Monday, September 8, 2008

San Francisco Street - Shane in South Park

Images by Vanguard - San Francisco

When I ran into Shane in South Park and asked to take his photo he replied “but I’m dressed so boring today.” After taking street fashion photos for over two years now, I recognized this as the usual humble reply similar to “but I’m horrible with photos” or “but I didn’t even put on a stitch of makeup” and shrugged it off as such. Little did I know that, with Shane, his comment was actually accurate. The next day Zana showed me her pictures that depict Shane in his typical ensembles created of found and modified pieces that seemingly cross gender lines. With such creativity, Shane is easily inspiration for anyone willing to work outside the box. Meanwhile his daily nonchalant demeanor suggests that his outfits are nothing out of the ordinary. See more pictures of Shane on Zana’s blog, Garbage Dress.

Despite this outfit being a far cry from the regular possibilities of Shane’s wardrobe, it still puts even the most innovative dressers to shame and thus we have a lot to learn from it. What’s most striking is the white button down. This seems to be almost the reverse of Tony’s back-cropped dress shirt on our previous post discussing the exposure of the male body. Here, Shane uses the cropping to create contrast layering that allows the outfit to become striking through its unusual proportions. Like Tony’s shirt, however, only half of it is cropped; here, the back maintains the proportions typical to the men’s classic shirt or reminiscent of a waistcoat. This grounds the piece as a men’s item. The unusual proportions created by the shirt are further exaggerated by the shortened sleeves and the use of black in his pants and t-shirt – allowing his torso and lower-body to be read as one line – and skinny jeans. Combined this has the overall affect of lengthening his body and exaggerating his leanness.

What is also particularly interesting is his use of generic eyewear and handbag. Today’s fashion seems to be overly dependant on distracting, and typically tacky, cost-inflated accessories. Shane creates a statement and puts the emphasis back onto himself by using outmoded pieces (or vintage 90s pieces, depending on your outlook) that seem to demonstrate the irrelevance of label fads.

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