the pants. A lot of people would consider them to be ‘unflattering’. I love when girls wear ‘unflattering clothes’-drop crotches, over sized military jackets, mens oxfords, all that gear. I feel like I enjoy this style so much because from my perspective, it takes more confidence to wear something that others may see as a little wonky fitting or too far outside the box rather than something you know you look smashing in. And nothing, nothing is better than a girl with confidence and a nice smile. But then again, I feel like this woman knew she looked amazing in this gear. How could she not? Look at her. So who knows. All I know girls, is a little bit of clever goes farther than a whole lotta cleavage.
While we always notice the girl with the outlandish outfit on, we always want to fall in love with the girl in the simple shirt and braid. If girls ever realize how much we love a simple braid, I’m pretty sure there’d be no other hairstyles. In fact, if girls knew how much we love everything about them they’d be incorrigible.
You see this girl at that random hipster launch party you go to “just ‘cause there’ll be free booze” and not because pretty girls like this go to hipster parties. I’d like to think I’d run into her at the bar, and we’d have that “Man, aren’t hipsters the worst?” conversation. Then I’d make up an awesome lie that’s hard to disprove like “Hey girl, I’m the guy behind Fuck Yeah Menswear.” And her pretty little hipster self wouldn’t be able to resist me after that. Just kidding, I would never lie to a pretty girl at a party. I’d just stand with the dudes I came with and smile awkwardly when she looks over. I’ll think it’s cause I’m looking extra crispy, but it’s probably due to the fact that me and all the other guys have our jeans rolled up the same way.