I love the city. I like the metallic sounds, the acrid smells, the wet things I see rising from muddied cracks in the asphalt. When I moved from small-town Ontario to Japan in 2010, I left the woods of my youth far behind, but I subsequently developed a love for the urban, the oil-slick sidewalks, the mercury glow of city lights at midnight. Walking alone under dripping eaves and telephone wires and down narrow streets full of strangers, there is an exhilarating sense of being enigmatic while simultaneously feeling the energy of unfamiliar bodies.
While it is fun to get swept up in urban obscurity, I love Victoria because it is a place of environmental liminality; it has that urban “grit” that I love, while also sharing an intimate proximity with the forest, the sea, the mountains. Balance is important, right? So let us shift between contexts both familiar and alien like the transient creatures we are.
This shoot took place in an alleyway Kim Jay showed me near The Upstairs Cabaret in Bastion Square. When it comes to gritty urban habitats, this place had it all; brick, cracked cement, black metal bars covering the windows, a chain-link fence, pipes with their paint flaying off. This place is apparently haunted, as well; unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?), we encountered no wandering spirits. For this setting, I went with an over-sized muscle tee, leather jacket, beanie, and platform sneakers for a quasi-grunge look — and once again, another element of (early) ‘90s fashion rears its wonderful head.
What do pugs, crude jokes, and the occult have in common? UNIF: the LA-based label created by Eric Espinoza and Christine Lai. This brand is pretty edgy, and their themes can be rather subversive (or offensive, in a witty, tongue-in-cheek sort of way), but they’ve garnered a HUGE following on the internet, and their styles are bang-on. This 666 smiley-face tee is by UNIF, and I love it. It has an inside-out construction (meaning, the seams are on the outside), and it’s made to look ragged and faded, but the material is excellent quality and buttery, buttery soft. I had been on the hunt for this shirt for a while, and eventually found it here, on the Australian-based website SurfStitch. Check out UNIF’s website and Instagram for more rad stuff, such as these pieces:
Above images from unifclothing.com — click the pics for the product pages.
That’s all for today, friends!
Till next time,
– Style Raven