Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Outside Calvin Klein, Varick St

Monday, December 30, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Another from Before Jeremy Scott

Friday, December 27, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Before Jeremy Scott, 15th St

And now for something completely different...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Kelsey, 10th St

Kelsey is an illustrator and recent graduate from the University of the Arts. She described her style to me as "classy punk," to which I asked, "Does that mean you listen to a lot of punk?" "I used to," she answered, "but now I class it up a bit." Here, that translates into "some Navy style" jacket with an H&M scarf and a pair of cat-eye sunglasses by Ray-Ban. She has "no idea what the lower half is." 

Lately, she's been listening to a lot of "doom wop," the musical hybrid of doo wop and doom. I asked if she could name a band for me, since, frankly, I was having a hard time imagining what that would mean. She suggested Mister Heavenly. I just got through listening to a couple of their songs. I like them pretty well, but I'm still having trouble discerning any doo wop influence. 

By the way, if you want to check out Kelsey's illustration work, visit her website at www.kelseykrebs.com.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: D'Angelo, 12th St

Merry Christmas, all! To celebrate, here's one of my favorite pics from the last few weeks, shot in an alley off 12th St. D'Angelo is wearing shoes by Steve Madden, jeans by Ring of Fire, a bow tie and blazer from H&M, and a bag by Fred Perry. He describes his style as a mix of professional with casual. He doesn't really enjoy slacks, he says, but likes button-down shirts and nice (but not too nice) pairs of jeans. His is "fashion on a budget." D'Angelo was on his way to get his haircut when I stopped him. I'm sure he looked even sharper later on.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Spencer, Walnut St

Monday, December 23, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Karen, Walnut St

Some of the best days to shoot street style are those occasional, unseasonably warm days in late fall and early winter. People leave their heavy coats in the closet for the moment and put on those otherwise weather-inappropriate outfits they've been aching to wear for months. This last Friday, it reached the mid-50s after several weeks in the 30s. I put everything else on my schedule on hold to go out and shoot for a few hours. It paid off. 

Karen was the first person I found whom I wanted to photograph amidst the crowd of Christmas shoppers and commuters. A recently retired high school teacher, she's one of the most stylish Philadelphians of any age I've spotted recently. Nonetheless, she was surprised, and I think a little tickled, that I wanted to photograph her. "My students will get such a kick out of this!" she told me. This is the best thing about shooting street style: those little connections you make with other human beings, out there in the "real world." So much for the popular representation of bloggers as misanthropic shut-ins. 

Karen is wearing a sweater (or is it a coat?) from Free People, a scarf from Saks 5th Ave, a dress from Theory ("or something like that"), boots by Vince Camuto, and a hat from Anthropologie.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Olivia, Walnut St

In the grey winter drab of Center City Philadelphia last week, Olivia really stood out. She described her style to me, quite appropriately, as "quirky," then added both "indie" and "low-key" to the mix. She likes knee socks and Oxfords, she elaborated, plain dresses, and scarves for both style and warmth. She has dyed her hair some four different colors in the last several months before returning to brown just in time for the holidays, so that she wouldn't have to deal with the more conservative members of her family on the issue. Her jacket she got from a friend. That Day of the Dead scarf she picked up from Hot Topic. The image on the bag is from "The Little Mermaid." When I asked about her musical taste, she mentioned Arctic Monkeys, Bright Eyes,and She and Him. "Eclectic," she summed up. "But still indie," I added, noting that her list may have covered a stylistic range, but one that fits decisively into a genre. "Yes," she agreed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Taylor Horne, Lincoln Center

Yeah, so I hadn't intended to post today. I've been trying to limit my posts to three days a week, so that they don't take over my whole life. But then, you know, I started to realize that I have dozens more pictures from the last New York Fashion Week and the next one is only a couple more months away. So I'm going to start posting some of them every once in a while. Consider this a bonus post.

I met Taylor Horne through a mutual acquaintance on Facebook, then found myself at Fashion Week trying to figure out where I knew him from. One of those instances of virtual life bleeding into the everyday. Fashion Week is full of those. Taylor is a fashion photographer, formerly based in Philly. He's a New Yorker now. You can check out his work at ihatetaylorhorne.com

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Rita, Walnut St

Winter is the great fashion equalizer. Nearly everyone wears the same thing: a heavy coat, a scarf, and a hat. For the more fashionable among us, this means sacrificing style for comfort. Those little touches and flourishes that make one stylish in the first place get hidden away beneath layers of wool, or simply left at home on a dresser or in a drawer for a brighter, warmer day. For the less fashionable among us, however, a heavy coat, a scarf, and a hat may be just the thing. These are more embellishes than the average person wears on a given day. They elevate their style to a more level playing field. But who wants to play the fashion game on a day like today? On the streets of Philadelphia in winter, the rich colors of Summer and Fall give way to a monotonous black and brown. The streets are filled with a dull, flat light. Thank God for bright, unnatural hair.

Speaking of which, Rita, whose glowing red hair stood out in the early winter day like an Olympic torch, is wearing a coat by BB Dakota, a sweater by Forever 21, jeans by Urban Outfitters (or more likely one of their house brands, BDG, probably), and shoes by H&M (if one can claim that anything is really "by H&M"). Rita says she's going through a phase right now where she's trying to figure out how to make her style more "grown up" without losing its fun. She's going to graduate from college this year, and she's been thinking that there's probably too much cutesy stuff in her wardrobe: owls, lunch boxes, the various twee accoutrements of contemporary indie culture. But it's still not entirely clear to her what "more grown up" would mean. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Glen and DJ, Walnut St

I took these photos weeks ago and haven't had a chance to edit and post them. It's been a crazy last few weeks! So if you're looking at these photos and wondering, did Philly just have an unseasonable warm spell? The answer is no. No, Philly did not have a warm spell. It is quite cold here right now, thank you. It makes scouting street style quite a difficult task. 

You may recognize DJ (right) from an earlier post on Urban Fieldnotes. And as for Glen, well, I hope I got your name right. It wasn't 100% clear on the photo release, so if I got it wrong just let me know. Ah, the hazards of the written word!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Big Changes Ahead for New York Fashion Week. Maybe.

I don't know if you've heard, but IMG, the folks who run Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week, have decided to invite 20 percent fewer guests to their shows next season (i.e. Fall 2014 in February). And guess who constitutes that 20 percent who is no longer invited? That's right, bloggers. Not all bloggers, of course. I'm sure Garance and Scott will still be there, just those insufferable up-and-coming ones, who still seem to believe there's some merit in fulfilling their fashion world dreams. IMG, apparently, had heard enough complaints from editors, designers, and journalists about what Fashion Week had become. They'd gotten sick of all the posing and the preening, all the cameras flashing, all the dressing up in borrowed designer duds for every show, as if Fashion Week were an 8-day, marathon Oscars ceremony. And who to hold accountable for such hardships? How about the bloggers? They're the newest kids in town and easy prey. "Those damn bloggers!" goes the common refrain. "They are ruining everything." You used to be able to throw on some basic black and slip unseen into even a DKNY or Ralph Lauren show, or at least so people in the fashion world like to remember. Now, you are continually being watched. The only way into the front door is through that crowd of street style photographers, waiting for the Gary Pepper Vintage girl and Susie Bubble to walk by. As fashion critic Suzy Menkes famously argued in T Magazine this past September, blogging has made Fashion Week into a circus, drawing in hundreds of wannabe Scott Schumans and distracting attention away from the collections. Now the real show is out front, among the teeming crowds of street style starlets. If only we could keep our shows free of the likes of Aimee Song, Bryanboy, Rumi Neely, and Chiara Ferragni, goes the fashion world logic, maybe we could get some of that old-fashioned exclusivity back. Democratization has gone way too far, suggest industry insiders. It's getting in the way of business. 

The question is, can you reverse the tide of digital democratization? Can you close the floodgates? If bloggers are shut out of the shows, will that lessen their impact on the industry? And will it keep the street style photographers at bay? 

I don't know. But I'm skeptical that it will make a huge difference. After all, as Devon of Fashion Command Post helpfully pointed out in a recent comment on one of my Facebook posts, Fashion Week was a circus way before the bloggers showed up. Spectacles are kind of what fashion does. But I'll be reporting back on this new informal policy's effects, should there be any, come February, when I'll once again be occupying the street style trenches of New York Fashion Week.

To learn more about the NYFW blogger embargo, read this article on Dazed Digital. 

NYFW Street Style: Hanneli Mustaparta, Outside Thakoon

I haven't had much to say these last couple of weeks, and I apologize for that. It's the end of the term at Drexel, and I've been too swamped with work to write anything of value. So I figured I'd let my images speak for themselves for once. As if images could do that. 

Here is Hanneli Mustaparta. Regular street style blog readers will recognize her immediately. She's a Norwegian blogger, photographer, stylist, and formal model, but most of all, she's a street style icon, popping up in various guises throughout the street style blogosphere. I've already written at length on this blog about street style icons, their peculiar sort of fame, and the way they negotiate their celebrity on the sidewalks of Fashion Week. All that applies here as well, and I don't have much to add to the discussion at the moment. But it is worth pondering, once again, what makes a street style subject into an "icon." How many times does one have to be photographed before they become an icon? And how widely does one have to be recognized? Is a street style icon a fashion icon? Or is their icon status confined solely to the street style blogosphere? Is this iconicity transferable to other realms? Is it convertible to currency? Or is its value wholly contextual, good for street style and nothing else? 

I, for one, am inclined to think of street style iconicity as something of a stepping stone to fashion iconicity. In itself, it is of little value. But once it gains one access to the closed doors of the fashion industry, well that's a different story.   

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Audrey Kitching

Outside Peter Som
Outside Peter Som, 15th St, NYC
Outside Lincoln Center

Monday, December 9, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Declaration of Independence Dress, Outside Jeremy Scott, 15th St

outside Jeremy Scott

Outside Jeremy Scott

Friday, December 6, 2013

Model Off Duty: Taylor Hill, IMG Models

IMG Models

IMG Models

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

NYFW Street Style: American Flag Jacket, Lincoln Center

Monday, December 2, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Behind Lincoln Center