New York Street Style: Sarah Rutson

Sarah Rutson is one of my personal style icons. She is constantly reinventing garments and combines a ladylike gentility with a hard-edged directional undercurrent. A few months ago I did a whole post about how much I love her style; click here to read it. I took this photo of her at New York fashion week in September 2011 outside of Alexander Wang.

Sacha Martin, Isabel Marant Fringe Boots (A Saga)

How I met Sacha Martin, co-owner of two amazing boutiques in Minneapolis, is kind of a funny story. Walking around meeting random strangers all day tends to create them more often than not! So I was walking up and down Rush Street last Sunday, back when it was still warm enough for me to [mistakenly] leave my gloves at home. Won’t make that mistake again. My hands had started to freeze so I decided to duck into Barneys to thaw off.
One of my favorite things about street-style hunting in the winter is that I have an excuse to go into amazing stores to warm up and window shop. I was walking around inside Barneys trying to warm up while admiring the Celine. Good fashion warms the soul too, right? And out of the corner of my eyes I spotted the most amazing pair of Isabel Marant fringe boots on a drop dead gorgeous woman meandering around the second floor.
I did the thing I never do. 
I went up to Sacha and asked if those were indeed Isabel Marants. Of course they were, what a dumb question! I only asked it so I had an excuse to talk to her, and casually mention that I am a street-style photographer and I would love to photograph her outside – when she was done shopping of course. She smiled and said ‘yes, definitely!’ I am ethically and morally opposed to pulling people out of stores. First I think it’s cheating, secondly I think it’s unethical to pull a [potentially] paying customer out of a business establishment, and thirdly I think it reflects poorly on the photographer in the eyes of sales associates and other customers. The second someone I spot walks into a store, if I didn’t have a chance to catch up to them, I give up.
But I knew Sacha’s photo was going to be so good! So I waited. And waited. And waited. I watched the sun set at a heart-wrenchingly early 4 p.m. I slowly witnessed the shadows crawl farther and farther up the gleaming 900 Tower, whose windows shone like jewels in the fading sunlight. The worst part of winter for me isn’t the blistering wind, the freezing cold temperatures, or even the metropolis-disabling snowstorms. It’s the lack of sunlight. I thought about all this while I stood silently on the sidewalk, pacing up and down Rush looking for other people to photograph in the meantime.
Then finally, after what seemed like an hour but was really only 20 minutes, she appeared like a mirage out of the side door! My patient efforts had not been in vain! The sun had almost fallen too low, and I had to manually set my shutter speed to 1/60 to prevent blur. It had become that dim, even with a fully open aperture at f/1.4. I’m so happy I broke my own rule just a tiny bit. Sacha and her boyfriend Davey were cool as hell, incredibly nice, and excited to meet me. Both had not only heard of my website, they’d actually read it! We chatted about their backgrounds; as I mentioned at the beginning of this post Sacha is a co-owner of Bluebird and LadySlipper in Minneapolis. Davey produces music videos, and his photo will be going up in the next week or so too. I was (and am) so flattered that  two amazing people like them read my blog. Like I said in the video for The Feast/NBC Chicago, it literally DOES make me the happiest person in the world. What an honor!
Follow Sacha on twitter, @SachaMartin, and make sure to check out her stores if you’re ever in Minneapolis.

Matt "The Gaudy God" Kasin’s New Website

Matt Gaudy God
Today Matt Kasin’s much anticipated new website is launching. You’ll be able to find all things Gaudy God here, but don’t forget to follow him on his Tumblr to see what inspires him. Matt has been one of my favorite street-style subjects since the very beginning of this website. I was super excited to  photograph his nail designs for the Refinery29 story, “14 Nail Art Snaps that Give Us Major Envy because I knew it’d give me an excuse to photograph his street style too. Several of the nail designs featured were painted by him. Although Matt is best known for selling vintage clothes and original designs under the Gaudy God label, he’s also a manicurist at the Strange Beauty Show salon just south of Division on Ashland. For proof of his amazing skills check out the photos I took of his work for Refinery29 in their entirety (and un-Instagramed) below.
Strange Beauty Show is located at 1118 North Ashland. Call 773-252-9522 to make an appointment.
Follow Matt on Twitter, @GaudyGod.