Disaffected Prep

Sunday, September 13, 2009


West Village Style: Gerard

We often see items of unique beauty in our daily lives but lack the foresight to document it.  And yet sometimes if we are fortunate and do in fact document the event, we generally fail to share the insight with others. 

For that reason, I admire the street style photography of people like the Sartorialist and Mister Mort. Camera in tow, they find individuals whose individual style stand out in a sea of parity, or whose polished look cries out for proper documentation. 

I often see things - especially in the West Village - that are clamor for attention too.  But most times I'm too shy to snap a photo.

Two weeks ago, though, I saw something that jump-started my attention and compelled me to take action. 

While on a photo-hunting trip through the West Village with my D60, I decided to walk west - around the Jane Hotel - and then loop back to the apartment.  Rounding the corner near the west side highway, a flash of puple caught my eye and I quickly took this photo:


Purple Pants - a man after my own heart! I figured I would run up a little further to get a better look at the outfit.


OK - so someone's head got in the way. I'm still getting the hang of my camera. But from here I saw the guy's very rakish, upturned collar!

By Washington Street, I gathered enough courage to stop the guy and ask if I could take a photo (Well - A full picture of his outfit - obviously I already took two...) and he said sure!


I asked if his pants were linen and he said yes - from France, his homeland. We chatted for a bit and he said his name was Gerard, but then apologized as he had to get on his way as he was in a rush.

A few things - check out the full break on his pants. Recently I've been wearing my pants without a break, but he pulls it off with such a nonchalant air I may reconsider my style.

Take a look closer: collar popped just so, hair slightly disheveled. A loosely tied sweater.  Scruffy beard stubble.  I hope to be half as cool as this guy when I'm his age.

One final note - the great thing about his outfit, when put together, was something Castiglione in The Courtier called Sprezzatura, the studied art of appearing effortless.  Is his style studied effortlessness, or is it naturally effortless?  I can't tell - and for reason I think his style is masterful. 

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