When Fashion Week is over, CNN sometimes runs a nasty short reel of fashion models tripping, botched lighting cues, and other embarrassing fashion show blunders. Perhaps they want to suggest that CNN is a serious media outlet (though some newsreader "anchors" seem chosen more for hair-quality than reporting ability). Fashion, on the other hand, is a silly and comical scam.
Michael Cohen, Manhattan Style editor of SOMA, a culture, music and fashion magazine, and an MBA student at LIM College, has covered Fashion Week with a much more sympathetic, yet also critical, eye for a decade. An exhibit of the resulting photos is on view at a café and restaurant called The Local Store (316 East 49th St, between 1st and 2nd Avenues) near LIM College. The Local Store is worth a visit for its food, drink and cozy atmosphere alone.
Cohen's pictures are the opposite of the mockery that CNN indulges. He focuses instead on issues that he knows "give creative directors nightmares and ulcers." In their real daily work, such professionals have to confront glint and glare, color conflicts, dust, thumbprints and other imperfections. Cohen's goal is to explore whether "the beauty of fashion's shape and form can shine through an intentionally muddled technique."
He took his photos with Lomography Supersampler and Diana F cameras, which offer an alternative to the digitized (and frequently highly manipulated) images that now dominate Fashion Week reporting.
The exhibit features delightful and non-glamorized images of Ralph Lauren, Scott Schuman ("the Satorialist") Phillip Lim and fashion legend Ruth Finley, publisher of The Fashion Calendar. Shows sampled include Thom Browne (Fall 2006), Robert Geller (Spring 2008) and Loden Dager (Spring 2010).
- Robert Clark, Director of LIM College's Writing Center