Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Alexander McQueen Shop Window, NYC

Alexander McQueen and Dries Van Noten were the two shows I was most excited to see during my first Paris fashion week.

To me, McQueen represented the drama of fashion. He represented the conflict and harmony of being a craftsman and an artist – Savile Row training, runway dreaming.

There are people in fashion I always figured I’d meet sooner or later.
I’d meet them in a very natural way (introduced by a mutual friend at a party or something) and the encounter would be so much more meaningful that way. McQueen was one of those people I felt I had time to meet. I almost wanted to save him for later. Not a conscious effort but just a concept. Well…I’m sad that won’t be the case.

I hope we all remember him for the genius he brought to fashion.

ps. I’m rereading what I wrote and what has been written on other sites and blogs.

All very nice but I still feel so unsatisfied, so empty, even a little mad.

When a bigtime movie star or politician dies someone like Tom Brokaw has always been there to help put it into perspective.

If it was a sports star, fans would talk about it for days on talk radio.

However, for someone that loves fashion Alexander McQueen is just gone and no one seems to be able to make sense of it.

There doesn’t seem to be anywhere to turn to make it feel right or understandable.

I don’t have any answers for you either. All I know is this sucks.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

His Card Reads, Dott. Gianluigi Vernet, Milano

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Sunday Stroll, Milano

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Brown & Orange p.2, Pitti Uomo

Yes, I know I have been a little heavy on the mens photos lately but NYC fashion week starts tomorrow!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Paris by Night

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Man-shawl p.2, Pitti Uomo

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street…..The Ladies Sportcoat, NYC

I love seeing ladies wearing regular length sportcoats again.

Please, no more of these tiny, short-waisted jackets that every corporate attorney wears. I saw a great women’s jacket (a suit actually) at the Marc Jacobs show last night and it looked so fresh. It was a DB with deeeeep back vents (my passion) and a firm shoulder- I’ll post a shot of it tonight.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Man-shawl p.1, Milano

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fashion Week Starts @ Alexander Wang

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Mr. Rubinacci, Pitti Uomo

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Outer Edge of Paris

Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the Street….Brown & Orange p.1, Pitti Uomo

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Graceful Man, A Gentleman

Thanks everyone for all your great suggestions on books about modern manners. I can’t wait to get a few and brush up on a few things before my next big dinner party.

For me, this is blogging at it’s best. Being able to create a community of individuals that share information and ideas that can make the community as a whole a better place. Thank you.

One of the things I mentioned yesterday, was the “manner” of a person. “Manner” or “grace” is not something that you can learn from a book. Unfortunately, it is something you just have to be or to develop.

A great scene of modern grace on ’30 Rock’ the other day:

Liz and Jack went out to dinner at a very chic restaurant. As they sat down at the table, Jack immediately moved the candle from the center of the setting to the side of the table. Liz looked at him kinda funny, not understanding why he did that but, not really caring either. Later, however, when Liz reached across the table to steal some of Jack’s food (as she always does), she realized he moved the candle so her sleeve wouldn’t catch fire when she reached across the table. Jack’s manner and grace were so attuned to her as a friend, that he knew her moves before she did. That tiny gesture ended up becoming the pivotal moment of the episode and changed the course of their business relationship.

I’m telling you guys again, women notice the small stuff. They notice the gentleness/gentlemenliness more than if you use the right fork at dinner. I’m a very lucky man, Garance notices every little kindness I offer her, she doesn’t miss a thing. Knowing that makes it so much more rewarding to do even more little things for her. I’ll be honest, my biggest obsession in life right now is not better shoes, more suits or a bigger career but, to simply be a more graceful man for my graceful woman.

So women, in the spirit of grace, manner and Valentine’s Day, take a moment and share with us men some of the little kindnesses that your man has done for you that made your heart flutter. Us men might learn something and you might gain an even more graceful man, a gentleman.

Editor’s Note: For my gay readers, I can only write this as I know it, a man loving a woman. Don’t let this keep you from joining the conversation. If you have tiny acts of kindness from a boyfriend to a boyfriend, or girlfriend to a girlfriend, please share with us!
Grace is Grace.
It doesn’t matter who you’re lovin’, it’s how you’re lovin’!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The McQueen Question.

So….now what?

I was talking to a retailer yesterday who said that her McQueen business was growing faster than it ever had before.

However, she sees no other option than to close the business of McQueen.

Who could take over? Should anyone takeover?

I’m sure Gucci has invested millions in this business but, this isn’t the same as finding a replacement for an old house like YSL or Kenzo.

This is different, very different.

I think the closest correlation to this would have to be Moschino. And still after all these years, no one has been able to replace him, just a design team. Do we really want this to be the fate of McQueen’s business?

I mean, come on, who could possibly keep the spirit of McQueen alive? He was so unique that his replacement could never get out of that shadow.

But again, Gucci has already spent millions and, in this economy, can anyone just walk away from a growing business?

So….now what?

Friday, January 29, 2010

On the Street….After YSL, Paris

Thursday, January 28, 2010

At Costume National…..The Character, Milan

Thursday, January 28, 2010

At Roberto Cavalli….The Fashion Journalist, Milan

I actually shot this in Milan a few days before I shot Kanye in Paris . Like any artist I follow my inspiration and lately I’ve been feeling for portraits. I think it started with that “Red on Red” portrait in Sydney. Right now I love the idea of a dramatic face surrounded by an equally dramatic fur…a very modern John Singer Sargent vibe.

Regarding the Kanye shot. Yes, Kanye is having a tough time right now but I think that makes the portrait all the more moving.
For those of you that think the Kanye shot was a celebrity grab and a change in direction for the blog, go check the archives. I’ve shot Kanye about ten times over the last two years and his inclusion hasn’t changed anything in this blog (if anything it enriches it with a wider stylistic offering).

Is Kanye a Sartorialist? Who is? I wrote in my book that I appreciate and relate to his struggles to find is own style vocabulary. Haven’t we all gone through that? Am I a Yohji or an Armani was mine. I know Kanye a little bit and that portrait captures something in him I haven’t seen before. Whether you like him or not is up to you. That shot is just a simple portrait of a man in a difficult moment in his life and as a artist I would be crazy not to react to that moment (especially if it falls within a mood I’m feeling). I love the contrast that these two portraits create. And lets be honest, we can’t assume that this woman is any more or less refined or graceful than Kanye. I think the not really knowing makes portraits all the more fascinating

I wish I had more to say about this lovely woman but she spoke almost no English. My good friend Renata (who you’ll see in another shot very soon) was the person who really helped make this shot happen. I love the calm poise of this shot even though there are about two hundred people right behind me moving out of a fashion show very very quickly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

At Louis Vuitton….Kanye West, Paris

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the Street…. So Much to See, Paris

Where to start?
- the “retro” extended shirt collar
- the 3-pc. suit worn without a hint of stuffiness
- the simple brown/grey color story
- the playfulness of purple socks

But the single most important element of this look!

- the masterfully/effortlessly rolled (almost punched) brim of his hat. Really, doesn’t that one element of his look tell you everything you need to know about this gentleman?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the Street….Alessandra, Milano

The thing with Alessandra is, when I think of how to describe her style I wouldn’t use descriptions of her favorite colors, proportions or genres.

I would have to use terms like sexy, approachable, androgynous, playful. Funny how someones personality can actually become their style. Sounds simply but it isn’t.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On the Street….After Dries Van Noten, Paris

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On the Street….Le Marais, Paris

Monday, January 25, 2010

On the Street…… Tough Enough for Fashion, Pitti Uomo

Monday, January 25, 2010

On the Street……In Grey & Red, Pitti Uomo

Friday, January 22, 2010

On the Street……Winter’s Best, Pitti Uomo

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Street……Before Armani, Milano

Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Street……Pattern Master, Pitti Uomo

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On the Street……After D&G, Milan

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On the Street……Via Montenapoleone, Milano

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On the Street….Lapo, Florence

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On the Street….Via Manzoni, Milano

Monday, January 18, 2010

On the Street…Mr. Hackett, Pitti Uomo

Monday, January 18, 2010

On the Street….Manù, Milano

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hi from Milano

Friday, January 15, 2010

At Pitti Uomo…..Turtlenecks & Green, Florence

This shot captures two of the biggest trends I’ve seen on the gentleman of Pitti Uomo this season.

First, green as an impact color. I don’t know if it’s just me or if all the really cool guys seem to be working a dash of green into their best looks lately.

Second, turtlenecks in every proportion. Either big and chunky and worn with a peacoat/ parka or slim and sleek and worn with a suit or sportscoat.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On the Beach..FootVolley, Rio de Janeiro

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On the Beach….Joana,Rio de Janeiro p.3

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Welcome to Pitti Uomo 2010, Florence

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On the Beach….Sometimes this is the Only Suit You Need, Rio de Janeiro

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On the Street….Joana, Rio de Janeiro p.2

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On the Street….The Barber, Rio de Janeiro

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

At Rio Fashion….Andrea Dellal, Rio de Janeiro

Monday, January 11, 2010

At Rio Fashion…Luca Rubinacci, Rio de Janeiro

Monday, January 11, 2010

At Rio Fashion….Joana, My New Style Star, Brazil

This is the first moment I saw Joana.

Ok, truth be told, Garance and I ran away from the Winters cold to Rio Fashion Week in Brazil.

It’s hot down here….I mean, crazy hot!! However we still met several really cooool girls down here. Just like Eva, or Giovanna, or Anna Della Russo, Joana is one of those girls that I become instantly curious about. Everyday I want to see what she’s is wearing.

Being Brazilian, Joana is great at color, accessories, prints and just the right amount of sexiness. She has a superior taste level and an undeiniable charm…basically, she is as nice as she looks.

I have a few more shot of her to share over the next few days. By the time you read this though, I will be flying to Florence for Pitti Uomo. This week will be an interestng mix of High Summer Rio Style and full-on Florence Winter Chic.

ps. I will have a book signing in Florence at Luisa Vis Roma on January 14th at 6:30pm.

I will do another post about this event tomorrow with more details.

Friday, January 8, 2010

On the Street….26th St. Flea Market, NYC

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Girl From That Little Vintage Store On Baker Street, Melbourne

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On the Street….Madison Ave., New York City

All about the green hat.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On the Street….Broadway, NYC

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On the Street….Sixth Ave., NYC

Monday, January 4, 2010

On the Street….Place Vendome, Paris

Monday, January 4, 2010

On the Street….26th St., NYC

Sunday, January 3, 2010

An Unknown Family of Style

Back to work yesterday after the holiday break (thanks for your patience) and the first place I went was the Chelsea Flea Market on 26th street. That has always been a great place to shoot and to just wander around for an afternoon.
At every flea market at seemingly every booth are boxes and boxes of old photos. I rarely sift through them because they are such a chaotic mess (the same reason I have no patience for tie sales).

Well yesterday was so cold I was looking for any reason to stay inside that toasty garage of a flea market. Without thinking I flipped through a few photos in a shallow box bursting with photographs and after a few moments I found this top image.

I was immediately charmed. The style of the clothes, the love of family, the spontaneity of the image all work to capture everything I love about photography. I mean come on, these guys are impeccable – the 3-piece suits, the crease in the pants, the quality of the shoes, the boutonnieres! Who are these people!

I also love that you can tell these are just ordinary family photos of some important event and not some onetime sitting for a professional family photographer. Notice the the negative in the top image is reversed. No suit that nice would have had the breast pocket on the righthand side or the boutonniere there either. Yes, I was feeling very CSI during this discovery. However, box I was looking through was such a jumbled mess that I never thought i would find another image from this family but after a few more handfuls of images I found another image, and then another, and another. It was so exciting having this human story unfolding in front of my eyes. I was trying to find clues that would tie them together, like the facade of the building in the 2nd and 5th picture.

Of course you start creating your own fantasy about these people. Where are they from? Are any of them still alive? Was the style of this generation carried on to the next? Where did they shop? What did style and fashion mean to them and how did it help them fit in or alienate them from their neighbors?

The not knowing actually is more fun, it gives you so much more freedom to imagine.

I LOVE old photos so don’t be surprised if this becomes a more regular feature on this blog.

Notice the squared-off bottom of his suit jacket.

Notice the supertiny tie bar on on the gentleman second from the left.

I love that these images were taken over several years. This gentleman looks several years younger here than in the top photo. It gives me hope that somewhere out there are even more photos from this family waiting to be discovered. I asked the woman I bought these from to search her other boxes of photos at home to see if she had anymore. I’ll keep you posted.