People of the 21st Century


Hailed as one of the top fashion blog of all times, there is something about the photography on The Sartorialist that gives it an unparalleled status in the blogosphere. A main influence of (the man behind the blog) Scott Schuman’s is the early 20th century photographer August Sander.


August Sander’s extensive portrait collection People of the 20th Century documents his fellow men from 1910 to the pre-war era. This is a true cross-section of Sander’s Germany; his subjects ranging from diverse backgrounds and portrayed in different situations, their clothes often giving away their occupation.


There is a parallel that runs through Sander’s and Schuman’s photography. Both portray their contemporaries in a realist (albeit posed) and dignified manner. Their camera acts as a contemporary witness of a precise moment in time.


Rather than portraying the latest fashion, the styles portrayed on The Sartorialist have a clear emphasis on personal style that gives the photographs a more ‘timeless’ quality. Will these pictures one day in the future serve as a visual record of the moment in time they had been taken? Might fashion blogs one day be an anthropological point of reference?

Engaged Farming Couple 1911, printed 1990 by August Sander 1876-1964

Fashion and dressmaking genius Yohji Yamamoto also counts Sander’s work as an influence that he keeps referring back to when designing his collections. Just like Yamamoto is looking at ‘street style’ photography from the early 20th century, fashion designers are using street style blogs as a resourceful archive for inspiration, that allows them to carry out extensive research into who wears what, where and how; what trends are coming back and which are the ones that stick.

61212Hair8817Web1 62712Kate1169Web 70112Vict3531Web3 63012Back1727 72612Nath5643Web 12313EAttack5612Web 11913Cam4380Web 12913JK6119Web 11213CostumeN8852Web1 12913ARfront6073Web 12313Eva5682Web3 tumblr_m7cjj9XuqW1rw3fqbo1_1280 03 ASA3:2f37:2f2.tif Painter [Anton Raderscheidt] 1926 by August Sander 1876-1964

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