A Link is Worth a Thousand Pictures

A few months ago I was talking to Serah-Marie (Worn’s Editor in Pants). I had sent her some digital images I was using as inspiration for a photo shoot. In the course of conversation I offered to burn a CD “for the Worn reference library”, a copy of a few years worth of my own internet image searches. “I must have at least 300 or so,” I said. I went home, opened up my image files, selected all, and discovered in excess of 1600 items.

Hi, my name is Coco and I’m an image junkie.

The internet is a beautiful thing. Literally. If I open up my browser to search for a picture, something to illustrate an idea or as supplement to a bit of writing, I can lose myself for hours bouncing from site to site. The chain is endless. My “favourites” list is filled with links to vintage photography sites, random bits of fashion, and other peoples’ obsessions. I rip the photos I love best and save the addresses in case of an image emergency. (Make no mistake, there is such a thing.)

As with any addiction, my dependence makes me greedy, reticent to share. I territorially hoard my stash. As Courtney Love says, “I want to be the girl with the most cake.” But today I’m taking the first step to rehabilitation. I’ve admitted my problem and I’m giving up my top three.

Foto Decadent
Foto Decadent describes itself as a “community dedicated to avant-garde fashion photography”. It is a site populated by fashion lovers who post images (mostly recent, but some vintage and retro) of scanned magazine photo shoots or digital collections by specific photographers. As part of its mandate, FD asks members to use large images where possible, and to offer complete editorials. Also, most posts include fairly complete information on photographers, models, publications and dates. As a girl who writes for a print publication, I probably shouldn’t say this – but FD makes it possible to access tons of mainstream fashion photo shoots without having to spend half my rent on magazines. (I know, it’s appalling in theory – but when was I ever going to buy every international Vogue anyway?) This site has great images and lots of them. It’s also open for comments from members so you can see what sort of reactions people have to different kinds of fashion images. The best part is that it’s got new posts daily.

Photographer: Koto Bolofo
Vogue Germany, 2008

Art Transindex Image Archive
Képeslap archívum: kattintson a kisképekre, hogy megjelenjenek a sorozatok! Okay, seriously – this is a site from Romania and I don’t understand any of it. I can’t even tell you how to get to the images from the home page. All I know is that I stumbled into the archive one day and it was like finding Narnia in the closet. The link I’ve provided takes you to a collection by Hungarian (I think) photographer Matyasi Gabor, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find hundreds of thumbnails linking you to other image collections. Some are fashion, some aren’t. Most of them are fantastic.
(If anyone can read Romanian and has more information on this site – help!)

Photographer: Matyasi Gabor

When you first see a photo by Diane Arbus or Alfred Eisenstaedt, you stop. Some photographers can do that – stop people in their tracks. Frank Horvat is absolutely one of them. Born in 1928, Horvat began working in advertising in the late 40s. His fashion photography spans 30 years, from the late 50s to the late eighties, but his other subjects include nature and sculpture and, more recently, fiction/fantasy images crafted with digital technology. This is his site and it’s got everything. It’s my happy place – especially the fashion stuff. Horvat’s interpretation of fashion is often joyful and animated. He takes the kind of picture that makes you want to throw on a dress and be fabulous. Because the site is Horvat’s own (rather than an homage or third party collection), each section includes an introduction by the photographer. He explains what was happening in his life and the world when those pictures were taken, and how it affected his work. Not only is it interesting stuff but, when you look up and realize you just spent four hours looking at fashion pictures, you can tell yourself you were learning things…

Photographer: Frank Horvat
Jours de France, 1958


One thought on “A Link is Worth a Thousand Pictures

  1. I totally share some of those feelings about being addicted to image surfing on the internet. Last weekend I wasted a shameful amount of time inside, alone, online. I’ve never seen these sites before and am almost not going to click on them because I’m afraid I’ll come to and realize I’ve spent 4 hours staring at beautiful photos…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>