it's been a while, but here comes another installment of …reviewed by me, for you! more to come in the coming days and weeks. i've got a backlog!
new york look book: a gallery of street fashion by amy larocca & jake chessum:
not sure how i came across this new tome, i pretty sure i stumbled across it on amazon.com. good old amazon most likely recommended it to me based upon my other purchases (isn't that nice? i'm always lurking around over there...i'm OBSESSED with books).
tis an offshoot of new york magazine's look book street fashion feature, the archives of which can also be found right here. i've been checking in with said archives regularly the past couple of years, and i was delighted to see that they had been compiled into an actual, factual book. the internet is more than fine and dandy, but there's something temporary, ethereal, and changeable about it, just as it's nature, whereas a book is a tangible record. me likey.
i believe that this street fashion photo book is better than many i have seen. why? well, here's the theory i'm positing:
-the white backgrounds give the portraits a clean feel, undistracted by cluttered backgrounds (i like these sorts of street portraits both ways, actually (sometimes the background gives a mood, or sets the scene or says a lot about the individual)), but here it works, and it sets the new york magazine look book photos apart from the pack as a result. one could argue that the white backgrounds let the clothes (and the people wearing them) do the talking.
-the book has short interviews with the individuals, which give a deeper look into their style and their life on the whole. why they wear what they wear, what their clothes say about who they are. i've said it about a million times before: clothing is more than just shaped pieces of fabric we use to cover our bodies...it is a form of symbolism which defines who we are and how we want to be perceived by the world at large. the words add something to the photographs...they make the person more real, and their portrait that much more rich.
-it's about new york. a portrait of the people of new york is a portrait of new york as a whole. 'nuff said. (damn i miss that place! good thing i'll be visiting in two weeks, starting nov. 7th!)
-the people pictured in the book are diverse: it's not all ridiculously rich, young, skinny people clothed in the latest designer threads or all coked-up hipsters. it's young, old, rich, poor, all colors, all styles, all everything. again, a reflection of NYC as a whole. LOVE it.
-the back has a shopping guide, broken up into sections by NYC neighborhood. nice!
here's a small peek at some of the pages and the terrific portraits. check out the quote on the middle one.