This week, we’re pleased to introduce you to @FrankCowperwood, a man who has become, over the last year or two, a standby in the Streetwear WAYWT, in addition to sharing his wisdom throughout the rest of Styleforum. He’s known for his fine taste in shoes, his embrace of color, and his individual style. Here, he shares what brought him to Styleforum – and where he thinks he’ll be in the future.
There’s no good reason to be awake. The sky is Phillip Guston’s colors, livid. The wind is blowing down out of the mountains. The jays are fractious, worrying the dusty cotoneaster in the garden court. Their shrieks punctuate the slow music of the traffic. How did we get here?
Well, for me, it started with Alden. Search for anything Alden, and you’ll as likely as not end up on Styleforum. I did. I wanted to know what color shoe polish to use, and for that matter what was the color of these shoes I’d bought anyway? Whiskey? Cigar? There are answers to these questions, of course.
I appreciated the photos people were posting, too, and so I figured I’d be a good citizen and post some of my own. And once I was on SF, I started having a look around. WAYWT was too advanced for me, but I found an affiliate vendor whose clothes I liked and dove in there. After a bit, I realized that I liked seeing people’s photos of full fits, and decided that, to be a good citizen, I’d contribute some of my own. A little easier said than done.
I upgraded my camera, found a place to put it and came to terms with the self portrait as a traditional exercise of art, only recently debased by banal selfies and their haphazard funhouse angles.
From there I’ve wandered into other affiliate vendors’ threads and found interesting stuff. And I worked up the courage to post in the WAYWT threads. There are, I think, various dynamics at play in the thumbs farmed in these threads, and really the worst that happens is that, if you’re polite, you realize that perhaps the outfit you shared wasn’t so interesting really. Don’t worry, you’ll live without the affirmation.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can wander around a little bit in my style. Sometimes the trousers are slimmer, and sometimes they’re wider. There’s been more denim recently. And a lot of popovers – though I’m not sure that’s obvious. Many of my fits gravitate toward some intersection of workwear and dadcore, I think, with a more-than-lingering fondness for patchwork and loafers that goes back to my younger days. Throw some wannabe cowboy and dirtbag in there too. And then there’s what seems to be a growing tendency to Google things I like and find out that they are big in Japan. That may be walnut-overdyed denim, or boots with triple leather soles and two kinds of leather.
Oh, and back to my my shoes. They are often the wrong color, or too many of them are anyway. I did just finally acquire a pair in black.
Living where there are seasons (albeit including one that can best be described as ‘generally grey,’ in a way that’s reminiscent of Dickens’ description of London at the open of Bleak House, but without the mud so much because of paving) means I get to wear long coats and shearling collars and alpaca lining (these are warm!) and boots and sweaters and leather jackets, but also linen and indigo-dyed tees and, maybe a bit more now, washed denim. I’ll skip the shorts, and for some reason I never end up with sneakers.
I have a vision of my style reaching a point of elegant deshabille, though good old American acquisitiveness has made this hard to realize. That’s my fault, of course. Not the clothing’s. Don’t blame the clothing. I’m getting there with a few things, but looking back through my SF photos I also realize I own, ahem, a few garments I haven’t worn in a while.
So now you know how we got here. And maybe a little about where it all may be going. But don’t put too much down on the black, you play it and the red comes up. In the end, you may just find me rolling off a freight and down an embankment in sight of the Panamints, dusty and ecstatic, the undyed leather on my jacket and boots gone orange and red like the sun behind me reflecting on the peaks. In silence, but not by the sea. And on the other side, it won’t be the heat that gets me. It will be the humidity.