Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Demise of Fashion

As some of you may know, one of my many "on the side" careers is that of a photographer. I shoot portraits, weddings, landscapes, and the occasional model portfolio. Over the last two years or so, I have seen an alarming trend among young women... style is trumping fashion.

It started when I was doing a portfolio shoot with a 19 year old interested in modeling. In our pre-shoot interview, I had stressed the importance of remembering to bring shoes that matched her outfits. When "Alice" arrived for the shoot, I was initially pleased that she had brought an entire box of shoes with her. I say "initially", because upon closer examination I discovered that she brought two pairs of tennis shoes, 19 pairs of flip-flops (in various colors and styles), and one pair of heels.

Let's just describe the heels for a moment... they were actually quite nice, black with a silvery metal imbedded in the straps that go across the top of the foot, and a delicate 3" heel. They would have been beautiful with a black cocktail dress... you know the perfect "little black dress" that every woman is supposed to have in her closet. Except "Alice" didn't bring a cocktail dress. She brought a summer dress and more dressy (though still casual) red, white, and black dress.

So now my choices of footwear are limited to sneakers or flip-flops... nineteen different colors of flip-flops.

Don't get me wrong. We still got some good photographs, she left happy, and I was left shaking my head. But I told myself, "She's young. She doesn't know any better." But my concern was that if she really wanted to model, she would need more than just one pair of heels. Not every client is going to provide shoes and sometimes things don't work out exactly as planned anyway and she might need to have something that might work in an emergency.

So why am I bringing this up now after more than a year has passed? Because it is a trend that is growing.

Witness this story in The Chicago Tribune: 'YOU WORE FLIP-FLOPS TO THE WHITE HOUSE?!'

If you know a young woman, please, please, please, show her some pictures of Audrey Hepburn or Princess Grace. We have to do something now before it is too late.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should go back to basics and let everybody go bare foot. Photographers in this part of the world (Scotland) prefer babies and young children to have bare feet in their pictures because shoes and socks make the feet appear too big for the child.

4:49 PM  

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