Free to be: Charlottesville street style

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Photo: Natasha Kalergis Photo: Natasha Kalergis

The freedom one feels when he gets dressed in the morning translates into his life every day. The medium is the message, be it architecture, nail art, or graffiti. How free can you be?

Photo: Natasha Kalergis
Photo: Natasha Kalergis

SEAN was studying at Mudhouse when I approached him to talk about what he was wearing. Born in North Korea and raised in Northern Virginia, he’s majoring in architecture and minoring in studio art at UVA. Sean uses the Web for both his fashion inspiration as well as actually shopping, on the lookout for designs that contain urban sophistication and a funky vintage feel. With his shirt from Urban Outfitters, striped t-shirt from J.Crew, pants from H&M, and boots by Dr. Martens, he is simultaneously collegiate and artsy. That’s my kind of architect.

Photo: Natasha Kalergis
Photo: Natasha Kalergis

I saw JIMMY, otherwise known as Qimin Sun, on a gray afternoon on the Downtown Mall. With those leather pagoda shoulders, Jimmy’s jacket was as if a classic Neapolitan tailor did the wardrobe for a Michael Jackson music video. Although Jimmy and I do not speak a common language, it was clear that we both have the same taste in clothing. We did our best at communicating and he told me that the jacket is from a secondhand store somewhere in his home country of China and that he bought it because he loved the shoulders. That makes two of us.

Photo: Natasha Kalergis

I asked AIDAN about his look while he was hanging out on the Mall with a group of his friends. A senior at CHS and a contracted spray paint artist, he currently has his work up at BozArt Gallery. Aidan’s Goodwill outfit was both affable, with a red and blue long sleeve boat neck shirt, and ready to get dirty, with his fitted and totally lived-in jeans tucked into boots. As it turns out, Aidan might put as much thought into what he puts on in the morning as he does into his art work. When asked about his fashion philosophy, he said, “I figure, to make an impression, you’ve got less than seconds. Better smash it then, no holding back. Some days I rock the pin-striped suit, some days I wear neon skinny-jeans with bellbottom flares. It’s all a matter of living out your freedom.”

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