A sign of the times: the “guardian of all style” is a blogger.
I’m referring to the fashion photographer/illustrator/up-and-coming stylist Garance Doré, who The New York Times christened a sartorial gatekeeper of note in a recent article. She isn’t a socialite who grew up calling major designers “auntie” or “godfather”, didn’t attend a prominent fashion design school and hasn’t worked as an editor at a major magazine of note — all of which are seeming requisites for the fashion world’s most noted tastemakers. Instead, Doré grew up in Corsica where her mother owned a popular restaurant, studied communications and got her foot in the proverbial fashion door through a series of freelance illustrator jobs.
“I never even thought I could dare work in fashion,” Doré admits. She attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors to her two-year-old site daily, including powerful editors. They check for her intimate portraits of painfully chic, non-famous men and women on the street, usually in Paris where she lives. Her story represents a general power shift of sorts in the fashion world.
As the public becomes increasingly bored with manufactured celebrity magazine covers and mainstream first-name-basis designers they search for inspiration online instead through pictures of real people wearing difficult-to-identify clothing. “I think people connect with me because my site has a certain honesty. I’m not plugging products,” she says. She’s on the third leg of a fashion week tour that will end in Paris next week.
While most street style bloggers canvas an area, snapping shots of every interesting looking person they encounter. Doré’s work is more deliberate and painstaking. “I began my blog by just posting my illustrations, which can take hours or days to do. So my photographs have more thought and process behind them,” she says before recounting a story in which a well-known international magazine asked her to contribute street style photography. “They wanted me to take ‘x’ amount of photos and I had to turn them down because I don’t work by numbers,” she says. While she currently makes no money from her site, it’s led her to other potentially lucrative projects. She recently gave a panel discussion on street style photography in Italy and will begin styling a few photography projects to be shot by Scott Schuman, most commonly known for his photo blog, The Sartorialist.
“I really do adore magazines, but I don’t need them to show my work and that feels great. I think this is the way of the future,” she says.
Upcoming style coverage
Up-and-coming stylist/ photographer Garance Doré will be at Paris Fashion Week taking photographs of “everyday fashion” for her fashion blog (www.garancedore.fr/en).
Read Metro Style for upcoming coverage of:
• Paris Fashion Week — March 4 to 12.
• Toronto Fashion Week — March 16 to 21.