#2281 A quick note on inspiration

I had an argument with my mate Rufus a few years ago about inspiration. I incorrectly believed at the time that I was my own inspiration when it came to getting dressed in the morning. He quite correctly argued that inspiration has to come from somewhere else – I must have seen something somewhere in order to have come to some form of stylistic conclusion. He was, of course, right. When you live in a country like New Zealand you don’t have easy access to the labels you read about on the internet/magazines, so you make do with the resources available, and recreate the looks you see streetstyled on the footpaths at Pitti then blogged and reblogged by your favourite online gurus. That worked for me for a long time, but recently my go-to American bloggers have gone off on this weird tangent where they’re mixing their Rick Owens layers with their Nike Frees – which is like a jock’s take on broody, gothic high fashion? – and I can’t get down with that. Does that make me a stick-in-the-mud who can’t move on? Or are they just getting it wrong? So hard to say. Without further ado, these are my current inspirations…

Photos from Jak & Jil, StreetFSN, The Sartorialist, GQ.com and Downeast and Out.


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  1. R says

    Arguing reference versus aesthetic is sort of like arguing chicken versus egg though, don’t you think.

  2. R says

    I would say, however, the most difficult (read: interesting) thing to measure is how intrinsic something feels – a look, a garment, even a fabric. Somehow you fee linked to a particular item which, for you at least, takes it beyond a trend.

  3. Shaniqua says

    It’s really satisfying to discover ‘Rick Owens layers’ is the name of that look. Can’t stand it (prob gonna come across as a hater) Also sick of camo everything, the beanie straight hair look on girls and panel caps.

    Also Isaac have you ever commented on the drop crotch pants trend!? What the hell is that about?

  4. GBannis says

    Some influences/inspiration I doubt I’ll ever shake. Formative years in schoolboy uniform — navy blazer with patch, white shirt, salt and pepper pants — have blinded me to the virtues of a less tidy and organized look.

  5. isaaclikes says

    What up Shaniqua? I actually like the beanie/straight hair thing on girls because although it is very trendy, I think it works aesthetically and therefore won’t date at such a hugely fast rate as many other trends.

    I am not a fan of drop crotch pants on me, but there’s a difference between drop crotch and harem. A little drop can work, but straight harem is a nightmare.

    These Commoners Alike pants are drop crotch and I actually liked them quite a lot – http://www.isaaclikes.com/2011/05/1827-jae-mills-is-taking-commoners.html

    It’s definitely not my style, but just because something isn’t my thing doesn’t mean it’s not good on anyone. I don’t wear black, for example, but black clothing looks amazing on lots of people.

    And I’m not anti Rick Owens (for the record), I’d just never wear it myself, and I can’t stand how all these classic menswear guys have jumped on the trend so hard.

  6. anjali says

    r – in all seriousness, are you merging your rick owens with your nike free’s. i’d genuinely like to know.

  7. R says

    Anj, I don’t think Isaac was referencing to me specifically. But yeah, I do. I don’t fucks with Frees tho – only Flyknits.

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