Mens’ accessories frequently fall into a couple of stylistic camps. There’s the standard turbo-hetro stuff. You know, cartoonishly large watches and heavy silver bracelets that look like you’d have no problem punching through a plaster wall. Traditional, bloody blokey man stuff; it’s jewellery, but I’m not into knobs right. Then there’s the other camp. Stuff that suggests you’re still deciding on your power animal. The sort of neoshamanist, rainbow wrapped, unicorn loving embellishments found around Santa Monica Pier, frequently worn by a white dude with dreads trying to play the chorus of Yellow Submarine through a conch shell.
It’s the latter style that’s by far the most interesting. Very much part of the Nepenthes/Needles brand eye – over there you’re literally not dressed unless your canvas workwear coat has a couple of ropes of beads over the top. A few key UK retailers are onboard too though. There are numerous variations around howlite glass beaded bracelets by Mikia over at The Bureau. While Goodhood also offers Mikia, this time bracelets made from bandanas, as well as wrist-wear from Mapel that basically appears to be a leather shoelace with a clasp.
It’s fascinating how, right now, this ethnic, just-returned-from-Maui feel is used to compliment clothing with a heritage/workwear lean and technical activewear and the cotton tees and sweats of streetwear. As I say, the house of Nepenthes are the masters. But this semi-precious vibe is spreading. Garbstore have just received a drop from Gaijin Made, a Japanese brand who use a global network of craftspeople to manufacture authentic clothes and accessories. And, for me, this piece is essential.
Eschewing the solely decorative for functionally decorative, this string of turquoise stones carries a beautiful brass loop – designed specifically to hang your glasses from. Naturally, there’s a level of ostentation to this. But if, like me, you only need spectacles for close-up stuff (screens, reading) having your specs always dangling within easy reach is mad practical.
I’ve actually got one like this from Mikia, swagged at The Bureau. But I would be well up for another. You do get a few glances, when your glasses are swinging about. Or indeed when they’re not. A bloke asked me for a light a few nights ago in a Peckham bar. As he lit his smoke he said, “I like your dream catcher”. He was being sarcastic. He was also wearing a fucking massive watch.