Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On the Street....Tompkins Square Park, New York

On the Street....Tompkins Square Park, New York

The Lower East Side and especially Tompkins Square Park has been on fire lately. Such a great variety of style is blooming in the park right now.

This is Claire. She is wearing a hand-me-down dress from her mother. I love the wispy little summer dresses that are starting to appear but a more tailored, shaped dress like this is sooo flattering. To me this is vintage at its best; it draws inspiration from the past without feeling "costumey."

Tonight you will see a photo of 87 year-old artist KC Rowland; he's like the orignal Prada. Tweed hat, tortoise glasses, snake ring, Cuban shirt and leather sandals with socks. He's a true original.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vintage Photos

- Carolyn G.


If you missed my initial post, here are the instructions again.

- The subject line of the email should read "Vintage Photo"

- The photos will only be posted here on the blog, so the file size can be very small (no bigger than 700kb). I DO NOT need hi-res images, they take too long to download.

- Writing a little something about the image you send will make your entry much more interesting for all of us.

- Email your photos to: sartorialistvintagephotos@gmail.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vintage Photos

This is a photo of my very elegant grandmother, Sushila Rao, posing with her new camera in India, where she was born and raised. It was probably taken sometime in the 1940s. She's wearing a tailored, white linen suit and flat, brown leather sandals, which make her look so strong despite the fact that she's very petite. It was very daring of her to be out and about in menswear back then, rather than a traditional sari!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS Gala

Garance and I had a chance to go to the amFAR gala last week when we were in Cannes.

She tells the story much better than I do, though; you can read it here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On the Street....Margherita, Milan

On the Street....Alessandra, Milan

I saw my friend Alessandra when I was in Milan last week. As you can see, her style has evolved from a sportier gamine aesthetic to a more languid bohemian-femme mood.

What I love about her look here is that even though her dress is a casual cotton dress that could be bought anywhere (and in a wide range of fabrics and prices), she still finishes off the look with very special details.

You know what else I love about this look? I know a lot of girls would throw on a big cotton dress like this and call it done...almost a "fashion day-off." Alessandra, however, adds a dramatic necklace and a thoughtfully executed hairstyle and it elevates the entire look. The hair in this look is so important. I think the reason the girls I saw in Savannah looked so great, even as casually dressed college kids, was because they all seemed to have great hairstyles.

I think this shot is a great example of clothes as a plain canvas for the fashion in the rest of the look...as roasted chicken is to a complicated French sauce.

On this look, let the Summer games begin!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

On the Street.... Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

My Cleverley Cordovan Shoes in Progress

My personal last sitting on top of the fitting sketch.

George from Cleverley sent me these snapshots of my cordovan shoes in progress.

I'm both excited and nervous about having them finished. The design process is a lot like making a photograph - technically, it's not that difficult - however, does the finished image/product convey what you originally envisioned?

I want these shoes to look great with grey flannels but also dark navy denim. The more I think about it, the success will lie in the sole of the shoe (wow, that's kind of a play on words). If the sole is too thin and refined it will miss the ruggedness that is a hallmark of cordovan. If the sole is too thick and clunky (which is currently the trend) it will miss the whole reason for creating my own vision. Even though the process is more than halfway done, it seems the most tricky decisions are yet to be made.

I'll keep you posted.

The cordovan leather specially ordered for this pair of shoes. I was nervous about finding the perfect color, but we were able to nail it.

On the Street.....Eva, Milan

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vintage Photos

This is a photo of my maternal grandparents, taken while they were dating in the late 1940's.

Monday, May 16, 2011

On the Street.... Via Manzoni, Milan

On the Street.... Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

It was a little crowded shooting in Amsterdam yesterday.

Apparently, the local football club won a big championship game and everyone was out to celebrate.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vintage Photos

I could not resist sending you this piece of "old fashion photography".

This photo was taken by my grandfather in New York, probably in 1968.

He spent most of his life travelling around the world, and sparked my own passion for photography.

- Giulia

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vintage Photos

My father is a gentleman, brought up in an era when one dressed for occasion and where clothes were cared for and tended. This photo was taken about 1954 when he was posted to Japan in order to assist with the return of Australian troops from Korea. My mother, not wanting to miss out on the adventure, jumped on a freighter and managed to get herself to Hiru where they found a traditional Japanese house and embraced the experience together. I should add that my parents were extremely tall for their generation, my father at 6'2" and my mother 5' 10" so they would have created a stir within the local community in which they lived so perhaps he felt he could be bold in a foreign land.

- Alison

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Thank you so much for the info about Copenhagen - I didn't realize it would be so quiet there over the weekend!

So, I've taken your advice. I will be in Copenhagen on the 16th and 17th.

That weekend, I will instead go to Amsterdam.

Where can I find really cool cultural events there? The equivalent of a bullfight in Madrid; something that resonates as a tradition. Something that is "Amsterdam."

On the Street....Tompkins Square Park, New York

I saw this gentleman playing basketball yesterday at Tompkins Square Park.

The mix of the black tights, the long (almost skirtlike) shorts, the wave cap pulled tight over a low bun at the base of his neck, the tight white tank, had me thinking more of a Givenchy Men's collection than the Knicks. I mean really, just change his tank to a white poplin shirt and it could be a Rick Owens or Raf Simons look.

I've always said that sports is at the forefront of what "real men" (read: macho men) would wear. There's a very simple reason...men will do or wear anything to win a game.

They will shave off all their body hair, they will wear skintight lycra bodysuits, they will wear shorts that look like skirts if they think it will help them win or fit in with the team.

I know a lot of young designers and design students look at the site. A great self-challenge is to step outside of the fashion world and go to a basketball game or football game without any preconceived notions and just see it for the actual design elements. The advanced sport-specific fabrics, the color themes of team jerseys, the proportions, the graphics; they all are fertile material for modern design inspiration.

I remember back in the Eighties, football players like running back Greg Pruitt of the Browns wore tear-away jerseys. They would go through several jerseys a game. Just imagine how Goth Warrior those guys looked in there heavily padded uniforms with jerseys covered in slashes, tears, and gaping holes. Just think how those uniforms helped reinforce the imagery of alpha masculinity that they wanted to portray.

As I was working of this photo it reminded me of a shot I took in Sodermalm, Stockholm a few years ago. This shot is evidence of the very direct influnce sports can have on even the most advanced street/runway looks.
August 2007

Monday, May 9, 2011

On the Street....Mott St., New York


Hi guys,

Thanks so much for all the great info about Philly and Boston. Between my schedule and the weather a day hasn't worked out yet, but it's very high on my priority list.

In the meantime, I have plans to visit Copenhagen next week. I think I'll be there the 14th and 15th.

Where should I go? Do you know of any good stores and neighborhoods?

On the Street.....27th St., New York

Back to Spain!

Hey guys,

I will be going back to Spain the first week of June to give two masterclasses on "Sartorialism," on behalf of Spanish telephone carrier Movistar.

I've been to Barcelona and Madrid a couple of times and I'm excited to go back. We're creating a little "Sartorialist Tour" of each city.

As part of the project I'll be participating in a livestreamed interview on Monday, 5/9, at 2 PM EST. If you'd like to watch, you can find it on their Facebook page (here).

If you've ever had a question for me, post it here and we will select a few to answer during the interview.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Vintage Photos

This is my dad and his dance partner, probably in early seventies in Cracow, Poland.

He used to be the modern ballet dancer for a few years.
It was an amazing time to do the sort of things. It was the time of creative exploration.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vintage Photos

"This rascal is my great uncle, in a photo from the 1940s or 1950s. It was taken in London."

Friday, May 6, 2011

On the Street.....West Broadway, New York

Vintage Photos

Vintage photographs are going to start up again tomorrow!

The submissions have been amazing and I'm really excited to be posting them for you.

If you missed my initial post, here are the instructions again.

- The subject line of the email should read "Vintage Photo"

- The photos will only be posted here on the blog, so the file size can be very small (no bigger than 700kb). I DO NOT need hi-res images, they take too long to download.

- Writing a little something about the image you send will make your entry much more interesting for all of us.

- Email your photos to: sartorialistvintagephotos@gmail.com

On the Street.....Whitaker St., Savannah