Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cowgirls & Wizards & Flood Pants....Oh My

For a fashion anthropologist, yesterday was a bit of a boon. It seemed that people were dusting off their most creative ensembles, from this darling lass, with a hint of the Annie Oakley about her.... this gentleman, who sported a Lollipop Guild meets Pee Wee Herman approach to his day's attire. Brilliant!

This noble lady is wearing a magnificent Venetian mask...a Medico Della Peste. (May I inquire: Is it flu season, again, so soon?)
And of course, who does not like to see a wizard taking the dog for a walk. Was there a reason for this rash of noteworthy garb? Is October 30th a holiday unknown to me? Or was it mere coincidence? Do tell!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jai....Lincoln Street

What a treat for me to meet Jai, since I was a fan even before becoming acquainted. I've been following Jai's blog--The Fat and Skinny on Fashion. Dear reader, she crackles and pops on the (web) page and positively sparkles in person.

Her friend Najee (of infinity scarf fame) couldn't merely stand by and observe. His inner stylist leapt out and directed him to act: denim trousers shall be cuffed!

As Najee pointed out, Jai was sporting several trends--nautical, military, clogs. "I try not to be too trendy," Jai said, protesting. Indeed, I think she is perfectly adorable. Her jeans are Gap's 1969 "long and lean" cut.

Her clogs are from Charlotte Russe. And her approach to dressing herself is all common sense: "I put on what's clean, cute, and fits."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Peter....River Drive

I arrived at this transportation headquarters to inquire about a trolleybus and discovered this nattily-dressed gentleman on a similar mission. How is it that twice within one week I have encountered stylish people accomodating knee injuries? Is something afoot?

Peter's windowpane plaid suit is from Zegna, but he was quick to tell me he found it at a bargain in Manhattan. He goes there each year between Christmas and New Year's to shop the sales. He also had some amusing advice for keeping oneself in check: "Get to your ideal weight, then buy expensive clothes that fit. Once you've spent that kind of money, nobody wants to get too fat for an Armani suit."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mikelle....The Vista

As you may know, I have been studying people about Columbia for some months, looking for patterns, attempting to determine if there is a definitive local style, looking for the existence of unwritten "rules". This young man suggested there might be such. He told me he begins with a vision for his outfit, then rethinks it to create a Columbia version--one that is a little less risky, a tad more restrained. His goal is to be classic but not predictable.

For example, he began the outfit you see with a vision of wearing an aqua scarf that was twice as wide and silver chain necklaces. His toned-down version includes a narrower scarf, with bracelets and a ring, to add a little edge.

"Most people would not have worn the ring and scarf," he says.  Do you agree? And is his approach shared by others? Mikelle may be more deliberate than most. He is a stylist and fashion blogger and says, "I think of fashion as art."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shanika....A Curious Accessory

I was smitten by this pretty, saucy young lady--and that was before I noticed her fascinating legwear. I don't believe I've ever seen a knee brace worn better. Her brace, combined with the boots, brought back fond memories of the Bionic Woman, complete with dramatic sound effects.

As though a Jaime Sommers flashback were not treat enough, Shanika provided yet another delight: she is a student of anthropology! My, we had so much to discuss. She also writes a blog called "Life is Pichey".

PS: I attempted to trace the origins of the knee brace, to no avail. I did, however, discover that Earl Dickson invented the Band-Aid (reputedly to aid his accident-prone bride).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Najee....Blue Marlin

I met this charming fellow during a luncheon at Blue Marlin, hosted by Carolina Blogging. He writes Tres Frais Najee where he's documented, among other things, his recent trip to attend New York Fashion Week. He also works for a striking-looking magazine called Vent. On this day, Najee was wearing a dapper grey bow tie paired with a bold plaid shirt: "I do wear bow ties a lot," he told me.

He also introduced me to a new (to me) concept, his Infinity Scarf.

It's a giant tube of jersey that provides the wearer with near-endless possibilities. It could, for example, become a dress, a skirt, a turban....perhaps with a few bamboo poles and bungee cords added, it could even do duty as some sort of pup tent or giant slingshot. How useful! Najee's scarf (also called a circle scarf, though I find that term much less thrilling than "infinity") is from American Apparel.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Emily....A Crafty Topper

The air was a bit chilly this morning, and indeed, I am glad it was, for it inspired adorable Emily to bring out this delightful head-warming contraption. She traded for it, she told me, at Crafty Feast, getting it from a young woman who calls her line Miss Fitt. I could not let the "traded" pass without remark. "Are you an artist or, how do you say, a crafter, perchance?" I inquired. She is. Emily told me she screen prints designs onto organic shirts. She is the person who created these stunning jersey pullovers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Molly....A Smart Hat

I am charmed by children who enjoy clothes and admire the parents who encourage them. I asked permission to take a picture, and for once, I had the presence to clarify the spelling of the name. "It's M-o-l-l-y," the young lady said to me. She spoke slowly, so that I could get it right (which led me to believe that either she suspects the spelling capabilities of fashion anthropologists or has read this blog). Along with the hat, please note the furry handbag. She's simply adorable, no?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Farmers' Market Style....Black, White & Red

I admired this well-put-together and all-together pretty woman (and as you can tell by the angle of the light, it was quite early in the day to be looking so splendid).

I also liked the bold black and white with bits of red found both on her market bag and in her bouquet. I wonder, after reading an article in the morning paper, if she purchased one of Floral & Hardy's Gamecock bouquets, made with black millet and garnet zinnias. And if so, I wonder if she is as fond of her bouquet this morning as she was yesterday! Oh, I'm sure she is.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heidi....At the Farmers' Market

I admired Heidi's easy style and this tunic in a colourful, large scale floral print--just right for an autumn morning at the bustling All-Local Farmers' Market, no?

Trying not to call a smidgen of attention to myself, I crept around to get the sun behind me for a second photo. Alas, the lovely woman noticed what I was about....
....I'd been caught! But rather than punished, I was rewarded with this gorgeous smile.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gil....Lincoln Street

Gil may have been a little taken aback when I blocked his way and began inquiring about his hat. Yes, he told me, he is fond of wearing them--then sheepishly said he was, at that very minute, on his way to get a haircut. I found myself quite curious to see the state of his hair beneath that cap. He was such a handsome young man, though, that I cannot believe his hair looked the least bit ill. We then talked about his lean silhouette, which was striking. "Do you often wear skinny jeans?" I asked him. He had spent some time in Korea, he told me, and everyone there seemed to be wearing them, so he adopted the style.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Candace....The Gourmet Shop

Candace's combination gives these fickle days just what they deserve. Is it autumn? summer? spring? Indeed, who can say. I thought she looked smashing while covering all the bases and was particularly smitten by the bright yellow clutch and red-framed sunglasses.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Farmers' Market Style....Columbia

Part of the charm of farmers' market fashion, I find, is that anything goes--and that a bouquet of fresh flowers and an armful of produce make the best accessories. I thought these young women were adorable, sporting exercise togs, large sunglasses, and glorious smiles! They told me their names--and that they were also taking photos for their blogs--but my poor old age-addled brain can't retrieve that data. I do hope they see this and provide the information again!

Meanwhile, do take a look at this attractive image of a mother carrying her child in a most traditional way--using a wraparound sling.

I rather like the look--and the versatility--imagining that one could be the guest of honor, say, at an impromptu picnic if one were to use this instead of some strap-and-buckle baby backpack. (Though if one were to use the wrap as a picnic blanket, one would have to make other provisions for the baby I suppose. oh well.) Here's a another look that shows a bit more from the side.

In my travels, I've seen parents using these in many countries, though I've never had the opportunity to try one myself. Have you? If so, how did you find it?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Erin & Belinda....All-Local Market

Erin, on the left, manages the local farmers' market and was perfectly attired, I thought, for the role with her tomato-red sweater, cuffed jeans, and TOMS canvas shoes. The chic woman on the right is chef Belinda Smith-Sullivan, who I learned is also known as "The Flying Foodie". Is that anything like The Flying Nun, I asked her, imagining that she might affix a baguette to her head, catch a breeze, and take flight. No, she told me, she is an airplane pilot as well as a formally-trained chef. Delightful! You can read about her adventures here.

Then my heart skipped a beat when Erin asked, "Have you seen this?" and quickly lifted up her sweater. I am an old man, dear reader, who has no business witnessing Girls Gone Wild without his beta-blockers handy.
Indeed, she was only excited to show me the new farmers' market t-shirts. They are silk screened by hand onto organic cotton. The shirts will be available next week when the market moves into its newly-renovated building next to 701 Whaley. The Flying Foodie will be there too, I understand, because they're planning a bit of a celebration.