Wednesday, May 30, 2012

From the Streets (and Canals) of Amsterdam — My Interview with Felicia Nitzsche of Dam Style

Dam Style is Amsterdam's best-known street style blog. Documenting the sartorial sensibilities of the famously quaint and progressive Dutch city, it makes Amsterdam itself one of the most stylish subjects of its photographs. Photos by Dam Style's team of photographers, who include Marta Baniukiewicz, Jianmin Huang, Cooper Seykens, Elza Wandler, and Felicia Nitzsche, feature vintage market-clad bicyclists amidst the blurred out backdrops of canals, cobblestone, and narrow, stacked houses. Below is my email interview with Felicia Nitzsche, the editor and co-founder of Dam Style. 

What’s the story behind Dam Style? What inspired you to start it and what keeps you doing it?

I think curiosity and my personal interest in fashion. I was already following a lot of blogs then and wondering why there wasn't any in the city I live in.

Together with a friend we made the first layout of the blog and took our first clumsy pictures. Since then it developed more into a platform with different photographers. 

Is blogging more a career for you or a hobby? Or perhaps something else besides?

More of a hobby, but you also meet new people and have opportunities through the blog.

What do the photographers at Dam Style look for in the people they photograph? What do you look for in the images you choose for the blog?

I encourage the other photographers to look more for characters and types instead of girls wearing the latest trends. I think it's really difficult to describe why you choose someone, sometimes a look does not translate on the picture and I won't use it on the blog, even though it might have looked interesting in real life.

Image by Dam Style
Is there an Amsterdam style? What, if anything, sets style in Amsterdam apart from other places?

Amsterdam is a cycle city, so in daily life it needs to be practical first of all (with exceptions of course), less high heels, more sneakers. Also Amsterdam has a lot of vintage markets and shops, which is represented in the style as well.

Image by Dam Style
The book you did with Kirsten Hanssen called Fashion Blogs is now out as a digital edition. It features interviews with a variety of bloggers from Susie Bubble to Mark the Cobra Snake. How did you choose the bloggers to feature in the book?

It was quite a long process, we started with the first sketches and emails in mid 2008. We came up with the chapter names on our own because we wanted to show the diversity that existed then. Some categories like street style were apparent. A book has a limited amount of pages so it was important to have a good international mix. The known and established names, next to new and local bloggers. Of course it was also a question of response, not all the bloggers we would have liked to include did reply.

For more info about the book, or to purchase a digital edition of it, go to

How much of your time does Dam Style take up, including promoting it?

I try to go out at least once a week taking pictures, and at least one hour for posting and promoting the blog, checking spam, replying to mail etc.

What do you do when you’re not doing Dam Style?

I work as a freelance graphic designer.

What do you think accounts for the popularity of street style blogs in recent years?

I think people are always interested to see what people wear around the world, of course because of street style blogs this is now easier then ever. It is also a question of a market that wasn't there in this scale before, magazines like iD had a few pages for street style at most, but it really exploded with a street style blog in every city. In this way it's clear to see the local and global trends, and everyone can pick their own favorites, you're no longer bound to your own city for style inspiration.

Image by Dam Style
What is the role of street style blogs within today’s fashion industry?

I think in the last 2 years street style blogs became a great way for professional photographers to get access to the fashion world. To show your work your skills etc. About the fashion industry, as far as I follow it I see that it has been taken over. Magazines and their online platform hire photographers from blogs or go out themselves to have their own little street style section on the site. Some photography agencies even started their own street style image banks. 

Do you attend fashion industry events? Is doing so a crucial part of street style blogging these days? Why or why not?

We don't really, most of them are night events and Dam style is mainly daytime shots, so in that way it's a different world, so i don't really pursue it. It also feels like bloggers are still a little exotic to the fashion industry in Amsterdam, only the personal style bloggers are really a part of that circuit.  

Image by Dam Style
What blogs do you regularly read? Who are some of your favorite street style bloggers?

I check a variety of blogs and online mags, from design to music, actually food blogs are my favorite at the moment.

In terms of fashion/street style I suppose I visit the regulars like the Sartorialist, Garance, streetfsn, tommy ton…many many more

I really like and Hel looks.

Do you have a favorite Dam Style post? If so, which one? What do you like about it?

Its just a great personal look and the portrait turned out very naturally.
Felicia's favorite post. Image by Dam Style.
I haven’t seen much in the way of ads on Dam Style. What are your feelings about advertisers, sponsors, paid content and the like on street style blogs?

In general I'm open to sponsors, it's just that it doesn't earn as much as it would take away from the design of the blog. For a while we did had an AA add on the site, but the earnings from that were little to nothing. 

We sometimes get offers to put up ads, including writing an accompanying article and receive a piece of the product in exchange. I think this is not really respectful to us. A print magazine also can't live from clothes or accessories in exchange for an add. 

Basically if the ad fits our blog and we would get paid accordingly I'm open for it. We do however sell pictures to magazines sometimes, which is a more appropriate way of doing business. 

Why do you use Blogger rather than WordPress, Typepad, or some other blogging service?

We started to use blogger because that was the medium at the time, a lot of bloggers were using blogger so it felt the public was there. 

The url was already taken. 

What kinds of social media do you use to promote Dam Style and why?

I started to use Facebook a couple of month back and it seems to have a good effect of drawing hits to the blog like RSS feeds. However I'm not pursuing it as rigorously as I should ; ) 

Image by Dam Style.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dr. Martens' Master Plan: Put Cool People on the Crate and the Bloggers Will Come — Skyler, Walnut St

Skyler is my second model from the Walnut St. Dr. Martens store. I shot Christina there a couple weeks back. Two of his coworkers were there too. One asked if I could get the logo in the shot. There it is, or most of it anyway.

"Now it's three of us," one of his co-workers said, referring to the number of them who'd been shot by street style bloggers. But they couldn't be sure. Might have just been two. They knew Christina was one of them

"Skyler's a natural," one of his co-workers said. True enough. I like the blur in this image. It gives the impression that he's surrounded by people but still alone.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Words of Wisdom from Facehunter

Image by Yvan Rodic
It took me a while to finally get around to buying Yvan Rodic’s book, named after his influential street style blog, Facehunter ( I’ve been reading his posts for a couple of years now, but I don’t know if I would have considered myself a fan. The site doesn’t have the visual pop of The Sartorialist or the edginess of Jak & Jil. It doesn’t display as much photographic acumen either. The shots tend to be conventional, in sharp focus, and with minimal processing. It’s people in nice clothes shot in a straightforward manner. Big deal.  

I was surprised, then, by how impressed I was with his book. It’s quite the fetish item — full of beautiful images thoughtfully arranged. Most take up the entire page and are paired with another image on the opposite page. Some of these pairs explore a common theme. Some present a compelling contrast. But Rodic is careful not to reveal too much about his subjects. The captions beneath the images are characteristically minimalist: the name of the city, the neighborhood or event, followed by the month in which it was shot (e.g. London, Soho, January). Rodic writes, "My images are not meant to document reality; they are meant to tell you short stories" (p. 41). And yet we are left to piece together these stories for ourselves. He gives us no background, no comments, and no names.  

The images in question cover quite a range, differing dramatically in style, both in how they’re shot and in the kinds of subjects they depict. Some are playful, some serious, some pleasingly opaque. A few too many of them take place outside fashion weeks for my taste, but that seems to be his thing. Rodic, like a number of top-tier street style bloggers, jet sets around the globe shooting fashion weeks. After two months now of taking my camera out on the streets I can certainly understand the appeal. Stylish people are few and far between. It must be nice to be able to find them densely packed into a single location.  

What surprised me most about the book, however, was the insightfulness of Rodic’s characteristically brief commentary. I learned a lot about the art of street style photography from reading it and looking at the images, lessons I am likely to put into practice in the coming weeks. The biggest lesson: you don't have to shoot the people you find in the context in which you find them. This isn't, as Rodic points out a couple of times, social science. You can always move them to a more appropriate backdrop. It seems dumb in hindsight, but somehow that never occurred to me. Perhaps because I am a social scientist.

Here are some snippets from the book, followed by my reactions:

“Many street style photographers are magnetically drawn to brands and keep asking their victims ‘What are you wearing? Who cares! I’m not writing a shopping guide” (p. 18)

Thank you, Yvan, for helping me give up my lingering sense of guilt about not asking that exact question more often! It just feels unnatural to me. Nonetheless, I find it sort of interesting, and even perhaps ethnographically significant, when other people list brands on their blogs. 

“This young man is not representative of any particular kind of Berlin style. He’s a special case” (p. 41).  

I too am finding it more and more difficult to figure out what kind of style people are adhering to. As Rodic explains in his intro, style these days is about individual customization, not strict adherence to sartorial trends. Although that last point is debatable, it should be pointed out, in the case of this whole “gentlemen revolution” thing. When it comes to bespoke tailoring, you don’t mess around.

 “I get my best shots when there’s time for my models to play around and have fun” (p. 108).  

I certainly notice the same thing. And as time goes on, I’m taking more and more pictures of my subjects (or should I call them “models”?), trying out different poses, and allowing them time to relax into the shoot. The first few days I went out, I took an average of three pictures of each person I stopped. Now it's closer to 30. I would like to be able to take up even more of my subjects’ time, but I’m not there yet. It feels presumptuous and a little self-important. I’m not Yvan Rodic, the Facehunter, after all. His reputation buys him more time than mine.
   “I photograph the people who seduce me” (p. 208).

A nice, pithy summation of a complicated internal dialogue. It lets one off the hook of constantly trying to figure out what their own thing is. “It’s not that I shoot people who are like this or like that. It's not that I'm documenting trends or capturing the mood of the era. I photograph the people who seduce me. Get over it.” I might steal this line for myself. 

“I want them to wonder whether it’s real or a setup. Street style is supposed to be spontaneous, but sometimes I try to organize a picture so that it’s just on the edge of looking real” (p. 211) 

I'm with you, Yvan, that it’s good to let go of the illusion of spontaneity. There’s nothing natural about posing for a photo by a total stranger. And if we're not capturing reality anyway why not stage our shots? It reminds me of the crisis of representation anthropology went through in the 1980s. "If it's impossible to document culture objectively and without bias," went the critique, "then why bother trying?  Let's all write prose poems instead." (OK, so that's a gross oversimplification, but you get the point).

   “I can spend five hours in a city and not get a single shot if I don’t see anything that really ‘shocks’ me” (p. 256).

Good to know. It makes me feel better about all the times now that I've gone out and not taken any shots. Yesterday, for instance, I hit the Clark Park Farmers Market and just wasn't feeling it. I couldn't tell if it was them or me. 

Check out Yvan Rodic’s blog at Or click to buy it through Amazon.   

And for the academic bibliography geeks out there, here’s the full citation for the book as well: Yvan, Rodic. 2010. Facehunter. Munich: Prestel.  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Face It, Smoking Still Looks Kinda Cool — Whitney, 5th St, Society Hill

The health campaign that finally succeeds in squelching the appeal of Satan's sticks is going to have to supplant it with a new habit with just as much gestural utility.

Smoking isn't just an addiction; it's a stylization, a way of investing ordinary gestures with an aesthetic dimension. "I'm awkward taking pictures," Whitney told me, "unless I'm smoking." I may be paraphrasing. 

Whitney runs a salon in Society Hill. She never stopped moving for a second during this shoot. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Natural is SO Over. Break Out the Manic Panic — Savannah, 5th St, Society Hill

Over the course of the late '90s and early '00s, "hipster" began to give way to "hippy," or some millennial approximation thereof. We traded in the boozing, nightclubbing lifestyle for urban beekeeping and artisanal cheese-making. Piercings came out. Body hair came back. Hair colors went au naturale. That trend is over.  

Piercings are back. And so is fake hair. Only this time they come with short shorts and leg tattoos. And perhaps a little artisanal cheese-making to round it all off. It's no longer necessary to choose between natural and fake. The two categories are no longer mutually exclusive. We grow increasingly comfortable in the space of contradiction. So head down to your local salon supply store and stock up on dyes that look like food coloring agents. And pick me up some organic, dye-free shampoo while you're at it.

Savannah is a burlesque dancer and pin-up model, living at the edge of South Philly. She told me that her pink hair is a recent "whim," and that she gets stopped for photographs by street style photographers all the time. It's part of the job, she explained. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Keeping it Simple — Yusuf, 3rd St, Society Hill

Yusuf is a producer, photographer, filmmaker, and the owner/creator of Veteran Freshman, a Philly concert and event series. I met him when taking pictures of Sauda a week or two ago, and we ran into each other in Society Hill this afternoon. I appreciate the nods to old school hip hop in this look, the chain, the tank, the thick plastic glasses, and of course, the Malcolm X button. Casual but sharp. I also appreciate the semiotic efficiency. Yusuf's packing in the maximum amount of meaning through a small number of carefully selected visual signifiers.      

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Urban Outfitters Really Ought to Be Paying Me For This — Sonja and Vic, Walnut St.

Caught this couple coming out of the Papermart on Walnut St.

They were no doubt my most animated photo shoot yet.

Looking at my business card after the shoot, Vic asks, "This is you? Assistant Professor of Anthropology?" "Yup," I answer. "Then what are you doing out here taking people taking pictures of people on the street?" Good question. Undermining my academic reputation, I probably should have answered.

This is Vic's response to my statement, "Not sure if it's a good or a bad thing that we're shooting this with Urban Outfitters' sign in the background." 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Nylon Style Recycled — Kevin, Walnut St.

Looking back at these pictures I had a sense of deja vu. They had Nylon's global street style book written all over them. I'm not sure who did the appropriating here, me or Kevin, but there's something distinctly London early '00s about both the look and my photograph of it. 

Which begs the question: is there such thing as an original street style image? And is there any such thing as an original style? Or we all just recycling all the time — both in what we wear and in how we document what other people wear? At the very least, we recognize someone as worthy of being photographed by virtue of their resemblance to other photographs we have previously seen. I like Kevin's look. And I like it precisely because of its familiarity. It conjures something up in me — like a half-remembered memory. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Burden of Being Stylish in the Digital Age — Raquelle, Walnut St.

"This keeps happening to me," says Raquelle, as I stop her power walking her way to work down Walnut St. "I don't know why." I have some idea. I wish you had given me enough time to take some proper pictures though, Raquelle!

Where are all the Philly Street Style Bloggers?

Several of the people I've taken pictures of for this blog have told me that they've been photographed by street style bloggers before. Which begs the question: who are these bloggers? And why can't I find them? Why are there so few sites that come up through googling "Philadelphia street style" or some derivation thereof? The blog with the URL is not street style at all., titled "Philly Street Style," hasn't been updated since March. Broad & Market has been hacked and has nothing up but a disclaimer. Other sites that do Philly street style are associated with print publications, including Philadelphia Weekly, Essence, and Philadelphia Magazine. Straight up street style bloggers seem few and far between in the City of Brotherly Love. The closest I've found to a straight up (and still active) street style blogger is Big Rube of Street Gazing. It's good stuff. But even he is associated with a print publication, Philadelphia Daily News. If you know of any active Philly street style bloggers, please let me know.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Looking Shady in Chain Gang Chic — Dan, Rittenhouse Square

It's not so much that I like Dan's look in these pictures as I admire its audacity. Dan clearly is not someone afraid to have his own style. We often claim to appreciate that quality in people — and it's a nearly universal element of fashion industry discourse— but in practice, few of us do. We have a word, after all, for people who truly stand out from the crowd: crazy. And that's not something most people aspire to. Dan, of course, is not crazy. He's a cool guy with some interesting thoughts on fashion and style. We talked about street style bloggers and how people he knows dress up just for them these days. In New York, that is, not Philly. His look, drawing equal parts influence from hobos, convicts, railroad conductors, and the Rat Pack, pushes at the boundaries of uniqueness without overstepping them into his own private La La Land.  

Dan bought these coveralls at a flea market. The loafers are covered in pointy rubber spikes. What else is there to say?

Notice that I shot these images with the sun rather directly overhead. It was around 1pm, earlier than I usually shoot, and with good reason. The light's better later in the day. I thought the shade worked kind of well for Dan, though. It adds to the mystique. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Off Course from Urban Outfitters — Toni, Chestnut St.

Toni had overshot Urban Outfitters by about 4 blocks when I spotted her across the street. I used the rush-ahead-to-the-crosswalk-she's-on-her-way-to approach. She was gracious and friendly, and perfectly happy to have her picture taken. 

Toni referred to Urban Outfitters only as "Urban." Have we reached such a state of familiarity with it already? Well, I suppose that in Philly, the birthplace and flagship of the pre-fabricated "streetstyle" chain, we probably have.  

Friday, May 18, 2012


The more observant of you may have noticed: I just added a link to my Pinterest board on the right hand side (and rearranged some stuff over there besides). Feel free to follow me. There's not much there at the moment, but there will be. I will be using Pinterest to collect, curate, comment upon, and categorize images from other street style blogs.

The Dream of the '90s is Alive in Philadelphia. Well... Sort of — Tina, Walnut St.

I've been noticing earlobe-extending plugs a lot lately. They were big for a while in the early '90s then all but disappeared. I remember wondering if peoples' earlobes would ever shrink back to their normal size (Do they? I still don't know). A younger generation has since brought them back — and made them bigger and more aggressive than ever. They seemed, I imagine, like the logical place to go after we all got tatted up. RE/Search (does anyone remember that publication?!) called it "modern primitivism" back in the day. I hope we have the good sense not to call it that now. 

Tina, for me, exemplifies many of the youth subcultural trends I see at the moment: 1) Extensive arm tattoos worn with sleeveless or near sleeveless shirts; 2) Nose, lip, and cheek piercings (though noticeably fewer eyebrow and ear cartilage piercings than in the early '90s); 3) Genre-defying clothing combinations (I don't frankly, know what to call her look — and neither does she. Style labels are SO 1990s. Today we have subcultural style without subcultures to fit them into); and 4) Headphones worn as fashion accessories (and portable soundtrack). This happened once before, of course, in the '80s, the era of the Walkman. But now they seem even more ubiquitous.

I like Tina's updated take on the '90s. But I'm left wondering a couple things: 1) Have the '90s actually come back? Are we witnessing its cyclical return now that we've finished with our nostalgia for the '70s and '80s? I realized recently that that the '90s is to kids in their late teens and early twenties what the '70s were for me and my generation. Sega is their Atari 64. Nirvana is their Sex Pistols. They're too young to remember these things, but they're vaguely aware that they produced some significant cultural impact. 

And 2) Did the '90s ever actually go anywhere? I had been thinking that the whole urban farming/bee-keeping/crafting/locavore/insert-your-favorite-hipster-pastime-here thing was sort of a revival of early '90s indie culture, until I realized that all of these things have been launched by people in their mid to late-thirties, i.e., the same people steeped in indie culture back in the early '90s. Maybe this is just what indie culture looks like all grown up. 

I, for one, am glad to see the "kids" taking up some of the more in-your-face styles of the decade in which I came of age, the obnoxious hair colors, the extreme piercings, the crunchy punk meets hippy sensibilities. I'm glad to see a revival of veganism, left-wing politics, and circus freak sideshows. It feels all comfy and homey to me.  

These may not be original contributions to youth style, but the kids these days do it differently than we did. They have more tattoos for one thing. And their thrifted wardrobes owe as much to hip hop and Euro electronica as they do to punk and grunge. Their politics are less interested in labels too. Know any 20-year-old socialists? Libertarians? Members of PETA? No, probably not. It's much more in vogue to prefer horizontal, anti-essentialist political configurations. Good. Eclecticism and inclusiveness is in order. Early '90s indie was far too sheltered, middle-class, and white anyway. Maybe this new thing, whatever we call it, will move beyond those earlier, far too insular limitations.     

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Christina, Dr. Martens Store, Walnut St.

Christina is an almost pitch perfect spokesperson for Dr. Marten's shoes. It's not surprising, then, that she works for them. She was seated atop a shipping crate in front of the Walnut St. store when I passed by.

Christina's look is something of an update of old school British skinhead. And by "old school" I mean early 1960s, when working class London lads shaved their heads and donned Fred Perry and Ben Sherman in imitation of their Rude Boy West Indian immigrant neighbors. In other words, I'm talking about the skinhead style that predates the later neo-Nazi affiliations it would eventually take on. There is something tough but vulnerable about her look that I find quite appealing.  

And check out those shoes! Just in the last couple years I've rekindled my love affair with Docs. I bought my first pair as a 15-year old Sacramento goth kid and my most recent in a fit of nostalgia in an LA discount shoe store. Dr. Martens' have been a staple of subcultural fashion since the 1960s, and have been worn by skinheads, punks, goths, industrialites, indie scenesters, and assorted other thick boot fetishists ever since. It seems, however, that in the last year or two they have substantially expanded their audience base. They have a large, upmarket boutique on Walnut St. now, and I've noticed them on a variety of feet, most notably, perhaps, among the skinny-jeaned hipster-hop set. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kitty, Art Star Craft Bazaar, Penn's Landing

I've been babbling too much on this blog today already. I'll let my pictures of Kitty speak for themselves. These, by the way, are the final images I will be posting from last weekend's Art Star.

The Moral Economy of the "Genuine" in Blogging

It is a truism of anthropological practice that the way you learn about a culture's conventions is to accidentally violate them. That's how I'm beginning to feel in terms of soliciting followers, though to be honest the only pushback I've gotten on the issue has come from me. I spent the morning reading discussions on IFB groups dedicated to blogger etiquette, and I've come to a couple of (very) provisional conclusions: 1) the blogosphere is highly divided on this subject, so there isn't any one set of conventions to adhere to; 2) in blogger discourse,"genuine" connections are far more highly valued than raw numbers of "followers." We need followers to keep us going, but we want them to follow us because they genuinely appreciate what we produce, not because they too need followers for their blog. In other words, blatant instrumentality is not cool. In this, perhaps, the fashion blogosphere strives to maintain its independence from the larger fashion industry, an industry notorious for instrumentalist social relationships. It's not enough to be followed; we want to be liked. We want the feeling of community, even when we're writing for an anonymous base of 50,000 readers. Of course in practice creating a significant readership complicates this principle substantially. How do we self-promote while maintaining a commitment to genuine, forthright relationships with our readers? And where is the line between building networks of readers and collecting followers? Bloggers, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about how you navigate these difficult waters. 

Should I be Lovin' Bloglovin'?

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

That ☝up there is the link I just added to claim my blog on Bloglovin. Which means, of course, you can now follow this blog through Bloglovin. I know, I can already feel the collective enthusiasm oozing out of my computer screen. Every time I take another step to attract more followers, something inside me wails in pain. It might be the aging indie scenester lurking in my subconscious, ready to call me a "sellout" whenever I do anything that smacks of capitalist logic. But does that term even have resonance any more? What does it mean to sell out in the digital age, where we all manage our online brands full time? Even I no longer know what it means. Nonetheless, I'm slowing down on this self-promotion thing. I'm just not cut out for it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jeff and Nina in Lumberjack Chic, Art Star Craft Bazaar, Penn's Landing.

Beards are back among us, and in greater numbers than ever, and as a hirsute American I couldn't be happier about it. I spotted Jeff, Nina, and their dog at the Art Star Craft Bazaar this weekend and thought they were quite a handsome couple, the very picture of contemporary rural urbanism (rurbanism?).

Jeff's lumberjack chic has a number of things going for it, but the most stylish thing about him has to be that camera, a Holga rangefinder. I snapped a shot of them with it after taking these. 

Friend Fishing on IFB

Yesterday I went friend fishing on the Independent Fashion Bloggers website, contacting a whole bunch of bloggers (maybe around 100) whose blogs looked cool to me and vaguely in the vein of street style, in the hopes that they would follow my blog and participate in this project. I felt kinda cheap and tawdry afterwards, though I’m not entirely sure why. We all want pageviews, don’t we? They are blogger currency. Are we not willing to do what it takes to get them? Bloggers, I would be curious to hear what your own personal feelings/policies are about soliciting followers. Also, is there a word for this practice, that is, the seeking out of other bloggers in the hopes that they’ll follow you? If there isn’t, there ought to be. It can’t possibly be “friend fishing.”

In my own defense, I assure you, my intentions were good. I want a dynamic discussion on my blog, and for as many bloggers as possible to have their voices heard in this project. And I fully intend to pay careful attention to the blogs of all the people I friended. That’s probably what they all say, though.

In any case, the move paid off. I had a significant increase in pageviews yesterday (though, it’s difficult to tease out whether that’s about the pictures/people I posted or my soliciting of IFB friends), several new “likes” on my Facebook page, and a couple new followers on Twitter and Blogger respectively. Most importantly, I had several new, very interesting comments on my posts from other bloggers. If my purpose was to kickstart discussion, it worked, and thank you those that participated. So I feel ambivalent about it, but I’m going to keep friend fishing. The benefits outweigh the risk to my reputation. I will probably, however, do so more gradually than I did yesterday. I can only take so much solicitation in one dose.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jay McCarroll (Yes, that Jay McCarroll) and his Insane Sense of Color

Jay McCarroll with his recent work (including the bag). He gets the title of my first official style celebrity photo. Winner of Project Runway, Season 1, Jay is teaching and designing in Philly these days. He's now a regular Philly style icon, making him, of course, perfect photographic fodder for this blog. But my question for you, bloggers, is does celebrity matter? Is it important to you to feature style stars in your images? Why or why not?

Phil Barbato and his Monsters

Nothing says "indie craft" like cutesy plush monsters. I dug Phil's stuff, sort of carnival game prize meets anime geekery. He comes across as a dedicated and sincere crafter, struggling, like most, to make his passion his full-time occupation. He quit his day job a few years back, but still has to supplement the bills with the occasional website design and whatnot. Such is the fate of most creative entrepreneurs. Good luck to you, Phil!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cross-Stitching in Style — Kimberly Scola of Chez-Sucre-Chez

Kimberly in front of her cross-stitching work in her both at Art Star Craft Bazaar.
Kimberly belongs to a category that hardly would have made sense a decade ago: the indie cross-stitcher.  This ain't your grandma's cross-stitch, though it may in fact look quite similar. 
To see more of Kimberly's work, or purchase some for yourself, visit