Beauty & Fashion
Lessons from a men’s street style photographer
Giuseppe Santamaria went to his first-ever fashion week in 2011, in New York, as a visitor of Tumblr.The micro-blogging platform had welcomed him, in addition to 20 other up-and-coming blog writers from around the world, to cover the catwalks and satisfy backstage with some of the nation’s most esteemed designers. It was the street style that mesmerized him most– the unofficial primping and posing happening among the “menswear lovers “outside.” I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a’fashion guy’,
“Mr Santamaria, 31, informs ABC News.”But I liked observing that world, taking it in. “A year previously, Mr Santamaria, who studied marketing and graphic design in Toronto, Canada, had actually moved to Australia and begun a blog site called Guy In This Town, on which he shared pictures of the elegant men he ‘d snapped on Sydney’s hectic, stylish streets. Obviously, this was a time before Instagram was “a thing “– when males
‘s style was still finding out the best ways to harness the internet.Menswear all over the world appeared to be getting in “a new age”; the standard gender lines of style
were starting to blur, and Australian men, Mr Santamaria noticed, were sitting up.”Photographing many various people, I realised there were so many methods to be a guy, methods of impersonating a guy– whether you’re gay or directly,” he says.”The stereotypes [ That guys who like clothing should be gay]
were not there any longer. There wasn’t simply one defined look, and I wanted to check out that. “Mr Santamaria returned from his” crazy fashion week opportunity”in the States with scores of brand-new followers
and a video camera full of confident, modish guys: blokes in sweet cowboy boots and blush-coloured blazers, dudes in dungarees and Doc Martins, perfectly groomed men in polka-dot silk scarves and horn-rimmed spectacles. Male who enjoyed clothes.Since then, he’s taken thousands of pictures of guys’s street design, in cities all over the world, along the method publishing 2 books( including one recording females’s street style), dozens of publications and opening a retail store-slash-creative area in Sydney.Now, he’s releasing a 3rd book, Alone In A Crowd, a thick brochure of the photos he took between 2014 and 2016 whilst in Tokyo, Toronto, New york city, London, Paris, Florence, Melbourne and Sydney.Mostly, Mr Santamaria states, he simply desires to get other males thrilled about design:” It’s for more youthful people who
are searching for motivation, and to see how other people all over the world are dressing.”Here, Mr Santamaria chats to ABC News about what makes an excellent street design photographer, how Australian fashion weeks are letting men down, and why Melbourne men are bigger style risk-takers than Sydney’s. You began shooting men’s street style in 2010 after relocating to Sydney from Toronto. Australian ladies, you stated, had actually never hesitated to experiment with style but up until then, men hadn’t. What do you believe was the catalyst for Aussie men accepting fashion?I believe it was mostly to do with the internet– it gave people a chance to see what style was doing in other locations all over the world, and not necessarily in the magazine kind, where it’s editorial, not genuine life.It actually opened
everybody’s eyes to the reality that there are different methods for males to gown. Australian guys’s fashion has constantly been motivated by London, and old British heritage. It never actually translated here because the weather condition is entirely different to the UK. So individuals just end up resorting to shorts, a T-shirt and thongs– which is the comfy Australian clothing everybody enjoys. The internet has made it much easier for people to see how, for example, Europeans gown to cope with the weather condition, however also to reveal themselves.How has Australian guys
‘s style altered since 2010? I observed a real shift in 2010, when blogs and social media were actually beginning to remove.
The most obvious pattern was that hipster pattern– that throwback to older-style dressing.We were seeing lots of button-down shirts and things like that; discovering the best ways to wear a suit in
Australia was a huge thing. Beards and moustaches– grooming– ended up being a huge offer too, and it was something various on the street, so I simply believed it would be an amazing thing to document.How does Australian men’s design compare to that of men in other cities around the world?I believe designs are extremely comparable overall– the trends are all the exact same, it’s simply that particular cities perform them differently. For instance, London is really fashion-conscious; it has a great deal of fashion’ fans ‘and you see a lot of higher-end appearances. In New York, it’s a little more unwinded, more’street’.
And the Japanese do design in a very specific method– their attention to information is fantastic, they really go full-on for a look.Tokyo is my favourite place to shoot– there is somebody to photo around every corner– partly since there are so lots of people living there.
You still see all that in Australia, but there’s a smaller population here so fashion is on a smaller scale. How does men’s style vary in between Sydney and Melbourne?There’s a more apparent
distinction in between Sydney and Melbourne. I think Melbourne is a lot more speculative, more artsy– its arts culture is shown in
the people who live there, and how they reveal themselves. They take more risks. Whereas in Sydney, you see more of the trends. There’s currently a huge focus in
fashion and mainstream media on how style is becoming more gender neutral– the standard gender lines of style are blurring.I have
observed that with females especially. When I began creating my women’s blog site, I believed guys could easily wear some of the outfits I was seeing on females– there was definitely that blurred line.I believe ladies were naturally welcoming males’s style, because they tend to be more speculative. It’s occurring more and more now: I was in New York in February and I saw a lot more males
wearing womanly clothes.One person I saw was using a lace shirt and lace hat– it was quite lovely and womanly, however it was still very New York’street design’and had a manly touch to it.You’re also seeing a lot morepeople wearing skirts and kilts and even dresses– kimonos, too.
Trends like these are probably extremely’high fashion’and you won’t see the average guy wearing them, however you’re progressively seeing them at style weeks, so I think that will most likely translate to the mainstream.What criteria do you think about when searching for subjects to photograph?The only thing I am looking for is confidence.If someone is out there wearing something that they wish to use, and they don’t care exactly what anyone considers it, that’s pulling off design. It has nothing to do with the clothing. They’re expressing who they are within, and doing it for them, not anybody else.Do you always ask permission before photographing males on the street? Is it ever awkward?That was how street design photography was being done when I first
started my blog site. [ asking for approval] didn’t truly feel natural to me. I take more to the style of documentary photography– standing where I can get the very best shot and taking a photo of somebody in their natural aspect, in the minute, and attempting not to obtain their reaction.He is an excellent hero of mine, the method he approached
his work, the way he had the ability to record individuals in a raw minute– while certainly aiming to be extremely complimentary about it, and get a really fantastic photo.I’ve only ever once been shooed away– type of a,’What are you doing?’ kind of response. And that was from an older person who possibly didn’t comprehend exactly what I was doing.If someone truly does not wish to have their photo taken, they’ll let you know, and you just erase it.What makes a great street design
photographer?It’s about constantly being ready, having your cam always on. I actually always have my cam– an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II– connected to my hand, due to the fact that you never ever know when that minute is going to happen.It’s interesting, however it’s stressful at the same time. Likewise the more detailed you are to your
topic the better, but you shouldn’t be so close that you’re seen, and disturb the minute. You need to be in the background– that’s sort of what the title of my book talk with: the concept that you’re’Alone In A Crowd’. How would you explain your very own style?People have actually said that I have a particular look, but I seem like I’m always exploring. Tokyo and Japan had such a substantial impact on me when I initially went to– I would love to simply invest a year there recording as much as I could. The individuals are so fantastic, the culture is lovely. And the clothes, I absolutely love them.The style of the Japanese man is extremely denim-oriented, a little baggy and unwinded. It’s a mix of Scandi, European and Americana, and that’s
exactly what I like about it. They likewise use lovely cuts
of material, but done in a different, modern way. I think that is what I am drawn in to when I purchase my own clothes. Apart from Expense Cunningham, who or what else influences your work? A great deal of those older photographers
from the ’50s, even earlier. Saul Leiter is among my favourites
— he was based in New York and Europe, where he did documentary street photography. It wasn’t always street design, but I like the method he captured that minute in time.Back then, Leiter’s pictures most likely looked like absolutely nothing unique, but when you look at them 20 or 30
years later on you see that he caught a kind of appeal that was
so of that time. That’s what I hope for my pictures. Now, to some individuals they might look very average– in reality, I’ve received criticism for that exact reason. I hope in the future you’ll see that my work caught this particular moment in time, like a capsule.Fashion weeks, at least those in Australia, are infamously female-focused.
How do Australian fashion celebrations– VAMFF in Melbourne and MBFWA in Sydney– accommodate men?Some elements of them do– for example, they constantly have their men’s show, however they might obviously do more. The market itself could press more trainees and young designers to produce for males, to promote an interest in menswear– hopefully that will alter soon. [The extent to which a style festival will promote menswear]
. also involves the size of the nation. Still, I think there will always be a location for males’s style, and there are a few [local] brand names doing fantastic things here.Patrick Johnson is a prime example of someone who accommodates guys, doing something so gorgeous, so Australian, and not necessarily too artsy, and it works for the mainstream.What product of clothing need to every Australian male own?I get asked that question a lot! I don’t believe there is something that every guy must own. Do whatever feels right for you– there are no rules. The internet has actually simply grown into this location of lists and rules, but that’s so ludicrous. I think that if you like it, do it. If it makes you happy, then that’s all that matters.What’s the greatestfashion faux pas a male can make?Not experiment. Don’t stick to only one design, or refuse to attempt a specific style. Just have a good time with style, and do not be scared to try new things. Do you think a lot of guys are”afraid”of
fashion?I think so. It returns to old stereotypes, of individuals thinking males who like style are gay or whatever, which is simply ridiculous.I believe many Australians probably have that old mentality– that blokiness. However that’s a big generalisation; a lot of guys I’m fulfilling aren’t like that at all. You said Instagram can be a fantastic place to discover brand-new style icons and neighborhoods, but do you think there’s nearly a specific Instagram”look”? Rather of motivating uniqueness and experimentation, Instagram might be motivating homogeneity?Absolutely, that is a huge thing– it’s the majority of what Instagram is, in the end. However you do discover those gems that stand out, which [ culture of sameness] makes them more obvious.Sure, get motivation from Instagram, however
make it your very own, provide it your very own individual spin.So everybody on Instagram wears white all the time, however if you’re not the sort of individual who uses white, do not try and do it. It’s so boring!What’s the difference between fashion and style?I think style is about the individual– you can’t replicate it, whereas fashion can be duplicated– it’s pieces anyone can buy.Style is the curation of fashion, and the
way you use it to express yourself. That’s ideally exactly what makes everybody special in the
end: their characters come out through their style.That’s why I believe it’s so important to discover your own style, and not just wear whatever you see on mannequins in a store.This interview has been edited for clearness and condensed.