Monday, April 28, 2014

Craig and Willie, Frankford Ave, Fishtown, Philadelphia

I've been trying to shoot street style in Fishtown for going on two years now. It's never worked out. There are plenty of interesting people there. Fishtown has something of a reputation for being one of Philly's most hipster-ish neighborhoods. But I'm not sure what that means anymore. The trappings of hipsterdom seem to be on the wane, even as the term has become ubiquitous. Ironic mustaches are nowhere to be seen. Trucker caps are all but gone. Sincerity is well on its way to replacing snark as the key sentiment of a younger generation. And besides, even in so-called "hipster neighborhoods," most people walking by on the streets just aren't that hip. I'm not sure what percentage of its population needs to be hip before a neighborhood is deemed "hipster," but my guess is that it's no more than 10. Otherwise, Fishtown is largely working-class, with a not insignificant number of cops and firefighters calling it home. As soon as you leave E. Girard and Frankford Ave, the skinny jeans disappear.  So every other effort I've made to shoot in Fishtown has ended in failure. There's never been enough foot traffic, and among the pedestrians I've seen there's never been enough effort thrown into a look. I can't hold that against anyone. If you've got better things to do than obsess about your clothes, more power to you. But it doesn't make for a successful street style photo expedition. Unless I've got lots of time to burn, it's a better investment to head into Center City instead.

Finally, this past Friday, I had a Philly professor happy hour at Frankford Hall. I spent an hour or so wandering around Fishtown beforehand and managed to get my first street style shot there: Craig.

Craig is wearing a pair of NP02 cut, selvedge denim Norman Porter jeans. Norman Porter, by the way, is a Philadelphia denim brand. Their products are dope. You should check them out. They're the kind of jeans you wash twice a year by throwing them in the freezer. Craig's also wearing a Levi's denim jacket, a pair of vintage Sears Roebuck boots and a hat by Scala. When I asked him about his musical taste, he shot back, almost reflexively, with "country." "Exclusively?" I asked. "Well," he hesitated, "and rock 'n' roll. Anything classic and American." Classic and American, that's a good theme for Craig's overall style.   

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