Y’all know I’ve been itching to shop. I really do need a couple of sweaters. I was walking to the train from my internship waiting for the light to change on fifth avenue. I thought, “H&M right beside you Brandon. Why don’t you go in there and have a look at the Versace collaboration?” My stomach was twisting with hunger. “Oh look at that, there’s the GANT flagship store. I’ll just take a peek.” Sure, take a peek. “Sir Imma need you take your hood off”, says the large door man. I looked right at his big fat scowled face, barely heard him with my headphones in bumpin’ that Drizzy “Lord Knows” track. But he said it to me like I was some kind of deviant klepto. I wanted to say, “Nigga it’s raining outside”, but he’s just doing his job.
“I don’t know about you but I went through a bunch of gyrations in college and settled into a sense that, “all right, this is my look.” Remember having “going to school”- clothes and “going out”- clothes? And your “going out”- clothes were just ridiculous? Hopefully by the time you’re in your mid-to-late twenties you’ve settled on something. Then it’s just a matter of drilling into that even deeper & getting that perfected.” -Michael Bastian
The GANT flagship store has collections spread across two floors. The 2011 (Holiday & Fall) collections are on the first floor while GANT Rugger collections are on the second. I enjoyed the second floor the most. It was great. I was literally the only person shopping and felt like the floor was closed to the “public” for my personal shopping experience. I spent about an hour perusing and fantasizing. I didn’t plan on buying anything. A conviction I usually have no trouble standing on; that is unless I start trying clothes on. I spotted a flannel button down I’d been admiring online for some time and had to try it on to see if it looked as good on me as I had imagined.
Of course it looked good – great fit, great fabric, great colors. I picked up a similar button down and tossed that on as well. Looking in the mirror I thought, “This shirt looks better. It goes well with my skin tone.” I’ve never been one of those shoppers who shop thinking about colors and skin tones but I couldn’t ignore the reflection in the mirror. “Let’s be financially wise about this Brandon” I said to myself. I mean this was an expensive shirt. Seconds later, “Will that be debit or credit sir?” Damn you, Michael Bastian. You got me. The man didn’t win CFDA menswear designer of the year for making unattractive, ill-fitting clothes. Check this interview out with the GANT designer – http://www.parkandbond.com/the-intersection/men-of-style/michael-bastian-q-and-a
I also took a Friday afternoon stroll down to Barnes & Noble on 86th street to pick up the new GQ. I didn’t really need to go to Barnes & Noble, I could have bought the GQ at the train station, but I wanted to get out and kill a couple of hours. Just so you know I’m pretty obsessed with James Bond. In my mind every man has a slight obsession with 007. And if you don’t I’m afraid I have to question your manliness. Not really (yes really), but he is arguably the quintessential model of male bravado and excellence. My fascination is somewhat half-hearted. I’m only familiar with the onscreen Bond, having no concrete knowledge of the literary character or how Ian Fleming eloquently constructed Bond’s persona.
“Bond picked up the body and laid against a wall in deeper shadow. He brushed his hands down his clothes, felt to see if his tie was straight and went on to his hotel”
So I impulsively bought “Goldfinger”. I’m only fifty or so pages into the book and it’s really good; clever, witty, and engaging. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? It’s about James Bond. I think it rather outlandish that I’ve neglected reading any of Mr. Fleming’s series for so long. I don’t read a lot of fiction. Doesn’t really interest me. I prefer reading magazines and non-fiction. But buying “Goldfinger” was a choice decision. I’m no longer relegated to my Android games, I’ll have something to read on the train. I’m working on several pieces to post and I believe I’m most excited about the Bond piece. Who knows when I’ll finish it but I hope it proves readable. Stay Clean.