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?
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.