Friday, August 30, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Chuck, at Ubiq, Walnut St

Chuck Ubiq shop window Air Jordan
I found Chuck sitting in the store window outside Ubiq on Walnut St, one of Philly's premier streetwear shops and generally a great place to spot street style. See another one of my shots from Ubiq's store window here
ubiq shop window Philly
Chuck describes his style as "boho hobo." He's been listening to a lot of early '90s dance and house music lately (carrying on the '90s theme that's been happening on the blog these last few weeks), in addition to neo-soul, "and of course hip hop." His shoes are Air Jordan Black Cement 3. His pants are Righteous Rebel Denim & Apparel. His tank is H&M, his flannel Old Navy. The hat he found at a thrift store.I appreciate the way Chuck has customized these clothes, adding his own DIY modifications and personal touches. And I like how he mixes name brands with fast fashion. That's becoming a running theme.
customized Air Jordan black

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On the Street...In Front of Bettie Page, Walnut St

Monday, August 26, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Khabeer, 17th St

adidas hightops yellow tie-dye
"Me?" Khabeer asked, incredulous, as I stopped him for his picture. "You think I have street style?" "Yes," I told him, seeing in the odd juxtaposition of elements that comprise this outfit exactly that sort of mysterious quality I'm looking for in a street style subject. A tie-dye tank-top, paired with black skinny jeans, gaudy jewelry, pink nail polish, and big floppy Adidas? Yes, that'll do. 

The tank is via Urban Outfitters. The skinny jeans are Bdg, the high-tops, of course, Adidas. The sunglasses and jewelry, on the other hand, are from some "cheap store on South St." Khabeer was in a bit of a hurry or I would have asked him about his style and musical taste as well. I am, I admit, curious how Khabeer might have described his sense of style. 
yellow adidas hightops

Friday, August 23, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Britt, off 16th St

Immediately after suggesting to Britt that she follow me into the alley up 16th St to get away from the hordes of pedestrians crowding Walnut, it occurred to me how that might sound. A bearded white guy in his late '30s inviting young women into alleyways. What could possibly go wrong? But Britt was with a friend and unphased by it, and barely seemed to notice the potential impropriety until I made a joke about it. I try hard to minimize my creep factor when out on the streets with my camera, but some residue of creep no doubt remains. 

Britt, either for reasons of personal integrity or just to maintain her badass reputation, didn't want to mention the names of the brands she was wearing. It wasn't so much an opposition to brands in general, more like an opposition to these particular brands. So let's just say that her romper is "vintage-inspired," and her belt, well, it was mass-produced by one or another fast-fashion company that specializes in cheap renditions of high-fashion trends. You can probably narrow it down yourself. The sunglasses, on the other hand, she got for free "at some show in Chicago." It says "They Liver" on the arms. 

Britt's musical preferences run to '90s punk and post-punk. This comment precipitated a geeky conversation about whether or not '90s music could, in fact, be classified as post-punk, or if post-punk referred specifically to a variety of genre-defying bands that arose out of the first wave of British punk in the late 1970s. Think, PIL, Gang of Four, and Joy Division. If you're wondering who played what role in that conversation, you may be able to guess that the obnoxious would-be punk historian was me. She took the more inclusive position, suggesting that the '90s had its own brand of post-punk. In any case, let this conversation serve as even more of a warning that the '90s are big right now, and they are only getting bigger. So break out your Pixies albums and throw on some Doc Martens. My formative years are cool again.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Philadelphias Street Style: Melissa, Walnut St

safety pin dress purple hair
Melissa, lending further credence to the popular theory that the "90s are back," describes her style as "grunge punk," and cites hardcore punk acts like Drug Church, Flag, and Philly band Paint it Black, as some of her current faves. She is wearing a safety-pin print dress from H&M and boots by Steve Madden. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Heineken Friends + Family BBQ, Le Meridien, Philadelphia

What do you suppose the ratio of photographers to guests is at the average sponsored party these days? For the first half hour of Heineken's Friends + Family BBQ, hosted by Big Rube Harley, this last Saturday at Le Meridien Hotel in Philadelphia, it was about 1 to 3. That ratio shifted somewhat as the evening progressed, but not so much as you might think. In the era of Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, it ain't a party unless someone's there to document it. And since The Cobra Snake wasn't available, I — and at least 5 other people besides — stepped up for the job. And that's not to mention the dozens of smartphone cameras on hand.

Here are some of my best pics from the event. I took these without a flash — partly because I don't know how to take decent photos with a flash and partly because I'm an insufferable camera snob, committed to using natural light whenever possible — so please excuse the lack of sharpness in some of the shots. And if I took your picture the other night, but you don't see yourself here, don't take it personally. It's not you, it's me. It just means I couldn't get the shot to turn out as well as I would have liked. 

Oh, and for the record, the party was sponsored by Heineken but this post was not. If it were, I would have had all my models turn the label on their beer bottles to face the lens. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Fitchie Capone, Chestnut St

I spotted videographer Fitchie Capone, leaning on a sign at the corner of Broad and Chestnut, from across the street and down the block and knew immediately that I wanted to photograph her. It might have been the cheetah spots on the side of her head or the puffy pink fro, but I think it was more something about how she carried herself. I hurried my pace and rushed through the crosswalk. I got a few shots of her on the sign, then asked her to pose on Chestnut where it wasn't quite so backlit. "I respect all artists," she told me, as we parted ways. 

Here, she's wearing a tank top and cut-offs from Old Navy, shoes by Levis, and a pair of sunglasses she got from "some store on Chestnut." She describes her style as "spontaneous" and her taste in music as "everything." When pressed, she mentioned Soulja Boy as one of her all-time faves. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: René, Walnut St

René is wearing an apron that a friend of hers gave her over a dress she picked up on sale at Hot Topic some ten years back. She's not a big Hot Topic fan these days, but likes their emphasis on stark black and white, a combo that never really gets old. When I asked her how she would describe her style, she responded, "I don't know. I never really thought about it. It's different everyday." But there are some constants. She likes monochromatic black and white. She likes school girl uniforms, a tendency perhaps left over from punk rock roots. It's one that goes well with her taste in music, "goth and '90s industrial." "Like Skinny Puppy and Front 242?" I asked, geeking out temporarily, as if the long dormant teen goth in me were aching to come out. "Exactly," she said. We then talked about the sad demise of goth, the band Christian Death, and the even sadder demise of their lead singer, Rozz Williams. It's been a while since I've had a conversation about Christian Death. So thanks for that, René.   

Monday, August 12, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Lauren, Off 16th St

Lauren's dressed head to toe in ASOS, broken up only by her necklace from Zara. She describes her style as "just vintage" with a "60's vibe." I detect a bit of Scandinavian influence in there too. But maybe it's just her Björk haircut. Her musical preference is for post-punk, especially stuff from the early 1980s, like Television and Gang of Four. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Lyani, Walnut St

I came across Lyani on Walnut St, waiting for her sister and managing to carry off the difficult task of looking picturesque, while leaning against a trash can and texting. 

Some guy kept pestering me while I tried to shoot her picture, asking if I was shooting for the Inquirer or The Daily News. I told him "no," and that Big Rube does The Daily News. He seems skeptical, but complimented me on my choice of subjects anyway.

Lyani had "no idea" what her dress was. She just "found it on a rack somewhere and grabbed it." It turned out to be Janette Fashion, but that didn't clarify anything for either of us. Her shoes are Steve Madden. Her backpack is Army Navy. Her earrings are by a small Atlanta jeweler who goes by Boho Gal. You can check out her stuff on Etsy here.

Lyani describes her style as "comfortable eclectic." And as for music, she listens to "everything," particularly "world music, salsa, and hip hop." 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Natalie Off Duty, "Off Duty" at New York Fashion Week

Natalie Model Off Duty New York Fashion Week
There is no rest for personal style. That's why model Natalie Suarez spends her "off" hours posing for her own daily outfits blog. Hey, if you love what you do, may as well do what you love.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Will, Walnut St

Hermes t-shirt Claiborne pants

Will's pants are Claiborne. His T-shirt is Hermès. Frankly, I did not know Hermès made plain white T's. Seems a little outside their specialization. He describes his style as "urban classic" and his musical taste as "neo-soul and R&B."

Monday, August 5, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Renee, Walnut St

DIY jewelry handmade
Renee had an easy answer to my question about what she was wearing: H&M. "Everything's H&M," she said. And when I asked her how she would describe her style, she used the same two words, but with different punctuation: "Everything. H&M." I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by these answers. I did stop her for these photos as she was exiting the H&M on Walnut St. And just about everyone I stop in Philly these days is wearing at least one item from H&M. Or Zara. The two are practically interchangeable in the world of low-cost, fashionable basics. In truth, however, not everything she's wearing is H&M. Those accessories you see adorning her hands are her own creations. "Handmade," she told me.

Oh, and if you're wondering what she was listening to in the one earbud still in her ear during our shoot, it was Fiona Apple's "Shadowboxer." 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Philadelphia Street Style: Durrock, South St

Back on the streets of Philly for the first time in a month! 

Durrock describes his style as "artist," and I can only assume that he considers himself one. More specifically, he's a photographer (lending me a little bit of anxiety when I showed him the pics of him on the back of my camera). His shoes are Call it Spring by Aldo. His pants and shirt are both H&M. His musical taste runs to contemporary jazz, including fusion and bossa nova, and a bit of R&B thrown in. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Olivia Palermo, Outside Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti

Olivia Palermo Alberta Ferretti
Yeah, so I took this picture of Olivia Palermo outside Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti at the Roseland Ballroom this past New York Fashion Week in February. I recognized her from street style blogs, so I followed suit with the rest of the photographers and took her picture. I was not, however,super clear about why I was taking her picture, or even what it is that she is famous for. I googled her later, but I'm still not 100% on that one. Reality show blah blah blah, socialite blah blah blah. It doesn't really matter. Once we all agree that someone's picture is worth taking, they're famous. End of story. 

I like her look, in any case, though it's not really the sort of look I typically shoot. It's more fashion than street style, if you ask me. But more importantly, I like this picture. It's got lovely bokeh and a pronounced contrast between background and foreground. I also like the mysterious, blurry figures approaching the camera. They lend the image a slightly ominous feel. It makes me nostalgic for my 85mm lens. I think I'll go out on the streets of Philly and shoot with it tomorrow. I'm finally home in Philly, after three weeks away on the West Coast.