So this week’s Street Snaps is coming a little late in the day. My first equipment malfunction finally happened, and I lost an interview tape for someone I had photographed earlier in the week. Just goes to show that you should transcribe your tapes as soon as possible, M I RITE??!
Anyway, this week is dedicated to all the tough-looking guys in our fair city, whose outward appearances betray their actual personality. With that in mind, I present to you the following leather-jacket-wearing heart-of-gold darling:
How long have you been in Philadelphia for?
Is there anything about the way people dress in Philadelphia that you think is really different from where you came from?
“Whoa… Man, I haven’t thought about that. Yeah. A bunch of things, but I don’t pay attention that much. I guess I would say, like, at least with the people I hang out with they have a better fashion sense for themselves, with what they choose to wear. Like things that make them look good and feel good. At least in West Philly. I don’t see a bunch of brand names. I see a bunch of really awesome, put-together hand-me-down and thrift store stuff. Lots of vests.” [laughs]
So when you got to Philly did the way you dress change at all, with the type of clothes you wore and the way you wanted to present yourself?
“Yes. I stopped — well, it was less of Philly’s influence on me and more educating myself about certain things. Like I stopped buying a lot of clothes and just started basically buying things that weren’t supporting things that I didn’t like.”
Where do you get most of your clothes from then?
“Friends or thrift stores, or like, bands that come through that I enjoy, to like, support them.”
Word. Is there anything you have on right now that is your absolute favorite?
“My hot dog hat.”
Tell me about your hot dog hat.
“Uhh, it’s a hat that just says ‘hot dogs’ with a big rainbow on it, that my friend Kim Mitchell gave to me that came from a friend, Posadas, and I decided I needed a new hat. And I decided I wanted to color it. So I did.”
So you made the ‘hot dogs’ part.
How do other people feel about it? *
“People either love it or hate it. It’s how people recognize me, I think.”
So it’s just like, yo I like hot dogs?
“It’s just two words that I put there. But I do like hot dogs — veggie dogs. But it was either — I don’t remember what the other words I was gonna put on there, but I settled on hot dogs. Like hot dogs! Hot dogs. You can say it any way and it always sounds pretty good.”
Are there any things in your life that influence the way you dress? Like we kind of mentioned bands and hand-me-down stuff, but are there any specific things or people or media that influence the way you dress or the way you wanna look to the outside world?
“Uhh, I just wanna look good to, like, myself and feel comfortable. I guess I’ll see somebody on the street and think, that looks good, I wonder if it’ll look good on me. It’s usually whatever I feel at the time, if that makes sense. Anything all tattered and torn is good. I like things that show wear, because there’s something behind it more than just what you see. It tells a lot more of where it came from than just a label or a picture or whatever else. Like that thing’s been through a lot, or that thing’s been around, or what’s that hole from. Or that stain from.”
I’m intrigued by the whole ‘I don’t wanna buy new clothes anymore,’ like I was talking to another person before about buying new clothes, like they just aren’t as good. They feel weird.
“Yeah, it’s like anything that you buy, you have to break it in. Even shoes, like my favorite pair of shoes this whole summer was a pair I found in a free box. And they were already broke in. They fit me perfectly, and I wore them until this winter. And I’ll start wearing them this spring!”
Do you have a current obsession?
“My rat, Panda Bear. He’s amazing and I really love the positive attention and new friends that he brings me. Cause people will be like, oh who’s that with the rat? And I’ll be like, my name’s Greg Dean. And if you like rats I might like you.”
So you bring him with you outside? Do people ever get freaked out by it?
“Yeah. Yes. People have refused to help me in like a store. Cause they’re afraid he’ll leap off my shoulder with his crazy vampire rat fangs and turn them into a slithery-tailed, I dunno, something gross. Oh, and I’m obsessing over FUN-A-DAY.”
“FUN-A-DAY is an art project for anyone to do, where you do something every day for January, and then everybody shows what they did in this big collective art installation at Studio 34. You can go to artclash.com and read all about it. So my FUN-A-DAYs are recording a song a day and wearing make-up every day.”
Do you usually wear make-up?
“Um, only to go out. Not on a day-to-day basis. But that’s why I wanted to do it! So I could be more comfortable with going out every day with make-up.”
Nice. And I don’t have a segue way for this, but does the way you get around the city affect the way you dress?
“Yes. I ride my bike every day and if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t wear, you know, like as many clothes, or gloves or long-johns or stuff like that. I would probably wear my leather jacket still cause I like how it looks on me.”
Do you have any shout-outs?
“Oh man. I looove animals a million, and if you want me to take care of them, you should go to Puppy Uprising.com.
Is there anything about the way people in Philadelphia dress that you cannot stand, or that you love, or that you wish people did more of? Don’t be shy now.
“God. I dunno. I hate passing judgement, but I really fuckin hate that bigass nasty Ugg boots shit. I don’t think anybody has ever worn those well [looks around cautiously], like ever.”
Why do you hate them? I feel like most people say that and then don’t really say why.
“I just think they’re ugly. That’s pretty much it. That and when they get that floppy bullshit at the bottom where it bows out and looks like you’re walking on your ankles? It just looks bad. So yeah. I think jeggings are ugly. But! But they’re making them start to look more like jeans. I dunno. I’m just being a hater.”
Well, Uggs is a recurring trend, so you’re up there with many others.
“I heard they’re really warm and that’s cool. And normally I’m not fashion over function — or whatever — but those shit’s are gross.”
Check out the pizza lapel pin! I love the combination of that with a rattail and pink lips. Too often we write people off by the way they look (I know I do!), ignoring the small details they take pains to display, which say more about their personalities than people usually assume or expect. A lot of people might be thrown off by Greg Dean’s hot dogs hat or his decision to wear make-up every day, but we’ve really got to ask ourselves why? Why is an tight-black pants-wearing bike punk in a leather jacket not allowed to wear a rainbow hat and peachy lips? Man, I’m really close to ranting on stereotypes, so I’ll stop here. But just think about those things! You can wear whatever the hell you like, just like this cutie!
* There’s been several times when I was with Greg Dean and he got some seriously dirty and threatening looks from people. Is a rainbow with the word ‘hot dogs’ on it really that offensive? Let’s get more empathetic, y’all!