March 15 2013 12:00 AM

Depth in simplicity

Phillip Russell\'s style is like an open book. Photo by Marisol Dorantes

Friday, March 15 — Khakis, a brown jacket and a blue shirt — don’t judge a book by its unassuming cover. The description of what meets the eye couldn’t be more contrary to the mojo of Phillip Russell, an aspiring writer from Grand Rapids. 

130315pic1.jpgRussell’s love of science fiction and poetry mimic the mix of genres his apparel shows. At first glance the elements seem simple but if analyzed further, a world of intricacies and nuances begin to unravel. Russell combines minimalism with graphic street wear.

Looking through the multiple layers of coat, jean shirt and accessories is like turning the pages of a good book — the further you go the better the story gets. The cover — matching khaki pants (Bullshead, $40) and jacket (American Eagle, $95) — shows a monochromatic uniformity that is simple, clean and tailored without being intimidating.

Russell’s ease and style is a theme continued throughout the chapters of his outfit and enhanced with surprises. The hoodie he dons would seem like an errant thought on its own, but with the few pops of red from the sleeves and the unexpected plaid lining in the hood, it adds intrigue to his apparel.

130315pic3.jpgThe next chapter gets to the heart of his style inspiration — the soft wash of his blue jean shirt (Urban Outfitters, $30) recalls the neutrals of his shirt with a new color rendition. “I am really inspired by street wear but I like to keep a fitted look as well,” Russell said.

130315pic4.jpgHis playfulness and creativity is closest to the center of his outfit and most obvious in the details. The urban-style snapback necklace ($30) from a local skate store and Vans surf shoes ($40) create the synopsis his style: simple, urban and unique.