The flâneur – "a gentleman stroller of the streets", as French poet Mr Charles Baudelaire had it – is a figure often embodied by artists and writers trying to document the modern metropolis. From Messrs Jean-Paul Sartre to Will Self – creatives have long traversed cities on foot in search of adventure and inspiration.
Having already visited the streets of New York, Antwerp and Tokyo to portray city street style – we felt Paris was the next natural pit stop for Mr Richard Haines – MR PORTER's very own fashion illustrator flâneur. "My first trip to Paris was circa 1974, so I feel as though I pretty much cut my fashion teeth there. It's the perfect city to people watch," he says, recalling the vacation he took after college that saw him visit Café de Flore and rub shoulders with Messrs Karl Lagerfeld and Jacques de Bascher. "I've changed, the world has changed, and Paris has changed, but there's still a certain off-hand elegance about the way men put themselves together that remains the same. I'm very grateful for that."
And we are, too. Whether on the banks of Canal St-Martin or in Cour Damoye – the pickings were rich for Mr Haines, who captured six Parisian men: each illustration is an idiosyncratic study in style and a reflection of the city in which it was drawn. Click through the gallery, above, to view his pictures and shop the looks.
Words by Mr Tom M Ford, Features Writer, MR PORTER