The Streetpeeper's Fifties Finds

Phil Oh Scours His Archive For the Best Retro Styles

Phil Oh, aka the Street Peeper, can be found on city sidewalks the world over, from Seoul to Sydney, Paris to New York. No, he’s not part of an international syndicate pushing illegal goods, although it sometimes feels like it, says Oh. StreetPeeper.com is one of the pioneers—and most addictive—of style blogs. Oh started his site in 2006, and travels for six months of the year, capturing the everyday sartorial choices of fashionable individuals on the boulevards and back alleys of the world. He makes the requisite fashion week (New York, Paris, London) rounds with fellow street-style bloggers such as Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil and Yvan Rodic the Facehunter, ready to snap the editors, models and buyers in the season’s latest and greatest. But Oh also likes to visit these fashion capitals outside of the modish mayhem. “It’s easy to get great pictures during fashion week, but it’s not representative of what the style of a city is really like,” he says, listing Tokyo, Melbourne and Copenhagen as prime peeping cities. “In Melbourne there’s a lot of art school kids doing a great job of mixing local labels with vintage because it’s hard to find the international brands there—so you see something different,” he says. Tokyo (where it’s “like fashion week every day”) he finds especially good for menswear. In an exclusive for NOWNESS, Oh trawled the Street Peeper archive to curate a selection of retro looks inspired by the Technicolor unreality of LA photographer Alex Prager’s portraits of girls in 50s-era polyester polo necks and printed tea dresses, currently on show at Michael Hoppen. Prager's portraits may be elaborately staged, but Oh's pictures prove that mid-century stylings look alive in 2010.

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