Friday 11 July 2014

What Ali Wore: The 83-year-old turning street style on its head

Bibby Sowray

Published 03/04/2013|09:47

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Meet Ali, the 83-year-old Turkish father of 18 whose unique style is capturing the world's attention.

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Just a matter of weeks ago, the death knell was seemingly sounding for street style. Respected journalist Suzy Menkes labelled the phenomenon a "circus" and's editor-at-large, Tim Blanks, admitted it had become a tiresome part of the industry. Meanwhile, street style favourite Taylor Tomasi Hill was reportedly ducking and diving to hide from the street snappers during the most recent round of Fashion Weeks fearing overexposure.

It's no surprise then that our tastes for 'real-life fashion' are changing, so gorged are we on unattainable designer duds adorning unattainably beautiful bodies. Enter Ali, an 83-year-old Turkish father of 18 and the latest street style star to capture the blogosphere's attention.

A doctor-turned-tailor, the octogenarian resides in Berlin where he captured the attention of waitress/photographer Zoe Spawton, who spotted him walking past the café she works in each morning. After watching him stroll past in a series of natty get-ups, the 29-year-old plucked up the courage to approach him last summer and ask whether she could photograph his daily fashion choices for a blog.

Though Spawton says Ali - she won't reveal his surname or exact place of work (yes, he still works a six-day week at 83!) - was a little "puzzled" by her request, he kindly agreed and the Tumblr page What Ali Wore was born.

It appears Spawton, who is originally from Australia, wasn't alone in her admiration for Ali's style and the blog has become a huge success following coverage all over the world, garnering 120,000 hits a day.

"I didn't ever set out to make a fashion blog," Zoe told Look magazine. "It's a documentation of our relationship more than anything." That it may be but there's no avoiding Ali's brilliant colour co-ordination, slick tailoring, array of headgear, and brave use of camouflage.

What Ali Wore is just the latest in a number of real style blogs that have succeeded at injecting both a little humour and light-heartedness into the overflowing world of 'look at what I'm wearing' online diaries. Our current favourite is Menswear Dog , an unbelievably suave Brooklyn-based Shiba Inu named Bodhi who gives even Ryan Gosling a run for his money in the style (and cuteness) stakes…



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