A couple years back, a young photographer caught my eye at the Ragtrade Atlanta runway show. Ralph Collins was framing his shots in an unconventional way by using different angles and suggesting art and movement.
Recently, he contacted me and offered a photo shoot but gave me a challenge at the same time. He wanted to capture "my style" and gave me three parameters to feature: brunch, casual day and formal. This wasn't the challenge! The challenge was that I had to pull from my own wardrobe - yep, my closet. At first I thought damn, I like when I get to play with labels from Saks or Jeffrey Atlanta - I'm tired of what's in my closet. You understand, right? Ralph's request made me think a little harder and appreciate what I already had. For the "formal" look, I knew I didn't want to do black tie so I opted for a suit and tie. Gucci suit, YSL coat and a crisp white shirt from Nordstrom. The safari jacket and green sweater for brunch and for a stylish casual look I went with joggers and a Chanel sweatshirt, sneakers by Tods.
Ralph was pleased with my choices. This is what he said about the shoot:
The man himself, Mr. Fashionado, E. Vincent Martinez, stands in front of my lens for the very first time and it was a true experience. What is very understated is the level of personal style that the titled "style bloggers" have, due often to the assumption that their style is birthed from the necessity of their profession. With this photoshoot, I challenged that paradigm and requested that Vincent would come to the shoot prepared, given only the parameters of three occasions "Brunch" "Casual Day" and "Formal Dress". When we arrived at the studio for setup, and he began to display the wardrobe, he spoke with such assurance, such understanding in each piece and the meaning behind them and the memories that were attached to them; completely in awe I hung on every word while imagining exactly how I wanted to showcase them.
Vincent's signature style became clear to me as we began to shoot. Simple staples with characteristics that reflect the functionality in which they're meaning to be used. No item brought simply for the sake of a logo, name recognition, or the need to prove one as "fashionable", but all items brought as a reflection of the necessary functions.
I'm flattered and humbled. Thank you Ralph Collins. Keep doing what you're doing!