Tag Archives: New York Times

The Fashion Paparazzi

22 Mar

Fashion editors are the new celebrity, being stalked by street style photographers at every turn. Nowadays, photos of famous fashionistas can sell for up to $1000 dollars, according to the Business of Fashion. This is making street style photography a highly professional, and popular gig. During the fall 2011 season shows, there were hordes of fashion photographers lining the street outside of the venues, trying to get the perfect photo of Anna Wintour or Anna Dell0 Russo (Editor at Large for Vogue Japan, pictured right).

Photographing street style of famous fashionistas is nothing new. I trace the world’s fascination with streetstyle back to Bill Cunningham. The New York Times photographer has been peddling his bicycle down Fifth Avenue taking photos of well dressed people for decades. His first set of photos for the newspaper featured Greta Garbo and was published in 1978. This was the first time the Times printed photos of famous people without their consent. Cunningham paved the way for modern streetstyle photographers, like Scott Schuman of the widely read blog the Sartorialist.

What is new is the viciousness of the photographers. They pushed each other and got in the way of editors, who were just trying to get to the next fashion show on time. The sheer number of photogs makes a real nuisance for the sometimes unwilling photo subjects. And I feel the same way about these intrusive photographers as I feel about celebrity paparazzi who attack A-listers–they should give them some space.

While I am a sucker for streetstyle photos, there is almost too much of it these days. There’s Tommy Ton, Street Peeper, and Facehunter, not to mention the street style sections on major fashion magazines’ websites, like Vogue, Elle, and Nylon. There’s also sites for everyday people to join, like Lookbook, that let you upload your own photos and be judged on your ensemble making prowess. Everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon, and it’s getting a bit tiresome. So to those people who feel the need to snap a photo of that girl in the awesome outfit–make sure it’s something really unique, and not just adding to the clutter.

Celebs and Food: Genuine or PR?

18 Feb

The New York Times recently ran an article about actresses stuffing their faces with greasy food during interviews, and how journalists write about this in descriptive detail. A number of possible reasons for the food talk were brought up.

Interviews are typically being conducted over meals, as starlets give less time to reporters. Whereas a reporter used to spend a few days shadowing a subject, getting real insights into what makes them tick, now they’re limited to an hour, where most of what happens is chowing down.

Another possible cause of the food focus is that actresses simply like to talk about their culinary obsessions. I hate to be cynical, but I can’t help but think that actresses go on and on about their comfort food indulgences to shield any eating disorder speculation. So that the reader will say, “Oh, I guess she really does eat.” It shows an unrealistic view of the star’s diet, even if they may be eating something caloric in the interview setting.

“We would all appreciate it if you had an interview with an actress who says: ‘You know what? It’s my job to be a certain size, and it takes a lot of work for me to do so. I tend to eat very healthy, small portions, but once in a while I splurge,’ I would like to hear that. That it’s not easy.”

-Anna Holmes, founding editor of Jezebel (via New York Times)

I believe that the media is largely at fault. Yes, celebs might push talk about food, but did the reporter start it by asking the question? In the end, writers are completely in control of what they print. The general format of magazine profiles nowadays is a lede talking about meeting the celebrity for food and what they ordered, followed by questions. As if there was rarely anything more interesting about the subject than where the writer met them and what they ingested. I’m sure the writer could come up with something more thrilling than that to begin with.

Why are we so obsessed with celebrities eating? We like to think that food is the great equalizer. That if Katherine Heigl eats a Big Mac, maybe we’re not so different from her after all. Maybe we can look like her, too. In one way, this is good for the girls who idolize these women, since it might help them to not fear food and avoid eating disorders. But it’s up to reporters to cut through the PR and get the truth out of the actresses, that for them fatty food is just a treat.

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