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The Sartorialist


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the Street....On Tonal, Bowery

Monday, December 29, 2008

On the Street....Velvet Collar Coat, NYC

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone!

I have been reviewing your emails about the new format.

Thanks for the input, we are looking into the different browser issues now.

Monday, December 22, 2008

On the Street....The Right Fit DB, NYC

I am so excited about the new enlarged image size. Please email me if you are having any difficulty viewing the new images. Make sure to include your browser information.

On the Street....Winter Coats with Great Design Detail

Pop Couture - New York Times Magazine

Published: December 19, 2008

Sometimes the Web is most satisfying when it confirms a cliché from the world offline.

I’m thinking of the captivating street-style photoblogs, which display snapshots of chic pedestrians in cities around the world. Such blogs exist for Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Moscow, Sydney, Seoul, Berlin, Dublin, London — you name it. Survey them one morning over coffee, and you’ll feel like a boulevardier of the whole world, breezing past one stunning creature after another, free to cruelly assess or dumbly gaze — at supreme leisure and invulnerable to reciprocal scrutiny.

What can be learned from a global anthology of fantastic-­looking people? First off, you might find that looking at people on city streets is almost a perfect allegory of Web-browsing. Tellingly, the major Chinese search engine, Baidu, takes its name from an ancient poem about the search for (what the portal’s FAQ calls) “a retreating beauty amid chaotic glamour.” Anyone encountering the bedlam of the Web seeks a resting place, even — at times — a literal or figurative embrace. The suspense of that exploration is mirrored in the story you find on the street-style blogs: the search for a quiet connection with beauty in a metropolis of strangers.

But what specifically do the photoblogs teach about fashion? The novelty of Aladdin pants, the sweetness of dove gray, bits and pieces of style — gestalts, vibes — the same vague revelations you might discover while walking in the Harajuku neighborhood in Tokyo or the French Quarter in New Orleans. Dozens of street-style blogs for Muslim women show inventive ways to wear a hijab and eye makeup. Some stylish people on the blogs look chipper and resourceful (Tokyo); some look pampered (Cape Town). Others appear proud (Stockholm), playful (Austin), radiant (Copenhagen), easygoing (Nairobi), celebratory (Buenos Aires), ferocious (London). The street-style blogs palpably lift the mood: human beings in their natural habitats and chosen adornments seem suddenly ingenious, unpredictable and above all beautiful.

That feeling mounts at the best sites — Face Hunter, Style-Arena, Stockholm Street Style — and peaks with a glance at The Sartorialist, the bellwether American site that turned this kind of cruising-photo­blogging into an art form. Fathered by Scott Schuman, a onetime employee of the men’s clothing enterprise Chess King who (though he detoured through a career in high fashion) never lost his eye for the sharp-dressed Everyman, The Sartorialist features not just handsome people but also handsome photographs. The site’s generous, near-gilded portraits are especially pleasing when contrasted with stock rage-filled fashion spreads in glossy magazines. Schuman’s images have no edge; they’re all creamy center.

On an average day at The Sartorialist you might catch two students, she with a pink bow at her neck and he in a shrunken flannel shirt, loitering not far from a humorous-looking bearded man in a military-band jacket, who himself preens not far from a row of sophisticated winter women in dark stockings, heels, furs and vividly colored August-weight dresses.

Indeed, the street-style blogs of the world are so trippingly delightful and spontaneous that, while you forget your cares in your money­less world tour, you may also forget all societal gravity and natural laws and snob hierarchies — until. Hold up. At Garance Doré, a French blog named after its proprietress, you hit a hard truth, the immovable cliché of style: Paris. The Web came, the European Union, Tokyo style, war, Sarkozy, the crash of global markets. And still everyone dresses better in Paris.

At least, I mean, they look sublime at the house of Garance Doré. Raised by a high-stepping mother who wore Mugler and Alaïa, Doré is a fashion illustrator who in 2006 became “a little frustrated with the commissions I had, and in particular by the lack of contact with the readers” (as her freshly translated bio puts it). She closed the audience gap with a blog — as so many do; at first, it showed sketches and captions and now features photos of people she encounters. You know, just people, regular people, like an ethereal redheaded It Girl outside a Karl Lagerfeld show, or the sultry French model Valentine Fillol Cordier at the Palais Royal.

A friend of mine won’t look at Garance Doré because he says it fills him with longing he can’t bear. I feel nearly the same way, though I don’t stay away; I’m pleasurably overwhelmed. Somehow Garance Doré gives viewers the sense that they are in the urban splendor too, or could be, or should be — strolling or sauntering, rather than linking and clicking. And at this moment in cultural history, when the allure of Europe and Paris and the sumptuous, leisurely life is assumed to have faded, we’re not on guard against it. Garance Doré should come with a caution.

With their scarves and coats in muted colors, steady gazes and rosebud mouths, the figures who pause at Garance Doré seem somehow sainted. Unlike Schuman, Doré publishes photos of faces alone (often set above full-body shots), so her focus is less on silhouette and proportion and more on expression and complexion. While Schuman’s camera is curious, Doré’s is smitten. Her figures glow under her attention. They’re nearly aflame.

As a rule, the street-style blogs don’t take many ads. They’re not advertorial, either. I haven’t seen any that systematically caption their photos with information about brands, labels, prices. And if you think you might try to replicate one of the looks, you’re thrown back on your wits and your own wardrobe: the sites don’t suggest places to shop. A proposed “shopping guide” that was forever “premiering soon” on The Sartorialist seems to be stalled.

On the other hand, in this time of a downturn in traditional media that’s said to be both “cyclical and secular” — meaning that there’s a recession on and that the businesses are fundamentally changing and moving online — the street-style blogs suggest a new way of displaying fashion and, down the road, monetizing fashion reporting. Vogue’s Style File blog at, which features celebrities and breaking fashion news, rarely draws a single comment. By contrast, a Garance Doré post of an unnamed woman in houndstooth and stripes drew 78 comments, in French and English. Sartorialist posts regularly draw more than a hundred. People return to these sites, and stay a long time. In the fashion frame of mind, some viewers would no doubt click on ads for e-tailers that might sell them clothes, jewelry, accessories and cosmetics.

It’s also worth noting that if it’s the styles of New York and Paris that play the best online, nothing in the taste of the times should be all that confounding to people who know the rules of traditional fashion. Although of course even the great Garance Doré — who seems to me to be the guardian of all style — can get confused. Recently, Doré reported that she came across a stunning young woman with “une allure incroyable” in black eyeliner and a vintage blue puffer coat. Doré speculated that she might be from an exotic land, perhaps where grog is drunk. (At times, the French fashion world seems to be intoxicated by Scandinavian beauty and style.)

Though Doré addressed her in English, the alluring woman was entirely French, called Marianne (“Comme la République Française,” the woman added helpfully). It turned out that she was Doré’s neighbor in Paris. A stylish Parisienne? Quelle surprise.

from Scott
I'm so happy to see Garance Dore getting the attention her work deserves. She is one of the few blogs I look at every day for inspiration.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Street....Gloves in the Chest Pocket Have Jumped the Pond, NYC

On the Street....Finally a Black Coat with Some Design Detail, NYC

It was great to finally see a girl wearing a black winter coat with some really great design details - like the oversized buttons and a dropped waist belt.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Street....Nata T, Moscow

On the Street....Wing Collar Shirt, Soho

Pajamas - The Real Eveningwear

So, I just turned 41, and recently bought my first pair of real pajamas.

I guess I was always wearing sweats, or lounge pants, or knit shorts and a simple tee to bed. I had never put much thought into my sleepwear. However, I began to reconsider my nocturnal strategy once I began staying in nicer hotels in Milan and Paris. I often work on my laptop in bed while traveling, and I had begun to feel that the hotel bed was dressed better than me!

It didn't take me long to find the pair above at Brooks Brothers for around $80 (on sale now for about $60). I love them, and I finally feel as chic as my bed in Milan. However, I worry that I might be sliding down that slippery slope to fuddy-duddyism. So I have a question to the ladies in the audience (I think the men in the audience will carefully consider your answers).

What do you want to see your man wearing to bed at night? (don't say a naughty grin, that wouldn't be fair)

The other downside of this pj purchase is the fact that my sartorialism might be getting out of hand.

I recently found myself checking old movies to see what length the shirt on a pair of pj's should be. There is a great scene in The Philadelphia Story (scene 18 on my DVD) when Cary Grant answers the door, to a drunk Jimmy Stewart, while wearing a great pair of pj's. I mean if you are going to look for inspiration on how something should fit then why not go to the master. I am now struggling with the choice of either marking the alterations on the pj shirt myself at home, or do I take them to the tailor and have them marked there. I am not looking forward to walking out of the dressing room in my pj's.

In related news...

I don't know why I think it is so funny, but whenever I wear a terrycloth robe in a hotel I have to put a wash cloth in the chestpocket - like a little matching terrycloth pocket square. I know it's just plain silly, but I can't help it. At least the waiters who deliver room service in Milan always seem to get a chuckle out of it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the Street....Da Hair, Moscow

In a city full of mullets (and I don't mean the cute or ironic kind) this was one of the few men who had a haircut I could reasonably relate to.

On the Street....Crapdozis, Moscow

This is one of the shots I did for the Harper's Bazaar Russia Best Dressed List. She was one of my favorite young ladies I met while in Moscow. She has great natural style, a great wardrobe and was up for whatever kind of shot I wanted to do - so I knew she would be the perfect young woman for this location.

While I was riding in the car with Mira (I posted several photos of her on November 5th) I noticed this one particular kind of hot dog stand that I kept seeing around the city. I asked her, "what does Crapdozis mean in Russian?"

She looked at me very strangely, so I pointed at the hot dog stand and explained that, to me, the sign said Crapdozis. She laughed and said in Russian it meant something like Starfish or Star-something.

Then she said, "What is a Crapdozi?"

"Well," I said "Crapdozi is might mean something like....well....big poop"

She could not stop laughing. It became the running joke during my time in Moscow.

When we were on one of the last shots for the day I decided we had to get Crapdozis in the story, luckily there was one only a few blocks away. We ran down there quickly because we were losing light fast.

I wanted her to stand close to the table that had Crapdozis written down the side. Unfortunately, there was a guy already standing there finishing his meal. They asked him in Russian if we could join him for a minute while we got the shot.

I still have no idea who that guy in the far background is, but they all seemed to have a good laugh while we did the shots.

And that, my friends, is the rest of the story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Considering Ripped Jeans

GQ ran this shot in September, and I think it is one of the best versions of ripped/worn jeans I have seen in a while.

I can't bring myself to buy "pre-ripped" jeans.

I was looking at a few pairs of my old jeans (the ones I was debating whether to taper the leg or to leave full) and realized that I have a very specific wear pattern to my jeans that is as personal as a fingerprint (and probably everyone does). Now that I realize it - I would feel self-conscious wearing ripped jeans that didn't have the fraying on the right thigh left by my keys, or the abrasions on the coin pocket. I was surprised that even the stitching on the back pocket of the jeans was popped in the same manner and location on both pairs (stupid wallet).

Is there a rinse that I can use to slightly "re-darken" the denim?
I think the color now is great, but they will only get lighter and I want to keep them in them close to this shade.

On the Street...LaFayette St., NYC

On the Street....Black & White, Moscow

The Sartorialist Shoots DKNY Jeans

From WWD yesterday

ON THE STREETS: DKNY Jeans hit the streets for spring. The brand’s new ad campaign, conceived by Laird + Partners, was shot by Scott Schuman in his famous “The Sartorialist” format. The ads showcase a mix of New York notables including Sean Lennon, Daisy Lowe, DJ Coleman, Luc Worrell and Chanel Iman. The campaign is a departure for the DKNY Jeans brand (which is owned by Liz Claiborne Inc.). Not only is this Schuman’s first time shooting for the brand (and his first time shooting a major campaign), but the ads present the collection with one or two individuals in each image, rather than in the usual group format.

Patti Cohen, executive vice president of marketing and communications for Donna Karan International, said the campaign reflects everything that Karan thinks about when she thinks of denim. “Donna always says that jeans are not about a season, but rather part of your skin, something you can’t live without,” Cohen said. “So we wanted to make a personal statement about jeans and fashion and Scott seemed so perfect to shoot this. He brings such a freshness to street style.”

The ads each showcase an individual in a caught-on-the-street style in several areas of the city. The idea, Cohen said, was to highlight a broad spectrum of personal styles, which can easily be translated from the streets of New York to a suburban mall.

Despite the recession, Cohen said the company isn’t planning to cut back on advertising for the DKNY Jeans brand. She said the ads will hit for spring, beginning with the February issues of such books as In Style, Elle, GQ and Details as well as online and on billboards across the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

— Julee Kaplan

When I showed up for the first day of the shoot I was walking around 39th street trying to figure out which mobile home was for me. I figured the other mobile homes were for another shoot or some other event happening nearby. Eventually one of the assistants came out and found me. I asked her, "which mobile home is ours?" She said "They're all ours."

4 mobile homes, 2 cube trucks and several vans and cars is quite a different set-up from my usual "on the street" shooting style but when it came time to take the shots everything was as normal as any other day (except for the hair and makeup people) (oh, and the stylist) (oh yeah, and the caterer) (and the dancing Russian bears I requested - I've gotta have some crazy requests right?)

Monday, December 15, 2008

On Zoot Suits, Baggies, Stacy Adams & 125th Street

Check the comments section of a post I did Sept. 19th 2007.
It was a post about GQ's Best-Dressed List. In the comments section I remarked that I voted for Morris Day.

I grew up in the early to mid 80's and Prince and The Time were a huge music and style influence (ask my sister).
When I see a gentleman like the the Deacon I shot in Harlem yesterday I don't see him as an "exotic" but as someone that brings up very fond memories of that time in my life.

The start of my style education was with those guys in The Time. Just because I never wore a Zoot Suit or Stacy Adams (I did have baggies - ask my sister, she might have pictures) doesn't mean that I wasn't heavily influenced by the concept. Again, and I hate to use the term, but it was a case of abstract inspiration.

These guys were all about style with a capital "S". Style for them was all about getting women, and as a teenage boy in Indianapolis that sounded pretty good to me. As a result, I never thought that fashion wasn't something most straight guys talked about. If I felt totally comfortable talking about clothes with my guy friends it's because it was so normal in the music I was listening to at the time. I'm sure that is a part of why I like Kanye now.

If you are embarrassed by the image I posted today or see no value (aesthetic or educational) then you really need to ask a few questions before you attack. This gentleman is as basic to my personal catalog of style as any old Italian gent that I have ever shot. I hold him no higher or lower on the style scale, he just is what he is and I accept it and delight in it.

I had a lot of fun finding these pictures for this post.
I always dreamed that one day I would be that guy standing behind Morris Day. No, not the white guy, the other guy with the red tie - Jesse Johnson.

Really, can you doubt that I would become The Sartorialist if this was the music I was listening to at 14 or 15.

None of my high school friends were surprised when they learned what I was doing now.

Look at those pocket squares!!

"The Walk", the style anthem for this whole look.

PS. Thank God I just missed that whole Cameo sensation.

On the Street.... Bowery, New York

On the Street....125th St. Harlem, New York

Friday, December 12, 2008

On the Street.... The Painter, Moscow

Finally I can share my men's Moscow images. I had to save them for the January GQ.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Street.... Those Shoes, NYC

You've gotta click on the above image to enlarge the photo because the patching job he did on the right shoe is pretty cool.

Reconsidering Jeans

The post above made me start rethinking my personal denim strategy.

I have finally found a jean that fits and looks good on me...the APC New Cure. The New Cure has a great slim leg and doesn't sit too high or low on the waist. Of course my cleaning lady washed my "unwashed" hard denim jeans recently which I thought would ruin them, but actually it just gave me a new "rinse" and a great reason to buy a new pair to replace the old ones!

However, just as I got a handle on the slim leg jean I have started seeing guys doing a slightly fuller leg jean again - and looking cool doing it.

I think this picture I took last winter is looking more and more interesting now.

Also, yesterday I was at a Japanese bookstore and finally bought a copy of Free & Easy. A great denim magazine that all the denim and casual wear designers I know swear by for design inspiration.

On the Street.... Raspberry Beret, Paris

I Kid You Not..... Some of the Best Men's Magazines in Japan

Oily Boy..well...well...what to say about Oily Boy.

The magazine is produced by the people that create Popeye (which is like a Japanese version of Nylon magazine).

Oily Boy, however, is for the "elder boys" market. I am a little troubled that it's surprisingly so good. I would love to shoot something for them but if I stop someone on the street and say "Hi. you look great..can I shoot you for Oily Boy?" I'm positive I would get punched out.

Click to enlarge any of these magazine pages.

Men's Ex is the magazine in Japan that I contribute a page to every month.

It focuses more on the Italian style that I love rather than all the typical runway stuff. Actually it's more of a shopping guide for Sartorialists, except most the the items are only available in Japan. It is one of the few magazines I would subscribe to if I wasn't already working for them.

I'm also proud of the fact that the guys who work at Men's Ex are very, very stylish and appear on my blog often.

Leon...another great men's magazine that focuses on classic Italian style.

Mens Fudge, I don't even know where to I won't

I buy these magazines at the shops listed below.

Supposedly you can buy the magazine over the phone with your credit card and they will ship it to you. I'm sure it works fine, but I can't vouch for it myself.

1073 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY

Asahiya Bookstores
360 Madison Ave, New York NY

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the Street.... Shrunken Shirt as Cardigan, NYC

Yesterday I posted an image of a young man at NYU wearing a cool shrunken (or, more probably, vintage kids) flannel shirt as outerwear (bottom photo).

A lot of people commented that it basically had no redeeming style factor because it was "too grungy" to adapt into most other styles. For me personally, the only part of the look I really noticed was the idea of a shrunken shirt as almost a replacement to a cardigan.

That's why I wasn't so surprised when I ran into this guy yesterday on 5th Ave doing the exact same concept but in a totally Ivy League way. I hate to keep bringing up the idea of "abstract inspiration" but this is a perfect example of how to be inspired by a vague concept of proportion (or color, or mix of genres or whatever) instead of being blinded by the reality of how something appears.

On the Street....Tan & Silver, Milano

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On the Street....Cotton, Cashmere & Nylon, NYC

Being stylish doesn't always mean being dressed-up.

Real life is walking the dog at 7 am, or the morning coffee run, or taking your kids to the school bus (or sometimes all three at once).

For me, I find a mix of sweat pants, nylon coat and a cashmere scarf, hat and gloves the perfect mix. Apparently so does my friend Robert who I ran into the other morning in the West Village.

So here is the question.

Except for going to/from the gym, does a Sartorialist ever wear sweats after 10 a.m.?

Before 10 a.m. sweats seem like a perfect solution, after 10 a.m. they just seem lazy.

On the Street....NYU Two, NYC

Little details
- Pink bow on her sets the perfect attitude
- Love the proportion of his plaid flannel shirt jacket and his barely there string belt
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