James LD

James LD:  This week I’m mixing it up a bit with today’s profile by doing my first black and white series.  James was suggested to me through a mutual friend at GW and is actually the first individual I photographed when I came back to DC in January.  I’ve been waiting to publish his post since the afternoon of our shoot, but wanted to make sure I incorporated the story he told to me that day that focuses on his choice of outerwear.

The trench coat he’s wearing in the pictures below was originally his grandfather’s who – as the story goes – found it in a cave in Bavaria during his tour in the war.  As it turns out, the piece is actually a Kriegsmarine U-Boat Deck Jacket typically used by those in the navy.  James did some digging on the piece coming to the conclusion that his grandfather more than likely picked up the jacket when he was stationed somewhere in Europe close to one of the northern French ports.  While we’ll never quite know the jacket’s original history or who it belonged to, the story it carries within its deep wrinkles adds an inherent value that can’t be assigned a dollar amount.

James is certainly the “hippest” person I’ve featured thus far which prompted me to post all of his pictures in black and white – a dramatic style that compliments his serious exterior demeanor.  While we may have different styles and dress in different ways, our respect for “the old stuff” is nearly identical.

Having labeled this piece his “most valuable item,” I can only hope one of my family members possesses something half a cool in one of their attics.

PS:  This piece was refurbished, tailored, and mended by the skill at JC Lofton Tailors.


“I guess what most people would recognize as my unique style is my collection of vintage mens outerwear. My grandfather and uncle both served in the military and left behind a collection of overcoats, field jackets, and winter coats. Over the years I’ve had each of them mended, tailored, and restored. My tailor is always amazed at the craftsmanship of these pieces and how each of them have stood the test of time. For me however, being a lover of history, I am humbled by the personal story each piece carries; the far away places of the world they’ve seen, the pivotal moments in history they’ve been a part of. They don’t make them like they used to.”

Coat:  Kriegsmarine U-Boat Deck Jacket (similarsimilar, & similar – just for kicks)  //  Boots: Giorgio Brutini (similar & similar)  //  Pants: Levi’s (similar & similar)  //  Scarf: Unknown (similar & similar)  //  Shirt: Altru (similar)