At the beginning of the last year century, German photographer August Sander photographed “Menschen des 20. Jahrhunderts” a collection of images of people in the Weimar Republic.
The photography was iconic. People were defined by their profession and by the way the dressed. Their rank in society was made visible. A butcher way of dress code would be totally different to that of an architect.
In 1989, I watched the documentary Notebook on Cities and Clothes by Wim Wenders, where he portrayed fashion designer Yohji Yamamato. Yamamato used Sander’s book as source for inspiration for his work in the quest for the perfect shirt. A fascinating documentary.
On my way to a photoshoot for a client, I was thinking about this.
At the beginning of last century clothing was for the average person not a tool for self expression, but more identification. Class and profession were reflected in the way they dressed.
Life in modern society changed dramatically. Structures, we thought were carved in stone, like the division of the east block and the west fell apart with the breakdown of the Berlin Wall. South Africa overcame the system of Apartheid. Technologically we advanced at a rapid speed. I am writing this on my iPad, which did not exist two years ago. Our cell phones are full blown computers, video cameras, still cameras, GPS navigation systems and we of course we can make phone calls with them.
Many professions these days don’t require a special way of clothing. What is the dress code for today’s professionals? What has changed? How do we determine social status? Is there such a thing?
Priorities shifted or did they?
Is there a specific look for web designers or fashion designers? I am curious.
What is your profession? Do you wear a special uniform identifying your profession or not?
Is there a specific tool you use in your daily work?
I am looking for volunteers to be photographed. You will of course receive a copy of your image and possibly the fame of being part of an exhibition.