Real beauty: The Sartorialist

Over at .Thought, Jeff Carlson covers an ethical issue that has created quite a bit of buzz in the design community: what the beauty industry and the design industry are doing to women’s physical and mental health.

This one-minute film (be patient while the flash loads) showing a professional model as she is made up, photographed, and transformed into a billboard (advertising makeup, no less) surprised me so much that I found myself crying at the end.

Now, for something on the same topic, but a bit more cheerful. Some months ago, I stumbled upon The Sartorialist, a blog by a New York City photographer who wanders around taking pictures of fashion (trendy, classic, eccentric) as it is interpreted by men and women on the street.

Last summer, the blog included some shots of Manhattan women in their 50s and 60s that were just stunning — tremendous fashion sense, natural gray hair. I wrote to The Satorialist asking for more shots of older woman (quite frankly, I was out to steal some of the clothing ideas for my own wardrobe). He wrote back saying he loves to do those shots but that most older women he approached declined to have their pictures taken. (I suggested MOMA around lunch time; he said he’d tried it.)

Before you click over to The Sartorialist, I should warn that he’s recently caught the attention of the fashion industry, and now, in his “real life” he’s taking pictures in Milan and Paris for various magazines. But he continues to post un-staged, on-the-street photos of natural style and beauty.

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