An Impromptu Style Talk with a Stranger

Photo from the book “Alone in the Crowd”, by Giuseppe Santamaria

When I bought Giuseppe Santamaria’s street style photography book Alone in a Crowd a little while ago in a bookstore, the shop assistants at the cashier desk, both guys, started to comment upon how cool a book it was. That’s all I needed to suggest an impromptu style talk with them. One of them agreed, as long as I didn’t photograph him, just the book, and that I mentioned Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (see why below). I was right on board.

Street style

“I am sometimes influenced by it. I am a film student. I like to observe. I don’t look for style inspiration, but if I see something that I like, I may remember it and find a way to incorporate it into my own style. Even if my own style veers towards the classic, I appreciate individuality. So weird, quirky is good, too, as long as it represents yourself. Bear your own mark and be comfortable with yourself.”

Attention to look, not clothes

“I don’t pay much attention to my appearance, but I like quality and I do pay attention to what I put on out of respect for myself and for the others around me. Also, it has to be something I feel comfortable in. I work in a bookshop and I am also a film student. Comfort is everything. I don’t like to think about what I am wearing, I just want to do my thing. I like relaxed clothes, I am not at all partial to a close fit, which I know is the norm today. It’s not me at all. I like a straight cut, layers, stripes, all in good measure, keeping a balance.”

Take film as style inspiration

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Not to emulate, but to adapt it. It’s the characters as a whole really that call the attention. Three Days of the Condor, too. In fact, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Steve McQueen, too, in just about anything. They were cool, just a matter of being themselves. Dusty colours, jeans, leather, denim, I love a uniform. I like a hint of Americana. But I sometimes look up to Alain Delon, too, for the way he wore a suit, but right now I don’t see myself wearing a suit.”

The power of the uniform

“I love workhorses. I have a few well worn/well loved vintage pieces that I live in. And even when I do need a new garment, I hate wearing it new. I usually wear it around the house until that brand new look starts to fade out and then I am comfortable to wear it outside too. I don’t like to shop, I just do it consciously and sparingly, with an emphasis on quality. I prefer to mend what I already own. My uniform usually looks like this: Levi’s jeans, worn-out boots, Converse of course, vintage white or black t-shirts and maybe a denim shirt on top, biker jacket or windbreaker. Sometimes a leather waistcoat in the summer. A hat, too. And I’d choose an overcoat, maybe with a denim jacket underneath, over those bulky winter coats any day.”

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