He kicks out the khakis, bans blue shirts

Candid Closet

April 07, 2002|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,Sun Staff

When George Chkhenkeli (pronounced Chen-kelly) first came to the United States from Georgia, a country just south of Russia, he got a lot of stares.

"American style is very conservative. Pretty much 90 percent of men in Baltimore wear light-blue, button-down shirts with khakis," says Chkhenkeli, who's lived in the city for nearly seven years. "It doesn't take much to stand out."

Especially not if your style falls into the bold European category and you have a penchant for the absurd, like zebra-striped pants or red angel wings (granted, the latter was for a Mardi Gras bash).

"The reason I try the outrageous things is because I love people's reactions -- mostly shocking people," says the 29-year-old software consultant and real estate agent. "It makes life a whole lot more fun. Vanity is definitely my favorite sin."

Here's more about his style:

Pet peeve: Wearing shades in the dark. People don't realize they make sunglasses specifically designed for nightlife wear. I see people wearing [regular] sunglasses at night, and they can't see anything. It cracks me up.

Favorite places to shop: South Beach, Miami, because in a 10-block radius you can literally find everything starting from shorts and sandals to Armani suits, and when I say everything I mean every single piece of attire you can possibly imagine. It's like going to a big supermarket.

Designer favorites: Armani, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. The reason I like D&G is because of how European it is. Versace gets into the weird styles, but D&G completely goes out there.

Most outrageous article of clothing in closet: A zebra-striped pair of pants. I wore them for New Year's Eve at Redwood Trust [a club in Baltimore].

Most complimented piece of clothing: A white and black pinstriped shirt I have. It's a very unique look. I usually wear it out at lounges like Red Maple and Spy Club.

Best reason to have fun with clothes: Every time I wear something different, I look at myself as an alter ego. I'm still the same person, but the clothing and accessories add a different kick.

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