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Josiah Koppanyi

WE caught photogenic Josiah Koppanyi, a University of Winnipeg student and '50s-style pop art painter, coming home from school, and he had a story for everything he was wearing. Koppanyi, who loves to work with contrasting colours, both on a canvas and on himself, wears clothes that feel right to him, and nothing but. What he sees on other people inspires him, defining what he wears. Being a visual person, Koppanyi is attracted to outfits or a structured jacket seen on the runway. The education student plans on returning to China, where he once visited, and teaching overseas. "I was there for five weeks and I realized it wasn't enough and I need to go back. My goal is to teach and live there and to use my education background as other travelling devices."

What he wore:

Coat -- "I bought it off a friend for 25 bucks. He's about my size and I was looking for something similar to it. You get a picture of what you want and then you go about looking for it."

Bag -- "China. It's the bag that feels right. It was brand new when I bought it. I patch it up here and there -- that was 2008 when I got it."

Pants -- "Pants are from the States."

Shoes -- "Goodwill store off Henderson."

Plaid shirt -- "This (belonged) the guy who lived in my building before me; when he moved out it didn't fit him anymore."

Cardigan -- "This was my roommate's but it shrank so he gave it to me."

Glasses -- "They're prescription, but I thought I might as well get ones that I like. So I went to Rhymes with Orange in the Exchange District."

Belt -- "Thrift shop. I saw a skinny belt at Le Chateau and I thought, 'Hey, I like skinny belts,' but they're like $30 to $40. This was $3."

Fashion essential

"I guess my glasses. I need them. Actually, my shoes and my belt. Those are the ones that remain consistent throughout everything. They feel right; I like to wear what feels right. I like working with contrasting colours. I'm a painter -- red and blue are a go-to for me."

What do you paint?

"It's a mixture of modern '50s pop art; there is probably a genre for it but I don't know what it's called."

Style inspiration

"There's certain things that grip you. When I first saw a jacket like this, it was gripping. So I needed to find one."

What do you mean by gripping?

"It enticed me. I wanted to have it. I work at the Delta Hotel and they have a number of functions and one of them was a fashion show. One guy walked on the stage with a coat like this and I said, 'I have to get a coat like that.' When I see someone that I'm taken back by their colours, I'll mention it -- I'll be, like, 'You put a lot of thought into your hair and how it complements that cardigan,' and I'll make a mention of it. I've actually been noticing girls wearing a taupe pant with a brown belt and that's stellar -- I love it. I don't know, maybe I will try and emulate it a bit."

Fashion tip

"For me, it's whatever feels right... Ask yourself if it's working. I'm a visual person, so that is my filter."

Instagram: @winnipegstreetstyle Twitter: @wpgstreetstyle Facebook: Winnipeg StreetStyle

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2013 E10

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