Saturday, June 22, 2013


Prison is back in. Trends can start anywhere but once they start itching around the fashion world New York is right there scratching. There was no way of avoiding the prevalence of black and white stripes on the streets of New the final throws of spring. The inmates had taken to the streets with black bars running horizontally over artificial breasts and bulging mid-drifts. It usually takes time for the display window mannequins to burst out onto the streets but this trend seemed to coincide with the windows being trimmed in this season's hottest trend.

Walking over the cobblestones of Soho the brick walls of century old buildings were now decorated with billboards from Club Monaco and
Michael Kors glorifying women with pouty faces wearing sunglasses and slinging expensive bags over their shoulders all wrapped in black and white stripes.
Even the traditional Burberry coat showed its stripes with an accompanying hoosegow appropriately decorated bag.
Resorts this season are bound to look like mini-Folsoms with a return of sailor's stripes over shorts with a nod to the single leg band stripe. Even the espadrilles have stripes.
Stripes were being drawn in all different sizes from the very thin to the wide and singular,
this time drawn in reverse with a white stripe on a black field.
Even the graffiti artists had caught the bug where their art went to black and white and the bars of bondage showed up on 3D glasses.
The trend was captured by the homewares industry as well. Mitchel Gold and Bob Williams turned it into a sleek console so your entryway can have that same prison appeal.
When used correctly black and white stripes can make a room look large and spacious just the opposite of what you want if like me you've added a few pounds to the center section between your rib cage and your hind-end.
Of course, the leader of the pack in black and white stripes has always been Sephora. Their signature stripes wrapped around columns and across walls may have been the inspiration for this season's chain gang look.
Of course, stripes and fashion wouldn't be complete without a little sex thrown in. This image should appeal to the jailbird in all of us. Talk about the luck of the draw if this is what they put in the bunk above you. I'd commit a minor crime for a night in jail with this one.

I'm not sure if it was a consequence of it being the first brilliant day of spring or a coincidence of outdoor work just happening to fall on one of the perfect half-dozen days that occur at the exact meridian known as New York, but it seemed as if every corner I turned had a photo shoot or a movie crew occupying bits of real estate in the city. Production trailers and mobile dressing rooms took up blocks of precious parking spaces. Interns with headsets and out-stretched arms approached crowds of on-lookers directing them to the other side of the street so as not to disturb the shoot in progress.
Groups of people stood on tiptoe or found higher ground so that they could gawk at some leggy model in next season's fashions or a bunch of actors running through a scene for a movie or a TV episode or a commercial. In Manhattan it's the rubber necking equivalent of an auto accident. You don't want to appear too touristy but you can't help it. You stand there for a few minutes with the rest of the crowd, you may even pull out your camera, and you realize you too are just as gullibly geeky as everyone else when it comes to the magic of fame.

Shalom Harlow, 1996
Patrick Demarchelier, photographer
Represented by Young Fine Art Photography Gallery, Brussels

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