Monday, June 27, 2011

Wear vintage leather..

Leather jackets are awesome. Joey Ramone knew this. General MacArthur knew this. James Dean knew this and so did Steve McQueen. Over their history they've come to symbolize authority and the counterculture alike. Adopted by the military, rock and roll and biking movements, leather jackets have become an important part of modern fashion, worn by men and women of all ages.

Leather jackets, like most items of clothing, have evolved greatly over time. Owing to an extensive military and later, biking history, different styles of leather jackets have been created to satisfy various utilitarian and protective needs by these two groups. These can be seen with the styles of the bomber, moto, rider, double rider, roadmaster and various other older jacket styles. 

However, these jackets, the ones worn and popularized by the Ramones, Brando and others during the 60s and 70s for some reason or another got lost in the shuffle and, although maintaining popularity, began to be outsold by bland leather jackets designed with minimal, generous and frankly, boring cuts. This effect, which I'm going to call the "Danier effect" led to the increased popularity in the types of leather jackets. Danier and many other popular leather goods stores dropped many of the utilitarian, protective and stylish elements of leather jacket design in favor of neutral, spaciously cut boring jackets that appealed to aging baby boomers.

Although these now ubiquitous designs are certainly popular I feel that some of the older jacket designed with history and style in mind are a much more interesting choice. These jackets can be found and are made by a lot of different companies but they are normally fairly expensive. Which brings me to vintage leather. There are a lot of benefits to buying vintage leather. First and foremost is that leather jackets made in the 50s, 60s and 70s are almost guaranteed to be, although oftentimes heavily worn, made from much higher quality leather and hardware than modern leather jackets, especially those less than 600$.  On top of that leather is one of the those materials that can benefit from age and develops a beautiful patina over time with wear and stress. Something that buying a brand new or pre-distressed leather jacket cannot provide. Add this to the fact that vintage leather jackets normally have very interesting designs and that leather itself is a tough, resilient material and buying vintage leather really makes a lot of sense.

just never ever wear leather blazers

and when in doubt do whatever bowie did

Seriously, this is some funny shit...

           Hilariously, when we were doing our daily commute from St. Philip's, this is what we saw at 6:45am

Photos credit: CBC Newfoundland
We were basically asleep and forgot to take a photo when we saw these spectacular signs this morning. Glad CBC was there to witness this fantastic sign pranks
Kudos to the culprit!

Model Citizens Latest Ad for The Scope

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fantastic Video From Downtown St. John's

If you don't know Mark Bragg's music or you are a fan, check out this amazing video shot in beautiful downtown St. John's, Newfoundland. I am such a huge fan of Mark's and if you like this, check out any of his albums- they are all absolutely great.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Keeping the Rain at Bay-Man Fashion

These past few weeks have reminded me of something very important with regards to living in Newfoundland. Summers here are undoubtedly wet and chilly. Spring and fall here would be considered rough winters in more temperate areas. There is a bright side to all the gray though! Jackets! Newfoundland's climate really lends to a lot of different outerwear and usually there are a lot of opportunities to rock different types.

Here's 3 different types of jackets that are a little different than the standard North Face jacket that can help you keep dry, warm and stylish:

Harrington Jacket

A classic British lightweight, waist length coat that is perfect for the cool summer nights of England. British outerwear is essentially perfect for Newfoundland, given the similarities of climate. The harrington, traditionally lined with tartan has been fashionable in England for decades within the mod subculture. They can increasingly be found in a rainbow of colors and are an excellent coat that goes with almost any outfit.

Baseball Jacket

A product of American prep style, the baseball jacket is similar to the varsity jacket. Differing in that it normally has a colored band elastic band around the openings of the sleeves and the waist. The baseball coat is a casual coat, normally cut loosely (for sitting down in dugouts!) and looks great with jeans.

MA-1 Bomber

Another American piece, the MA-1 sees its origins within the military, as opposed to high schools. Another example of the enduring influence of military uniforms on civilian wear. Originally created to provide a comfortable, warm jacket for pilots with a utilitarian design with lots of pockets the MA-1 has been long dropped by the military. However, it lives on and is actually a great option for a warm and comfortable coat that looks good.

Model Citizens Photo of the Day! Crazy Cat Lady? Or Fashionista?

Clare looks fab in her drykorn for beautiful people cigarette pants, Marc Jacobs Top and Coach Jacket. Vintage Fur Hat and Cat really pull the ensemble together.

Must-Haves for Summer-Maxi Skirts

As a fan of the floor length skirt, it is nice to see maxi skirts really making their way back into vogue. Sometimes too reminiscent of Monica from Friends way back in the 1990's, they have gotten a fairly bad wrap since then. Seen as drab and modest, the strong  fashion pendulum swung hard to the mini and we have really been there ever since.

But thank god for the pendulum swing, because for all of us sick and tired of the micro mini (and those of us in windy climates and tired of showing a bit too much skin), we finally can return to the beautiful maxi skirt.

The modern approach to the Maxi is to keep it simple, flirty and streamlined. Most people wear maxis in a hippy-chic kind of way, although as pictured on the right, it can be worn in many ways. I love the way that (whichever Olsen twin that is) is darkening up this maxi skirt withe cross and the deep v-neck tee. Really simple but really effective. Edgy and sleek, but still vintage enough to be modern.

I love the military vibe to this look by Dries van Noten (LEFT). One consistent element in all of these styles is wearing an oversized top with the Maxi- very chic and sometimes really hard to pull off.

If you are shorter, try wearing a oversized crop top with a high waisted maxi skirt to give the illusion of longer legs and torso. You still get that chic, carefree look, and still look like you have a body under there.


Hong Kong is in Desperate Need of Model Citizens

Joey Basha

      Two very unrelated, yet equally disturbing incidents have happened recently which have led me to pine for that lovely little nook on the corner of Duckworth Street.  The first was spotting a rat in a subway platform being swatted to death by an old Chinese lady with her embarrassingly fake Gucci clutch; the other involved going through my old diaries and finding an article which I had written for The Current (R.I.P.?), previewing the opening of MacNeil’s brainchild and pet-project. It was folded up, hidden and had “TRASH” scrawled across it in red ink. 

Moving to Hong Kong was an incredible learning curve for me – it was a Himalayan learning curve, I should say. Discounting the obvious cultural and linguistic blockades, I had to get used to the anthill density, 300 square-foot apartments and a pace of living that I still haven’t quite gotten used to, even after nearly three years.  For the sake of this particular piece, though, I should concentrate on perhaps one of the more embarrassing adjustments I had to make upon moving here:  I had to learn how to dress. 

It has been well documented that people in the sinosphere generally consider themselves to be classless (at least, in the way we define class). This has a lot to do with Confucian heritage, in which a person is taught that humility and conformity are both virtuous. However, by the mid-eighties, cities like Tokyo and Hong Kong were booming and the amount of well-paid, educated and unmarried women became the most influential buyers of luxury goods. As a result, massive campaigns were launched by the likes of Bernard Etienne Arnault, a tyrant in the fashion world, who eventually ended up buying and streamlining  long-established houses like Louis Vuitton and Dior, making them nothing more than over-priced, factory-made fodder for a generation of women who were desperate to buy themselves just a little bit of self-worth. Fast forward thirty years later and the obvious degeneration is clear:  what was once a sign of prestige, of truly fine craftsman ship from a distinguished brand has been, well, reduced to rat guts.

The whole experience of having to live in a brand-obsessed society has taught me an invaluable lesson about fashion and what it means to me:  it’s great to appreciate the finer fabrics, the respected houses and the industry itself, dynamic as it is. But it’s important to maintain a strong impression of who you are and how you choose to present yourself, regardless of the net-value of your outfit. I know that Chelsey understands that principle and considering the subsequent success of the store, the people of St. John’s are taking a lesson from her: trust yourself; be honest with yourself.  Maybe I should take my own advice and re-visit that article that I had condemned years ago for being a piece of trash: maybe it ain’t all that bad.

Joey Basha is a writer, editor and musician in Hong Kong.
Check out his blog at
And his band:
And for the record, he has broken the bank at Lanvin once or twice…

Photo Credit: Brian Ricks (
Model: Clare Asquith

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Model Citizens Photo of the Day!

Wouldn't you like to meet Clare for an espresso in Paris? Clare is wearing a sheer sage coloured Elie Tahari blouse, Morgan Le Faye silk skirt (complete with a stunning bustle in the back) and vintage Frye leather  Campus boots. The ankle/calf length skirt is everywhere this season and we are all about it. Personally, I am a big fan of minimalist, modest looking clothes and the casual floor length/ankle length skirt can give you that. Keep it loose, light and casual on the top.

This kind of skirt is for everyone- if you are short or tall, you can make this one work. I think it is great style after the micro-mini took over the last few years. Modest, streamlined and flowing all best describe this style.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

April-November (sometimes) = Flats!

In 2005 I made a fashion discovery that kinda rocked my world- the ballet flat. My first pair looked like this.

I opted for them in the ballet pink instead of the black. They were SO different from anything else I was seeing (in the metropolis of Bay Roberts). I started experimenting- pairing them with not only jeans and capris (it WAS 2005!), but skirts, even dressier dresses. Women (and men) made were making this realization as far back at the 16th century but gained extreme popularity in '57 when Miss Hepburn sported them with cropped skinny jeans.

Now it seems the whole world is walking around in the "Dolly shoe". For those of us who prefer a more functional, cutesy shoe- it appears the flat is here to stay. From extremely low prices, to extremely high prices, from extremely basic to extremely ornate, there is a flat shoe out there for everyone. Some of this season's hottest trends for us "Flatties" include both the loud colors and solid structures of the 60's, and natural feathery and fringe-y embellishments of the 70's. And Denim. This season's all about the denim.

Here's a look at what Tory Burch is up to this season!

Hope your day has lots of Sun and Fun (and cute shoes)


P.s, I still own, LOVE, and wear those flats!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new | Video on

Good Morning!

Just a quick snapshot of the wonderful morning I am having- Sam made the coffee and while I have been working this morning. Life is good..

Will be back with a couple stellar blog posts later on today! Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Model Citizens Spring Newsletter! Check it Out!

For the rest of this newsletter and all of its fantastic content- click the link below to get the scoop!

Friday, June 3, 2011