Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bousai Zukin

Random Japanese knowledge, courtesy of Mrs Desu.

In Japanese primary schools, all children are asked to bring a "Bousai Zukin" (literally protective headcloth) to school. Used as a cushion for your seat in class, it doubles as a mantle to protect your head in case of fire or earthquake. You can bet that when baby desu comes along, he'll have an awesome fire-proof worsted for Monday through Thursday, and a 15oz Kurabou denim for Fridays.

The Hutch

Caz has requested I change the colours of ethandesu to be more legible. I hope this fits the bill.


Antiqued Chestnut - The Crockett & Jones Belgrave

Those that know me know I love leather - in all it's many forms, from reverse calf to cordovan, on shoes, jackets, small leather goods, furniture. I've also developed a penchant for caring for leather, whether it be the detailing and presentation of new leather or the restoration of old.

A pic of my Chestnut Belgraves that I had polished from new somehow turned up on ilikeitpreppy - I may have tweeted the image, I'm not sure - and I thought a progress shot of the same pair now that they have had some abuse and antiquing, polished and moisturised. Rather than go for a standard mid brown polish, I've tried to give these shoes more of an oxblood character by using burgundy wax. On a new shoe it gave it a cherry finish, light and shiny, as per the above image.
I'm a firm believer though that light leathers need to be nicked and scratched, then bulled into submission, so that the scratched in the leather take on more of the polish colour and give interest to the toe cap. With these Belgraves I have done just that - antiqued with black, polished with burgundy and finished with clear, in a continuing cycle of lustre.
I like the finish - I feel like I have a really well maintained pair of 20 year old shoes.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fortuitous Meetings

Recently my friends at P.Johnson met with my old friend Hiro at his store in Ginza. Below is taken from Hiro's daily blog at ginza-six

日、私29歳にしてGreatなFriendsがまた新たにできました!!幾つになっても友人が増えるって事は嬉しい事です。写真に写っている彼らは、私のお師匠さんのGreat Friend達、シドニーとメルボルンで展開するテーラー屋(フルオーダー)、“P.Johnson”のMr.Patrick(L)&Mr.Thomas(R)です(Patrick Johnson = P.Johnson…彼のお店ですね)。

“やっぱいいよなぁ、この感覚。言葉や文化、国籍、肌の色、背の高さ(写真参考)は違えど、一瞬にして心の距離を近づけられる、この”異文化”がコミュニケーションした瞬間。” そんな大げさな感覚でもないんですけど(笑)、でもなんか久しく味わっていない懐かしい感じがしました。


そしてふと私の方を見て、“僕ら、このジャージ素材のシャツジャケット作るよ!!豪州では買えないからね”と。そして、熟練テーラーの寸法を採る、彼らも自身の寸法を他のフィッターに採られる、”なんか不思議な気分だよ(笑)”と…as well as me。彼らがオーダーしたアイテムは、”鹿の子素材の4つ釦ダブル紺ジャケット”。袖口はあえて開け見せ状態にしておき、後から自分たちで開けると(本切羽状態)…なにやらこだわりがあるようで。出来上がりをお楽しみに!!


“Anyway,thank you for dropping by our shop, I spent a great time with you guys. Keep well and in touch, Cheers!! Hiro.Y”

Cleck Here → → →“P.Johnson”


Old fashioned

In life we are fortunate if we can find like minded people that have either been where we've been, or will one day get there. Time spent, drinks downed, advice given - often this is more important than any education you might get.
If you meet a mentor, or a protoge, be generous - it'll serve you well.

PG via the M8

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pikka pikka

I recently showed a pair of C&J Alex's that I had polished for a young man who is about to get married. By chance, a good friend was also getting married, and I thought to gift him a pair of the same shoes would be a nice way of sayin sorry for not being able to attend his wedding.
I put a few coats on these shoes, but J has taken it to another level. Good job, J - wish I could be there to see them walk down the aisle.

Friday, November 19, 2010


My Randonnee from Louis Vuitton. I bought it in '98 or '99 I think. It travelled with me everywhere, and was my daily bag when I lived in Japan. It's been abused, worn through, painted on, written on, had beer bottles break inside it. I have a Sen to Chihiro keitai toy attached that is hanging on by the barest threads. Truly well travelled, and it looks all the better for it. A great contrast next to my newly polished C&J Cliffords.

Thanks to PG for the pic, craftily lifted from somewhere and posted by Ilikeitpreppy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Facing hard decisions just lately...

desiderata - by max ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

Saturday, November 13, 2010


True style starts young.

Photo, and style, from

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Ride

De Rosa Giro D'Italia Art Deco Series

Tokyo Bike Sydney

Tokyo Bike - a Japanese Bike store in Sydney. My good friend Wing is there, and if he says it's the business, I am ready to believe him.

Tokyo Bike
1 Marys Place
Surry Hills NSW 2010



Some amazing light in Sydney today….

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On photo credits and reposting...

I'm sure this is a delicate subject for some, and an area of courtesy and etiquette where there is no real rule book, but I thought it worth my while to post my thoughts and maybe stir up some debate.
As someone who predominately uses original content, I feel quite proud of the development in my photography and content. As someone who works in the clothing industry, the images I present, and what I try to convey online is an extension of my professional persona. To have that usurped without credit can be incredibly frustrating, especially when there are people out there seeing my images and wanting to know more.

I like the wave of reblog rolls out there, particularly on tumblr. Speaking to my good friend mostexerent, he said something pertinent - it is amazing how refined an eye some of these bloggers have. They are sorting through everything the web has to offer, eschewing the dross and presenting the gems, beautifully curated. But as someone working at getting original content up - please show some respect and offer credits.

Shades - Most Exerent

PG's supremely sharp vintage Ray Ban aviators.

Patrick Johnson

"Praise from Caesar is praise indeed" is a favourite expression of mine, so anyone who comes recommended by the god of ties - Mr Michael Drake - is someone I want to meet. And today I did.

Patrick Johnson is an Adelaide born Sydneysider, by way of London and Holland. A tailor by way of wine making, and a fantastic guy by way of his general being. Operating out of Paddington in Sydney and another store in Melbourne, Mr Johnson is passionate about men's clothing, and shares my belief in educating the next generation of stylish and classically dressed young men with product that is accessable and service that is never pushy.

Ranging from $1500 and up, Mr Johnson's Made to Order suits are available with all the bells and whistles to keep the younger generation excited, but all the fit and classicism to give them something their boss will admire. Shoulders are light but still have a sense of regality, the quarters closed enough to ignore trends, and the overall feel a perfect blend of Sydney and Lago di Como.

Patrick Johnson

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Chewie's ability to mix patterns amazes me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


It's all about fresh fruit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Polished - The Crockett & Jones Alex

A version of a wholecut made on the 348 Last - Crockett & Jones' longest and most Italianate last - the Alex is much like the Edgware, but pared back to it's cleanest and most elegant line.

This pair was specially ordered by a young gent getting married in a fortnight, and I figured a polish is the least I could do to have them dinner suit ready. Along with a bespoke square end bow tie I produced, I really feel that I have invested some effort into making sure he looks the part on his big day. And there is something extremely satisfying about that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lives of quiet desperation

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…"

Henry David Throeau

Monday, November 1, 2010


My old pair of C&J Audleys - looking the business still after many years.

Being an avid reader of the exploits of my friend over at mostexerent, I am struck by how often the issue of value vs price comes into play, and agree fully with PG's succinct explanation of it;

"There really is no cheaper alternative. You get what you pay for. "

Pg hits the nail on the head here for me in an issue that I think more and more defines the sort of peron you are - living within your means is the most liberating stance you can take in the evolution of your style, but to live within your means doesnt mean settling for what is cheapest, it means having less but having better. A single great cigar, once a month, with one great meal is better than a hundred cheap smokes. Likewise with clothing, to be "cheap" often does you more disservice in the way you treat your own things. If you have two great pairs of shoes and three well cut suits, all of which you treat with something like reverence for the joy they bring you to wear, you will always look sharp.

So, for myself at least, after many years dealing with all things classic menswear, I have come to this conclusion - cheap is always just cheap. Less, but better, is the path of the quality man.