In ALoft ALoft Harlem AloftHarlemDJSpinoff Deejay DJ New York City Events Toujoursfresh

Up or Downtown, The Wheels of Steel Go Round n Round: DJ Toujoursfresh and ALoft Harlem's DJ Spinoff

Not only do the freaks come out at night, but also the festivities.  I had the pleasure of seeing my good friend deejay the other night at the ALoft Lounge in Harlem the other night and I must say the evening was so New York.  

Friends, supporters and peeps who just needed a great drink and some smooth music came out despite the cold to one of Harlem's newest spots to get their grown and sexy drink, chill and listen on.  Harlem, once just as threatening as the word bedlam, has reinvented itself and while many scream cries of gentrification, I more hear a great collective shout out towards the melting pot that this city has always been known for.  

So on this Friday evening, my tequila was poured, my limes were cut and the turntables were spinning while I got my groove on and not just to support a friend.  When you work hard in the city and desire for the electricity that is New York City nightlife to flow from the Boogie down Bronx all the way to East New York Brooklyn, it's good to know that every neighborhood can offer you someplace to kick back and remember why the NYC isn't such a bad place after all.  

The son of Haitian immigrants, DJ Toujoursfresh, who was born and raised in Brooklyn showcased his honed musical ear on the ones and twos in Harlem to a geographical Motley Cruë of a crowd in attempts to become the lounge's next resident DJ for a month.  That's New York to me!  A common thread unites the masses all in the name of good time be it uptown, downtown, in the Heights or across the East River.  

So please check out the link below and vote for DJ Toujoursfresh by liking the video on ALoft Harlem's FaceBook Page.

#AloftHarlemDJSpinOff Like this video to vote for DJ Toujours Fresh for Best DJ Harlem.
Posted by Aloft Harlem on Monday, March 30, 2015

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In Mens Accessories Mens Clothing Mens Fall/Winter 2015 Review Mens Fashion Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York Fashion Week Rochambeau

When Cold Creeps In, Menswear Bites Back: Rochambeau Fall 2015 Menswear Collection Review

Given the state of this past winter in New York City I have officially dubbed any New Yorker who persevered through this manic depressive weather, a trooper.  However, not just a trooper of the 'braving the extremes' connotation, but also a trooper of visual sort.  With all the scarves and hoods and straps and things tucked in and layers to be revealed, my fellow natives this season have been donned up like they're ready for combat in subterranean regions more than just on their way from home to office.

While the consistent layering and peeling out may be more than a bit draining, this is the only time of year where more is necessarily better.  Or is it?  There's actually something quite attractive about knowing how to equip, how to layer and how to insulate what article where in order to achieve a nirvana between form and function.  That was what I took away from the Rochambeau Fall 2015 Mens Collection during fashion week.  Attractive, aggressive and attuned form that had function.

However, focus more on the attractive part.  Since the modern man wants to be warm like a Himalayan sherpa without actually looking like he swapped out his duffel bag for a pick axe.  The collection that Rochambeau designers Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper showed featured a melange of textiles that focus on winter, references that nodded towards utilitarian and styles that united the two in fresh ready-to-wear fashion.

Open weave textiles fashioned into cozy pullovers and oversized scarves were placed over airmen style trousers and mechanic suits.  Side release closures replaced traditional buttons and zips on trim tailored overcoats, vests and mechanic suits.  That warm looks didn't necessarily warrant a coat to get the message told more about the message of layering and defiantly approaching the cold weather.  Some stand out looks were a great handwoven sweater with matching pants, an oversized Rochambeau logo great shawl and and cool zip front long flight-style parka with a knit turtleneck attached.  

What was nice about the Rochambeau Fall 2015 Collection were that the masculine identifiers were not overwrought.  The collection was wearable, tactilely comfortable and easy to integrate into an already existing wardrobe.  The youthful verve of the collection was aggressive in styling, but didn't take away from what the designers were trying to convey.  Come this Fall, this will be a collection of great sportswear separates and realistic layers for a man attuned to style and staying warm while being in style.  Being cold and style-less do not go well together.

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In Mens Clothing Mens Fall/Winter 2015 Review Mens Fashion Mercedes Benz Fashion Week New York Fashion Week Skingraft women's fashion Womens Fall/Winter 2015

From The Mountains To Manhattan: Skingraft Fall/Winter 2015 Collection Review

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale of how a cult American designer made a highland culture look as cool as any metropolitan style aficionado stepping off the curb outside the Soho Grand.  Quite possibly it's not a tale nor is it a legend.  Well actually, it's certifiably not legend or tale since I had the pleasure of watching this merging of traditional ethnic lore with edgy downtown verve.  The incident was the Fall 2015 show from that mysteriously macabre label that breathes refreshing fashion air into the New York fashion scene, Skingraft.

The collection that Christopher Cota showed from Skingraft during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was in all parts amazing.  Mr. Cota has always had an excellent knack for merging great concept with forward patterns and clever shapes and he's only getting better.

Inspired by the young nomads trekking through the Peruvian mountains and local legends of otherworldly existence tucked away in the Andes, there were all kinds of references to charting celestial bodies and subtle nods to the geographically linear.  

The structural and almost liquid draped shearlings and leathers as well as wool jerseys and silks lent themselves nicely to the airy shapes in this collection.  Cota showed linear hand woven patterns in modern poncho-like silhouettes, cascading and fly-away toppers and one sweet mens toggle coat that's sure to be an editorial and retail winner.  He also created motifs out of leather with appliquéing on top of pieces for a nice textural monotone effect with depth.  The treatment of leathers as second skins kept the dark aesthetic alive with Skingraft while the fluid and oversized shapes created silhouettes that were both pleasingly forward and pleasantly familiar.

What's always nice from a Skingraft show, and especially this one, is the presence of clothing that's seasonally relevant but also packs the punch of longevity.  The concept is always there but not overly done or too literal to where it becomes costume-like or themed.  That's a modern way to dress with edge while incorporating classic and progressive shapes.  Not completely unsuitable for searching for extraterrestrials in the Andes or 2am cocktails in Tribeca.

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