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You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, television, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls, and getting blasted for Racked for years now. Today, we're borrowing his regular column from Racked National for a very special New York City edition of Love, Frank.
All images via Styleblaster.
Since you launched your street style surveillance site—aka "Williamsburg's premier live fashion blog" (aka Williamsburg's only live fashion blog)—earlier this month, I've been hooked.
For several reasons. I mean, first, I live here. I see the clown pants and the braided fu manchu mustaches and the purple velvet and the steam punk and the crust punk and the suspenders and the head-to-toe Alexander Wang every damn day. So even if the site isn't necessarily a style resource, it definitely lends the average, often incredulous Williamsburg resident a shred of credibility when recounting sightings of men in mirrored John Lennon glasses and long, amorphous skirts.
Also, though it might be creepy, it's undeniably entertaining. Look at how crazy everyone is! Look at the haircuts! Are those jeans or are his legs just tattooed blue? Where does one even buy a top hat?
There are a few key issues, though. And I'm not talking about the obvious privacy concerns, or the pressure to look a certain way whilst crossing the intersection of Hip and Cool. Because, whatever—every intersection in New York City is basically a version of that (except those in Murray Hill). You either think complete strangers are judging your look or you don't. Or you don't care at all.
The main glitch—aside from the lack of photographer's critical eye—is the fact that most of these images exhibit an utter lack of style. I'm not referring to New Yorkers who source whole outfits at Opening Ceremony, make their own capes, or tint their hair with art supplies, although you can do those things and still not look like much of anything. I speak more of those amongst us who don't think twice about what they're wearing. Not everyone in Williamsburg wants to look like an extra on Girls. Plenty of people walking down Bedford are middle-aged women in fleece half-zips. Or adults wearing Aéropostale.
Then there those rendered incidentally style-less: A man in a UPS uniform possibly acquired previous to having gastric bypass surgery. Anyone coming from or going to any gym. Maintenance or construction personnel. To use Styleblaster is to rifle through dozens of images of gym-goers and harried young moms and people hidden behind enormous, sensible backpacks before finally finding that gem. And even then—that mustard-colored suit may fit exquisitely but it doesn't make the slouchy boots his trousers are tucked into any less hideous.
Second: Everyone knows about it already. Styleblaster only blasted into the blog-media zeitgeist matrix earlier this week. Yet everyone's already found the camera. A surprisingly high proportion of these photos feature people waving at the camera, posing for the camera, peering into the camera, giving the camera the finger, and/or blocking their faces from the camera. There's one guy holding a small, fluffy, white dog standing and staring through at least three different shots.
Then there's that portrait of the trash can. Someone in the know had to slip that tub right into the sweet spot, tricking the camera into thinking a long-legged young lady in leopard print corduroys and an Isabel Marant peasant blouse was walking by.
Finally, people are getting caught doing things they maybe shouldn't be doing—at least in public. To wit: Cramming a piece of pizza in your mouth—doesn't she know people in Williamsburg don't eat? Unless it's an artisanal, humane, vegan, authentic, organic empanada and/or meatloaf sandwich. Then there are the people with their hands in their pants, their mouths, their noses. Not to mention: People dancing by looking nuts. And those lunatics walking around carrying a cat. Who does that?
Either way, the novelty hasn't quite worn off yet. If nothing else, now we'll all be more aware of how we walk down Bedford.
· Styleblaster [Official Site]
· Williamsburg Webcam Takes Street Style to a Creepy New Level [Racked NY]
· Love, Frank [Racked]