Archive for January, 2011

Although this post is a bit of a stretch from the topics I usually cover in that it is not directly related to writing, grammar, or journalism exactly, it is related to blogging and another facet of creativity–visual art–so I thought, why not? 

In a thoughtful, well-articulated piece called “Pop Couture” published not-so-recently on The New York Times Magazine blog, Virginia Heffernan delves into the world of street-style photoblogs that “display snapshots of chic pedestrians in cities around the world.” I found Heffernan’s assessment of the photoblog particularly interesting as one of the many folks obsessed with these beautiful and revealing looks at everyday fashion.
Heffernan hints at why they are so compelling in what she calls “the search for a quiet connection with beauty in a metropolis of strangers.” Scrolling down the stunning pages of The Sartorialist, a personal favorite, I take part in a much loved pastime—people watching—but in a perfectly distilled form. Rather than sitting in a café, eyes darting, waiting for the next stranger who peaks my interest with her unique blend of pattern and texture and then straining to drink in all the details before she disappears, I sit at my computer, armed with coffee, and linger for as long as I like on every individual who glides down the page. Each person as stunning as the next, and best of all, I can return any time to reference the cut of a man’s plaid jacket in Paris or a woman’s high-riding boyfriend pants in Florence.
Although the thrill of the hunt, so to speak, of spotting stylishly dressed passersby from the café window, is not present in this incarnation of people watching, the watcher is exposed to a wider variety of individuals and styles, especially with blogs available from all over the world. In an instant, we can suss out how folks are adapting high fashion to their fabulous street-style inspirations, expanding our ideas about fashion and our worldviews simultaneously.
In addition, despite that the photoblog is often bereft of language, allowing the pictures to speak for themselves instead, I often find that reading the comments, especially on such well-established blogs like The Sartorialist, can reveal smart, witty, and incredibly observant and insightful fortune-cookie-sized expositions of the photo at hand.


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