Over the weekend we were lucky to mark the beginning of October with welcoming into Polosophia tribe a new friend – a fellow fashion lover Ryan, whose impeccable taste and daring style caught our eye on Instagram. Check out his excellently curated personal style feed here.
Ryan is a fashion writer, and a collector of deconstructed, monochromatic, gender-bending, head-turning fashion pieces. He even does shopping for his gorgeous ballerina girlfriend! Now, that’s the Polosophia kind of guy.
So on Sunday, armed with flat whites and sunshine, we went to hang out with Ryan, curious to see how he would work our Moor coat into his signature Jack Sparrow does Rick Owens look. He did an excellent job at that – full report below.
We asked Ryan about his style inspirations.
Tell us about yourself: what is your background, and what do you do?
Two of my biggest passions are fashion and writing, and so I'm absolutely blessed to be able to call myself a fashion writer. I currently work for a women's clothing brand called Nobody's Child, which seeks to bridge the gap between ethical manufacturing and affordability.
How and when did you get into fashion?
I studied creative writing at university, and developed a passion for the dandyism of the nineteenth century. From Huysmans to Zola to Wilde, there was always a strong emphasis on personal aesthetic. It resonated with me, and in turn, I started to take an interest in fashion. However, upon graduating, I began a career in a completely different field of work, and soon realised I would never be satisfied unless I pursued my passion. So I enrolled on an internship in Mayfair, working for a jewellery PR brand, and developed my skills with various agencies until I was confident enough to look for a full time writing position in fashion.
You have a truly unique style. What are your style inspirations and role models?
My role models are as follows: Johnny Depp for his commitment to the creation of character, Oscar Wilde for his unrivalled wit and dexterity with language, Prince for his absolutely disregard for limitation or societal expectation and Audrey Hepburn for her eternal grace.
What do you look for when shopping? How often do you upgrade the wardrobe?
My wardrobe is under one permanent state of revision, reflection and consideration, and I am always on the lookout for the next interesting addition to it. I collect clothes like a man might collect books or wine. It's a real passion of mine and I like nothing better than to frequent my favourite clothing shops during my spare time.
What are your favourite brands, and how do you find new brands?
In terms of fashion designers, I closely follow the work of Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto and more recently, Craig Green. They blend fashion with art. As for the discovery of new brands, both Pinterest and Instagram are a godsend. By following likeminded people, I am constantly discovering budding designers and upcoming labels.
Does your interest in literature inform your style choices, and if so, how? Any other cultural influences you can think of?
Once upon a time, literature definitely had a strong impact on my style choices. As previously mentioned, I was drawn to the Victorian dandy, and so went through a period in which I dressed in vintage wear; cravats, waistcoats, top hats... that sort of thing. I've since adopted a far more avant-garde aesthetic, blending oriental silhouettes with contemporary styling.
What is your go-to outfit, and what do you think is a must in any man’s wardrobe?
I primarily wear black, contrasted with white. It promises a striking statement, whatever you wear, whether it's culottes and a kimono, or skinny jeans and a tee.
As for what every man should own, a well fitted black leather jacket. No matter how simplistic the top and trousers, it always provides an edge.
What is the one item you cannot imagine your life without?
I can't think of an object that I would hold so dearly. I do, however, absolutely love my new Cinzia Araia boots...
Does your style reflect your personality, and how?
Without doubt. I've always rebelled against conformity. First, it was growing long hair in a town where that alone could cause a dispute. Next, it was wearing eyeliner. From there, I simply developed a need for individuality. For me, style is not only a form of self expression, but a form of art.
Is there a person you would swap your wardrobe with?
No. It's an extremely personal collection of clothing which has grown and developed alongside me. There are undoubtedly others with a more prestigious wardrobe, but the pieces wouldn't hold the same emotional attachment for me.
Any advice to those who are looking to develop and create their own unique and consistent style?
Constantly experiment. As with anything, you won't get it right first off. It is something you hone and develop.
And never take heed of those who would seek to ridicule or put you down. They are only ever envious that they haven't the creativity themselves to do the same.
What is currently on your reading/listening/watching list?
Over the weekend, I watched a film called the Riot Club, which I've been recommending to everyone ever since. It's currently on Netflix, so if you find yourself at a loose end one evening, I urge you to consider it. But prepare to be shocked...
Anything you’d like to add?
As Wilde once proclaimed, "there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
Protagonist + Style: Ryan Hill
Photography: Florian Schadauer