West Coast dapperQs take on He Said/We Said: The Name of the Game is McQueen

For the 11th edition of our He Said/We Said (HS/WS) fashion series, dapperQ took it to the Bay to see if Cali could compete with NYC’s queer swag. This was our first ever Left Coast edition of HS/WS. But we have to admit: the San Fran set blew our winter wool socks off with their dapperQ style. Watch out NYC!

For a quick refresher, check out creatress mastermind Anita Dolce Vita‘s plan behind the HS/WS magic:

“The models fashion their very own looks – I give the inspiration, they give the interpretation. They come to the shoot camera ready: hair, make-up, their own clothes, accessories and props. I didn’t want the series to reflect how to recreate menswear from an individual stylist’s point of view. It’s always a wonderful surprise to see what each model came up with and all of the different translations of the same inspiration.”


Photographer Sophie Spinelle , along with Anita Dolce Vita, selected the Alexander McQueen spring collection as the inspiration.Here’s what Sophie said about why the McQueen collection inspired her and what it meant on a personal level to capture images for the He Said/We Said series:

“I was really excited to shoot for dapperQ and create iconic, complex shots that pay homage to queer masculinity (and to awesome fashion). I’ve long been inspired by the transgressive and elegant qualities of Alexander McQueen’s designs, so it was a natural fit. Working with the metaphor of games to communicate about different aspects of queer life provided creative possibilities I’d never explored before. My commercial work at Shameless Photography is focused on feminine old Hollywood and pinup styles, so it was really a treat to examine a new side of gendered imagery with dapperQ. ”


Alexander McQueen Spring Collection

Ryan Li Dahlstrom


Age: 31
Your preferred gender pronoun: He/Him
Occupation: Organizer, facilitator, fundraiser, childcare provider, aspiring chef, writer and doula
Outfit details: Shirt and Blazer from Uniqlo (on clearance!). Vest from H&M. Tie from Aldo. Pants from Express. Shoes from SoleSpace (Special thank you to Jeff Perlstein for loaning me the shoes for the shoot!) Dragonfly socks from Target

Outfit sobriquet?

Purple Dragonfly Ro-magic

What were your favorite moments from the shoot?

Fencing with Tai. It was awkward putting on the helmet and holding the sword, but ended up being quite fun and silly in the end. It helped loosen me up for the rest of the shoot.

Tell me about what it meant for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said.

Growing up as a mixed race kid, I got a lot of different messages about beauty and how I “should” express my race, gender, class, and sexuality. I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me. It felt empowering to be part of a fashion shoot where I could determine what I felt good in and express myself freely.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I need color in my life! Bright, bold colors like purple, teal, fuscia and some glitter/sparkle. I like to add either sparkly nail polish, sparkly suspenders, or occasional eye make-up to feel extra gender fabulous.

Kelly Lewis


Age: 29
Preferred gender pronoun: They/them
Occupation: Master hoop jumper, giving/receiving love to/from community
Outfit details: Grey pinstripe blazer from Owl N Wood, Oakland, Ca. Green hood, denim button-up shirt, reservable African print bow tie, copper and turquoise ring from Show & Tell Concept Shop, Oakland, Ca.

Outfit sobriquet?

Lil’ Mr.

Song that best describes your look?

“Cornbread and Butterbeans” by the The Carolina Chocolate Drops

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

At least one earring in my right ear. It queers things.



Age: 28
Preferred gender pronoun: She/They
Occupation: Marketing at Kink.com
Outfit details: Blazer by Ben Sherman. Shirt by Uniqlo. Vest from a thrift store. Tie from H&M. Pants from Forever 21. Shoes by John Fluevog. Tie-clip from Etsy

Outfit sobriquet:

Dandy Mafia

Talk a bit about your favorite moment(s) from the shoot.

I loved the highly refined “Build Me Up Buttercup” Pandora station Sophie Spinelle had playing as our soundtrack. I also spent the entire day drooling over the clothes and accessories of the other models. My favorite thing about the shoot, though, was meeting a group of super dreamy, awesome people.

Whose wardrobe (celebrity or otherwise!) would you raid?

The first thing that comes to mind is the character Blaine from “Glee.” That wardrobe was the only thing that kept me watching the show as long as I did.

Tell me about what it meant for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said.

All the clothes I wear, or want to wear, are made for bodies that are different than mine. I never expect them to fit properly, only hope they fit well-enough. For a long time, I was nervous about wearing the types of clothes that made me feel best and waited to put on the more fabulous elements of my ensemble until I arrived at my destination. It felt like I was trying to sneak my way into a club that didn’t want me. He Said/We Said turns all that on its head. It breaks those arbitrary rules around who can wear what. It’s the world’s best-dressed revolution.

Jae Jacobs


Age: 24
Preferred gender pronoun: He
Business link: Yelp.com
Outfit details: Shoes from Nordstrom Rack. Pants from Levi. Vest from a thrift store in the Haight. Shirt from Cary Lane (SF boutique store)

What were your favorite moments from the shoot?

Meeting the other dapperQs as well as shooting the “house of cards” shot. I was really excited I got picked for that shot since I love a good game of Texas hold’em

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Cary Lane in SF. I love the slim fitting button downs. I also like Nordstrom Rack and Banana Republic.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without and why?

My compass tie clip. It’s the perfect size, and is fancy looking with added a little extra flavor to any outfit.

Taijhet Nyobi


Age: 27
Preferred gender pronoun: I have no preference when it comes to pronouns. It is more important to prefer that you don’t assume my gender expressions or my attractions.
Occupation: Language Instructor, Poet
Outfit details: Haircut by Shreya Shah [email protected]. Shoes by Owl’n Wood. Green dress pants by Zara. Gold belt, lace navy blazer, and shirts from Sola Lucy. Blue striped dress pants from Crossroads.

Song that best describes your look?

“Bad Habits” by Maxwell

What were your favorite moments from the shoot?

I absolutely loved fencing with Ryan Li Dahlstrom.

Whose wardrobe (celebrity or otherwise!) would you raid?

Saul Williams and Idris Elba.

What did it mean for you to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

It was celebratory and light. I think we all were able to poke fun at ourselves and goof around with each other. In my day to day, getting dressed is often times such a serious matter. I work in education and most of co-workers do not look like me racially, let alone in my genderqueerness. It was nice to relax a bit and flame up a touch.

Ashley Faulkner


Age: 28
Preferred gender pronoun: Whichever
Outfit details: Coat was a gift from former roommate to current girlfriend to me. Vest gift from friend; shirt from uniqlo. Pants from Scotch and Soda. Boots were custom made in SF.

What were your favorite moments from the shoot.?

My favorite part of the shoot was pre-shoot when I helped Miss Sophie Spinelle and her assistant, Finn Lewis, move approx 30 pairs of high heels, stacks of crinolines, and closet fulls of dresses to morph her Shameless Photography studio from femme to stud.

Whose wardrobe (celebrity or otherwise!) would you raid?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s, because I may actually fit into his clothes.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without and why?

My black boots because they’re my effortless feature. They go with everything I love to wear, they’re my favorite color, and I don’t feel comfortable without them.

Dashiell Lippman


Preferred gender pronoun: She
Occupation: Sales Director, Yelp.com
Outfit details: Jacket from Hickey Freeman & Opening Ceremony. Shirt by Ben Sherman. Pants from Topman. Shoes by Sebago. Glasses by Tom Ford. Pocket Square by Chloe.

Whose wardrobe (celebrity or otherwise!) would you raid?

Hedi Slimane.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Topman (xxs shirts!!), Welcome Stranger, Sui Generis and Opening Ceremony.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without?

Penny loafers.

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DapperQ is one of the world’s most widely read digital queer style magazines and is a preeminent voice in queer fashion and beauty. We inspire people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender presentations to think differently about both queer fashion and beauty as art and visual activism, and ultimately have a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with style. In the words of founder Anita Dolce Vita, “dapperQ is a queer fashion revolution, one of the most stylish forms of protest of our generation.”

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  1. Really impressed with the vest-wearing happening here. Also the hair. Also the everything. Also also how many dapper humans does Yelp employ?!

  2. Wow. It’s settled, these are my 2016 presidential campaign fashion consultants! Hillz fashonistas! And, swords will be a must (if the secret service approves)!

    • i love shameless photography, it was such a treat to see such a talented photographer shoot a completely different style!

  3. this is some artsy realness. LOVE IT.

    i probably need a link to this ‘build me up buttercup’ pandora station.

  4. Moments like this it is nice to just appreciate good-looking people especially when they are accomplished and exude most importantly beauty from within.

    The dapperness is staggering, like I can’t take it. *all the snaps*

  5. I want everything but mostly Taijhet’s top; I should stop idolizing Fez from That 70’s Show.

    • i feel the same way and i’m not even dapper or masculine, hm. i think it’s because they all just look really really really good i would feel safe having them help me choose my clothes.

  6. I second all the things said above. The only thing I would change about this beautiful post is that I wish the photos were BIGGER so I could see all the details and the faces better.

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