Photo from Everywhere: Cho Hom, Hanoi

Cho Hom, Hanoi

Cho Hom, Hanoi

Over the past few years, I’ve worked at returning color to my wardrobe. When I was a teenager and into my 20s, as I explored my personal image, I wore a lot of color. I even had a couple women’s blouses, if they were unisex enough. I had no real sense of style though, and my wife loves to cringe as I remind her that when we met I’d wear plaids and tie-dyes together, or stripes and plaids. In an effort be less visually disturbing, I took colors out, and for awhile was all black, grey and white. And black.

I’ve gotten over that, though, and now I explode with colors sometimes. As part of this effort, when we went to Vietnam, I decided to have a couple shirts made in the style of Robert Graham (if you watch Modern Family, Cam wears a lot of his shirts), with cuffs, pockets, plackets and other details in fabrics that are radically different in style than the main fabric of the shirt.

My wife and a friend were far more excited about the shopping aspect than I was, so they planned the trip to the fabric market. They put together several combinations and were gracious about giving me final approval…since they were to become my shirts after all.

And naturally, while they shopped, I photographed. The riot of color was gorgeous and the photography helped me deal with my sensitivity to crowded places (I hate grocery stores, ’cause I never know where to stand to be out of everyone’s way, yet get my own shopping done). When I’m shooting, people become objects I need to avoid and keep out of the frame, just like phone poles, motorcycles and tree branches, unless, of course, they would enhance the photo. Two of the fabrics in this photo ended up as cuffs and plackets in my new shirts. And they look spectacular. As long as I don’t wear them with 70s-era golf trousers (of which I have none, thankfully).

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