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A new fashion hunter on Capitol Hill

With street fashion site Pike/Pine calling it quits back in June, Capitol Hill’s fashionable sidewalks haven’t gone undocumented thanks to upstart style spy It’s My Darlin. With a mix of fashion-focused posts from across Seattle — and lots of Cap Hill screen time — IMD can usually inspire you to at least throw a decent sweater on before heading onto the Hill.

To find out more about what catches her eye, CHS sent a few questions to the woman behind IMD, Dana Landon.

Do you live on Capitol Hill?
Yes, I live and work on Capitol Hill.  I love this neighborhood and have a hard time trying to imagine living anywhere else in Seattle.  It is the ideal place for anyone looking to not have a car (I haven’t had one for two years now), have easy access to all areas of the city, and be surrounded by amazing food, shops and music.

Why did you start a street fashion blog?
I have been following street style photographers the Sartoralist and Garance Dore for several years and have always had such immense admiration for what they do.  Last year I started It’s My Darlin’ as a place to document things that I come across online and in Seattle that I like and one day it hit me that there was no reason why I too couldn’t do street style photography and include it on the blog. I immediately fell in love with it.

IMD’s Dana Landon (Photo: It’s My Darlin)

How do you approach somebody you’d like to photograph? Why haven’t you asked me? I’m quite fashionable.
It is tricky because we live in a city where you can’t walk down the street without being asked for change or if you have a minute to learn about an organization or cause.  I try not to be a pushy or abrasive way in any way and I just approach each person as I would want to be approached myself… politely.  I ask them whether they would mind if I took their photo for my fashion blog and I tell them that the reason I have stopped them is because their outfit is fantastic.  I generally point out a specific part of what they are wearing that caught my eye and I tell them a little about my blog.  Some people are in a hurry so the interaction is very brief and others are interested in what I do and we end up talking for a very long time.  I love meeting all of the different people that I come across in this process.  It never ceases to amaze me how friendly people are once you break that barrier that most of us have when walking down the street with our eyes down and no smiles on our faces.  There is the occasional uninterested party as well.  Although they are generally friendly in declining it always leaves me just a little apprehensive for a while about approaching people.  I am hoping that it is something that eventually won’t phase me.    

Why haven’t I asked you?  It’s all about timing.  Unfortunately, this isn’t my day job so there is a very limited time frame in which you will catch me snapping photos on the street.  In my experience doing this I have learned that the best outfits are worn by people who are either talking on their cell phone or in the middle of what looks like a very involved conversation with someone else on the street.  So if you are a fashionable and live on either Capitol Hill or downtown you were probably doing one of these two things when I have seen you. 

How would you describe Capitol Hill’s sense of style? What do you like about it? Anything you don’t like about it?
The reason I love the style on Capitol Hill is because you can’t pinpoint it.  When I am out taking pictures I am looking for outfits that seem to exude personal style rather than what is currently on the runway or in stores.  Capitol Hill is filled with people who wear what feels right to them and they really express themselves through their clothing and accessories.  When I am taking photos of people downtown I oftentimes find out in talking to them that they live on Capitol Hill.  So I think that the sense of expression on Capitol Hill really tends to catch my eye.  An interesting thing I have found is that some of my favorite outfits are worn be people who, when I stop them to get a picture, claim that they genuinely do not think they have any sense of style and are in complete disbelief that I have stopped them.  I don’t think that Capitol Hill style makes too much effort to be right on trend and that might be what makes it so great.

As for what I don’t like, that is hard to say, but if I had to pick one thing that I really don’t like right now it would have to be people using their clothing to advertise for a brand (e.g. Ed Hardy t-shirts or other items with enormous company logos on them).  There is something about this that just goes in the complete opposite direction of personal style for me when I see it on people. Other than that I think just about any style can be pulled off when done right.  I even walked past a man last night drinking coffee in front of Bauhaus who was successfully pulling of Crocs and looking really good doing it.  Anything is possible.

Best current trends you’re seeing on the streets?
There has been a recent move in fashion back to shape and fabric.  For a while I felt as though the only time I could find find either of these traits without spending a fortune was going the way of vintage (which I am happy to do) but lately I have been noticing an increase in affordable companies putting out lines that include pieces with creative shapes and higher quality fabrics and in effect it is showing up more often on the streets.  As for specific trends, I can’t get enough of the tailored menswear look on women.  Blazers, pants, button up shirts and even mens dress shoes.  On men I have been enjoying the increase in dressing up that I have been seeing lately.  It seems like men are having more fun with this recently.  A bow tie just to grab a cup of coffee or passing up that pair of athletic shoes and throwing on a pair of vintage inspired oxfords to walk the dog.  These are the things that grab my attention and leave me unable to resist stopping an unassuming person to capture their style.

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5 thoughts on “A new fashion hunter on Capitol Hill

  1. What a unique and interesting hobby! I am sorry not to be in Seattle to see you on Capitol Hill capturing the essence of a passer-by.