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Friday, January 27, 2012

S.F. Street Fashion: Conversing with Strangers Who Might Someday Be Famous

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM


One of my favorite things about photographing people on the street is the interactions I have with them. Their personalities are sometimes sweet, sometimes shy, and sometimes downright batty. A few weeks ago, I approached a man to take his photo. He refused, but then spent 20 minutes questioning me about my blog posts. "How does it work?" he kept asking. I explained that I take photos, upload them to my computer, edit them, and then put them on the Internet. "Yeah, but how does it really work?" he'd say. "Are there wires?" I think what he was really asking me was how the Internet works, an unexpected question in tech-savvy San Francisco. Also, what looked like a cigar in his mouth from far away turned out to be a rolled-up tea bag, so maybe he was a little crazy. Even though I didn't get the photo, I'm still wondering about him. Where was he going, so elegantly dressed, with a tea bag stuffed in his mouth? Why did he have 20 minutes to spare on a conversation with me?

One of my encounters this week trumped all previous ones -- I met Jaqueline. Earlier this month, I wrote about how inspired I am by older women with killer fashion sense, and Jaqueline's style is a perfect example of what I was saying. Check out her photos and story below. Also, in this week's post: disco ball earrings, accessory dogs, and Lady Gaga (she's not actually in here, but I talk about her).

  • Kate Conger

As soon as I held up the camera, she started telling me all about her clothes. Everything she's wearing is vintage from Paris. She's obsessed with Parisian style -- the couture, the quality of clothes, the fit. She travels to Paris every year to go vintage shopping, and she cycles out the clothing in her closet like a true Parisian, keeping things only for a few seasons. (We hope she's unloading her closet at our local vintage stores.) We spent quite a while chatting; we covered traveling, shopping, sewing, and dieting before she excused herself and continued down the street. Look at her hand-sewn, vintage gloves (she wanted to make sure I got a photo of them) and notice her gigantic pearl earrings, because they're going to come up again later.

Jaqueline's gloves were hand-sewn by a fashion-conscious Parisian of yesteryear. - KATE CONGER
  • Kate Conger
  • Jaqueline's gloves were hand-sewn by a fashion-conscious Parisian of yesteryear.

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About The Author

Kate Conger

Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.


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