The Art of Style by Kit Mills 029: Red Shoes, Blue Stripes on the NYC Subway

In this Art of Style column, Kit Mills finds a subway rider with the perfect combination of summery and nostalgic.


Put on your red shoes and dance the blues

A recurring theme with this column is to occasionally pass over the more outlandish street fashions of New York City in order to devote a little attention to subtlety and classicism. It’s not that I don’t love seeing neon feather boas paired with glittery snakeskin shoes (I do! I love them so much!), but the act of seeking out something intriguing within someone’s ostensibly “boring” outfit requires more thought and observation and appreciation. This is why most of my Art of Style subjects come from the subway. Being in transit is the perfect time to channel your inner Charles Darwin, take stock of your surroundings and the life-forms within it, and draw some conclusions. (In my case, literally draw some conclusions.)

So… stemming from this philosophy, I loved this person’s simple and yet visually interesting outfit. Muted red leather shoes with cream-colored laces: perfect. Cuffed trousers with a dusty blue pinstripe: also good. The combination of the two: summery and nostalgic. Well done, subway person. I hope you were going somewhere as cute and laid-back as your outfit.

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4 Responses
  1. Thanks for responding! Can you recommend an art school in Manhattan/Brooklyn to take digital coloring/’art’? Or, I might just get a lesson with Apple? (About to get the iPad with wireless keyboard). I may use the iPad for reference, from my need to also take — often, fashion-on-the-spot android cell phone photos! Keep being inspired, you’re ideas and work are terrific!

    • I’m not sure about art schools, but there’s an art space/collective in Brooklyn called 3rd Ward that offers a ton of different classes in different artistic disciplines. I’m pretty sure they have an intro to Photoshop course, which might help you out with the basics, but I think making good art also depends on experimenting and figuring out what techniques work for you. And if you get an iPad, the app Paper is fantastic. Good luck!

  2. Again, love it, and totally relate! (I also earned a BFA in Painting at Syracuse) Do you take a photo ‘in-life’ and then sketch/paint it later? Is this watercolor, ink, some pencil . . .I am curious how you did the cream laces over his soft shoes. . . .Thanks — keep going!

    • Thank you! I usually take a sneaky photo to use as reference later, or just try fix the outfits in my head and reconstruct them from memory later. Most of the pieces I post are ink and watercolor, but this one is ink with digital coloring, which explains the white laces effect.

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