you could see these girls on the street in any major city across the globe, no? indie girls trying to set themselves apart from the pack. or perhaps, trendy girls with nice bags, looking blase in their ballerninas. i’ve seen my fair share on the streets of chicago (where i still am at the moment!), in wicker park, and on michigan avenue, respectfully. those gals might see themselves as unique, think they are “different”…but, whoa, they all look so scarily similar, do they not? the same type of bags, the slouchy knit berets, the long, layered tresses tossled just so, the ubiquitous skinny jeans…
are any of us really “different”? or as “different” as we think we are?
nope. not really!
it’s pretty curious, eh?
we’re really very categorizable, moreso than we probably want to believe.
i called this post exactitudes, part deux, because, whatdaya know, it seems i wrote about the exactitudes project way back in early 2008…but it seems to be making the internet rounds again. and for good reason, as the project is ongoing, and utterly facinating.
“ari versluis and profiler ellie uyttenbroek have been working together since 1994 on a documentarian-style photographic project called exactitudes (a word that is a mash-up of the words “exact” and “attitude”). the pair has scoured rotterdam and a smattering of cities around the world, gathering people from various social groups that appear to share the same “dress code”. these individuals are styled, posed and photographed in such a way that emphasizes their similarities in the way of outward expression.”
you can read the rest here, if you so wish!
go to the exactitudes website to learn more about the project.
p.s., a tip:
turn your sound up when looking at the groups of photos on the exactitudes website, as the individual photos are accompanied by little illustrative soundbites!
these two ladies popped into my feed reader around the same time…and seeing them, one after the other, warmed my heart and made me smile. these ladies, though advanced in age, clearly have a young spirit residing within them. a penchant for expressing themselves in an artful, daring way that dallies with modernity, and youth without, to my eye, looking like a “mutton dressed as a lamb,” as the old (tired) saying goes. they are at once “age appropriate” and pushing the envelope for what’s expected of, or typically worn by their demographic (see: that pink hair, those plaid combat boots!!). i hope i look half as good when i find myself at their age…and that i am still expressing my own self with the same attention to detail and clearly apparent joie de vivre that these ladies project. they seem to delight in the act of dressing, perhaps they always have…it would be interesting to see what these women were like in their “younger years”.
on a related note: i am happy that street fashion blogs like advanced style (still) exist, and that some street fashion photographers have a broad focus in the age, gender, race and aesthetic they choose to publish. diversity is good…it keeps life interesting, and the novelty is pleasing to the eye and the brain, no?
care to share any links to street fashion/fashion blogs which feature/focus on or are written/curated by/for people of “advanced age”? one’s that do their work or express themselves with panache? do tell.
-have street style sites reached a saturation point? i.e., are there too many of said websites, with too many of them essentially showing the same thing (same type of people, too similar of styles), over and over? do we need MORE street style websites? one from every city, town, village? multiple ones from every city? would more be better? or would less be better?
-are street style sites, as a blog/website category, losing their novelty? or, as morgan and her commenters suppose, are they just reaching a saturation point amongst those who have long been rabid fans of that particular genre of fashion photography?
-are many of the popular street fashion websites/blogs too focused upon one style, at the expense of other styles/a sense of diversity? or could one argue that the photographers running and maintaining those sites have focused their eye upon a certain aesthetic that appeals to those individuals and their readers?
-to take this a bit further: is there, in this day and age, a discernible difference between the denizens of one city to the next, as far as documentable street fashion/fashion trends are concerned? or has easy access to the internet and globalization of retail homogenized style to a great degree? meaning, can we tell the difference between the hipsters in paris and the ones dwelling in london, or the ones who hail from san francisco or the ones who hail from new york?
-morgan asks, and i in turn ask too: if street style/fashion blogs are beginning to become or have become passe (at least amongst some small subset, perhaps), then what the heck is next?
-will this kind of thing (street style websites and their ilk) stick around and become ubiqutious and everywhere?
-will only the strong survive? (note that a lot popped up a long while ago, and have since been abandoned, new ones have sprung up in their wake.)
-what will or could this type of blogging and documentation of those around us morph/evolve into, if anything?
an amusing clip on street style in kiev, ukraine. it’s by street style site, FAK!‘s founder, phil bananov, and was recently featured on current.
i love the attitude of anton, the guy who looks like an “ordinary american punk/skateboarder”. 😛 seems like america is still loved, in some way, around the world (for some of our culture, if not our politics!)… 🙂
-according to the new york times, ugly is the new beautiful. evidently, a recent rash of articles, books and papers have been penned on the subject of ugliness. long a neglected subject of study and interest, pondering ugliness and at times, celebrating the less than perfect/beautiful is now de rigeur.
which got me thinking…
-can ugly be fashionable?
-or, is ugly (already) fashionable?
-in what ways is ugly now fashionable?
(i immediately think of the old/outdated/”ugly” coming back into fashion again, i.e., the ironic, hipster-favored trends of the last couple years…)
-is ugliness, like beauty, merely in the eye of the beholder?
-or, can one argue that are there specific, solid, irrefutable standards that define beauty, and it’s allegedly less attractive stepsister, ugliness?
-what does this alleged fascination with ugliness say about our culture? has something significantly shifted? or is the passing fancy with “ugly” just that, a passing fancy?
-some speculate that the long coveted size zero figure is perhaps trending towards going the way of the dodo (at least for a little while) (via the times online). a culture-wide fascination with a more voluptuous figure is now on the rise, in some fashion and fame circles, anyway. as to what is exactly meant by “curvy” to these fashion folks is up for debate, but some say the bony girls that have dominated the runways in past years have been told, by some fashion designers and editors, to take off, in order to make room for women with a “bigger” presence. how long this (“new”) obsession with curves will last is anyone’s guess, but if it’s true, it’s certainly worth noting.
-could this new fascination with curves (and “realness”) in fashion be a reflection of the turn our culture is taking in a general sense? are people craving “realness” in aesthetics at the same time they are asking for “realness” in economics, politics, and beyond? in times of leanness, do we sometimes value that which looks even a little bit excessive? i put this idea forward in light of how the impossibly skinny reigned so long in the inflated, excessive years most recently past. i also think of how even further back in history, “rubenesque” women were celebrated in leaner times, as their shape suggested wealth and easy access to resources…
see also: even in a reeling economy, the rich spoiled brat is a fashion and cultural heroine (via the new york times)
–psfk, in a recent post, posited that the DIY lifestyle will become culturally mainstream as the economy slides ever downward. i’ve suggested this many times here on bits and bobbins over the past few years (and feel like they are thus a little behind the times in suggesting this, but nonetheless)…
-IS the DIY lifestyle indeed becoming more mainstream? in what ways? posit, if you please.
-are more people taking classes, and consulting books, the internet and other resources in order to educate themselves on ways to DI(y/themselves) instead of buy, buy, buying or employing the services of others (things they may have done in a bull market)? can (or has) this increase be(en) quantified? surely, someone has done research in this area…?
the quick and dirty stuffs:
-i am sure you street fashion fan girls (and guys) will be glad to hear that the sartorialist’s scott schuman has allegedly scored himself a book deal (via farpitz, via fashionista). a nice coffee table coup for someone who doesn’t even consider himself a street fashion photog. not my cup o’ tea (i rather loathe the guy and all he stands for), but i’m passing on the word to you anyway.
–treehugger has crafted a huge, multi-part guide to greening your wardrobe, chocked full of suggestions, stats, and sources. well worth a major peruse on your part.
-word of the elder-focused street-style blog advanced style has been making the rounds…i’m mentioning it here with the intention of giving it another spin. genius idea…sartorially sassy and snazzy grandmas and grandpas duly deserve recognition and accolades.
-LOVE this idea for shredding a tee (really, it’s just knits “laddering”, but anyway!) from childhood flames. someday i’d love to give it a go.
–these scarves made by spool sewing using quilt/knit master kaffe fassett‘s shot cotton fabrics are stunning…they feel utterly modern with their deconstructed looks. and oh my, the colors…luscious.
-a fab idea to fashion a few decopage decorated bangle bracelets, here, on one pearl button (via whip up)
through the lovely ms. shoo of she breathes i read about a photographer named nnontsikelelo “lolo” veleko, who shoots stunningly beautiful street fashion-style photos in her hometown, johannesburg, south africa. the photos seen above are part of is part of a series that has the very apt title of “beauty is in the eyes of a beholder”.
you can see more of nnontsikelelo “lolo” veleko’s work here, and can find out more about her artistic motivations and personal history here.
after taking in the above photos i had the following thoughts:
one: that, in general, style and trends these days are incredibly, almost scarily global. the clothes the folks in the photos are wearing are in many, many ways, similar to those folks are wearing in most major urban areas across the world, and were probably sourced at similar retail outlets. one could perhaps argue that these people could be from anywhere, not specifically africa, if we’re just looking at their clothing.
two: one the other hand, even though the clothes the folks are wearing strongly suggest the influence and reach of globalization of goods and culture in our modern times, there is something distinct and beautiful, and dare i say, local/provencial about the style of the people she shoots. i’d argue that special, different factor at play here has something to do with the use of color and pattern: it’s fearless, in your face, relentless, idiosyncratic. i don’t know a tremendous amount about south african history, but i am wondering if color, or pattern mixing in the way of textiles, in the past or present, has or had a symbolic meaning or history in the local or national culture…and if this influences the way the young people dress there in any way? also…it’s not just what they are wearing…it’s something about who they are, and how they are wearing it. it’s the mix…methinks. there seems to be a local flavor i’m feeling. is it just me? feel free to debate the converse if you so please.
related notes of interest:
-nnontsikelelo “lolo” veleko’s work is part of an exhibit that is currently running at NYU’s gray art gallery called the poetics of cloth: african textiles/recent art. if you’re lucky enough to be in or around NYC, go see it! (and report back and let me know how it was, if you don’t mind!)
-according to south african street style, south africa’s version of elle deems the sartorially savvy street-sourced style-mavens of johannesburg (like the ones depicted in veleko’s body of work) “‘smarteez’: brown on the inside, multicoloured on the outside,” and suggest that they are the south african version of the seminal young fashion mavericks of harajuku…