Dom from Grand Central Bakery nominated his friend Daniel for this column. I met up with them in Occidental Park. Daniel reminded me of my little brother. He has an understated, classic style and chooses his words carefully.
Gina Young: How do you describe your style?
Daniel Frum: It's super bipolar because I like to bike, so that limits me in terms of what I can get grease on, and put in toe cages. A lot of times it's a mismatch between form and function. I definitely enjoy dressing up, and going to a parties where people are like, "What are you wearing a tie and blazer for? You're so ostentatious right now."
Where did you get what you're wearing today?
I got these shoes at Goodwill. I get the majority of my stuff at Goodwill. I'm always looking out for Ferragamos, and [when I found these I was] so happy with the style and the color and the wing tip. The shorts are probably one of my more prized possessions. I got to know this guy named Michael Cepress who opened up a store on Capitol Hill, and I actually bought some of his pieces in his studio. It was nice to appreciate and support a local designer. The shirt is Club Monaco. I definitely have brands that I run into and I know they're going to be the right fit— I have a lanky build so with a lot of shirts, the sleeves go three quarters the length of my arm, so... Club Monaco, Faconnable— and you notice small little details, like on all of the Faconnable shirts, the last button is a horizontal stitch.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I'm a beat junkie. A lot of electronic... DJs... elements of hip hop...
What are you doing tonight?
Don't know. But that is usually the case; Saturdays are planned. Fridays are spontaneous.
What are you doing with the rest of your life?
I'm finishing up a degree in Geography at UW. People keep telling me the world is my oyster. (Peals of ironic laughter.) I've always toyed with the idea of becoming a designer. I got a sewing machine last year and mess around on it from time to time. I had a friend recently tell me, "There's not really a place for a straight male designer." I know he likes to be provocative and he just wanted to get something out of me, but it was an interesting thing to think about, in terms of what kind of culture pushes the limit into style that people haven't even thought of.
Where do you look for style inspiration?
I really like the classic 50s style. Shirt and tie and jacket. Mad Men is a guilty pleasure. The Sartorialist. I get inspired by finding a piece and trying to make an outfit out of it.
So what's the point? Why do we, as a culture, dress up?
Because we're a horribly superficial society. (Laughter.) Image is a lot. I guess I just have a sense of humor about it. I like to embrace a not-so-virtuous aspect of American culture in a way that I can enjoy and not feel like it's exploiting me.