Saturday, May 15, 2010

To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Radiator Building - Georgia O'Keeffe

I was a freshman in college when I first heard "It's of My Nature" on Scarub's album Fact of the Matter. Scarub's telling of the fable, the Fox and the Scorpion, caught my attention and brought a distinct, surreal picture to my mind... it was only a matter of time before the image would end up on canvas...10 years later.

The Fox and the Scorpion - Mpulse

My attempts to write about my art end up reading like a college thesis statement... and there is no reason to subject anyone to that style of writing. But I do feel like my art needs a little explanation. I will follow up on this when I finish the collection that I am working on. So far the only piece that I have completed is the Fox and the Scorpion.

My newest body of work reflects my current interests in urban style and culture but for the most part, my subject matter is largely organic. Georgia O'Keeffe has long been an inspiration of mine. Her suggestive still lives intrigue me, but it's the work that she did when she was my age, in NYC before she moved to the desert, that relates to the art that I am creating now. In the past, I looked for subject matter at the botanical garden or the green belt in Austin. Now, I pay attention to the words scribbled along the South 1st Street bridge.

I included Georgia O'Keeffe's art in this post because she is a major inspiration of mine. She was a beautiful artist who made a catastrophic impact in an artistic world that was ruled by men and she paved the way for women to feel confident producing important art alongside them.

Yellowjackets and Pearls - Mpulse

Jenny's Bird - Mpulse
Sunspots on the Shelton, study - Mpulse

Sunsponts on the Shelton - Georgia OKeeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe
Image courtesy of

Monday, May 3, 2010

"For an African American guy to be a prep, that's a dichotomy." -Andre 3000

Lately, I have found myself more interested in men's fashion than women's. As an avid reader of fashion magazines, I am more excited to tear into the newest issue of GQ before my go-to magazines, Elle and Vogue. Men's style blogs are on the rise as well, featuring looks that are well tailored, well accessorized, and portray a gentleman's approach to dressing.

This style has seemed to make its way into hip hop culture. The styles of Common, Andre 3000 and Kanye West evoke a sense of confidence and certainty. It seems that more hip hop artists are turning away from baggy jeans and loose fitted shirts and expressing themselves in fitted clothing with clean lines.

Alan Bunao, LA based fashion designer and owner of J Revolution, seems to understand this trend well. He uses laid back fabrics that are tailored with unique details. His cut and sew line consists of long coats and hoodies that, while casual, have a very sartorial aspect and smart details that make them more than just sportswear.

I was introduced to J Revolution by LA based hip-hop artists Scarub and Very of Afro Classics. Scarub wore pieces from J Revolution's cut and sew line throughout the SXSW music festival, so I had the opportunity to see the craftsmanship that Alan puts into his clothes. J Revolution had a vendor booth at the Austin Reggae Fest where I met Alan and talked to him about his take on fashion and hip-hop...

What styles are intriguing to you?
As far as fashion I prefer classic cuts with really intricate details with lining or certain cuts. I am not so crazy about labels but prefer more creative, innovative styles.

Can you name some brands that you really like?
I am usually very influenced by LRG and Obey. My graphic tees are very vector-based [vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images in computer graphics] similar to Shephard Fairey. He's very vector based and the vibe is very LRG in the sense of reggae influence and hip hop influence.

It seems like hip-hop culture is taking a preppy turn...
It's Kanye's fault!

I have always thought of hip-hop style and prep style as somewhat opposite... but it seems like these styles are meshing together rather well...
I think it's great. As far as hip-hop, I think that hip-hop is opening a whole new realm of fashion where it used to be very baggy jeans and loose fitted shirts, they are getting more into fashion in the sense of looking good and dressing well. Common looks sharp at every Grammy show, you know, and I think that it is amazing; I think it's great.

What are some of your musical influences?
There are plenty of them...

Can you name three?
Let's see... there's Badu... to me it's very like, the Roots, Common, Talib... You know there are so many more to name, but off the top of my head... Andre 3000 is amazing. He is totally fashionable. One of my goals is to make clothes for all of these artists and I want to dress them, whether it's for awards, whether it's for everyday, hang out stuff.

I understand that you have collaborated with Afro Classics. How did this relationship get started?
I went to a free style event that my friend was hosting and I was introduced to Scarub. I gave him my card and he contacted me about a week later and asked how he could get some of my stuff and then we stared having photo shoots...

Had you just begun your cut and sew collection?
It was the beginning of that. I stared the collection earlier this year. I am a totally self-taught sewer that is just eager to figure it out.

What is your favorite style; what do you feel most comfortable wearing?
Jeans, t-shirt and a fresh jacket or sweater and some fresh sneakers.

What kind of jeans are you into?
is one of my favorite jeans right now. As far as denim, I am totally loyal and into the Taverniti jeans. That is pretty much all I wear. There is a line that I am really into that I am really inspired by as far as the cut and sewn stuff, it's called Trovata and they're based out of Malibu, California, I think. Their stuff, their detail, color, fit and everything is on point.

The following images literally came straight out of Alan's look book. To see his entire collection, visit

Understandably, Shephard Fairey is one of Alan's influences. As an artist and designer, the man is an icon. His Obey Giant image is unavoidable throughout Austin. He successfully caters to an urban audience while adhering to clean, classic fits. To see his full men's line, check out his summer 2010 look book...

The Obey Giant image stares at you from any given point in Austin from South Lamar to the drag. This is part of Shephard Fairey's Obey sticker campaign, which he refers to as an experiment in Phenomenology, "the process of letting things manifest themselves." For further explanation of this campaign, read Shephard Fairey's manifesto...

A note on men's style blogs:
Street Etiquette is a major inspiration for Suburbane Style. From color, pattern, texture and fit, Travis and JKissi (creators of Street Etiquette) own an impeccable urban style. They are the epitome of a gentleman's approach to hip-hop culture. If you are not already familiar with them, check out their site...