In I Rant You Read Mens Mens Clothing Mens Fashion

I Rant, You Read: Picking Out Your Own Clothes Is Apparently A Thing

There's something to be said about waking up one day to realize that you're seeing signs of the times.  I mean look at the late Summer 2017 hurricane season already with Harvey, Irma and the impending José and try to convince me that global warming isn't a 'thing'.  Look at the backpedalling, double-talking and hypocritically elementary speech the wafts out of 45's mouth and try to convince me that the media reports of a crumbling government and dodgy out of touch privileged politics are really fake news.  Look at mens fashion....wait a minute, look at mens fashion!  It's kind of all over the place.  Never before have men been massaged into whatever niche works for them than now with the immaculately bespoke, made-to-measure or off-the-rack tailored rubbing elbows with the DIY urban gym class heroes & detention slackers who hobnob with the modern floral-toting bedazzled rockstars that tout locs, grills and platinum Jesus-pieces.

I've spoken before about the state of modern menswear languishing in a state that womenswear has long enjoyed, but now I realize more and more how the aspect of modernity consistently aims to rewrite the dialogue of mens clothing.  Of course, you will always have your designers who write in their journal after the headlines have been heralded which is not to be downplayed since many men will only be able to afford such designers.  However, there seems to be a crop of creatives like Abloh, Gvasalia, Michele, Lorenzo, Rubchinskiy, Simons, et al who realize that not only do other designers' imitating what they propose have significance, but also the way in which the public interprets and absorbs the designs have great significance too in understanding social movements, thoughts, interests and tendencies.  

It seems that in the era of the public (and government) being suitably liberated to say and behave how they really feel, as unique or sheeplike as it may be, they've gained some power in dismantling the status quo.  Now more out of the hands of buyers, merchandisers and editors, the masses are using platforms like social media and social gatherings involving fashion, music and art to assert how loud they want to yell as opposed to being told how loud they should yell.  What we're winding up with is an extremely quick-paced system that is getting increasingly harder and harder to predict and that rides waves based on hype, collective synergism and individual creativity.  Hype needs influence & hysterical following and is not necessarily rooted in groundbreaking talent, collective synergism needs groups of creatives supporting a movement and individual creativity, as always, can just get lucky in marching to the beat of its own drum.  

We're seeing effects of this in how designers are proposing collections and the individual pieces in  those collections.  There's a push to just dismantle the old system of creating a highly merchandisable collection to just creating inspired unique pieces, no matter how questionable that inspiration is to some since they may only have the public's attention for a minute anyway.  Deliveries are becoming decided over at closer spaced-out dates due to the rapidly changing and restructuring social media environ and the often finicky, very persuadable and very visual public.  You get magazine spreads and decide what to wear and what not to wear everyday on your social media timelines.  Individual styling has become key in runway collections as designers realize that suggesting effective public re-interpretations of their clothing can clear the shelves while big-ticket red carpet arrivals share the stage with even a celeb shopping incognito and can become the next style-note to watch.  

Timing and being in the right place at the right time and surrounded by the right impressionable eyes has grown essential as its become not just what is donned but at what locale, at what event and by whom which then coincides with said person's current level of mass influence or cult-following.  To be everywhere at once and to know a little bit of everything about, well, everything is a daunting task and quite impossible, but I suppose that is why some of us tune-out in annoyance yet stay-tuned for the challenge.   

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In Comfort Foods Food and Drink Good Eats Vegan

Good Eats In The Land Of Yardage & Pleats: Bombay Sandwich Company Opens In the Garment District

What can account for quite an ordeal is traipsing through the land of textiles, trims and tailors.  Look to your left and there's silk specialists and look to your right and there lies the sultans of spandex.  Go up two blocks and cross the yellow brick road of Seventh Avenue and stumble upon alcoves of Swarovski, bugle, jet beads & buttons while venturing across the raging waters of Eight Avenue brings you to the valley of machine parts, dress forms and three-way mirrors displays.  Then in the midst of it all seamlessly binding together the warp and weft of it all stands the dozens of merchants, floors up and at at eye level, with fancy woven, knits & remnants offering the fulfillment of design dreams, production desires and costume wishes.  This is the magical Garment District, New York City's infamous land of fantasy and opportunity wrapped up in muslin and dotted pattern paper.  

A day in this land can work up an appetite and also work a nerve.  However, nestled at the start of this land on West 35th Street now lies a vegan/vegetarian beacon to rejuvenate, restore and revive called Bombay Sandwich Company.  Started by the banker-rocker-turned-chef Shiv Puri and his cover model-Bollywood-actress-turned-entrepreneur wife Shikha Jain, this is the company's second location in the city and a perfect one being in the busy garment district where many of the fashion-driven will seek sustenance to stay energized and sample sized.  What sets Bombay Sandwich company apart is the focus on Ayurvedic healing spices that the company's recipes entail.  Ayurvedic essentially means that you're getting great-seasoned taste and platform nourishment in the form of locally-sourced, organic and 100% GMO-free ingredients with a clean Indian and American sensibilities that appeal to all who wish to take comfort in knowing where their food comes from and what's in their dishes.

And just what is in the dishes at Bombay Sandwich Company?  Think simple and fresh like fennel, tofu, kale, sweet potato, apple, chick peas, nuts, sprouts, cabbage, quinoa, avocado, chilis, lentils, beets, ginger, carrots among other all-natural and clean ingredients.  What binds them together into a cacophony of culinary wonderment are the ayurvedic spices of turmeric, cardamom, cumin, fennel and asafoetida which all have various nurturing properties like being anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, energizing, detoxifying, digestive-friendly and fiber, potassium and iron-rich.  They offer great flavorful items for vegans and vegetarians that are also kosher and some items offer gluten-free options.  

So now you have a culinary respite in the midst of deciding whether to spend $10 a yard on the chintzy poly or the shiny rayon.  The midtown Garment District location of Bombay Sandwich Company is at 224 West 35th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues 212.564.8418 and is now open for business.

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In Comfort Foods Cooking Cucina & Amore Food and Drink

The Healthy Eat On-The-Go: Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meals

Since deciding to eat a vegan diet the main question I'm asked besides what made me decide to go vegan is "what do you eat?"  While it seems that almost everything today has an animal attached to it in some way, there is a growing array of foods that are becoming more known to folks and prepared without using anything from an animal.  However, I'm often faced with the third most asked question of "what do you eat when you just want something quick and fast?"  That has probably been the most tasking undertaking.  Finding fast without forsaking the health factor can be hard.  

This is why I find delicious discoveries like Cucina & Amore delightful.  Started by Ruth Wilkinson, a working mother who wanted more healthy meals for women like herself, Cucina & Amore offer up healthy foods that are easy to prepare and free of growth hormones and preservatives.  Music to my ears!  The company's new Quinoa Meal brings you a healthy whole grain base with a flavorful accompaniment and they keep it as easy as 1, 2, 3.

You get a cup of ready made white quinoa and a flavor cup on top.  Currently the four flavor cups to choose from are Basil Pesto, Spicy Jalapeño & Roasted Peppers, Mango & Jalapeño and Artichoke & Roasted peppers.  These cups have real ingredients will full flavors and when combined with the quinoa they are ready to eat or in after about 20 seconds in the microwave if you prefer it warmed up.  Also, there's no need to worry about getting the contents of the flavor cup into the quinoa cup.  Each package comes with a buildable spoon so you can have it anywhere you like; just set up the cup & spoon and its ready to go.  I've tried the mango & jalapeño and the artichoke & roasted peppers and I must say that each has their own specialness to it.  The heat and sweet of the mango & jalapeño dance nicely together while the tart kick of the artichoke is just plain lovely.  Its also very comforting to know that you're getting the goodness of a superfood like quinoa with such an easy rich meal free from all the crap that makes things last on the shelf longer than they ought to.

For where to buy Cucina & Amore Quinoa Meals and for more info on the company's products head on over to their website here.  

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