Sunday, May 1, 2016
It’s not only concepts that are mutable and dynamic. So is our vision of them. My perspective of the sport jacket is quite different today from what it was a dozen of years ago. There was a time when I considered it a superfluous extravagance of those who wore it. Like the guy that started using part of his work suit on Sunday afternoon or, even worse, that anticipated its use on Friday and Saturday nights. But what we wear isn’t simply a free exercise on how to cover the skin. Our attire carries with it a set of symbols and signs, that whether we like it or not, serves as a communication platform with those we meet everyday. According to Durkheim this is what is called "social facts". Something external that is imposed on the individual. Like a collective standard that is applied regardless of his will. When a brand conceives a piece of clothing it’s not only providing a beautiful vision to a potential customer. It's also selling an image, a concept and, some times, a dream. And from the moment we buy that piece, we're also consuming the concept, the image, the dream and whatever that piece transmits. This works for the clothing, cosmetic, auto or food industries. Because what’s at stake here is not merely the rag with which we cover our body or the service that we receive, but also where those items take us.
Yesterday a blazer would make me feel tacky and I considered (well, I still do...) a low-cut t-shirt the best thing ever after the invention of the wheel. Today, the informal tone with which I treat the piece of clothing that names this post, makes me feel even more elegant and sleek. For a more rural look I can add it some tire boots, or folded hems for a younger aspect. Here’s the truth: in the presence of a woman the jacket makes me feel, not necessarily older (let’s face it, we all politely refuse that adjective), but possibly wiser, interesting and charming or any other attribute socially valued and usually associated with older men. And we all have the right to dream. I don’t pay much attention to the type of press that tries to impose life styles and consumer trends directed to those people with significantly higher bank accounts than mine. On the other hand, why the hell can't I wear something that will make me feel like a million dollars? Will that make me a frivolous person? Like Jorge Palma’s music: “In the land of dreams you can be who you are and no one will hold it against you. In the land of dreams everybody is treated equally by everybody.” All I know is… from an aesthetically point of view, in this precise moment, my enchanted vision of life includes a table in front of the water, be it a river or the sea, naked ankles and an evening breeze that is only bearable wearing a sport jacket. What about you?
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Let me introduce you to the most unique online store you’ve ever seen: J. LISBON. I could choose any one of the hundreds of great pictures you can find there but it’s much more fun to do it in a different way: picking a Mr. Porter’s picture from Lisbon.
Mr. Porter is the world's biggest menswear online store. But I really believe J.LISBON is the best. This image (from Mr. Porter, taken in Lisbon) is the precise type of street style picture that makes J. LISBON different than any other online store. Because trying out a product is more than just looking at a headless model photographed against a wall. It's finding the garment through the same standards and visual contexts in which we will be living with it. It's being able to imagine what it would be like if we wore it (click here and you'll see what I mean). And yes, a Portuguese background does help and guess what… apparently Mr. Porter feels the same
Discloser: J. LISBON is my online store. That’s not the reason why I say it’s the best menswear online store. But that’s the reason why I can personally guarantee that both the product and the service are great. Anyway, that’s your call to make and that’s the reason why you should have this information
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Monday, December 8, 2014
p.s. - this picture is not the result of a chance encounter, but of a production made for the store born from this blog
Monday, November 10, 2014
The truth is I don’t even know where to start. I think I can start by saying I didn’t just meet João by chance on this track and that he wasn’t wearing that outfit; that it was me who asked him to turn up before the sun was gone and that it was also me who brought this jacket, these trousers and this pair of boots. At a time when so many people are questioning the permeability of editorial publications into commercial dynamics, I thought it would be interesting to trace the narrative going in the opposite direction. I made up my mind that I would create a commercial space where anyone visiting would run the risk of finding genuine and informative content. I made up my mind that I would manage a store without forgetting how to manage this blog.
I travelled to places as different as Madrid, London, Florence, Felgueiras, Vila Nova de Famalicão and Charneca do Lumiar (industrial areas that most of Portuguese don't even know). I found this blog’s images on foreign brands’ mood boards (at meetings that didn’t go too badly) but I was also fobbed off and let down gently (after meetings that didn’t go so well). And today, on the very day when I sacrifice the editorial purity of this blog, for the sake of the business it would not have been possible to create without the blog that is being so sacrificed today, I present to you the business that could not exist without this blog. Because, after all, it is daft sentences like this that you can continue to find in that business. Because, after all, just as you do here, you will find there Lisbon streets, models who are not models, home-grown productions and unedited images. And, broadly speaking, the visual identity that has been immortalised in this set of portraits that have come to be known as street style. The visual record that, swept along on a whole online dynamic, turned ordinary man into style icons and made snapshots of everyday life into inspiration on a global scale.
It is just this. A clothes store. A clothes store for men. A clothes store that, riding the crest of these 5 years of Alfaiate (Tailor), has shown that a real product experience can be offered via the internet. That it is possible to create an online process of product discovery that goes beyond the image of a standard-size guy taken against a pastel wall, with the head cut from the shot. That it is possible to discover a product through the same yardsticks and visual contexts that we will have to live through with that product. That it is possible to read a review written by somebody who, long before sitting down to reel off information about a product, has actually worn it. That it is possible to ensure control of all this provided I limit myself to the masculine reality. So much so that, before vouching for it, I bought the jacket that João is wearing from its designer. So much so that, before dreaming of writing this blog, I was already wearing those trousers. That is why I say I look on this business as if it were the Alfaiate. The blog that inspired a business. A business called J. LISBON. A business I hope is to your liking. Because, however much I am convinced of your interest (and this blog has helped me understand that the most important approval is the one we ourselves ascribe) nothing you can say beats a good slap on the back. Here is J. LISBON at first hand
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
It was my 1st time at Pitti Uomo. A brand had asked me to capture the atmosphere at the fair through my photographs. Pitti was impressive. There were so many interesting brands and visitors. However, I have to say I felt somehow overwhelmed by all the cameras, lens and photographs, in such a way that I felt the last thing I actually wanted to do there was to take photos of someone. It was as if everything there was in the precise antipodes of moments like this and this. As if everyone there was unaware that it is actually possible to find inspiring people in the least likely of places. In places where everyone we approach is reluctant to accept our invitation. It is as if they are suspicious. However, after a 30-second chat and a genuine smile, they finally allow themselves to be photographed by a perfect stranger. When I saw Michael on those stairs I thought it was one of the few images that could be taken away from all that crowd, that bustle and bearded vanity fair. The next day I saw him again in the same place and then realized that there were two other moments to capture and so I said to him:
- - It’s difficult to believe but… your pictures are the only ones I want to keep for myself.
Just him, for every day of the fair. Without the glamour, the ideal setting or the slightest editing. Just him, on the stairs, close to his brand's stand