Our award for the best Japanese avant-garde animated dolls goes to...


...Undercover designer Jun Takahashi. (Who else?) GILApple, an animated short featuring Takahashi's homemade dolls, was one of several entries in last week's Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival, overseen by capital-F fashion blogger Diane Pernet. Popcorn flicks these flicks ain't, but where else could you see—in addition to the dolls—Steven Klein bloody up supermodel Lara Stone (in Fiction Noir) or the life of Rick Owens in 1:17 minutes (pictured, in Nick Knight's A Portrait of Rick Owens)? Owens himself dropped by the fest to present awards to the winning films, excerpts of which you can see over at DailyMotion. It should tide you over for outré arthouse—at least until Spider-Man 4. (And as for Takahashi, he officially went home empty-handed—GILApple screened out of competition.)

Photo: Nick Knight/Courtesy of A Shaded View on Fashion Film
Tags: Fashion, Media

Prada's Architectural New Collection

For its latest line of T-shirts, Prada has found a notable way to differentiate itself: enlist the design help of world-class architects like Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron. Well, sort of. Koolhaas and co. didn't really design the tees, but they did do the buildings whose floor plans and façades are silk-screened across them (Koolhaas' Soho Prada flagship, above left; Herzog & de Meuron's Tokyo flagship, above left). Hey, if you're going to wear a shirt emblazoned with the blueprints of a retail outlet, better one of Prada's boundary-pushing boutiques than your local Abercrombie & Fitch.

[Hint Mag]

Photo: hintmag.com

What to wear with your blacked-out Rolex, Balmain tees, and Air Yeezys

Good luck finding the clothes in stores now or anytime soon—debut date and even season are still heartily TBD—but Kanye West's first Pastelle lookbook shots have just hit the Web. (They're likely authentic; the man himself has worn some of the pieces pictured to his various concerts/awards shows/internships.) The next big things, per the West fashion forecast: more varsity jackets (nattily done in mixed leather and wool with metallic accents), bright colors, and, curiously, tigers. Check out the streetwear blog SwaggerDap for more.

PLUS: Check out West's 10 Essentials.

Photo: swaggerdap.com
Tags: Fashion, Media

Basquiat draws a crowd

Creating the new "Jean-Michel Basquiat" line, which hits London's Dover Street Market tomorrow, was not exactly a simple process. The Inoue Brothers (whom you may know as the world's leading London-based, Japanese-Danish design team) started with polos, jackets, sweats, and shirts from iconic brands like Lacoste, Wrangler, Levi's, and Pendleton. Then, they worked with photographer Nicholas Taylor to print the various pieces with atmospheric, never-before-seen photographs of the late artist. Head over to High Snob to see the complete collection.
On sale tomorrow at Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover St., London, doverstreetmarket.com

Photo: highsnobiety.com
Tags: Art, Fashion

A few new scotches worth a try (preferably with Advil handy)

The Classic Malts Collection boasts an enviable lineup of single malts from all over Scotland, so when the company debuted 11 new limited expressions this week, we took notice. After a lot of sipping—and a full day of recovery—we've managed to single out the best of the best. (Fair warning: Three are cask-strength—hence the recovery time.)

One of our all-time favorite distilleries, Lagavulin, is launching a bold new 12-year, four years younger than its flagship quaff. We like the 16-year plenty, but the new 12 is delicious, too—smoky, oily, and, despite its younger age, very complex. From Caol Ila, a lesser-known Islay distillery, comes an uncharacteristic new 10-year. It's distilled without peat, and what remains is buttery and grassy, with undercurrents of salty caramel. The Eastern Highlands' tiny Royal Lochnagar distillery finally reaches American soil with its lovely Selected Reserve. Aged in sherry and bourbon casks and bottled at a refined 43 percent, Lochnagar is rich, fruity, and brambly, an excellent way to finish a meal. Finally, an incredibly rare 30-year from Port Ellen, Islay's renowned "ghost" distillery, is worth the hefty investment. Port Ellen closed its doors in 1983; it's selling its way through the remaining stock, but when the stuff's gone, it's gone. The 30-year—with notes of smoke, nuts, and bacon—is too good to miss. It's special-occasion scotch, one to break out at the wedding or the maternity ward. Or today at 4:59, if you like. It's your wallet.
Lagavulin 12-Year-Old, $75; Caol Ila unpeated 10-Year-Old, $60; Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve, $210; Port Ellen 30-Year-Old, $370; for more information, visit malts.com

Photo: Courtesy of Classic Malts
Tags: Drink

Uniqlo's 'tech support

Now that the days are turning brisk, your ordinary undershirt won't cut it. Head for—where else?—Uniqlo, further cementing its all-things-for-all-people status with the new Heattech line. Heattech's technical fibers actually help generate and retain warmth by absorbing body moisture—its movement generates heat. (An antibacterial agent in the fabric helps control odor, too.) We can't explain the science of it, but we can report that we've taken it for a test run and the stuff does keep you toasty, so why ask why? It's only going to get colder, and these pieces will be welcome whether you're on the subway or, as Uniqlo's ads fancifully suggest, at the chalet. Best of all, unlike most of Uniqlo's garb, you can get Heattech items online—no fighting the Jil Sander +J crowds (though, admittedly, that kind of vigorous exercise would likely keep you pretty warm, too).
Tees, turtlenecks, and long johns, $10.50 to $15.50, available at uniqlo.com

Photo: Uniqlo
Tags: Fashion

This Just In: Vanishing Elephant at Oak

What's in a name? In the case of Australia's Vanishing Elephant, not much. The year-old company's clothes are deceptively, appealingly simple. Until you take a closer look, that is. A waxed cotton anorak has shades of Penfield, except that it zips on the bias like a motorcycle jacket, adding a little toughness. A plaid button-down at first glance looks like everybody else's plaid button-down, until you notice the ribbon trim on the collar and chest pocket, a detail that punches up a classic without veering into flash.
Howard waxed anorak, $238, and Dale double-collared shirt, $168, available at oaknyc.com

Photo: Oak

The most fun you can have in Alabama without a 12-gauge

The most attractive aspect of Porsche's new four-door Panamera, which we plugged in our Fall Trend Reports, may well be a feature that debuted in the Carrera last fall: the seven-speed marvel of modern engineering called the PDK. A recent opportunity to try out the PDK on a track (though not, sadly, in a Panamera) left me mighty impressed. Thanks to its race-derived double clutch—which basically ensures that the next gear is always spooled up and ready to kick in—shifting was lightning-fast, yet butter-smooth. Also remarkable: the transmission's ability to adapt to your driving habits—say, delaying upshifts when you let off the throttle once it's determined you're a bit of a lead foot.

Intrigued, but still a few bucks short of the 100 grand a Panamera will run you? Head to Birmingham, Ala., for a weekend at the Porsche Sport Driving School, which is based next to the hairpin-heavy track where I put the PDK to the test. With luck, you'll have head instructor Cass Whitehead riding shotgun. Along with 20 years' experience racing cars for a living, the guy's got the patience of a kindergarten teacher and constitution of an astronaut. Despite my giving him ample opportunity to put both traits to good use, Whitehead's calm, authoritative instruction definitely helped make me a better driver, both on the track and—I'd like to think—in the real world (although it bears noting that I'm defining a good driver as someone who's able to execute a proper exit ramp turn-in while doing 60 in an SUV).

But wait, there's more. While in 'Bama, be sure to set aside some time to tour the jaw-droppingly cool motorcycle collection that George Barber, who owns the motor sports park, has on display in a gargantuan museum nestled right next to the track. Built in 2003, the cavernous industrial-modern space is pretty much bursting at the seams with lust-worthy bikes. While most collectors tend to focus on a certain era, or maybe a favorite make, Barber's acquisitional philosophy seems to follow a slightly looser set of dictates—namely, if it's got two wheels, he'll take it. I'm told the collection now numbers around 1,500, although fewer than 500 motorcycles are on display at any given time (alongside a world-class Lotus collection and a bizarrely awesome assortment of vintage outboard motors). If you don't walk out of here dead-set on picking up your own vintage Triumph (or maybe a Moto Guzzi—I haven't yet decided), you may want to have your head checked. Whatever make you settle upon, take Whitehead's advice and stick to the Porsches while you're on the track. At least they've got air bags.

Click for a slideshow from the museum >

Photo: Tyler Thoreson
Tags: Cars

First Impressions of Albert Hammond Jr.'s new line of suits

It was a long time coming—the news was announced back in August 2008—but Albert Hammond, Jr.'s suit line finally hits the racks at Confederacy today. Ilaria Urbinati, who co-owns the L.A. men's shop and worked with the sometime Stroke on the designs, calls the look "a good mix of old man, hunter, and seventies rock 'n' roll." It's not hard to see what she's getting at. The suits are tricked out with details galore (an oversize ticket pocket here, squared-off waistcoat there, suede trim wherever), all of which give the collection a vintage, slightly aristo air. And while there's a definite rock vibe, it's far from grungy—more gentleman troubadour (think Bryan Ferry) than woke-up-onstage frontman (we're not naming names). Clearly, the target customer is a guy who wears a suit because he wants to, not because he has to. That's certainly borne out by the color choices: Alongside gray and not-quite-navy are funkier options like hunter green, cream, and burgundy—although Hammond has already claimed one of those for himself. Since they've made only 44 suits in total, all you aspiring rocker-dandies have just 43 chances to do the same.

Click here for a slideshow of our favorite looks >

Suits, $2,125 to $2,400, and trench, $1,250, available at Confederacy, 4661 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., (323) 913-3040, shopconfederacy.com

Photo: Eric Ray Davidson
Tags: Fashion

A watch that'll give you the moon--plus a couple of beauties that settle for the time

Horology buffs tend to go nuts for grand complications, so you should expect to see plenty of paper bags and Epsom salts at today's Patrizzi & Co. auction in New York. On offer: a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon, the most complicated Patek ever (pictured above, front and back). Its estimated sale price: $1.1-$1.3 million, for which you get 12 complications, from cathedral gongs (developed with help from the metallurgists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) to a celestial disc charting the sky and the visible stars of the Milky Way. Fortunately, there are a few more recession-friendly offerings available as well. Click for a few of our favorites in that (relatively affordable) category.

Sale (second session) begins at 2 p.m. E.S.T. at Patrizzi & Co., 595 Madison Ave., Suite 605, NYC, (646) 763-8880; bids can also be placed online at patrizziauction.com

Photo: Courtesy of Patrizzi & Co.
Tags: Fashion
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