Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ankles, socks and a hint of silliness

As cores do Fabrizzio (2) As cores do Fabrizzio

These shots are not new. I posted them on June 13th, 2011, after taking them in Madrid a few days earlier, on June 10th to be precise. The first conclusion – somewhat unflattering for myself – is that, on the day of Portugal and Portuguese Communities, I was walking around the capital of the kingdom that most attacked our national independence. The second one – seemingly insignificant but of a surgical relevance on these days – has to do with the relationship between Fabrizio's spring/summer look and his time in Madrid. According to the weather report, at 11:59 a.m., at the time I took these pictures, it would have been 21° C. The maximum temperature in Madrid, on June 10th, 2011, would reach 25° C .

The order of the photos in the original post is exactly the opposite to the one shown in today’s post. Because visually speaking, the detail does not overlap the whole. And because, in human terms, no matter how impressive the shoes, the identity of the person who chose them mattered more to me than the choice itself. Today, circumstances have changed. Last week was probably the coldest that Portugal has experienced so far this winter. The contingency plans for Lisbon and Porto have been activated last night, it’s been snowing for several days in Madrid and I believe that, by now, Fabrizio’s arms and feet are protected accordingly.

The other day, I was in the Oriente Train Station (Lisboa) waiting for the train that would take me to Porto. In front of me, I had several people muffled up in every possible way. Beanies, gloves, stoles, scarves. High-necked sweaters, corduroy trousers, sheepskin jackets. Some of those who wore these warm clothes surprisingly donned naked ankles. In some cases, with short socks (whose end I could glimpse, between the shoes and the skin), in others I had the feeling they were wearing no socks at all (but I give it the benefit of the doubt: the socks would be short enough not to be seen underneath the footwear).

Each of us has a very personal perception of what is hot or cold and of how we experience heat or coolness. Each one has its thermometers and thermostats (there are even those who remain indifferent under extreme temperatures) and anyone of us has already felt over or underdressed for the occasion, be it social or meteorological. But it is not at all what this is about. This is about a visual trend of clothing that, for many people, overlaps the ‘raison d'être’ of the clothing itself. I ventured to ask some questions about naked ankles in the depth of Winter... The answers alternated between the negationist current ("no, I am not cold at all ") and aesthetic enslavement ("I cannot see myself any other way"). What do these two questions have in common? A slight feeling of discomfort when they are asked. Generated, I believe, by the inner recognition of how ridiculous it is to embody this visual expression under near zero temperatures.

There are more serious scourges in the world than part of mankind pretending not to feel cold in the same spots that it has so often taken care to protect? Certainly. Provided they are not responsible for the congestion of hospital emergencies or the collapse of the National Health Service, the ankles of a few do not interfere with the lives of others. And are not these people free to do what they most want? They most certainly are. But when millions of people around the world, for reasons of a strictly visual nature, "cease to be cold" in the same area of the body that they tried so hard to protect their entire lifetime, something is wrong. It is curious that in times of unprecedented freedom and self-determination, we all behave like sheep and ... forgive me those who are dear to me and those whom I have never seen before ... are so profoundly silly

p.s. – Despite the irrelevance of these facts, I share them here. Twenty years ago, there were no short socks. I remember folding the conventional-sized socks - when I wore shorts – to avoid the bar of the sock showing above the tennis shoes, which, voided of function, was left to the status of visual noise (cancelled by the said fold). I did not say it? I will say it now. Most of my socks are short. But I repeat: this is not the point (I think I insult the reader more by feeling the need to explain myself than by taking the risk of calling him an idiot). I also have a bunch of beanies at home and that is no reason to wear them to the beach in the peak of summer

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Blazer jackets & sport jacket

wesley prince of wales blazer (casual) 1 windowpane burgundy blazer 2

It’s not only concepts that are mutable and dynamic. So is our vision of them. My perspective of the sport jacket is quite different today from what it was a dozen of years ago. There was a time when I considered it a superfluous extravagance of those who wore it. Like the guy that started using part of his work suit on Sunday afternoon or, even worse, that anticipated its use on Friday and Saturday nights. But what we wear isn’t simply a free exercise on how to cover the skin. Our attire carries with it a set of symbols and signs, that whether we like it or not, serves as a communication platform with those we meet everyday. According to Durkheim this is what is called "social facts". Something external that is imposed on the individual. Like a collective standard that is applied regardless of his will. When a brand conceives a piece of clothing it’s not only providing a beautiful vision to a potential customer. It's also selling an image, a concept and, some times, a dream. And from the moment we buy that piece, we're also consuming the concept, the image, the dream and whatever that piece transmits. This works for the clothing, cosmetic, auto or food industries. Because what’s at stake here is not merely the rag with which we cover our body or the service that we receive, but also where those items take us.

Yesterday a blazer would make me feel tacky and I considered (well, I still do...) a low-cut t-shirt the best thing ever after the invention of the wheel. Today, the informal tone with which I treat the piece of clothing that names this post, makes me feel even more elegant and sleek. For a more rural look I can add it some tire boots, or folded hems for a younger aspect. Here’s the truth: in the presence of a woman the jacket makes me feel, not necessarily older (let’s face it, we all politely refuse that adjective), but possibly wiser, interesting and charming or any other attribute socially valued and usually associated with older men. And we all have the right to dream. I don’t pay much attention to the type of press that tries to impose life styles and consumer trends directed to those people with significantly higher bank accounts than mine. On the other hand, why the hell can't I wear something that will make me feel like a million dollars? Will that make me a frivolous person? Like Jorge Palma’s music: “In the land of dreams you can be who you are and no one will hold it against you. In the land of dreams everybody is treated equally by everybody.” All I know is… from an aesthetically point of view, in this precise moment, my enchanted vision of life includes a table in front of the water, be it a river or the sea, naked ankles and an evening breeze that is only bearable wearing a sport jacket. What about you?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014



The truth is I don’t even know where to start. I think I can start by saying I didn’t just meet João by chance on this track and that he wasn’t wearing that outfit; that it was me who asked him to turn up before the sun  was gone and that it was also me who brought this jacket, these trousers and this pair of boots. At a time when so many people are questioning the permeability of editorial publications into commercial dynamics, I thought it would be interesting to trace the narrative going in the opposite direction. I made up my mind that I would create a commercial space where anyone visiting would run the risk of finding genuine and informative content. I made up my mind that I would manage a store without forgetting how to manage this blog.

I travelled to places as different as Madrid, London, Florence, Felgueiras, Vila Nova de Famalicão and Charneca do Lumiar (industrial areas that most of Portuguese don't even know). I found this blog’s images on foreign brands’ mood boards (at meetings that didn’t go too badly) but I was also fobbed off and let down gently (after meetings that didn’t go so well). And today, on the very day when I sacrifice the editorial purity of this blog, for the sake of the business it would not have been possible to create without the blog that is being so sacrificed today, I present to you the business that could not exist without this blog. Because, after all, it is daft sentences like this that you can continue to find in that business. Because, after all, just as you do here, you will find there Lisbon streets, models who are not models, home-grown productions and unedited images. And, broadly speaking, the visual identity that has been immortalised in this set of portraits that have come to be known as street style. The visual record that, swept along on a whole online dynamic, turned ordinary man into style icons and made snapshots of everyday life into inspiration on a global scale.

It is just this. A clothes store. A clothes store for men. A clothes store that, riding the crest of these 5 years of Alfaiate (Tailor), has shown that a real product experience can be offered via the internet. That it is possible to create an online process of product discovery that goes beyond the image of a standard-size guy taken against a pastel wall, with the head cut from the shot. That it is possible to discover a product through the same yardsticks and visual contexts that we will have to live through with that product. That it is possible to read a review written by somebody who, long before sitting down to reel off information about a product, has actually worn it. That it is possible to ensure control of all this provided I limit myself to the masculine reality. So much so that, before vouching for it, I bought the jacket that João is wearing from its designer. So much so that, before dreaming of writing this blog, I was already wearing those trousers. That is why I say I look on this business as if it were the Alfaiate. The blog that inspired a business. A business called J. LISBON. A business I hope is to your liking. Because, however much I am convinced of your interest (and this blog has helped me understand that the most important approval is the one we ourselves ascribe) nothing you can say beats a good slap on the back. Here is J. LISBON at first hand 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I've told them:


- I'm not here to take pictures but I'm gonna make this photo

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pitti Uomo (Michael, day-by-day)

Michael day 1
Michael day 2
Michael day 3
Michael day 4

It was my 1st time at Pitti Uomo. A brand had asked me to capture the atmosphere at the fair through my photographs. Pitti was impressive. There were so many interesting brands and visitors. However, I have to say I felt somehow overwhelmed by all the cameras, lens and photographs, in such a way that I felt the last thing I actually wanted to do there was to take photos of someone. It was as if everything there was in the precise antipodes of moments like this and this. As if everyone there was unaware that it is actually possible to find inspiring people in the least likely of places. In places where everyone we approach is reluctant to accept our invitation. It is as if they are suspicious. However, after a 30-second chat and a genuine smile, they finally allow themselves to be photographed by a perfect stranger. When I saw Michael on those stairs I thought it was one of the few images that could be taken away from all that crowd, that bustle and bearded vanity fair. The next day I saw him again in the same place and then realized that there were two other moments to capture and so I said to him:
-    - It’s difficult to believe but… your pictures are the only ones I want to keep for myself.
Just him, for every day of the fair. Without the glamour, the ideal setting or the slightest editing. Just him, on the stairs, close to his brand's stand

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


A camisa oriental

The most beautiful men's shirt I have ever taken a photo of

Wednesday, September 4, 2013



[this picture and some others can also be seen here]

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Panamanian bikini

Biquini do Panamá

[you can see more about this bikini and more about this hat around here]

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A beautiful view from China

A beautiful view from China

[you can find more beautiful visions from China around here]

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shunnoz & Tekasala

Shunnoz & Tekasala

Sometimes people ask me for how much longer do I picture myself doing this. How much longer do I imagine myself having what it takes to approach people here and there. And I always say there will be a day, for whatever the reason, it will stop making sense to me signing this. I don't know when that day will come (I can't even picture it in the horizon), but every now and then someone reminds me why I can't feel it coming close.That's what Shunnoz and Tekasala made me feel last Friday. They made me feel that when you have the whole humanity as an object (or at least the small sample brought to us by fate), we hardly ever risk feeling bored. Because when I try to see it from above I realise the number of languages, accents, geographical localizations, religious beliefs and the broad cultural and visual diversity that each one of these persons offers me. And when we stumble across Shunnoz and Tekasala there's something that becomes obvious. It's obvious I won't get tired of this so soon

[this post can also be seen here]

Tuesday, January 29, 2013



When we're travelling for a year and nine months, by bike, from Korea, style isn't most likely our biggest priority. But the funny thing is that Kim, apparently even without noticing it, didn't lose that sense of style for the year, the other nine months and the extra pounds of the bike

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Unbearable lightness

Insustentável leveza

[you can also find this unbearable lightness around here]

Monday, January 14, 2013

Father & Son

Tal filho tal pai (1) Tal filho tal pai (2)

I don’t know if André father ever told André son something like You're still young, that's your fault, There's so much you have to know.” , but one thing’s for sure: among the habits one André has inherited from the other, there’s the one that made me stop someone at the street and say:

- Good afternoon. I would like to take a picture of you

Wednesday, December 26, 2012