27 June 2012


Istanbul, as photographed by Ara Güler

"You overrate me; I'm not anything. This was my duty. If you are a wall mason, it is already your duty to paint the wall well."
Ara Güler, interviewed in Turkishtime, December 2002

In considering my relationship with dress I find myself looking back, always looking back.  These photographs by Ara Güler of Istanbul, as it was, rather than what is has since become, are for me a source of great inspiration.  There is a reality of life reflected in the faces and clothing of the people photographed that is for me incredibly charming.    

My father is a man who has worked hard his entire life.  His hands, his face, his body, all bear witness to this fact.  There is something beautiful in that I think.  We are often encouraged to think of fashion as the means to present some idealized image of ourselves, and yet there is an inescapable reality behind whatever image we may conjure.  Our faces tell a tale, our bodies tell a tale, and of course, our clothing tells a tale.  I think the most powerful stories where clothing is concerned are in the clothes we have come to wear without even thinking about it.  Of clothing we wear so often it becomes part of us.  Clothing that comes to reflect us even in our absence.  

Whether you call it a form of style, or a form of personal uniform, there are certain outfits we find ourselves entirely comfortable in and thus returning to time and time again.  We lose any sense of self-consciousness, and the clothing simply is.  It is comfortable, it is functional, we like how it looks, we like how it feels.  It is a sense of harmony that I find myself constantly yearning for.  Fast fashion seems to me the absolute antithesis to this concept, and it is for that reason I try to avoid it.  Rather than buying clothing to serve short-term, I would rather attempt to find clothing that will stay with me, and age with me.  It is a slower process (indeed my currently understocked wardrobe would testify to that), but for me it is an important one.       



  1. Beautiful photos.

    Sound like your father is great man, his life deserves to get your big respect.

    And my value of fashion is as same as you.

    I asked my 17 years old daughter( who's all clothing are fast clothing,) what she think to buy only expensive but good quality and she feel special whenever she put on the clothing.
    She answered " That is ideal. Also fast clothing are making more garbage ,bad for eco" .

    Umm, even she want to wear better quality clothing if she has a choice?Anyway I can't afford to buy….More like I feel she doesn't need .

  2. really glad you decided to share these images, they're stunning in their natural state of course. i agree with your values and though we don't have the same buying habits i understand them and know one day i'll be like that. i buy less for sure though. my uniform would be a blue shirt, of any kind. wish we could be at a stage like these images where dress seemed more natural and served a purpose. and bigger trousers too