Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Asian Gentleman and His Wife: Japantown Mall (San Francisco)

When I was hanging around the Japantown mall I spent a good chunk of my time eating and the rest of it watching out for well dressed people. Unfortunately, most of the people were dressed a little too casual or a little too boring. Then this couple came along and I was really fixated on not the clothes themselves, but how they were being used.

This guy has simple work attire which could fit a little better, but hey, no worries! What I like about this couple is how much care this man put not into his outfit, but his girlfriend/wife. She would calmly float around shop to shop and he would follow her with his hand at the small of her back. With his jacket around her shoulders and her purse in his hands, you could tell she felt free to roam the mall with the comfort that her purse would be free from snatching, and her body protected from harm. He was really taking care of her and I thought it was incredibly sweet.

Nowadays, I don’t see the “give-your-jacket-to-the-lady” gesture anymore – but then again, this guy is Asian, so what do you expect? ;)

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Filed under Men, Paparazzi Style, Summer

Black Boots: San Francisco

I‘ve tried to do outfits like this before but unlike him, my boots and cardigans aren’t as nice.

Me: Where did you get your boots?
Him: Oh, Calvin Klein.

The difficult thing about finding a fashionable boot is trying to get something slim yet simple. If you can manage to find something within your price range the payoff is great: you can tuck your jeans inside for a casual look and you can also wear it normally as a more dressy boot.

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Girl with a Pearl Necklace: San Francisco

This weather just frickin SUCKS! Just thinking about the sun is giving me a headache. Luckily for this girl, she’s probably keeping herself very very cool. I mean if you simply look at this woman and look at that outfit, you get the sense that she’s very relaxed and very comfortable with this shitty weather.

However, for me, it’s the accessories that submit me into a fashion headlock: the thin black watch that’s barely visible, yet totally necessary, and the pearl necklace (har har, very funny). Another thing to take notes on is her striped top. Now usually, places like GAP or stores comparable in price make striped tops but with thicker lines. Unless you can actually pull it off, you’ll just end up looking like you belong on the playground. If that doesn’t work out, you can be a Pablo Picasso doppelganger.

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Michael Jackson: In the 70’s

Everyone knows Michael Jackson had style. What else do I need to say other than “The jacket from Thriller”? I’m sure there are critics who will openly disagree with what I’m about to say but to be honest, I prefer his 79′ album Off The Wall, over his newer albums. And like my preference for his music in the 70’s, I also prefer Michael’s Style in the 70’s – afro and all.

I mean Jesus Christ! Look at those pants! He’s wearing SALMON colored pants with a PINK SHIRT! W. T. F! NO one can pull that off! NO ONE! I like how everyone in this picture seems to be happy yet Michael is the only one sporting a model-esque facial expression. The way his body leans against the car; the way his hand lightly cups the hat; style is more than just clothes, it also pertains to body language.

So here’s to Michael, the Jackson 5, and a hope that maybe, just maybe… we can all wear salmon colored pants one day.

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The Perfect Outfit: San Francisco

In my honest 100% unfiltered opinion, this is an absolute perfect outfit. The skirt is at a perfect length above her knees; the shirt is cinched nicely around her waist and rolled to perfection; her hair is immaculately fixed (to maximize optimum flowlyness); she sports a nice and even tan; the belt is placed high above her waist yet lower than her bust (which is where it should be); the shoes are subtle which bring more attention to her printed skirt; and her Moschino bag is classic looking and free from any gaudy prints.

When you walk around the city scouting well dressed people to photograph, you’re bound to come across some interesting and important people – this woman is both interesting and important.

Her: Do you have a business card or a website?
Me: No business card, but I do have a website!
Her: Oh, can you write it down?
Me: Sure!
(as I started to write she interjected and said)
Her: I’m actually a creative director for a fashion magazine in Norway-
(my jaw dropped and I was starstruck. I didn’t know who this woman was but I wanted to find out)
Her: -and maybe we can post a link to your website on ours!

After writing down my contact info I walked away smiling the biggest smile ever. Is this my big break? Probably not, but it was something. I met a person who mattered in the industry and who was interested in what I was doing. I felt good about it. I guess when you commit to doing something, somewhere along the way, you hope someone notices. All I know is that I really really love what I’m doing.

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The Man with…Pigtails? San Francisco

This is one of those rare cases in fashion where¬† an outfit is so wrong it’s right. The pieces in this guys outfit are all over the place! From Southern California gangsta to Classic American, this (Japanese?) guy cherry picks just the right styles which all compliment each other.

On the bottom half you see baggy jeans and crisp white Nikes which bring us back to hip-hop street wear. Up north around the torso you get this SoCal street wear with the plaid, the white tee, and his tattoos. Up top is where you see Classic American: A black Trilby paired with razor thin, almost 50’s inspired glasses. And finally there’s…umm…pigtails?

It’s funny because one of my best friends has been growing out his hair so he can sport “man” pigtails. Now I haven’t seen my share of mantails but I’ll be honest…I was skeptical. In fact, I was downright horrified of the idea. My mind conjured up ideas of this 250lb man with pink beads in his hair sporting a tweeny bopper set of pigtails. THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

So to see this guy do it right, and do it without any hint of femininity, is a sigh of relief. Let the mantails trend begin!

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Filed under Men, Spring

Zebras in America: San Francisco

During my Sophomore year in High School I really started to experiment with fashion. Argyle sweater and leopard print scarf? Sure. Pink shirt and white blazer? Hell yea! Stripes and stripes? FASHOW! But along came my classmate who, in her own demented mind, came up to me and said,

Her: Didn’t you know you’re not supposed to wear stripes on stripes?
Me: Ummm…no?
Her: What the hell?! How do you NOT know that?!

Seconds later I felt the sting of an [emotional] slap against teenage ego. Wha..what?! No stripes on stripes?! THIS IS MADNESS! However, according to more reputable sources (GQ) I am pleased to announce that yes, stripes on stripes actually works. The only thing you need to watch out for is the thickness of the stripes. Make sure one stripe is thinner, or thicker than the other.

That being said, I like the random stripes on this outfit. Even though it’s only a belt and a scarf, it’s pretty damn loud. Just like my previous post on the man’s blue/white shoes, unique accessories can really juice up an outfit. Sadly, we only have a glimmer of her purse which from the details of the gold studs, looks quite nice. And check out those boots eh? Unlike the boots sold at crappy establishments like urban outfitters, these boots look like they’re made from decent material and seem as if they will actually protect you from such dangers as: the wind. Madness you say? THIS! IS! SAN FRANCISCO!

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Blue [not really suede] shoes: San Francisco

For the longest time I’ve been meaning to buy new bowling shoes. Unfortunately for me, and for everyone who buys bowling shoes, the ones you purchase are actually pretty ugly. They look like painted marshmallows glued onto a sock. And although I hate forking over an extra $5 to rent the house shoes, I’ve always admired the styling.

No, this man is not wearing bowling shoes but it still reminded me of them (he’s wearing a $150 Claremont Saddle by Cole Haan – I think) . The use of white and primary colors gives it this 50’s feel that makes me wanna get up, grab a cherry coke, and do the twist.

Me: Dude, where did you get your shoes?!
Him: I bought them at Cole Haan. You should check it out, they have some pretty good stuff over there.
Me: I will (even though I won’t, since I’m too cheap, and I waste all my money on restaurants/H&M.)

What I find fascinating is how big of a difference the shoes make. Honestly, if I were to see this guy wearing this exact outfit, with regular black shoes, I wouldn’t even whisper to him. But those damn shoes man! THE SHOES! The crisp white draws you in and the dark blue sets you back. The sleeves on his jacket fit PEEERFECTLY, and his pants truly accentuate his height. Another thing I noticed is his hair. Why don’t I see more guys with that kind of hairstyle? I think it’s pretty cool. It’s a very refreshing change from the typical “line up” that I see too often. This is simple done right.

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From Paris with Love <3 San Francisco

There’s something about this girl that looks very French. The hair, the colors on her outfit, and her face all emit this Parisian vibe. I mean sure, it’s completely possible that she’s not even French. For all we know she could be from Peru, or even Berkeley. But if we take that as a possibility then it makes it even more amazing that she – [possibly] a native Peruvian/Berkeluvian – was able to transform her nationality to French, through fashion.

What’s really cool about this outfit is how she reversed the nature of the jacket and the skirt. Usually, you would see the stripes on top (in the form of a top) and the solid navy blue on the bottom (in the form of a skirt/pants). This sailor/cruise-wear outfit is honestly one of my new favorites. I adore the use of blue which acts as a background to support and brighten the whites (on her scarf/buttons) and her face is completely untouched by any makeup (or so it seems).

It’s simple; it’s a quick outfit any girl can just throw on; it’s French and elle est belle! (It’s beautiful!)

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The European Weapons Dealer: San Francisco

Doesn’t he look like a bad guy from a James Bond movie? I can totally imagine him saying “Meestar Bond, you have tventy two hours to geev me ze money, or else I vill keel ze President!”

This is my first photo-terrorist/paparazzi style photograph. I was on one side of the street and I saw him on the other, and decided that I HAD to shoot this man. Although it might have been ideal to ask him, I figured I might lose a hand or have a AK-47 pushed against my face if I did. ANYWAYS!

One of the hardest things for a man to do is to wear a suit, and make it look like he’s not wearing a suit. Too many guys nowadays put on suits and they just look completely stiff, as if a brick had been stapled to their ass crack and they’re trying to successfully walk around the city. A good suit is one that flows, that moves with your elbows and makes you appear comfortable.

Although his pants are a wee bit baggy for my personal taste, I think everything else fits PERFECTLY. There’s a small bit of shirt cuff peeking out the right suit cuff, the shoulders hug him correctly, and the collar on his snappy white shirt is spread evenly in proportion to his neck and tie. However, my absolute favorite thing about this is his briefcase! I mean shit! LOOK at the COLOR! O.M.G! I’m tired of those plain black ones that are all boxy…bleh…

This briefcase is incredibly thin, very very sleek and minimalistic, and there aren’t any gaudy logos printed all over the damn thing. But when I got a closer look at the bag *zoom/enhance* I was very pleased (and not very surprised) to find a discretely engraved LV (Louis Vuiton) on the top right. He may be carrying a mean handgun in that bag, but who really cares about what’s inside?

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Filed under Men, Paparazzi Style, Summer