One of my sister’s favorite blogs is the Sartorialist (www.thesartorialist.com).  I’ve been aware of the blog for a few years and most likely it’s my sister who told me about it though I can’t actually remember.

The blog is basically this guy, Scott Schuman, who takes pictures of people around New York City whose outfits pique his interest.  The guy used to work in fashion (and I think he still does to an extent) and had his own showroom but after awhile he decided photography was more his thing.  So he started taking pictures of people wearing what he thought were interesting clothes and putting them on this blog he dubbed “the sartorialist.”  (I have to admit, I had never heard of the word sartorial before the blog.  It means something along the lines of relating to clothing or a tailor which I suppose is appropriate).

The blog is now enormously popular and each post gets hundreds of comments.  I don’t check the blog very often, but in the last few weeks (as you can probably tell by my last post) I’ve been a little homesick for New York so I decided to go check it out a few days ago.

The Sartorialist is now so well-known (at least in New York ) that most people consider it an honor to have their picture taken and posted on the website.  I mean, I know I would be thrilled to have someone so entrenched in the fashion world take my picture because he/she liked my clothing–it’s vain, I know, but it’s so flattering! However, I will be the first to admit when it comes to fashion, I am pathetic.  I know that you shouldn’t mix brown and black… and er, that’s about it.  In fact, I’m surprised my family hasn’t signed me up for that reality show What Not To Wear (and I wouldn’t mind being on the show, you get to walk away with a whole new wardrobe).  I didn’t inherit my mom’s fashion forward genes–those were passed on to my sister.  In fact, I would not be surprised to find her picture on the Sartorialist.  (I actually do know someone who got their picture posted on the Sartorialist–a former classmate of mine from middle school)

Anyways the Sartorialist (or Scott Schuman, whatever) travels a lot it seems.  At least, I think he does because he posts pictures from different cities in the world: Milan, Paris, New York, Barcelona etc… I think he might have some people in other cities taking pictures but I’m not too sure.

But I know for a fact he is coming to Spain the first week of June to give some talks about “sartorialism” and I expect he will be out and about with his camera immortalizing select Madrileños and Barceloneses (at least I think that’s how you say inhabitant of Barcelona… I kind of made it up).  So if you live in either city, dress to impress!

Two things surprise me about the Sartorialist.

1) He is not gay.  I know this is me stereotyping the fashion world but cut me some slack here.  I know very few straight guys that wax poetic about the virtues of fabric and textures and shoes! Just in a recent entry, the guy geeks out over athletic uniforms because of a picture he took of a guy wearing a wifebeater and basketball shorts.

2) What exactly “impresses” the Sartorialist seems totally random to me.  I feel like I’m often scratching my head trying to figure out what exactly struck Schuman about a particular person and their outfit.  Sometimes I’m surprised at what he considers interesting fashion-wise because I know for a fact I would never have given that person a second glance or I might have thought “Well that’s interesting but… no way I would ever wear that.”

But I guess that’s what makes the Sartorialist so unique.  He doesn’t often comment on why he took a certain person’s picture so the interpretation is left up to the viewer.

Anyways I fully expect to see some pictures of little old Spanish ladies dressed to the nines.  At least, I hope Schuman includes at least one picture of an old Spanish lady.  I don’t exaggerate when I say all older Spanish women dress really well, like they are headed to the opera.  My mom even commented on it while she was visiting, noticing they seemed particularly fond of wearing suits.

I’m only sorry to say I definitely won’t be getting my picture taken.  1) I have no fashionable bone in my body and I tend to dress rather generically 2) I will be holed up in my room living like a hermit only coming out for food and to go to the bathroom as I furiously write away.  Life as a grad student is awesome that way.

But if you are fashionable and if you are a Sartorialist fan living in Madrid or Barcelona, by all means feel free to stalk him on my behalf.  If you don’t know what he looks like, google image him.  Or just look for a good-looking well dressed American man taking pictures of random people on the street.

Edited later: I totally forgot about this wonderful video I saw a few months ago of this short video made depicting what a day in the life of the Sartorialist is like.  Seriously, he’s got a terrific day job.  I’m not sure if he gets paid to people watch and snap pictures all day but that seems like a pretty sweet deal to me if that is the case.  And one last thing: this man has incredibly bright blue eyes–seriously, that’s the classic definition of a “piercing gaze!”

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