Photography

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A #BikeNYC Portrait by Dmitry Gudkov

At the pedestrian plaza across from the Flatiron Building. Photo by Dmitry Gudkov for #BikeNYC. Click for full profile.

At the pedestrian plaza across from the Flatiron Building. Photo by Dmitry Gudkov for #BikeNYC. Click for full profile.

I unofficially met photographer Dmitry Gudkov on Twitter (@gudphoto) through the #bikeNYC hashtag, then officially met him at this year’s Bike Expo New York in early May where I modeled in a fashion show for Momentum Magazine. Dmitry’s #BikeNYC gallery of breezy, casual photos of real New Yorkers with their bicycles is a delight to peruse. I’m thrilled to be included.

During the quick photo shoot that yielded this portrait, Dmitry asked me if I always ride around town in a suit. The short answer is “Of course not,” but between this website as well as Twitter, Facebook, New York Roll Models, my column in Momentum Magazine and the fashion show at the Bike Expo, I suppose I project a “guy in a suit on a bike” image – an image with which I’m perfectly happy in our hypercasual times.

As a bicyclist in the city, I’m merely a latecomer to the party that Bill Cunningham and David Byrne have been having for decades. Aside from a sense of occasion about life and the joy I get from riding a bike, one of my hidden alternate agendas when pedaling around town is to showcase the bicycle as a real, workable option for men commuting to suit & tie situations, whether for work or play. No specialized clothes are required to ride a bike, and style need not be compromised.

After the Bike Expo this month, I had lunch with the wonderful Mia Kohout, the Editor-in-chief of Momentum Magazine. I write a regular feature in the Vancouver-based magazine called “Letter from New York,” where I dispatch about cycling in the city as it relates to style. At one point, Mia said to me “You’re becoming a bicycling advocate.” For a nanosecond, it was like a splash of water to my face. It never occurred to me. But then I thought about it for a minute and liked it. Maybe I am becoming a kind of advocate for city cycling in New York City. In the process, I hope I can a little flair to the affair.

My sincere thanks to Dmitry for including me in his wonderful, growing project. It’s an exciting time for bicycling culture in New York, and he’s capturing it beautifully.

Style Details:
Suit and tie: Indochino
Shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt
Pocket Square: Fine and Dandy
Shoes: J.Crew
Bike: Brooklyn Cruiser

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Smooth Criminals: Vintage Mugshots of Dapper Murderers, Thieves and Other Perps

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Once upon a time, apparently even street thugs had a sense of occasion. A quick Google image search of men like Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd or John Dillinger will show you well-dressed criminals who brought a sense of flair to their nefarious affairs. Nowadays, even criminals have fallen into the style dumpster. John Gotti, Jr., frumped out in his soft hoodies and sweats, was a long fall from his father, who was referred to as “The Dapper Don.” (Though as illustrated by the final chapters of their lives, ostentatious showmanship in the criminal world attracts costly attention.)

The website Twisted Sifter recently published an amazing collection of vintage mugshots from the 1920s from The Justice & Police Museum in Sydney, Australia.

With photography technology where it was at the time, in order to capture an accurate image of the criminal, a little effort was required with composition and lighting to accurately represent the subject. The results were often quite artistic, showing handsomely dressed and groomed villains who look like employees of a hip haberdashery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Not all modern day gangsters have frumped out in the sartorial equivalent of a Snuggie, though. There is still a class of criminal that puts effort into the suit and tie. We just call them bank executives.

See a collection of 30 vintage mugshots from the 1920s on Twisted Sifter.

More mugshots…

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

Photograph by The Sydney Justice & Police Museum

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Billy Powers and His Roll Models

Bike: Brooklyn Cruiser; tuxedo: Indochino; shirt: Paul Fredrick; bow tie, studs, cufflinks: Fine and Dandy. Photo by Billy Powers.

Bike: Brooklyn Cruiser; tuxedo: Indochino; shirt: Pau Fredrick; bow tie, studs, cufflinks: Fine and Dandy. Photo by Billy Powers.

A few weeks ago, while visiting my friend George Bliss, owner of Hudson Urban Bicycles, I had the pleasure of meeting photographer Billy Powers. For 11 years, Billy was a photographer and art director at Time Magazine and is currently a freelance photographer who created, photographs and curates a project called “Roll Models.”

“Roll Models” was spawned from Billy’s appreciation of stylish urban bicyclists in New York and the flare they bring to the form. (The irony? Billy hasn’t ridden a bike himself in years.) Some of the photos, including this one of me here, are on display in large format in the front window of Hudson Urban Bicycles, printed in glorious, timeless black and white.

More news about Billy’s work and Roll Models is on the way, including a website and presences on Facebook and Twitter. Then there’s the book. Stay tuned.

Now if we can just get Billy on a bike…

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All I Own – A Study In A Minimum of Stuff

Swedish photographer Sannah Kvist enlisted a group of kids (all born in the 1980s) to compose sculpture of all his or her possessions. She then photographed them in their respective spaces. As we bury ourselves in more and more crap in a consumer culture that puts so much emphasis on the acquisition of stuff, the series presents an interesting observation on the minimum with which these subjects manage to survive in the modern world. (Notice how the kids look rather content.) I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes, which is an old Aboriginal adage: The more you know, the less you need.