Before browsing down, I would recommend that you to play this video of "Modern Drift" by Danish band Efterklang. It is the first song on the soundtrack of Close Up and Private's site.
At first I thought Close Up and Private was an outfit (what-I-wore-today) blog of some yuppy and his friend/sister/girlfriend — a couple with a preppy predilection for Ralph Lauren. But then I read this, and the site got me even more interested:
Close Up and Private is an on-going project by artist Sergei Sviatchenko which looks to capture the spirit of modern style, as seen through the subtle shades of the individual. Through these details a complex discourse between clothing, fashion and image takes form, offering new perspectives on contemporary fashion and identity.
Close Up and Private is curated by artist Sergei Sviatchenko [DK] and designer and art director Nello Russo [IT] and is dedicated to the visual language of style – celebrating classic details and contemporary looks through unique photographic documentary.
Photography and style by Sergei Sviatchenko (also here), art direction and design by Nello Russo
The pictures do not only pay attention to clothing and outfit details — in pretty much the same way as Tommy Ton does — they appear to me as particular moments in a peron's day.
Yes, the person wears the clothes, but he also interacts with them in a way that only an individual can.
Yes, he likes wearing sweaters, blazers, pocket squares, and bow ties, but the attitude that he wears with them reveals a lot not just on his fashion choices, but also how he thinks of himself.
It becomes clearer that clothing and personal style are not merely exterior, but a medium to both define someone and be a tool for him to express himself.
I know this may sound high-brow and totally out of context, but it is important to view these images in the way they were intended: as sets (this post featuring Spring Summer 2010), as series with their own streams of consciousness that move from one vantage point to another.
This picture, for example, is one of many black-and-white images. Does it look like an instance of hesitation by an advertising partner, a junior finance associate? Was he suddenly caught off-guard by a thought or a memory that has been bugging him for the entire week?
Does he need reassurance?
Is he really the only one who feels compelled to turn his back on everything? The only one that feels like sinking?
Plaid on plaid, but why isn't he glad?
I know I may only be injecting my own cynicism where there isn't any, but I can't help being reminded of noir cinema since there is something cut-off and distant about these images, both those in color and in black-and-white. In proper art school terms: surrealist.
They are meant to be snapshots, which can catch muttered jests.
And plain simple glimpses into an abstract person's checkered life.
In the first Close Up and Private series (Spring Summer 2009), a small plastic bag greets the viewer in the first picture. Intended or not, this image expresses the same emotion as the short clip of the same object shown in American Beauty. So is the collection also a desperate cry for meaning in an urban world of material trappings?
How deep do yellow submarines sink?
How long does happiness last?
I have to try this type of monochrome.
Day in and day out, how many combinations can we find from all the possible patterns?
Ingenious mix of polka dots and stripes.
Of course, there is always a way out of monotony. A kiss of pink, for instance, can make our outfits dance.
All we need is fresh perspective (and wide-cuffed trousers) each time we feel fatigued.
It is always our choice to set ourselves free from our own trappings.
Remove a piece or two when it gets too much.
Or when things seem suffocating.
I know it is not easy to always keep things fun, to keep that spirit of play.
To keep things fun and easy.
When we'd rather stand back and not care about it.
But we must always keep our footing.
Blue + yellow = green. A smile can turn red into bright orange.
Finally! This post is nearly through. I can now hide my head in embarrassment for rambling this long.
The dandy always needs his eye candy.
And the city drudge his style fixes to keep him sane.
Fade out from reality once in a while, then you'll see.