Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Before Bill Cunningham and Scott Schulman, there was Edward Linley Sambourne. Street style documentation is not a recent phenomenon as most of us believe. Sambourne was an illustrator and amateur photographer who was obsessed with fashion and clothing details.
He often worked with a model in his studio or with members of his family. He loved military uniforms, national dress of different cultures, classical style or costumes of all kinds. In addition to his studio work, he often took photos of women on the streets of London and Paris, mostly without their knowledge. Bypassing the creep factor of the hidden camera aspect, the photos offer an intriguing look at the style of real people in that era.
Hats are big and flamboyant. The stitching, pleats and folds are beautifully detailed in what initially looks like just a simple garment. How much do you love the delicate petals texture of the sleeves o the woman on the left? What I found notable was that fashion plate illustrations of that era, women had demure postures, or often looked like they were under the protection of a man. The real women of these photographs however, are confident, striding with purpose, reading, socializing with each other, but always impeccably accessorized.
You can read more about Edward Linley Sambourne at the Library Time Machine site.
Photos from Edward Linley Sambourne’s fashion blog