Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big Man Walking, Vintage Photo Contest

Here’s a photo of my boyfriend’s grandfather Papa Joe, who just had his 80th birthday last month. Papa Joe is such a generous, open-minded, and most humorous person. I’ve known him for many years and look up to him as my second dad. Papa Joe loves golfing everyday and stays very healthy. My favorite thing he does is when he twists his huge oversized vintage red diamond ring on his finger (which he won from a poker game when he was young) when he tells us a story; and he always ends the story in an unexpected humorous way. He used to sew and he still has his sewing machine in his room. Last month I stumbled across some photos on his sewing/computer table and was surprised to see this side of him. I totally fell in love with this photo and I am so glad I could share this with my favorite fashion blog. I love how he layered simple elegant clothes with a pop of funky polka dots scarf and tie. And most of all, I love the style of the photography (I am a photographer myself!). Hope you enjoy this photo too!

This is one of my favorite, he’s my fiance’s grandfather, Dr.Vittorio Mel


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  1. just me

    March 27, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Amazing !

  2. Antonio Barros

    March 27, 2010 at 5:31 am

    Amazing pictures!

  3. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 5:32 am

    damn, papa joe was a fine specimen in his day!

    • Simone Fraser

      November 4, 2014 at 8:07 am

      By this writing here, he probably still is!
      I am so glad to have the privilege of reading this post, and all the others that have that poignancy. So many sweet glimpses into lives, constantly reminding one of how glorious and fascinating an individual is. This fellow might have been considered just a touch left of center with his combination of patterns? I can’t imagine his attention to detail was common.
      I come from a family of sewers, and my very tall dad, (six foot five, if you’re interested), was an accomplished sewer. I wish more men would be matter-of-fact about it as something anyone can do, rather than considering it just something women do. I was glad to see a post of Scott discussing something he made. It might have partly stemmed from him that I have great passion and appreciation for well constructed clothing.

      This Papa Joe looks as fabulous as a Hollywood star and Dr Vittorio is a very fine looking man as well. Thanks for sharing…

  4. Alizée G.

    March 27, 2010 at 6:01 am

    magnifique photo comme celle de votre grand mere, j'adore..
    Alizée G.

  5. Misanthropic Pulp

    March 27, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Papa Joe slightly reminds of James Dean/James Franco….
    love the shot…

  6. Black

    March 27, 2010 at 6:26 am

    wow, amazing photos and stories!

  7. Sweet Tooth

    March 27, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Absolutely amazing. Great combo of the fun print and the demure layering.

  8. Sweet Tooth

    March 27, 2010 at 6:35 am

    wonderful photos. love the combo of the fun print and the demure layering.

  9. 50two

    March 27, 2010 at 6:43 am

    papa joe looks like awesome.

  10. AppleTree

    March 27, 2010 at 6:49 am

    I heart Papa Joe!

  11. Walk The Sand

    March 27, 2010 at 6:51 am

    The first is perfection, and very James Dean/James Gandolfini. Brilliant stare.

  12. Ania

    March 27, 2010 at 6:55 am

    all these vintage photos are incredible!

    I don't envy your task – must be a struggle to choose…

  13. A

    March 27, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I love these vintage pictures! So inspiring!

  14. Jinggay

    March 27, 2010 at 7:41 am

    style definitely timeless

  15. Betty

    March 27, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Papa Joe looks WONDERFUL!


  16. Betty

    March 27, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Papa Joe look wonderful! Think this is such a nice idea x

  17. milenavlada

    March 27, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I love the 1st photo, it's beautiful. There is something about men of that era. Very handsome!

  18. Cuca.

    March 27, 2010 at 8:27 am

    amazing…this is gorgeous..I love old pictures!

  19. Alice

    March 27, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I really love the pictures, and the stories behind them.

  20. CindrellaUnderTheUmbrella

    March 27, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Great photos. Not only Papa Joe and Dr. Melo but also other people on the photos are so chic and elegant. I wish it could be the same at the moment, it would be nice to see stylish people all around.

  21. Camille Brown

    March 27, 2010 at 8:35 am

    thank you for posting these! i always love this blog

  22. The Photodiarist

    March 27, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I love this contest!

  23. Fashionstyle

    March 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

    No comment !! Just beautiful!!

  24. Patricia

    March 27, 2010 at 9:44 am

    common in those days was a street photog who would snap your pic and then offer to sell you a copy, these are nice examples of those.

  25. Catherine

    March 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

    That first photo is so gorgeous and lovely!

  26. Lisa Corrigan Egan

    March 27, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Those men were definitely fine dressers :)

  27. Nyrha

    March 27, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I really love that dot scarf and tie!

  28. Ksenia

    March 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

    WOW! Papa Joe was a hell of a guy! i'd kill for grandpa like that

  29. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

    You did this contest to present ur family or what???

  30. Copious Couture

    March 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

    That first picture is gorgeous!!!! I love it so much!!



    March 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Papa Joe looks so cool! Wow, everything just works. What a cool photo.

  32. Dees

    March 27, 2010 at 11:15 am

    This contest makes me so happy. Genius idea, Mr. Sart.

  33. enrique

    March 27, 2010 at 11:22 am

    The two photos might be the very first 'street style photos' in the pre-Internet era. If we ignored the age of the photos, I can see such stylish people being photographed on a regular in Milan. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Camila Godoi

    March 27, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Tank you for sharring this whit me.
    Camila from Brazil.

  35. Alain

    March 27, 2010 at 11:27 am

    An amazing presence!

    Wow, what a fine idea this is. It is a big enough idea for a separate blog!

  36. PC

    March 27, 2010 at 11:29 am

    There is something foretelling in this photo…
    It appears to have been shot on rue de Rivoli which is the area where M. the Sartorialist often finds his subjects nowadays. Funny how things are.


    March 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

    i love vintage photo

  38. Caddy

    March 27, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I'm really enjoying looking at these pictures and readings these stories! Great idea Scott!! :)

  39. Heidi

    March 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Papa Joe was a stud. Wow. I can't get over it! His outfit, his hair, the expression on his face… it's perfect.

  40. Sophia

    March 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I love the picture of of Dr. Vittorio Melo. I've walked on those streets and it's incredible to think they've been there that long.

  41. Courtney O.

    March 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    lovely photos. the first picture is so cute!

  42. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Papa Joe rules.

  43. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    … "boyfriend"? care to define?

  44. kathrynnova

    March 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    i don't see too many polka-dots around that much – especially the large ones in that photo – on men and i absolutely love how it looks.

    grace. pure grace. both of them.

  45. lauren baluyo

    March 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I truly admire vintage photos of those with impeccable, personalized style. Sometimes I wish I could teleport 60 or 70 years back just to immerse myself in all those classic looks and wear some lovely frocks as well.


  46. philou.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    true elegance. i really do like that!

  47. Rococo Vintage

    March 27, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I love how unbelievably gigantic Papa Joe's clothes are!!


  48. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    the second picture was taken at the galleria vittoria emmanuelle right in the heart of milan … amazing how it still looks the same today.

    and oh both the guys, iconic style. superb.

  49. daisy kate

    March 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Amazing, I love the papa joe photo, very dapper :) and it's so lovely that you see him as your second father. if you get a minute, please check out my blog at leather, lace and studs. my 200th follower receives a gift from my wardrobe :)

  50. Johanna Urban

    March 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    That's a cool picture with a very handsome man!!! :)
    //Johanna from Sweden


  51. christopher

    March 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    papa joe looks a lot like charlie sexton in his youth!

  52. Les Garcons

    March 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    The first picture is amazing – I aspire to be him!

  53. Editor

    March 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    what an interesting contest, love it!

    D e g a i n e

  54. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    "Tall Man" walking looks like Burt Lancaster in The Killers. Garrish, but cool.

  55. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Tall Man Walking looks lik Burt Lancaster from the Killers. Garrish, but cool.

  56. Paula

    March 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    That black and white one of Papa Joe is incredible. Honestly, brilliant style and he's got a great face.

  57. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    great style! and the most amazing thing is that in Italy, you can find old people (like my grandfather) who actually wear those suits with elegance! Has this picture been taked in Milan?? the road seems very very much Via Vittorio Emanuele!!
    XO by a youth Italian Pharmacy Student!!!

  58. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    i agree papa joe looks awesome… kinda wanna go back in time just to meet him!

  59. Rendezvous

    March 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm


  60. Kristen

    March 27, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Papa Joe – the proportions are just perfect!

  61. morella

    March 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I'm from Bologna and I immediately recognize our "portici" !!! Beautiful picture and very charming man. :)

  62. TeaAndCake

    March 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I'm from Bologna and I immediately recognize our typical "portici" !!! Beautiful picture, very charming man. :)

  63. Joy Mars

    March 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    All these pictures are wonderful.

    But this one of Dr.Vittorio Melò is remarkable because not only does he look dapper, so does everyone else in the background.

    It was any age of real taste and elegance. And it's making me very sad to see how far we've gone away from that.

  64. TWSB

    March 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    This is great. I love early 1900's fashion. Back in that day they sure knew how to dress with style!

    The White Shoe Blog

  65. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    hot dyam papa joe

  66. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Papa Joe is Gorgeous.

  67. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    wow, wish papa joe wasn't 80 nowadays))

  68. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    If i were to have walked past Papa Joe, with his impeccable cheekbones, complimented by his sassy play of proportions, I would have fallen in love!

  69. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm

  70. MrTresFierce

    March 27, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    The top one looks like if Michael Buble and James Franco had a baby. I enjoy that. These are GREAT pics! :-)

  71. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    omg @ 5:32 am! i was thinking the SAME THING! good to hear that he just turned 80..awwww

  72. Anonymous

    March 27, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Papa Joe has kind of a James Dean look, doesn't he?

  73. Jeannine 520

    March 27, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Both are elegant and beautiful men. Thanks for sharing.

  74. Estrambotica

    March 28, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Papa Joe was hot!!

  75. Anonymous

    March 28, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Looking through these photos makes me sad, when I realise that the older generations in my family were never beautiful, never well-dressed or never wealthy.

  76. Criteriamour

    March 28, 2010 at 2:17 am

    The top photo is breathtaking. I love his pants!


    March 28, 2010 at 3:57 am

    The second picture was took in Bologna, via dell'Archiginnasio! I'm sure because that photo is mine!

  78. Anonymous

    March 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Papa Joe is a mix between James Dean and Robert Sean Leonard in his Dead Poet Society's days. The epitome of polka dot verve.


  79. sherene

    March 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Papa Joe seems like he might have been quite a heart-breaker back in his days :) Fabulous style..

  80. shona

    March 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    These photos are so beautiful and so precious! I love both…papa joe looks as if hes a movie star with a thousand girls lined up around the corner for him and Dr vittorio looks so elegant and dashing for someone so young! Is that a flower i see hanging from his top pocket?
    I wish more young men dressed like this today!

  81. Anonymous

    March 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm


  82. Hong Photography Studio

    March 29, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Haha Yes I heard from my boyfriend that Papa Joe was a very popular guy when he was young. When Nana Donna starts a small argument, Papa Joe always jokes about having a mistress called "Lorna" and how she's so nice and does what he wants. hahaha But Nana Donna was a very attractive woman too. They are both the most open-mind and loving people! :)


  83. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Oh my!, the first man in the photo is ubercool!!

  84. Soviétique

    March 29, 2010 at 9:25 am

    WOW! So James Dean! Looking at these vintage photos makes me want to go back in time, so chic and elegant back then…

  85. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I was thinking Robert Sean Leonard and Jake Ryan myself. Definite stud material.

    I love the way Dr.Vittorio Melò is holding himself and how impeccable his coat and tie are in this pic! A man who takes pride in his appearance and his profession.

  86. Anonymous

    March 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I simply love all of your recent 'vintage' pics. They are all so amazing!

  87. Anonymous

    March 30, 2010 at 2:10 am

    he reminds me of the lead in this italian film, seen earlier this year, also set in bologna!

    "Gli Amici Del Bar Margherita"

    regards, antony, hong kong

  88. Sambaleiro

    March 30, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I love the first dress, the wide pants and the long jacket…reminds me a little bit of Armani Jackets…

    I think he combined it also well with the scraf and his tie, wonderful! :)

  89. Maria

    March 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

    So proud that my city Bologna appeared on this blog.. :)
    You should come to Bologna,'s full of interesting people!

  90. joyce

    March 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I loved walking along the portici in Bologna and was delighted to see this beautiful shot of Dr Melo strolling there so gracefully. These vintage photos are so touching,beautiful and inspirational they bring tears to my eyes. Thank you very much.

  91. Raffy

    April 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I love this photo! (Although Bologna is in the center, not the North ;-))

  92. Mark

    April 15, 2010 at 3:52 am

    It is safe to say that girls would have drooled over Papa Joe back in his prime. As most people would say nowadays, he's HOT. Man, what I would do for me to have the same physique and stature of this man.

    Boston attorneys

  93. petit_smudge

    April 19, 2010 at 11:25 am

    i'm pretty much in love with papa joe

  94. Anonymous

    May 26, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Wow papa joe was a serious hottie back in his days. Love this picture

  95. megan

    August 3, 2011 at 9:02 am

    papa joe! what a very handsome man you are. Blown away bu his sense of style. He truely steps out of this picture

  96. PF Duggan

    July 3, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Great photos. Great website. Many thanks for sharing. I find it hugely inspirational. I also love reading all the great comments and insights from the other people who comment. Thanks to them also. – PF Duggan – London, England

  97. Sharona F

    September 10, 2012 at 7:17 am

    vintage pics are the awesomest! I got some great ones of my grandpa’s and dad myself, the style is unique, the SWAG is vintage and real, just like from a movie!!!! great choice (u just inspired me to blogpost about it so thanks)

  98. Ernesto

    February 28, 2013 at 1:47 am

    First one looks like something from a Thom Browne lookbook.

  99. KeelaFab

    April 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    So amazing, I wish I can see guys like that more often on the streets!

  100. Tarcisio

    September 5, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Just amazing to see that back in the days this Joe was alredy rocking!!

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