Monday, February 18, 2008

Representing my tribe

Fascinating article at the Guardian by a fellow who's been studying tribal fashion.

There is a scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where the eponymous hero addresses a vast crowd of devoted followers who have mistaken him for the Messiah. 'You are all individuals,' he shouts. 'Yes,' they reply with one voice. 'We are all individuals.'

It is the sort of joke that delights Dutch photographer Ari Versluis, who has spent the last 14 years documenting the disconnection between our human desire to feel unique while also belonging to a greater whole. Since 1994, he and his stylist, Ellie Uyttenbroek, have travelled the world seeking to document the dress codes of different social and cultural groups. What they discovered was a series of modern fashion tribes - people who dress the same, often without even realising it.


What do my clothes say? Here I thought I was picking them because I like how they feel and look. And finding the right compromise point between those is a repeating struggle.

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