Style Counsel

Street Seen

A conversation with blogger Jasmine Park.

By Laura Cassidy May 22, 2009 Published in the June 2009 issue of Seattle Met

On your now-defunct street style blog Pike/Pine you chronicled the Seattle look. Who or what were you looking for when you were out with your camera? The thing I admire most in stylish people is universal; it’s that natural, confident sense of looking and feeling right in what you’re wearing, and I was lucky enough to find that many times over in Pike/Pine’s two-year course. My favorite photos were of very young or very old people, because they best demonstrated how personal style can be innate and ageless.

For your new blog, Face Like a Blessing, you’re capturing people who catch your eye for reasons other than their wardrobe. After two years, I had just gotten a little burned out on hunting for fashion photos everywhere I went. Whenever I’m people-watching, I find myself saying, “Wow, that person has an amazing face,” just as frequently as I notice their style. I’ve often lamented that someone wasn’t quite right for Pike/Pine, but could’ve been wonderful to meet and photograph. Now I’ll have a reason to approach those people, too.

What are the best spots for encountering interesting Seattleites? Twelfth Street around Café Presse and Stumptown, and Pacific Place, were the most consistent for style-spotting, while Georgetown was my favorite for finding more unexpected or unusual subjects. I definitely regard the types of people who choose to hang out at a given spot as a major indicator of the atmosphere and appeal of that place. Doing Pike/Pine allowed me to overcome my shyness and approach anyone; the best part was that in almost all cases, I’d find the people I approached to be very open and just as interesting to chat with.

My favorite photos are of very young or very old people, because they best demonstrate how personal style can be innate and ageless.

So what about this buzz kill of a recession; is it making us more interesting to photograph, or less? Despite how difficult these times are, they’ve fueled a new interest in recycled and reused goods that appears to be having a direct and positive impact on fashion and spending decisions. I love plunging into my own closet to find pieces I’d forgotten about, which feels like an exercise that’s true to the cyclical nature of fashion design in general.

Even though your day job takes you to Microsoft, perhaps the world’s most casual corporate environment, your everyday style almost always includes a certain Italian design house and their vividly hued, slightly abstract silhouettes. I like describing Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni as the ideal designer for women who like art and architecture, because the designs are all about unique details in cuts, fabric, and patterns. I have a deep affection for bold, slightly off-kilter sensibilities in fashion; Diana Vreeland is a major inspiration.

If you could photograph anyone—without regard to time, geography, or physics—on the streets of Seattle, who would it be? Edna “E” Mode from The Incredibles. She’s my all-time favorite style icon.

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