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Fashionably Out: Walk, walk fashion baby

One of the great philosophers of our times once said, “When all else fails and you long to be something better than you are today, I know a place where you can get away. It’s called a dance floor, and here’s what it’s for. So come on, vogue.”

All hail Madonna. Or as her close gays like to call her, “Madge.” Such a role model for many, these lines can reveal an invitation to explore who one really is, embrace it and live it!

You might think the world of fashion is nothing but a waste. Maybe you associate fashion with weird people in high-heeled studded boots and bizarre hairdos. You might even be rolling your eyes right now, indicating that fashion is just not your thing. That it’s meaningless. That you don’t relate with it. That you can’t relate with it.

Well, fellow readers, fashion is more than just underweight, perfectly pixilated models in obnoxious outfits, attending glamorous fashion shows, or flying to Paris on a weekend for a Christian Dior fitting - though that’d be nice.

Take a look at how fashion plays a pivotal role in these two attractive gentlemen’s lives, then we’ll talk.

DANIEL CASTRO

First fancy gent is Daniel Castro, a San Diego visual merchandiser and boutique specialist, sharing a bit about his relationship with fashion.

Who inspires your fashion taste?

My style is inspired by the great designers that made a name for themselves by thinking outside the box. Alexander McQueen, for example, created jaw-dropping shows every season. His vision might have startled a few, but his shows were among the most anticipated of the fashion industry. Yves Saint Laurent, another fashion pioneer, created the first Le Smoking Tuxedo for women in the ‘60s. Timeless garments that empowered women, as it was a suit typically worn by men.

What makes your personal style so unique?

I tend to shop at thrift stores, flea markets, and specialty vintage shops in L.A., NYC, San Diego and online. The articles I usually look for have unique prints, patterns or bold colors. If I see something that is one of a kind, I'll take it and find an occasion for it later. With many events year round, I know I’ll find a place to wear my statement pieces.

BRADEN BRADLEY

Braden Bradley, advertising sales coordinator at Conde Nast for Architectural Digest and current Mr. Gay New York, gives his share on fashion!

Who inspires your fashion taste?

I live in Williamsburg — the trendy capital of the world, as I like to call it. Fashion inspiration is abundant right outside my stoop with all of the hipster hats, lavish scarves, beady eye-glasses, etc. Recently, I’ve been getting into Mr. Brad Goreski. He and I have very similar stories and very similar styles, and while I’m not as brave as he is when it comes to color, I always try to stand out in a crowd.

What makes your personal style so unique?

I think the best thing about my style is that while I always tend to dress a little bit classier than most, I like to make sure that an edgy element is in the mix. A suit and tie can be very nice, don’t get me wrong, but it can also be pretty boring and cliché. I try to give my ensembles an urban vibe by wearing a high lace-up boot or a chunky scarf. Also, I try to keep my audience guessing. If I wear a blazer and tie on one day, then the next day I might wear jeans and vest. I never want to give the impression that I’m strictly a “corporate” guy or strictly a “hipster.” Predictability has never been my thing. Why can’t I be everything?

What do you try and tell the world with your fashion taste?

The thing that I constantly think about as I’m walking down the street is whether or not the audience (that’s what I like to call the people I share the sidewalk with) can tell that I’m confident. That’s what I try to communicate with the outfits that I choose. Being from an extremely small, close-minded town in Texas, I’ve had to deal with my fears of insecurity and self-doubt. Needless to say, I had major confidence issues. Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that life is too short to worry about other people’s perceptions of myself, especially when I was uncertain of my own perception of myself. Moving to New York, establishing a career, and living my dreams, have finally allowed me to grow to love myself. I can only hope that with each day and with each outfit I choose, the audience looks at me and sees my story — where I’ve come and where I’m going.

Fashion is all about inspiring people and exposing a bit of where you are in life. Sometimes exposing where you want to go. It’s innovative. It’s creative. It’s life changing. That dance floor Madonna talks about can be your very own life. Or as we fashion whores like to call it, runway.

Christian Baez is an aspiring stylist, born and raised in San Diego. For business inquiries, he can be reached at Christiankid90@gmail.com or via Twitter @mrchristianbaez.

Photo captions

Top left: Braden Bradley rocks a Zara blazer, shirt and bag. Slacks by TopMan, Tie and Bar by Sovereign Code, and Shoes are Aldo.

Middle left: Celebrity stylist Brad Goreski incorporates a pop of color in his everyday life.

Bottom left: Anne Hathaway attends the Board of Review Awards in an all-black satin-trimmed Saint Laurent Paris tux.