h1Those who want to be photographed make more of an effort and thankfully there is an abundance of them.
Dvora is the brilliant and mysterious photographer behind Fashionistable, a street style blog based in London that you could get lost in for hours. She posts new photos every day – each one inspiring. She interviews her subjects for their stories and results are a photo documentary of style in our times. Her "models" are often wearing brands that range from H&M, TopShop, Benetton, American Apparel and Zara to Chanel and Hermes (or even more delicious, mixing it up with all of the above). Dvora is also one of Jane Pratt's picks as a leading Style influencer in the SAY 100.
It's Fashion Week in New York, which seemed like a great time to check in with Dvora about real style, what she looks for in her models, and what she think epitomizes great street style right now. The gorgeous photos are all hers.
You're the mysterious Dvora (no last name) street style photographer that runs a great style site. What else should we know about you? If I tell you too much that will spoil the mystery. One thing people don’t know about me is that Dvora is my middle name. But it is short and sweet and I love using it in my photography life.
You're Irish and you like to tell stories– what do you look for when you’re scouting photo subjects that tells you there's a story there? I believe every one of us has a story to tell. We are all interesting people in our own way. The look is always my first priority. After that, in the words of Forrest Gump, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.” So this is my surprise. Some are happy with the questions I ask and really open up. Some are bemused and answer the questions briefly. Some are very guarded and tell me very little and some don’t want to tell me anything at all (but that has only happened twice and both times it was a guy). I respect each person's right to be themselves and never force an issue. I am always really grateful they let me take their picture in the first place. People can be gregarious on the outside and quiet on the inside and vice versa. What do I look for? I am always open to what is coming my way. It can be the way someone holds themselves, a certain poise. A flash of colour. A different way of dressing. Vintage done well. An interesting or beautiful face or even just their energy as they walk past. Anything that makes me look twice or stops me in my tracks – whatever age they are or background they are from.
Where do you find most of your best subjects? And how do you approach them to take their picture? My camera is with me at all times (during daylight hours). That way I am always ready. I am very lucky that I now travel to all 3 big European fashion weeks. Hopefully NYC will be on the list soon too. In London on a regular day the areas I like to go to are wonderfully diverse: Spitalfields, Brick Lane, Bond St, Knightsbridge, the Kings Road and Nottinghill. Having said that I have been known to follow people off the Tube and get off the train home before my stop just because I like someone’s look. I love to be on the move. My approach is different on a day to day basis than it is around the shows. On a day to day basis, when I approach people I quickly tell them what I do, tell them I like/love their style/what they are wearing and then ask if I can take their picture. On a regular day, I usually manage to find about one person an hour that I want to photograph. When the shows are on it is like a sweetshop has been opened - it means the shows have started on the street as well as the catwalk. Those who want to be photographed make more of an effort and thankfully there is an abundance of them. I have to shoot much faster and there is less time to chat as everyone is moving from show to show. But it is a great buzz. Those are long hard days but they are amazing days too.
You see a lot of street style – what do you think epitomizes style right now? Style is eternal. Trends come and go but they just seem to roll over, safari, tribal, tartan, military, brights, pastels, plain, pattern, and I see that the midrift is coming back already (only on slim girls please this time). You get the picture. I love the excitement of the changes. For me it's the seasonal changes (as it is for everyone who lives in a seasonal climate) that effect what I see. The winter months can be the most difficult for style spotting as everyone is all hopped up against the cold so you don’t get to see much other than coats, hats and scarves. Luckily there are always people out there who put it all together better than the rest of us. Thank goodness.
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What are your all-time most popular posts on Fashionistable? Interesting question I didn’t know so just had a look at my stats and my top 5 most viewed posts are:
Out and about … in the Hill - Lara may be getting married to a guy called Dougie Poynter from a UK band called McFly. Great that it is bringing people to the site.
What other street style photographer blogs do you admire? I base my answer to this question on photographers who solely shoot street style and don’t mix their work with lifestyle, reviews or images of themselves. There are also some photographers whose work falls into the street style bracket but they only shoot around the shows. On one level I can understand why they do this (especially just looking at my top 5 stats and seeing that 3 of them are from the shows), on another I feel they are missing out and wonder how they would fare outside the sweetshop. They are good photographers so I am sure they would be OK but it would be interesting to see.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you fashion-wise? There are 2 very different sides to my style. When I am shooting I want to blend in, however sometimes this is hard to contain as I love to dress up. But I have to be practical when shooting as I am on my feet all day and at times kneeling too. Sometimes I think I should just get myself a single look and stick to it like Bill Cunningham, but I think this would kill me. At others I would love a stylist to put me on the straight and narrow. Summer is my most challenging season for dressing. I have very pale skin and have been referred to in the past as “see through.” The light just reflects off me. So I don’t like getting my legs out and have not mastered fake tan. Just last week I spotted myself in the distance of someone else’s picture at Paris Fashion Week in September and thought OH NO. And while writing this have come to the realisation I can’t wear black in Summer and OMG I looked like that during Paris Fashion Week of all places. I hide my head in shame.
What doors has Fashionistable opened for you and your career? The most amazing door so far is shooting for British Vogue. I am shooting again for them during Milan Fashion week later in the month. Very happy about that.