Monday, June 23, 2014

Philadelphia Street Style: Shawn, 16th St

Shawn exemplifies a style I've been seeing quite a bit lately in Philly and New York, as well as all over Instagram and Tumblr: an all-black, goth-tinged version of streetwear, that involves lots of draping and layering and plays with both a hard masculine edge and a more androgynous, borderline feminine silhouette. I like it. But I don't know what to call it. Neither does Shawn. He prefers, in fact, not to define his style or to be boxed in by other peoples' ideas of him.  
"I don’t like being confined into anything," Shawn told me, "because once I say ‘this is my style,’ people will just look at me thinking, ‘ok that’s what it is,’ when, I’m pretty much a wake up and go kinda guy. Like whatever I feel like putting on at that moment is what I put on. The aesthetic always stays the same. My shirt is probably always oversized or kinda big. I like to play with masculinity and femininity at times as well as like volume, different sizes and proportions." In these pictures he's wearing a T-shirt that he found at a thrift store and a pair of vintage shorts over black skinny jeans. The shoes are Reeboks.

Shawn wears mainly black these days, black or white. "I like neutral colors," he says, "solid colors. I like things that are, I guess, transcendent. Things that are timeless, that don't really get outdated."
Shawn's aesthetic, he says, has stayed the same for a long time. But lately he's been becoming more "cultural," taking a bit from here and there, drawing more from his own African heritage. That sartorial bricolage expresses itself most fully in his accessories. 
 Shawn is starting a style magazine called Flophouse, focused around individuality and uniqueness. "People being themselves," he says, "people breaking free from stereotypes." "I wanted to create something where I felt like people could go to it to get inspiration to express themselves," he told me, "just to be whoever they are. And I also want to centralize the LGBT community as well. So it’s going to be a mash up of a few things."   

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