October 4, 2011

Street Fashion Photography Is Messing With Me

No, but seriously, though — what the hell are they doing? What are those scraggly little hipsters with the Scott Schuman tattoos on their chests running around my city with the bowling-ball sized cameras and complete disregard for traffic patterns? Paris is officially 67 percent fashion photographers at this point, they are relegated to photographing cats and recycling bins for the most part. They must be staying to mess with me specifically. They have to be. Well, if not, then one of them, or perhaps one of you, needs to answer my very valid, reasonable questions:

  • Why won’t they admit that they clearly only photograph models? I thought the point of street fashion was to take pictures of people that don’t look exactly like everyone you see in every magazine ever — when did that turn into “Oh, this model’s late for a casting call — better get a few shots of her while she’s on her way?” If I had a dollar for every person on these sites that wasn’t 6’1”, 110 pounds, and fucking beautiful — I would have, like, three dollars max.
  • What the hell are these people doing? I’m sorry, but a 50-year-old Asian man wearing a Paul Smith suit, a denim jacket, a mink stole, a Louis Vuitton backpack, Air Force Ones, and shutter shades — WHERE IS HE GOING? Does he work at an accounting firm run by Kanye West and a 10-year-old girl? Is he late for an appointment with Willy Wonka at the World Bank? Seriously, this man had one thing and one thing alone on his agenda that day: Stand awkwardly on the corner of the street, smoke a cigarette, and wait for people to come take his picture.
  • Where do people buy these absurd, absurd clothes? I know that a lot of it is more like moving art installations than actual clothes, but you take a picture of a chick wearing a floor-length ball gown made entirely out of Nerds Ropes and you don’t offer any explanation — like, sure, we’re all just supposed to nod along with great dignity and appreciation for art as we ignore the fact that she’s walking around an actual city in modern civilization wearing a bra shaped like a dolphin. Right, okay.
  • What do people wear if they don’t have a billion dollars at their disposal? You cannot deny that 70 percent of street fashion photography is now just the most amazing, expensive, creme de la creme stuff available. It’s not like they ever just take a picture of some girl wearing an H&M cardigan in a smart, interesting way — street fashion photography essentially just shows you all the fabulous, absurdist ways you can carry that new Fendi clutch! With that Vera Wang wedding dress and coat made out of an animal only rich people know about — duh!
  • Why are there only two options — extremely put together and classy, or crust punk covered with scabs and rubber bands? Apparently the only alternative to being a rich fasionista, if you want to get on style blogs, is to just stop showering for a few months and wear the same plaid shirt every day. You’re “edgy”? And “edgy” is “fashionable”?
  • Where do you find these people? I walk around Paris every day — every single day — and have never once seen a woman running to catch a train while wearing an evening gown with a Hefty bag shawl and a pair of cowboy boots. I want to know where you’re finding them — is there just a farm of impeccably dressed, charming, smoking older men in semi-matching suits? Can I go to this farm?
  • Why do you insist on taking pictures of size-6 women and referring to them as “curvy?” Come on, bro, that shit is so patronizing. “Look, we’re including you, too, fatties!! <3″
  • How do you find sexy, impeccably dressed older people riding scooters? Where is that secret community? The day I see an older woman in five-inch heels and a floor-length skirt strap on a pink helmet and go putting around the Concorde, I will get “FASHION 4 LYFE” tattooed on my forehead. Stop just blatantly paying well-dressed older people to do fun-looking stuff. We know what their actual hobby here is — sitting outside at cafes and looking at passerby with the hatred of Dante’s Inferno. TC mark
image – Mai Le