Diane Von Furstenberg is a funny lady. I don't really consider her a great designer, but she's an entertaining, even inspiring personality. She has lived a seemingly blessed life: married to a prince, a star of Studio 54, and now a billionaire who's built an international business around a god damn clingy dress. I recently visited the exhibition 'Wrap 40: Celebrating the dress that started it all,' at LACMA in Los Angeles and took a few pics. I was impressed by the show, it's real splashy. They pulled no punches displaying over 100 dresses, along with Warhol's prints of Diane and photos of her by Chuck Close and many other artists.
'Brother's Sisters Sons & Daughters' is part of Barneys S/S '14 Campaign
I have been a fan of Bruce Weber‘s work for more than thirty years. From his portfolio of Olympic athletes shot for Interview Magazine in 1984 to his remarkable film Let’s Get Lost and on to his countless fashion editorials and ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren and the like. He can do no wrong by me. Bruce is legendary. He pulled out all the stops, using his diverse palette of talents to produce his latest campaign: Brother’s Sisters, Sons & Daughters for Barneys‘ Spring 2014 campaign shot with 17 disarming transgendered individuals. In addition to a classic print strategy the campaign also entails 4 short films directed by Weber that speaks to, and about, the beautiful lives of these brave individuals.
Weber shot the campaign in New York City with the “models” surrounded by family friends and loved ones. “By depicting these human connections Weber was able to represent both the struggle and triumphs a trans person may face in relation to their gender identity”
The campaign is in support of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the The Center in NYC. Hats off to Barney’s for using this opportunity to raise awareness and funds for the trans community by donating 10% of all sales from its 11 flagship stores and barneys.com on Feb. 11th to the two aforementioned organizations. The executive director of the NCTE says it best: “Brother’s Sisters Sons & Daughters is a powerful statement about how much closer transgendered people are to full social acceptance and will push us that much closer.” The four shorts left me speechless, but in a good way. Have a watch below, I love love loved them.
“I Never Thought This Could Happen”
“Katie + Arin”
“Not Your Usual Bedtime Story”
The men’s underwear line YUASA's latest campaign
The New York City based men’s underwear and loungewear line YUASA started a new social media campaign a couple weeks ago called #hangloose. YUASA sent boxers out to a few of the top mens modeling agencies in NYC, including Wilhelmina, Red, Fusion and Re:Quest. They requested the agencies to take photos of some of their boys in the boxers. Then later YUASA posted the pics on their instagram (@yuasastudios).
Michael Yuasa, the founder of the company explained to me that “the hashtag is hangloose because your balls hang loose in boxers as opposed to briefs which they are held tight.” That’s a true statement, it’s also freeing to wear boxers, especially if they are as short and modern as these. The boxers are also perfect to wear as shorts, when it’s really hot out, I wore a black pair out last summer and I felt very comfortable.
Check out some of the models below wearing YUASA undergarments, they look very sexy wearing them (I dare you to try and look at the pics and not imagine their balls hanging loose). The boxers are available in a few different colors and you can purchase a pair at yuasastudios.com and at International Playground.
GAYLETTER's co-creator gets suited by Paul Marlow
A few months ago I came to the conclusion that I needed a suit that fits me correctly. I’ve never owned a classic suit that I could wear often without people getting sick of it. Cheap suits don’t fit me well (I don’t have model proportions) and I also have high standards when it comes to fashion. Unfortunately I can’t really afford full price Raf Simons, Jil Sander or Prada at the moment.
I heard from a friend about where to get a great suit, so he introduced me to Paul Marlow at a social event, who’s the former Creator and Designer for Loden Dager — and he’s now on his own in the custom suit business. As he explained to me “I started making suits 3 ½ years ago, so when we closed Loden Dager, I shifted my focus. I opened the studio last May to receive customers.” At Paul Marlow made to measure suits start at $1800 and his custom fabrics are beautiful. “I design five fabrics each season, the rest are sourced from wool mills around the world. Mainly Italy and England. But now and then Scotland and Japan.”
I went with Tom to select my fabric, you know this is a big decision, so I really needed to go with someone that I trust — I left with two small samples of fabric and later that day 5 drinks in, I made my final decision. I texted my mother a photo of my selection and she felt strongly about what I chose; she always knows what’s right. Paul gave me lots of information about everything I needed to know, his customer service is on point, “once the appointment is set, customers come to me and we talk about the use of the suit, or the occasion for the suit. We talk about fit and details, and then discuss fabrics. The measurement process alone takes around 20 minutes so the first meeting is usually 45 minutes to an hour.”
It doesn’t take that long to get a suit, which is perfect, because there’s way too many events I need to go to to be waiting on an outfit. “From the time the fabric is available, it is five weeks until the second fitting. And the final alterations are made, usually within a week.” I went to two fittings and brought with me photographer Daniel Moss to record this experience on film…
Paul’s suits are on the slim side, they are “classic, modern and minimal — The key is in the details and during the fittings we discuss each part of the suit to the specifications of each customer. No two customers have chosen the same details.” A few weeks later, I decided to put my suit on and visit a few classic landmarks in NYC. First off, Lincoln Center, where we had to run out quickly because the guard told us that we didn’t have a permit and he said it looked like it was a fashion shoot. We managed to casually sneak a few photos anyways…
Then we headed to Central Park…
To inquire about a custom suit, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: paul-marlow.com
A capsule collection of athletic wear designed by queer artists & produced by PRINT ALL OVER ME.
Print All Over Me & queer artists for the Russian LGBT Community
If there exists a singularly fitting way to describe the press surrounding the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, it is probably best labeled as a complete and utter shit show. First there was open speculation about the inconceivable $51 billion price tag for the games (to compare: the last Winter games in Vancouver in 2010 cost a mere $7 billion).
Then there were the October and December suicide bombings in Volgograd, prompting massive questions of safety for the athletes that will be traveling en masse to the Russian resort city come February 6th. And then there’s the linchpin that helped set off the entire press storm: the repulsive federal laws passed last summer that nationally banned “homosexual propaganda,” essentially shutting down all public expression of homosexuality in Russia with threat of imprisonment and thus giving openly gay athletes and politicians reason to fear for their safety while participating in the Olympic games for reasons other than terrorism.
In response to this widespread persecution of the LGBT community in Russia, make-it-yourself clothing company Print All Over Me has commissioned a group of queer artists to design a capsule collection of athletic wear in time for the opening ceremony of the Sochi games next month. The collection of track suits are each uniquely designed by a different artist, including Jack Pierson, Jibz Cameron, David Benjamin Sherry, Ryan McNamara, Kalup Linzy, Wardell Millan, Christian Dietkus, and many more. As a symbol of support, all of the proceeds of the capsule collection are directly benefitting the Russian LGBT Network, a human rights organization providing social and legal services to the Russian LGBT community.
A launch party for the collection will happen at Louis B. James on February 7th from 7:00-9:00PM to coincide with the opening ceremony. What better way to say ‘fuck you’ to Russia’s anti-gay legislation than sporting it on your chest?
The pieces will be available for sale here, the day of the event.
Coming soon to GAYLETTER
For all you men on the go who are looking for a good canvas tote I have a suggestion you’re gonna love. Fashion Designer Abigail Lewis has created ‘The Selvage Denim Tote,’ it’s a 100% cotton tote, created with a stiff dark denim. I have been using this bag for a couple months now and it’s shape has not changed. In fact it has become my to-go bag for professional meetings and train rides around NYC. I can fit my iPad, my notebook, a few publications, a bottle of wine, my eyewear case, all my winter accessories in it at once.
The great thing about this bag is that it looks expensive, and you can throw it over almost every outfit — you’ve probably heard people say before “denim goes with everything,” I agree with that, but only if the denim is dark. In addition, this bag is minimalist, sleek, masculine (for those of you that have issues with carrying a women’s purse) and if it gets dirty no one will really notice.
New age, no age, or none age. K-HOLE, NYC based trend forecasters, have a lot to say about the time we are living in. Let me just say they have us read. Thanks to the Internet our age lacks individuality. Lucky for us they have teamed up with Brooklyn based skateboard company Mood to do something about that. Together the two have designed a t-shirt that addresses an arising issue for skateboarders: SD vs HD video recordings. I wasn’t aware there it was a debate going on, but I guess you learn something new every day. The shirt is available to buy online here. You can celebrate the collaboration with K-HOLE and Mood at the MoMA PS1 Print Shop (22-01 Jackson Ave. Long Island City, NY) this Sunday, November 17th at 6:00PM. I dare you to miss it. —ALEX PENA