Blogger DeVon, who doesn’t publish his last name, calls his street-style site a showcase, not a blog: “An art curator collects, arranges, and maintains exhibits. That’s what I’m doing—collecting pictures of fashionable Washingtonians and displaying them in a tasteful manner.” He launched Curator of DC Style in September and has already documented more than 60 fashionable subjects.
DeVon started blogging at the prodding of his wife, who’d been encouraging the 31-year-old to join the blogosphere for more than a year. “I always felt I didn’t have the time to really work at it, but at some point I felt overwhelmed with inspiration to start cataloguing fashionable people that cross my path,” he says. An amateur photographer, DeVon takes to the streets with a Canon Rebel XT and stops subjects who seem to have a good eye for style.
We caught up with a smartly dressed DeVon to get the skinny on men’s fashion—pocket square, anyone?—and find out what he likes and dislikes about Washington style. Read on for his answers.
Five words to describe your style:
“Eclectic, tailored, colorful, sophisticated, urban.”
Five words to describe Washington’s style:
“Unpredictable, hipster, traditional, unassuming, trendy.”
Number of items in your closet:
“It’s hard to tell these days, but suits, shirts, and ties are definitely outweighing everything else. I’m probably at 60 or 70 items with those pieces alone.”
Total cost of the outfit you’re wearing right now—including shoes:
“Today I’m wearing a light-gray slim-cut wool suit from Calvin Klein, $500; sky-blue shirt from Ralph Lauren, $100; white pocket square with navy-blue trim from J. Press, $40; navy-blue slim silk-knit tie with white stripes from J. Crew, $50; brown wingtips from Saks Fifth Avenue, $300; a brown belt; $40; charcoal-gray military-style trench coat from Barneys, $500; and a watch from Skagen, $200. That’s a grand total of $1,730.”
Three basics every guy should have in his closet:
“Just three?! Oh, c’mon. . . . Every man at least needs a beautiful pair of brown lace-ups (no square toes), a well-cut navy-blue or black blazer with vents, and a pair of slim dark-wash jeans.”
Best accessory for a guy:
“A pocket square. With or without a tie, it can make a man look polished.”
Best thing about winter fashion:
Trend you’re most excited about for spring:
“I really like the unstructured blazers that Michael Bastian featured in his S/S 2010 collection. His new S/S blazers are unstructured and unlined, with soft shoulders—very elegant.”
Biggest fashion pet peeve:
“People who have no concept of proportions and wear everything two sizes too big or too small. Dress for your body shape and size. And by the way, it’s totally unfair that you’ve narrowed this down to my ‘biggest’ pet peeve—we could have a whole sidebar on this subject alone.”
One piece of advice for the fashionably inept:
“Keep your style personal and distinct.”
What you look for in a street-style subject:
“That’s a good question, and I don’t really know how to answer. I mean, I shoot what I like. I’m not interested in outlandish looks or people who have a fashion vendetta against the world and want to show how hip and off-the-beaten-path Washingtonians can be. My eye is attracted to people who are well dressed—those who understand color balance, proportions, and tailoring. The fact that they have discerning taste should be evident in the way they style themselves. When I see someone who’s inspired by something out of a magazine or off the runway and they’ve adapted it to their own style, that’s what interests me.”
Most fashionable Washington neighborhood:
“14th Street, Northwest, specifically the stretch between Florida Avenue and N Street. I see a wide array of fashion that you typically can’t find anywhere else in the city—it's more organic and less trendy than other parts of Washington. Instead of being laden in logos or overly-trendy pieces, most people seem to dress in a way that expresses their personal viewpoint about what’s fashionable and comfortable. I purposely try not to shoot there too much because it’s so easy to find something interesting.
"The only drawback about the area—and the city in general, for that matter—is that the majority tend to dress up more for the evening. Why? I have no idea. But regardless, this basic truth crushes my best photo opportunities: I like to shoot during the day, but with a full-time job and shorter days during the winter, I’m at a disadvantage for catching the best of the best. When the weather improves and the days get longer I think we’ll see a definitive change in the content on my blog.”
Finish this sentence: “I never leave home without my . . .”
“ . . . watch.”
Next week, Mango & Tomato’s Olga Berman takes us into the kitchen. Check back for her favorite recipes and holiday treats plus where she dines when she wants a night off.
Have a favorite local blogger you’d like to hear from? Send an e-mail to email@example.com with suggestions.