From challenging perceptions on ageing, to celebrating the bold and brilliant patterns of Africa, the best street photographers capture, instantly and honestly, what fashion will do next. And if you want to know, here’s a good place to start…
Style: It’s the art of looking
A regular at the world’s Fashion Weeks, London based Jonathan Daniel Pryce (AKA @garconjon) somehow manages to keep his Instagram both juicily fresh, and a little ragged round the edges – a combination we love. High couture and rag-tag streetwear, there’s no agenda here. “I’m constantly seeking to be present in daily life and it comes so naturally when I’m shooting. I’m looking, listening, considering and responding solely to what is going on in front of me. There’s a real simple joy to that,” says the man who loves to shoot Louis Vuitton and Dior Homme with a side order of tattoos and attitude. And the models? They’ll range from 18 to 80 and boy do those 80 year olds still have it.
Looking good: A lifelong mission
Some photographers can’t avoid the inevitable: when they’re shooting the over 60s, they go for patronizing and platitudes. Advanced Style knows the truth: looking good is a skill you never stop mastering. So, with age comes serene confidence and kick-ass style. It’s all about knowing, truly, madly, deeply, what works for you. The gorgeous folk captured on Advanced Style really know how to act their age. And know how to pull off a lurid fuchsia tee against silver locks. Air Seth Cohen’s Instagram is based out of Seattle – kick started when his fiercely stylish gran died. “I never imagined this project to change perceptions on aging – that began with the loss of my best friend, grandmother Bluma – would turn into the most fulfilling creative journey of my life!” he says.
Clothes are a costume. A glimpse of the soul
One of the most reliable chroniclers of NY – and now global – street style, Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist is always on the money. For the past ten years or so, he’s been hawking his digital camera around on the streets of Manhattan, taking pictures with no agenda. His philosophy: I thought I could shoot people on the street the way designers looked at people, and give inspiration to others.” And he’s hit fashion gold, with his candid celebration of casual style, whether Italian men outside a trattoria, a mother in a market in Peru, or a boy on a motorbike in Bali. “Clothes are a costume, they help us to imagine a little bit about what this person is trying to say to the world,” he says. “The world is so diverse. But fashion is a language we can all read.”
You cannot be serious. Fashion’s best rule
Vivid pops of color. Incongruous mash ups of animal prints and man-made fibers. Jewel-encrusted accessories and eloquent ensembles – nothing escapes the eye of Toronto-born Tommy Ton. We love is unflinching attention to detail. His obsessive knowledge of the building blocks that combine to create ‘the look’. His street photography is all about wit, energy and honesty. These are portraits of people having fun. People doing things their way. And isn’t that what it’s all about, after all? Somehow, Tommy’s work is also the best cultural edit you can get too – his ability to foresee the upcoming season’s trends is nothing sort of uncanny.
Context is everything. And nothing.
Drama and juxtaposition informs the striking work of Styleclicker. Context is everything here. Bored models sashaying along Fifth Avenue, or posing vacantly along the Champs Elysees don’t make the cut here. Instead, you’re treated to a bravura display of how, with the right ensemble and the right attitude, a parking lot, a Soviet block or a warehouse plot can be a catwalk. Of course, what the smart curators behind this always-enjoyable feed are saying is: don’t save your faux furs for best, wear them to go shopping. Make everyday a little more fabulous.
The call of Africa. The spirit of place.
The vivid colors and bold prints of the continent of Africa are the inspiration for global traveler, Yagazie. With her judicious eye, tribal patterns, boho accessories and breezy textures combine to create a vivid testimony of what happens when cultures clash head-on, and joyously so. But what shines through most is the spirit and fire of her subjects. Her greatest skill, though, is unearthing the beauty in the most incongruous and everyday. If anyone’s got diamonds in the soles of her shoes, Yagazie has.