Monday, September 28, 2015

Home Office

I tend to be a bit messy in my arrangements but they all have a purpose:

The things that I leave undone, I tend to leave out and visible in hopes that I'll find further inspiration for them, if not from them.  My mantra is "organized chaos."  I'm constantly looking to make nothing into something and everything else into something more.

- Esoteric

Friday, June 19, 2015

Raw Denim Art Project part 2: The Wash Recipe

I have been along this journey to becoming a denim aficionado for over a year or so with my A.P.C. Petit New Standard Jeans which I first mentioned in a post from last year.  I apologize for missing the opportunity to update the blog with pictures of the 6 to 8 months or so aging process but don't worry they will be included in this post.

Nevertheless today we will be once again highlighting my A.P.C. jeans after the first wash using the "seawater recipe" mentioned in the A.P.C. informational packet included with each pair of their raw selvage denim jeans.  I purchased these jeans in March 2014 and this wash took place at the end of May 2015.  I wore them somewhat frequently--up to four times a week.  I normally try to get at least two wears in them each week.  These jeans went through some custom tailoring and some in-home repairs due to a small, and then later, nasty crotch blow-out after a skateboarding accident.  The tailoring job was to increase the taper and slightly decrease the leg opening making them more of a true skinny jean.  You can see the tailoring and damage repair below:

After roughly 8 months of wear

The damage is mainly attributed to biking

Fixing the initial small hole

Once I got the fit right, I really got into wearing these frequently in my rotation along with a black pair of A.P. C. New Standards which I also took to altering.  They unfortunately suffered a much more severe skateboard accident that my amateur tailoring skills will not attempt to correct.

A.P.C. New Standard's all but destroyed (front)

A.P.C. New Standard's all but destroyed (back)

The jeans have endured countless bike rides on hot summer days to freezing cold ones in winter.  I skateboard in these and have even climbed a mountain (ok, really tall hill) in Montréal in these jeans.  They've been through quite a bit in 3 different countries.

Alas, we get to the subject of this post:  The Seawater Wash Recipe.  As most first-time raw denim buyers who purchase A.P.C. jeans, the idea of having wash recipes may seem daunting.  I read through each wash recipe--Machine Recipe, Semi-Extremist Recipe, Extremist Recipe, and Seawater Recipe--and thought which one best suits my personality?  I looked at the seawater recipe and said, "what does this even mean?" That was my queue to run with it.  I could sit here and explain it all, but here's a visual aid instead:

Finally here is a couple of the post-wash photos along with the a better view of the custom fit:

I like the way that they came out and look forward to more years of wear on these and the next raw denim addition to my line up.

- Keilon

Sunday, June 14, 2015

DIY Style: Military Meets Casual

Army Casual
As most people already know, I'm all about the Do It Yourself lifestyle in most every sense of the word.  At the same time, I can definitely appreciate the quality and craftsmanship that goes into a well-designed often-times expensive garment.  I usually don't mind paying a little more money for exactly what I want. However, I much prefer an article of clothing that I can say that I customized and/or created.

One such garment project that I recently completed consists of what was originally a Topman denim jacket that I purchased a few years back in Chicago.  It's been through quite a bit and the light blue look has turned into an all out bleached/washed out  look.  One hot New York summer day, out of desperation and heat exhaustion coupled with the fact that I didn't want to find a new button and rivet for the cuff, this garment was transformed into a vest:
Topman Jean Jacket

The second piece to this project is a military standard issue uniform hood from the Field M-1943 uniform initially rolled out to U.S. Army troops in Italy in 1943:
Field M-1943

I came across a bin of these hoods in a Brooklyn thrift store.  My only regret is that I didn't buy the entire bin.  At the same time, due to age, and the war time conditions under which these garments were worn, it was hard to find a piece that didn't already have too much "character (ie. Holes, and questionable stains that I don't think anyone wants to know the true story behind).

apologies for the emo expression

I originally planned to attach buttons to the interior of the vest's collar to line up with original holes of the hood, but instead opted for a more permanent and less rain permeable option of sewing the hood into the lining.  This would serve me better on the days that I enjoy long walks in the summer rain (which is more often than one might imagine).

And now a brief interlude featuring the sewing process:

the process

artisan hands

trying to get the line straight

And voila...the finished piece:

front view

not pictured, I added a new button to close the hood for wind resistance

All in all, I think that the piece came out nicely and it's given new life to an older piece in my wardrobe that keeps reinventing itself for.  Maybe in two more  years, I'll re-attach sleeves to it.  On never knows.

As always, feel free to leave me praise or criticism in the comments section.  Thanks for reading

- Keilon
layered look for the streets of Montréal

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Quelquefois je juste pense tout le jour et les autres temps je juste fais tout le jour.  Où est le balance?

Sometimes I just think all day and other times I just do all day.  Where is the balance?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Made in Brooklyn

Over the past few years I have been honing my craft for creativity in visual arts, merchandising and curation.  More specifically, for the past year or so I've been working more on tailoring and garment making.  My projects have taken me from dressmaking, to denim repair, repurposing leather, and accessories creation.

My latest work has been with handmade accessory pieces using different fabrics, including, denim, wool, leather and silk.  Though I will be creating items for sale soon, the main goal is to create quality items that I am proud to display and/or add to my wardrobe.  I find the experience of seeing your thoughts and ideas coming to fruition in the form of a product or good to be quite rewarding; even more so when you can be directly involved in every step of the creation from inception to conceptualization to the finished product.

For my latest endeavor, I decided to seek out fabrics to make the perfect scarf for a perfect winter day.  I thought of what feels good? looks good? and still keeps you warm.  That led me to marrying silk with wool.  Neither of these two fabrics was perfect on their own for the weather, but when combined together they are perfect.  Feel the silk against your skin and leave the wool fight the element.  The bordering edges that reveal the two fabrics in harmony creates beautiful luxe aesthetic.  The silk against your skin not only feels soothing but it insulates and regulates, to a certain extent, your body temperature allowing you to stay warm while not overheating.  The suiting wool that I sourced gives a very premium look to garment without losing the strength of the fabric to fend off the cold.  It's not much more to say about it, besides it is truly perfect for the season.

Have a look at a bit of the creative cut'n'sew process:

A good pair of scissors is clutch
steady hands are a plus...
...but not a necessity as long as you can sew cleanly.
always be sure to find the front-side of your silk before sewing

Classic Plaid
Understated Grey

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

With the coming of a new year comes the renewed interest and the nostalgia of beginning things anew. We see it plastered everywhere; "New Year, New Me," gym memberships get purchased, we start blogs *shrugs*, we commit wholeheartedly to starting fresh.  We do and say these things consciously but unconsciously we are still the same people that we were a few hours ago before the champagne headaches wear off and we tiptoe out of an unfamiliar residence, leave NYE religious ceremonies, get off of work, etc.

Personally, I'm not the type to ever make a New Year's resolution.  My resolve will simply remain to do more of the things that I do well and to travel more this year than the year before. Travel to me is not about going on vacation. It's is about seeing what the world has to offer while reinvesting myself into the local fabrics of the communities in which I traverse.  I seek to learn firsthand everything that I've been taught or taught myself through reading, through observation on tv and online, and through oral tradition and secondhand accounts.  I will continue to open avenues and platforms to the outside world in order to exchange ideas.  This year I seek to continuously expand my circle to those who share similar and opposing views.  My ceremonial toast is to the struggle and the journey which make life beautiful.

To me the destination is always less than all that is obtained through the experience of your travels.  Arrive and acquire the tools and skills which you desire to carry onwards.

- Esoteric

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Night with Jeff Koons!

The Whitney Museum of American Art is pretty popular on a Friday night! And rightly so, seeing as the policy of “pay-what-you-wish” is in effect. This particular evening, I went to see the JEFF KOONS: A RETROSPECTIVE 1978-NOW.

Going in, I didn’t know too much about the artist and I wasn’t prepared for a few things I saw. It’s not all shiny dogs and blow-up flowers! There are some cute, family friendly things to see and also a few adult-only pieces (you’ve been warned!)

There’s so much stuff, I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll just highlight a few of my favorite pieces. From the Antiquity collection I fell in love with the Balloon Venus and the Pluto and Proserpina sculptures. Seeing these historical sculptures brought up to date in a modern medium and vibrant colors lends fresh perspective to a younger generation and also if replicated at about half the size would be welcomed additions to my room.

Balloon Venus (front)

Balloon Venus (back)

I also enjoyed the Made in Heaven collection; 1. for its openness, (the is the exhibit that isn’t for the kids) showing lovers in sexually explicit situations, literally and metaphorically. Reason 2. for the different mediums that were used there are large screen printed photographs, glass sculptures with splashes of color and polychromed wood. Oh! I can’t forget the random shaggy dogs, cats, butterflies and sparkly marble self-portrait busts.

In any case, when visiting this exhibit there is never a dull moment! You’ll see images that remind you of your childhood (superheroes and play-doh) and things that may remind you of summertime fun or your own mortality (inflatable bunnies and flowers). So, if you are in the NYC area or have plans to visit before October 19, 2014, I strongly encourage you to take some time to check it out.

Pluto and Proserpina