Sunday, January 28, 2007

Accomplished composer and musician Emre Aracı

His personality is polite, warm, charming and I wished I could have spent all afternoon talking, learning. I was inspired...

Style. The epitome of refined excellence. Comfortable fabrics that complement a man at his best, British-tailored Savile Row attire. Brilliant color combinations that work well with the day.

I told myself that I would be "off-duty" this afternoon, but as we were perusing the literature at a cozy Nişantaşı bookstore, we couldn't help but to approach this gentleman. We were drawn in...

More info: Emre Aracı
To purchase music or listen to samples (I did both) follow this link.

Dreaming up new designs...

Garment designer Ebru Yeni taking a short break out in front of her atelier in Galatasaray. Ever the busy bee, I got a chance to interview her about designing for brand development. Read the full interview.

Today she is looking very cute in layered natural fabrics that are pleasing to the eye and sustain interest. Note the clever waistcoat cinch closure on the jacket.
I love it when, by coincidence, the ensemble matches the background.

Detail of handbag and boots:

At the Ortodox Katedral near Mısır Apartmanı

One of the partners at 360 Istanbul, Sashah Khan moves with a stylish clientèle. International nightlife figure and lover of the good life, looking sharp as always. Maybe going out for a spin in the convertible in the English countryside? Bravo Sash, I really dig this look!

Check out this video he made just for fun: get some Sashafaction!

Rainy day in front of Pag, in Nişantaşı

Fashion and handbag designer Ahmet Baytar has a great sense of humor and of style. Smooth charisma in a silk tuxedo jacket and faux leopard slip-ons. Tell us. Does the bird have a name?

Sleekly designed Pag is a multi-purpose space which serves as a clothing shop, bookstore, office and atelier. The Tiki/totem-inspired leather rucksack on display in the background is actually one of his pieces.

Inside the el-Hamra Han

A living doll, Buket is a familiar face around town. A bright, energetic spirit, she also has one of the coolest tattoos I have ever seen.

In Tünel, near the tea-makers

Talented performer Rodrigo Labarca looking dapper in a jacket he himself designed. Always carrying his own eclectic style, he is also a very interesting and fun person to talk to. We had a pleasant conversation about his work and lifestyle. Read the full interview.

(Again, the background matches the individual. Joy!)

Famous Kestaneci Sefer in Tesvikiye

Always cheerful and fun to socialize with, Sefer offers roasted chestnuts with a warm smile. I admire the design of his cart, scale and counterweights. In bomber hat, high-collar sweater, silk blazer and blue apron Sefer Bey is ready for action.

Entering the courtyard of Aznavour Passage

British super-girl Emma K. just recently moved here after living for two years in Prague. She is a bartender at 360 and is also a great new addition to our team. Things are moving fast in ’07, eh Em?

In Cihangir, near the flower sellers.

This stylish man was there during the founding years of the republic, lived through all the tumultuous eras in Turkish history, and can remember when Ataturk was forming a nation. Stunning to think of all the things those eyes have witnessed!
Selam aleykum, Zeki Amca.

Life as a storybook

Ultra-creative Banu Taylan is a fun personality. She is a designer, painter, illustrator, sculptor, flash programmer and so much more. Her dolls and fairies all have names and character identities. Today, in front of Babylon, wearing knit combinations she made by hand. Interview coming soon!

The Vampire LeStat with his muse.

Steev and Neşe live boldly.
Steev, a Londoner, was one of the first non-Turks I met when I first moved here. Neşe runs and is also on our team. Together they operate Sexenbir (81,) a local event management company. Today out for fun on Imam Adnan Street, famous for its great pubs.

Yes, those fangs are real.


I didn't ask why...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Put another dime in the jukebox, baby.

Marena from Paris rocks Istanbul... in plaid wool.
She also gets the award for "cleverest handbag," designed in the shape of a Fender (no, not Fendi) custom electric – in this case, an eBay score!

In Cihangir with vintage VW beetles

Sibel is looking ready for Barcelona in chic leather combinations and Spanish flamenco-inspired skirt.

Style on a Saturday on Vali Konağı

Wonderful jacket, hairstyle and sunglasses. An iconic look conveying a poise of grace and charismatic elegance. Over-the-knee length coat by Gianfranco Ferrè.

Istanbul beyefendi in Nişantaşı

Handsome trenchcoat with two-tone cashmere scarf over classic burgundy. Well-tailored, worldly and sophisticated.

Film producer, looking très chic

I love the texture and sleeve design of this jacket. Observe how the interesting lapel overlays the scarf.

(Apologies for the over-exposure on this shot.)

Style as fresh as the fish.

The fish-mongers of Kumkapı have a lot of character. Working the front at Dadaş Balıkçısı, our man Erdoğan presents himself well. Wool pin-stripe pants with leather vest over knit pullover. The solid colors really stand out against the backdrop of the fish.

Milli Piyango: a game of chance

Lottery ticket sellers, over-decorating themselves in anticipation of the big New Year's Eve draw, which reached as high as 20 million YTL (about 15 million US$) but that didn’t stop them from advertising the amount as 20 trillion.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

At the Teşvikiye financial buildings

Ensemble well put together: groomed, sharp and confident. I believe that the overcoat is Comme des Garçons, and I did catch that the necktie was Louis Vuitton.

(Please correct me if I am wrong)

Near the old Narmanlı Han building

Smooth, basic and relaxed. A very minimal look that some people do so well.

Before nightfall on Istiklâl

I love it when I see people wear neon with a layered technique: just enough color, without overstatement. Something like modern writer/poet meets gypsy pimp. Bravo Kaylan, well done!

Detail of bracelet array. Note the multiple types of sleeve cuff, assorted metals and charms, vibrant textures and colors.

Late afternoon strolling in Beyoğlu

A cheerful trio, walking arm in arm in arm, having fun in Beyoğlu. Cool denim flares, colorful headscarves, tailored jackets.

Bora in black, in the underground passage.

Bora works at Avantgardeast, the underground shop in Suriye Pasajı in Pera. Always courteous, helpful with selections and knowledgeable about vintage garments and accessories.

At the Swedish Consulate

Soft and warm fabrics with a bit of texture. Delightful smiles in charming winter fashion.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Özlem window shopping in Nişantaşı

This is one of my favorite pictures yet. Her varied textures and fabrics and colors were quite unique and exciting. She clearly knows fashion as a technique and has mastered it quite well. A treasure of style!

(Sometimes when out taking pictures by myself it can be an exercise in getting over my natural shyness. Özlem was a good sport and played along with the photo shoot. As a result, I felt much bolder about this project.)

Style from Chile, then Amsterdam, then Istanbul

Meet Rodrigo: an illustrious, young performance artist from Chile. Catch his act at 360 Istanbul on weekend nights through February. Today he is wearing a silk tuxedo jacket and checkered high-collar sweater. Leather shoes by Adidas.

And if I am guessing correctly, the ring is actually a (silver?) pipe fitting of the sort found in hardware stores.

Out for a Saturday stroll in Teşvikiye

I'm really happy I ran into these two lovely ladies. Those coats are wonderful. A really stylish pair. Maşallah!

Boulevard caricature artist, Kamil Tekbaş.

I am drawn to eccentric personalities. Their one-of-a-kind nature is something that intrugues me and can find identity with. Here his art has infused his wardrobe and expresses who he is, what he does and is done passionately.

I always say that it's the way that you rock your accessories that sets you apart. Note how he is absent-mindedly twirling his pens in his left hand.A different night, a top-view:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Late afternoon near Odakule

Ayşe Serter is looking great on this cold winter day. Nice warm overcoat and two-tone yellow shoes. A fashionable entrepreneur, she also owns Picante, a new restaurant in Asmalımescit (Beyoğlu) featuring Mexican and Latin American cuisine.

Detail of her charm necklace:(Sorry for my over-exposure on this shot. I promise my photography skills will improve.)

Billy the Kid

Local shoe designer Bilge Köprülü on a wintertime night in the neighborhood.
She gave me a tour of her studio and I learned a lot about how shoes are actually designed. Read the Full Interview.

Sexy couple in Nişantaşı

Orange tri-color knit mini and velvet jacket.

From Georgia (the country) with Love

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Night Scenes #1

To convey a proper feel of authentic Istanbul street culture, we'll occasionally run vignettes one might encounter when out on the town. To begin our Night Scenes series, what better way than with one of our favorite chocolatiers, Elit Nostalji. They've been at this location selling hand-made hand-wrapped chocolate bars since 1924!