Sometimes a person can feel like an old friend, even if you don’t know him or her. In actual fact I have met Scott Schuman once, together with Garance Dore, during the book signing he was doing at Liberty’s of London for his first book a couple of years ago. I don’t remember much about that meeting-well, it was so fleeting, you can’t even call it a meeting. I queued for a few hours, among the crowd of fashionable people, most of which really did want to make an impression on Mr Sartorialist who was very cool and kind, even though there were such a sea of people it must have felt strange. Garance, who sat next to him, looked a little shy but she had such a beautiful smile spread on her face you just couldn’t help but smile back…. I got my book signed and walked home, musing at the phenomenon that I just saw that day.
A few years have elapsed but I still open that book and look at the photographs, reflecting, reminiscing, smiling at the beauty of the shots and personalities that shine from every page-it is a rare skill, to take a picture that is a snapshot of the person in the moment-and it’s not just their style, it’s their character that The Sartorialist captures and you feel the beauty of that moment mixed with the sense of humanity, reality and vividness that never cease to amaze me.
This month saw the release of the second volume of The Sartorialist book, called ‘Closer’ and I felt like a giddy teenager waiting for the book to arrive from Amazon and then I have spent what seemed like hours looking at the next photos, remembering some of them from The Sartorialist blog that is my happy daily addiction, in the same way that a morning cup of Illey coffee with cinnamon, milk & brown sugar is.
Many of the photos in the book were ‘new’ to me and the book felt even more intimate, more wonderfully inspired, taking you by the hand and guiding you around the world, showing men, women, children- more reflective shots mixed with joyous ones.
When you look at Scott Schuman‘s pictures you learn from them about the light and the positioning but more importantly, you get an education in diversity and style, the sense of flair and pride that people take while putting together their outfit or their ‘look’, which in many instances really do reflect who that person truly is.
There is a beautiful picture of a little boy, for example, who is dressed like a little gentleman, and he has this shy, adorable smile that makes the whole shot so magical and full of such unadulterated joy-he is still a baby, yet there is no confusion-there is a man inside, slowly developing his fashion sense together with his mother-and it’s not at all imposed, it’s sweetly, endearingly natural. The boy in the picture looks comfortably adorable, not done or stuffy!
Or another photo, by a woman in the Tuilerie gardens, who seems both amused and embarrassed, by Scott taking her picture-you can almost touch her and the hand will fly away from her face, giving way to a flicker of a smile, a knowing look-isn’t it great to just look at the picture and dream or wonder….
Or the photo of Garance, standing in NY city, at the zebra crossing, taking a shot-of The Sartorialist?…of someone else? Her face is hidden behind her camera, but you know it’s her, that wonderful woman, who has her own identity, her style, her flair and her magic touch… Scott Schuman ( The Sartorialist ) has this innate ability to surprise, to have a fresh vision when taking every of his photographs.
His pictures show respect for each individual, they accentuate the beauty of each character and to me, that’ s one of the most amazing gifts that makes me want to check our The Sartorialist blog regularly-to be inspired by the people and the world out there.
Just open that book and let it take you on the magical journey without intimidating you or making you nervous-and who knows, it might inspire you to live for the moment, to enjoy the clothes that you have, to savour the moment of choosing your outfit and be you, the beautifully unique YOU. The Sartorialist ( aka Scott Schuman ), I salute and admire you!
p.s today I caught my little girl sitting cosily on the sofa, browsing the pages of Closer in peaceful & blissful contemplation. I smiled at her, knowing fully well that this is the one addiction that I will definitely be encouraging in her and with that thought, I quietly walked away, allowing my daughter to forge her own inquisitive path.
The Sartorialist Closer Scott Schuman Penguin books £20