Sunday, April 17, 2016

Philadelphia Street Style: Gibbs, Walnut St

Nearly everything Gibbs is wearing in this shot has either been personalized in some significant way or has a personal story attached to it. As an anthropologist, that's exactly what I would want in a photographic subject. The hood, Gibbs told me, they got for $2 at a surplus store in Minnesota. They added the staple pliers patch after working on a puppet show. Staple pliers play an important part in puppetry, apparently. The jacket belonged to Gibbs' friend Max. Gibbs borrowed it, and after Max got used to seeing it on them, he decided they looked better in it than he did. So he gave it to them. The pants, you've probably noticed, are covered in paint, because Gibbs is a painter (though I failed to find out if they're the kind of painter who paints buildings or the kind who paints canvasses). The pants are patched up, Gibbs said, "because I'm broke." Peaking through the jacket is a Siouxsie and the Banshees T-shirt. The googly eyes, Gibbs explained, they started wearing a few years ago. Gibbs was a spider for Halloween and adhered a whole bunch of them to their face. Gibbs liked the effect. So they've been wearing them ever since. But only three, lined up like this. The Doc Martens Gibbs has had for only a couple of years, but they're already falling apart. Gibbs is convinced Docs used to be made better than they currently are. 

When I asked Gibbs how they would describe their style, Gibbs looked pensively off into the distance, placed their hand on their chin and eventually said, "utilitarian."


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