photography Tag Archives

Parisian Insights: Alber Elbaz/Lanvin MANIFESTE

Following the Palais Galliera’s successful exhibition dedicated to Jeanne Lanvin that I presented here in my last post, it was interesting to focus on another display celebration the French couture house. After history, it is now time for contemporary creation. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris’ photography museum, is showing, until the end of October, an exhibition dedicated to the work of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, …

Parisian Insights: Papier Glacé

I’m always a little suspicious when it comes to exhibition’s highlighting contemporary companies, not that I neglect the idea that a current brand has its place within a cultural institution but I always found it hard to make the difference between marketing operation and artistic project. I’ve already explored such displays here: rememberer? Dior, Alaia, Roger Vivier… When I first discovered the posters for Papier Glacé: …

Book Review: American Cool

Weren’t we taught that starting with a dictionary definition of your subject is totally uncool? Or was that unscholarly, unprofessional? Joel Dinerstein and Frank Goodyear defy that classroom convention in their new book, American Cool, by taking a page from a jazz dictionary: automatic validation. The quote comes from A Jazz Lexicon, compiled in 1964 by Robert S Gold, and it is actually an inspiring start to …

Book Review: “Stasis”

It is what they wear on their heads that receives the viewer, elaborately embroidered caps that bring to mind the 17th and 18th centuries, though they are a Danish style from the nineteenth. The shape of these caps will inevitably retain associations with childhood bonnets, demure femininity and hair-covering (to protect as well as to hide). For those not familiar with traditional Danish clothing, the photographs …

Global Mode: The Diesel Niqab

When Diesel’s first ad campaign under its new artistic director, Nicola Formichetti, came out in late August, bubbles of disapproval and disappointment and loathing about one of the many images in the Reboot campaign arose and floated around blogs, Buzzfeed, and The Huffington Post. The discussion circled around a shallow “offensive/edgy” binary deemed innate to the image, which discussion commentators (and commenters) fell into naturally: here is …

Global Mode: The Anthropology of Immigration

This past Sunday, the New York Times Magazine featured photographs of objects left behind by South American immigrants crossing the border into America. Jason De Léon directs the  “Undocumented Migration Project,” which collects, catalogues, photographs, and exhibits these “things they carried” and oral histories as witness to the experience, which De Léon describes as violent and traumatizing, comparing it to the forced migration of Africans earlier in the …

Global Mode: Hereros

Jim Naughten is a London photographer whose work, which is mainly portraiture, has a lot to say about costume history. His photographs of WWI and WWII re-enactors in Kent, England (known for their excellent costuming) can feel like time travel, as if he pulled these people from 1917 or 1943 into his studio in the twenty-first century. Naughten’s other series, Hereros, is part anthropological survey, …

Manipulations of Images & The Body

I recently came upon a light news item that caught my eye: following a partnership between Disney and Barneys department store, beloved Disney cartoon characters have been augmented to resemble fashion sketches: Though many of us in the fashion world are used to seeing these hyper-elongated bodies, impossibly willowy limbs, bodies whose legs consume 3/4 of the entire body, in various stances of elegant / …

Sebastian Smith, Fashion Photographer

I met this perfectly lovely — and dapper (he often wears a hat) — young man about a year ago at one of our favorite galleries, Chair and the Maiden. With more than a whiff of Helmut Newton, Sebastian Smith has managed to make a career of his passion: fashion photography. I picked his brain on balancing his career with his aesthetics, and his thoughts …

A Different Take on Street Fashion Photography

A few months ago I had the delight of popping into the Met’s modestly-sized exhibition “Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein’s New York Photographs, 1950–1980.” From the Met’s website description: “Leon Levinstein (1910–1988), an unheralded master of street photography, is best known for his candid and unsentimental black-and-white figure studies made in New York City neighborhoods from Times Square and the Lower East Side …

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