Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist is a fashion blogger and photographer widely credited with the explosion of and interest in street style. On Saturday he was in Philadelphia for a book signing and I stopped by. As a bonus, his equally stylish fashion photo blogger girlfriend Garance Dore was also there signing books. Garance has a great fashion blog that has a ton of snaps of stylish french women. Who doesn’t love that.
This was a timely event as there has been a lot of discussion about street style lately. Street style in theory is nothing more than taking photos of people who are well dressed in public but as you might imagine, different photographers have different ideas of what well dressed and stylish looks like. In his book closer, you can tell that Schuman tends to look for small details meaning if you want him to approach you for a photo, looking on trend and put together is probably won’t cut it. Instead there should be some element of risk or an attention to detail in your outfit that helps you to stand out in the sea of other equally well dressed people in the fashion capitals he usually shoots in. It should be noted that The Sartorialist has yet to take a photo in Philadelphia.
For me, personally, street style is about the details of getting dressed. A pop of color, mixing textures, and taking risks are what make this photography medium interesting. Pretty is for mass market print campaigns not street style genre photos.
Alright, back to the event. The mood at the event was relaxed although people definitely came dressed to impress. There were a lot of stylish girls with their DSLR cameras in tow taking photos of stylish attendees.There were also drinks and light finger foods available.
The line was fairly long and slow moving. I got in line around 5:00pm and I didn’t get to the front until 6:00 pm. When I did get up to the front of the line I had both The Sartorialist and Garance Dore sign my book and I took their photo.
While they were signing I asked them both what stands out about an outfit or what they look for when they are on the street shooting. Garance answered saying that she noticed things that gave her inspiration or if an outfit was something she would wear. It could be a small detail that she noticed and that she thought was really cool or that she admired. Or maybe it was a persons essence and aura.
A cool moment happened when Garance asked me if I got my phone case from H&m, which I did, and she showed me that she had the same one in blue. I had a total fan moment.
Once I got my two signatures I snapped a few more photos of the crowd and I was done. The evenings mission had been accomplished.