Practical Patchwork II, Shanghai

Remember the post Practical Patchwork? I loved those pictures so much that I made sure they didn’t keep getting pushed further and further back into the archives by creating the Best of the Best page to be a permanent home for my favorite posts.

I’ve definitely found some interesting, impressive, and insane outfits since I took those pictures last December, but he is still my favorite subject I’ve ever photographed. Not many Chinese people have style, but he definitely does even though his resources are extremely limited by comparison… But I recently discovered he’s not the only stylish vagabond in China, as Chinese designer extraordinaire Uma Wang found this guy:

The coats of these two men have similar rough stitching, irregular patchwork, and color palette which somehow come together so well it’s arguably museum-worthy.

I also love his long, white hair, which provides a stark contrast to the more sober, deep tones of his coat. Also, the red rope he uses to cinch his layers is an intriguing detail.

Uma Wang asked to take a picture, which he obliged and posed oh-so-well for. Uma was similarly impressed by his style and ingenuity… I hope she uses it for inspiration, because I want a coat like this!! (I know Ma Ke has done a collection like this before).

My friend Maya from Tokyo summarized my feelings about these Chinese vagabonds best by asking: ‘Is this the only country where the homeless out-style the homed?’ I would have to say, after seeing these two subjects, that this is in fact the Chinese situation.

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