Monday, October 15, 2007

On The Street……Outside Regent Park, London

Finding gentlemen like this is what keeps me going….and on my toes.

So I stop this gentleman and say I would love to take a photo of him.

“Everyone wants to take a picture of me ” he replies.

When someone says something like that, you realize you are on a short leash and I could just as easily talk myself out of a photo.

I have found that the more honest I am with the subject, the more the subject appreciates it. They know they are characters.

So I say” I don’t doubt it, you’re quite the character.” That seemed to get him.

“Well, hurry up with it then, my wife is waiting” he says and then he stood completely still while I took five or six shots.

I always am a little in awe of someone that can stand so still when they are having their photo taken.

He didn’t check himself, he didn’t adjust anything, he didn’t ask to see the photo afterwards.

He basically just said – here I am, take your best shot.


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  1. applevenusian

    October 15, 2007 at 9:38 am

    This gentleman is the coolest cat around. I love the look in his eyes – “Take the picture already so I can be on my way!”

  2. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 9:50 am

    My,he sure looks like a garden brownie or elf-don´t know what you call them back there in the States.What I mean is that he looks like those little creatures people put in their gardens to `decorate´them,which I personally think does just the opposite to the gardens.

  3. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Fantastic – Only in England is there a genuine love of old clothing as I sit here in my 34yr old tweed jacket

  4. Butch

    October 15, 2007 at 10:14 am

    All great–and all lived in, which may be the best part.

  5. Paul Pincus

    October 15, 2007 at 10:27 am

    This portrait is wonderful. You are our John Singer Sargent!

  6. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 10:42 am

    a true original…true to himself, comfortable in who he is. i would love to share a meal with him and listen to what he has to say.

  7. ricpic

    October 15, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Russian expat’s my guess.

  8. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 10:48 am

    love it- can’t wait to get to london next week!

  9. lulamae

    October 15, 2007 at 11:12 am

    grumpy stylish old man make me weak in the knees.
    he is uberchic.
    and he is obiviously not wearing a single fashion label.
    that is something that i am trying to achieve as well, to me, that is true style and creativity.

  10. Rollergirl

    October 15, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Great story.

  11. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Anon 9:50–Do you mean a gnome? That’s what I thought of when I saw this photo.

  12. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 11:23 am

    i think he is rather stylish

  13. LallaLydia

    October 15, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Very dapper in an Old World kind of way…Serendipity of the moment. (I equally enjoyed hearing how you approached the subject and would like to read more in the future if possible…I’ve always wondered how you ask people whether or not you can take a picture, and their reaction to it.)

  14. UES boy

    October 15, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Reminds me of Giuseppe Garibaldi! I really admire this man’s broken-in attire. It projects a certain ease in one’s clothes which is hard to come by.

  15. Candid Cool

    October 15, 2007 at 11:31 am

    He’s a gem! You’re right he is quite the character.

  16. Emily

    October 15, 2007 at 11:40 am

    I love his look. It’s fantastic.

    And can I say that I wish you had posted this one two days ago. We had the dreaded family portraits yesterday and that attitude “here I am, take your best shot” would have helped me relax a bit. Something to keep in mind for next time, I suppose.

  17. Deirdre

    October 15, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Love the teal vest. Velvet? Perfect color and texture. Hat rocks too.

  18. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 11:53 am

    I don’t believe your story of the encounter one bit but it’s an amazing shot nonetheless

    • dcinDC

      September 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Why would you not believe this story? Scott has no reason to embellish things to make them any better.

  19. Laguna Beach Trad

    October 15, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Amazing photo, Scott! Wonderful. This is one of my all-time favourite pics bar none.

    I love what’s going on here: the battered tweed jacket, red scarf, weskit, olive cords, wool cap. Note the tightly rolled umbrella, which I imagine he uses to fend off hooligans, scoundrels, and assorted up-to-no-gooders.

    This guy looks like a gentleman farmer or an explorer. Because I like his clothes, I give this old boy a pass on his facial hair and brown shoes (brown in town?). The risk with this sort of look is that it can resemble scarecrow chic, like Worzel Gummidge, but I think this chap pulls it off with flying colours.


  20. Jack Daniel

    October 15, 2007 at 11:59 am

    nice story

  21. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Great pic, he looks like an old legionnaire.

  22. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    To anon 9:50, perhaps you’re thinking of a garden gnome.

    I think he has more of a Russian feel ‘cuz of the hat but looking at the vest (denim?) and scarf, he does indeed seem to be made of sartorial material!

    Nice find,

  23. Iheartfashion

    October 15, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    He’s a classic-reminds me of my grandfather!

  24. The Sartorialist

    October 15, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    For Anon 11:53


    do you think the story was more dramatic or less dramatic?

    If I made it up, I would make it more interesting

  25. Sarah

    October 15, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    thats pretty funny. he does look like one of those garden elves.

  26. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    Well, I’m suprised more people haven’t mentioned the fact that this man looks exactly like a glorified garden gnome.

  27. hoek

    October 15, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    I’m sure that you won’t found kinda of that in 3rd world country, especially in Indonesia. ^^

  28. Cristina

    October 15, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    wow! it’s looks like the traditional suits of CATalonia!!!

  29. Nichelle Tramble

    October 15, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I just loved this guy.

  30. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Hey Sart! even if u made up that story I don’t care!!! the photo says it all and that’s what matters!!!

    totally agree with 11:12AM that is true style and creativity!

  31. lintmag

    October 15, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    That is one gorgeous lad, no matter what his age – another great find, Sart!

  32. Stacy

    October 15, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    I believe what you are describing is ‘self-confidence.’

    We should all take a page from his book when dressing ourselves. If you’re just not sure, or have to keep adjusting your outfit to feel comfortable, then it’s simply NOT working and that’s the part, your insecurity, that people will see.

    Dress so the finally addition to your outfit is a ‘Cape of Confidence’ and EVERYTHING will look great!

  33. chimere

    October 15, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Sartorialist are you in London! Now I have reason to my washing. Please tell me you were at Frieze Fair snapping all the lovely get ups.

  34. Elena

    October 15, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Ricpic why do you get the Russian ex-pat vibe? Is it the hat? My dad and his whole circle wore those November through March 1962 through 1974.

  35. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    I wonder if he’s an artist whose name we’d recognise? A painter or writer or musician?

    An old chap like this has surely been sartorially stylish since the day he left his mother’s womb.

    – desertwind

  36. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    PS — I’m also very curious about his wife, too.

    – desertwind

  37. fashion evolution

    October 15, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    It was fun reading about your experience taking the picture, I would love to see you incorporate this kind of storytelling even more :)

  38. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    This man is ADORABLE. He reminds me of a garden gnome! And his responses make him even more wonderful.

    Love love love!

  39. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    This is just a wonderful choice and a great shot. He is a “character”, and yet completely unforced and legitimate in his persona. I think that is why he comes across so well.

  40. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Completely agree with lulamae. Not a label in sight, and truly puts himself together with his own vision. Ironically – he does look like Marc Jacobs got his hands on him. But better.

  41. MacGuffin

    October 15, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    That’s hilarious. I can just hear him saying that to you. Wonderful!

  42. bodicea

    October 15, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    lovely. reminds me of a gnome. haha, seems like i’m the 3rd or 4th reader who says this!


  43. caramimi

    October 15, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    And likewise, it is photos like this, that keep me coming back to your blog. I love your story, and can see that he is a total package, and not solely defined by his outfit. His assuredness is what I hope to achieve as I age.

  44. bodicea

    October 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    p.s. i am studying in Indiana U too! Which campus were you at? will you be visiting soon?


  45. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    well it’s not about being dramatic per se…who tells a stranger that everyone wants to take their pic( i doubt celebs even say that) plus how could he not want to see the pic!

    anon 11:53

  46. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    artist. certainment.

  47. m-

    October 15, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    curmudgeons are kinda sexy.
    without your story, i would not have paid much attention to him
    Anonymous 11:53am is a curmudgeon in training but not at the sexy level…still stuck in bitter.

  48. Paris

    October 15, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Love the picture. Love when you’re telling a story.

    And, he looks like my grandma. Very beautiful. She could have told you exatly the same thing. And she’s always so still when I picture her.

  49. stpiduko

    October 15, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I agree honesty is always appreciated

  50. Karen

    October 15, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    He looks great, love the clothes and his self-possession. Wonder what his wife looked like.

  51. Needleforhire

    October 15, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I like to think that this is what Jamesey will look like when he gets old….

    I think the world would be a lovely, lovely place if all older gentlemen looked this dapper yet rumpled.

  52. citizen

    October 15, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Probably the coolest man I’ve seen on your blog. His style is so full of character it’s almost unrealistic, yet it’s not outrageous enough to push me away. Love the point of the hat repeated in the background spikes. ;)

  53. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    i just love how the fence and his hat all point up. and with his vest and moustache, it’s a study in chevrons. i bet he uses that umbrella because he’s not ready to submit to a cane. or he’s just doggedly overprepared on a sunny fall day. someone scolded him on wearing brown shoes, but nothing would suit his outfit better. he’s selected a lovely combo of colors and textures. that vest has so much personality, though not to eclipse the wearer, of course.

    he knows exactly what he looks like. that’s why he didn’t need to check himself. i can tell by that perfectly coiffed beard and hair that he spends an adequate amount of time in the mirror trimming, combing, adjusting his scarf and pocket square. people don’t want to take his picture for nothing! and something else pleasing, is he wearing a large pinky ring on his left hand?? i certainly hope so.

  54. ricpic

    October 15, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    Elena – The hat plus a certain aristocratic – White Russian – bearing. Just a hunch.

  55. Adina

    October 15, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    team zissou!

  56. Anonymous

    October 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    i like the punch of color, with the red scarf, in an otherwise subdued outfit

  57. WendyB

    October 15, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    Great story and photo.

  58. maryam

    October 15, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    he sounds like my idol — a grand papa i wish i had!

  59. Grace

    October 16, 2007 at 12:33 am

    fantastic, great story also.

  60. Anonymous

    October 16, 2007 at 12:43 am

    lol, that is a funny story. he’s quite dapper. bravo for forging ahead!

  61. Cut of cloth

    October 16, 2007 at 4:40 am

    He looks like himself…
    at home in his own skin
    someone who
    doesn’t give a fig
    about what people think
    This foto Opportunity is another
    Sart Classique
    Fresh Impromptu and Direct
    in life we pass each other by
    sometimes its good to stop
    and then

    A Garden Gnome?
    I don’t think so!

  62. Anonymous

    October 16, 2007 at 9:06 am

    THIS is why I check your blog everyday. Just. Wow.

  63. Anonymous

    October 16, 2007 at 9:21 am

    his is the best kind of love story. im sure he doesn’t dress for anyone to look at him, he dresses as he’s always dressed. im sure the only thing that changes for him is the hint more he loves his wife with each passing day.

  64. Anonymous

    October 16, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Santa? I knew you were real!

  65. Anonymous

    October 16, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Great photo, typical Frieze Art Fair character!

    BTW it’s Regents or Regent’s Park – but I guess to a New Yorker Regent Park sounds natural because of Bryant Park etc.

  66. Rachel Galperin

    October 16, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    i love this! i really like seeing people that care about what they look like and take the time to present themselves. This man is such a gentleman!

    People like this always inspire me.

  67. Thomas

    October 16, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I want to be him when I grow up.

  68. Verdiales

    October 16, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    It’s all about the neckerchief.

  69. Verdiales

    October 16, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    And by the way, he looks like a sitter for Manet.

  70. delicious dora

    October 17, 2007 at 1:00 am

    who is this guy? he looks like a victorian busker. he could be a chimney-sweep, or a millonaire artist playboy. the neckerchief really sends me.

  71. Alice Larkin

    October 17, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    great photo, great subject. but he sounded like an ass. he obviously wants some sort of attention for wearing an outfit like that, so he shouldn’t be rude to someone (esspecially you) who wants to take his picture. rude elf.

  72. Anonymous

    October 19, 2007 at 9:15 am

    I love this picture! The love child of a garden gnome and an English professor. ;)

    But seriously, I love the perfectly put together warn and rumpled pieces. A lovely photo and a great story.

  73. Anonymous

    October 19, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    It is photo’s like this that has made me an ADDICT to your site. Keep it rolling!

  74. Calenna

    October 22, 2007 at 1:51 am

    I love this self-assured old grump. His umbrella-cane, his hat – the colors. But what I also love is the corresponding commentary from you, Sart! I always find that whenever you DO decide to post an extra comment, that I really take the time to read your musings and study the character in the spotlight. Give us more color commentary, please!

  75. hotgalz

    October 22, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    he’s so cute i want to squish him

    like seriouslyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy //!!……******

  76. Anonymous

    October 27, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    At what age can one start dressing like this? Is now the time?

  77. Anonymous

    January 26, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    this one is so DISARMING…the wife, i wish we saw the wife…

    perfect. his vest. his scarf. his hat. his face

  78. lindayoga

    August 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Robert. I love the photo and the man in it but, I love how you told the story behind it. I could even hear his voice. Thanks for being….. you!!

  79. swingkids

    February 3, 2012 at 5:00 am

    honest…it’s a beautiful word. you get however you feel comfortable but it’s always better when you get something out with being honest.

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