Real Life Fiction: The Unknown Hipster

New York Homeless Man dresses in discarded fashion and crosses over into the post-apocalyptic survival look of Yellow Dawn

Unknown Hipster - New York Homeless Man  discarded fashion cross over into post-apocalyptic survival of Yellow Dawn - image Julia Chesky all rights reserved

Unknown Hipster – Image: Julia Chesky all rights reserved

What does this image really say?  A man that is immediately branded by a social stereotype because he is homeless.  Wearing brand items that ordinarily define people with an excess of wealth (real or borrowed).  It is a remarkably evocative photograph by Julia Chesky. It features a chap called Chris who lives on the streets in New York’s SoHo district. Chesky worked with him to create this image, along with Ali Lee, inspired by stories where homeless people have an integral part to play.  He has rich pickings of former-fashion items handed over or found.  He’s the Unknown Hipster.  Like a fictional character that can transcend his gritty reality to become something a little different; catching the eye, an interesting looking man, a man with an energy behind his gaze that suggests a hidden depth of character, somebody or something otherworldly… the gatekeeper to a secret realm, if you have the integrity and spirit to pass. He is the Sphinx with a human face. Superhero. Super-hobo. Supercool without being a fool. Small f.

The Fool - set yourself free to begin the real journey

THE FOOL: Set yourself free of material fears to begin the journey of enlightenment and self-discovery.  The Unknown Hipster watches through twinkling eyes. And so creates a blissful irony with the hipsters of contemporary subculture that stems from the super-cool, in-the-know, detached from ego and indifferent individuals that emerged from the jazz scene in the 1940s: the original Hipsters.

The July 2009 edition of Time summed them up like this:

“Hipsters are the friends who sneer when you cop to liking Coldplay. They’re the people who wear t-shirts silk-screened with quotes from movies you’ve never heard of and the only ones in America who still think Pabst Blue Ribbon is a good beer. They sport cowboy hats and berets and think Kanye West stole their sunglasses. Everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.”

They’re postmodern collapse, engineered fashion fail, irony and down-at-hell aesthetics chasing each others tails endlessly towards infinity – or the apocalypse.

When the SOYAR Corporation ship burns up on re-entry and rains fireballs of wreckage and toxic cargo down across Southern Europe and North Africa, the emerging day is marked by a dramatic and alien sunrise… coined Yellow Dawn by those that witnessed it, the event heralded the end of an epoch of human history.

Ten years later, survivors are picking through the abandoned treasures left by those who died to who fled too terrified to be slowed down by material goods.  In the Living Cities, CRC teams brave the Dead Zones and bring back what they can.  Massive warehouses sort through the scavenged piles and gradually the items filter into a new economy.  With consumer fashion in a post-apocalyptic era, the people who rise to the top of this particular influence game, will typically be restricted to making do with what is available in these scavenged outlets.  Filtering in the warehouses will be managed, and certain items picked out for special treatment.  Hipsters, by definition, wearing clothes that make them look less affluent than they are, will no doubt continue to remain in play.

The only truly next genuine fashion trend can’t come from re-appropriating the past, something which took off in earnest in the 1990s, but will come with the evolution of new materials, new wearable technology.

Fabric and function will become a part of our identity.


And by that measure, will be stepping whole-heartedly into the realm of science fiction preceding real life fact. Take a look at some of the mind-blowing science fiction imagery on art sites like DeviantART and you are in fact looking directly through the lens of the future fashion photographer.  Even after SOYAR and Yellow Dawn, because trans-humanism and technology remain unaffected by what happened on Earth, high above in orbit or deeper into the Solar System on colonies and Deep Space Habitats; enhanced humans like Kalinka, and machine colonies like Borgendrill with full use of Nanomech.

Interesting days ahead…

Read more about Yellow Dawn, Crime, Technology and Future Fashion in the post-apocalyptic novel: Dog Eat Dog

Dog Eat Dog is a post-apocalyptic crime thriller set in the shared universe of David J Rodger after the event called Yellow Dawn

Available in paperback and Kindle formats

Dog Eat Dog

By David J Rodger


This is novel of grand vision, character depth and nerve-popping tension.




“Atmospheric and Creepy” – The Guardian on The Black Lake


“…a modern noir style mixed in with a heavy dose of brutal action adventure!” – Reflexiones Finales on Dog Eat Dog




Available to buy in paperback from LULU Global

Available to buy in paperback from Amazon UK ¦ USA ¦ DE

Available to buy on Kindle UK ¦ USA ¦ DE



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