Penanceroyaltea largely patronizes the Streetwear and Denim side of the forum, where he’s become known for his love of floral prints and whimsical brands. Here, he talks about his journey from boring, pre-Styleforum life to his current, glorious incarnation.
Up ’til college, clothes were just a social necessity for me. Being in college meant finally being freed from a uniform, and having the chance to wear whatever I wanted. My initial foray into clothes would be considered nothing short of disastrous by Styfo standards – think garish printed shirts, baggy distressed jeans, and sneakers.
This was before the time I knew clothes on the internet existed, that people actually discussed (passionately) what they wore, took pictures of themselves (!) and submitted themselves to possible ridicule from the peanut gallery. I didn’t read about fashion, in print or on the web. No one really cared about style in my social circle, and where I’m from, it is a desert of t-shirts, cargo shorts, jeans and flip flops.
It was my during second year of college that I travelled to Tokyo for the first time, and man was my mind blown when I was there. Never had I felt so underdressed, poorly coiffed and shabby. All these Japanese men with perfectly manicured, gravity defying hair, ineffably styled outfits, those narrow pointy shoes, and manbags! I could never get over the manbags.
Suitably inspired, I revamped my little wardrobe of garish printed shirts and baggy distressed jeans with… more garish printed shirts and baggy distressed jeans. Paul Smith, Ted Baker and Buffalo denim were my grails and I stunted on multi colored, paneled leather Japanese Alfredo Bannister sneakers.
After graduation, with a disposable income during the advent of the #menswear movement, I decided that I had to have a suit. Mr. Porter had just come online and I was a proud founding member (and bargain-basement-end-season-sales-only-shopper). Style to me was a navy blazer, white shirt, blue jeans, brown brogues and aviators. The most clichéd of Mr. Porter tropes, if you will.
And this brings us at last, to Styleforum. On the hunt for a better fitting suit (yes, another one of those stories!), Google had led me to an Iris Tailor thread on SF. I lurked on CM and SWD for a year before finally setting up an account and posting. SW&D back then was quite a different place, much more hostile, heckling and intimidating. My first fit pic was a white Rick Owens aviator, black jeans and Balenciaga high-tops – what I gleaned was “in-line” with SWD sensibilities of the time. I also spent nearly half a year wearing a white t-shirt, ball-crushing APC petit-standards, bomber jackets and white sneakers.
The most clichéd of SW&D tropes, if you will.
I never truly “found” my style until I stumbled across Engineered Garments though; that was for me, when everything clicked. The whimsical florals, irresistible patchwork prints, and laid-back, rough-around-the-edges feel encapsulated everything I liked and wanted in clothes. Okinawan taxi-driver, I remember, was how I wanted to describe my look.
EG led to quirkier brands like Needles and Kapital, and from there I have branched out to more louche labels such as Dries van Noten and Junya. My current tastes and sensibilities have largely been informed from reading SF threads (with @Parker and @Conceptual 4est being my greatest inspirations), Japanese mags, look-books and selected runway shows. I still gravitate towards lurid prints and florals and distressed denim, as you can tell from my photos, but I do think they are in slightly better taste now.
Clothing to me is a fun, easy form of personal expression and an outlet for some creativity. Most days the weather here only permits a blazer, t-shirt or shirt and pants of some sort, so I try my best to have some fun with it. And there you go! Thanks for reading.
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