Still dreaming of that cross-country road trip, of packing your bags and “getting your kicks on Route 66?” Well, it seems that Route 66 has become quite fashionable in the shimmering grands magasins of Paris.
Fashion blogger and online boutique owner Caroline from CarolineDaily hit the road from New York to Chicago to LA to photograph NYC handbag maker Coach‘s new line. A vernissage of her exposition at the Coach boutique in Printemps Haussman featured images from the classic american roadtrip, focusing on the myth of the road, the old, the new, the urban, the desert. Not all the images directly promote the new Coach line, but the ones that do so give the bags the air of found items, left on the side of the road, at bus stops, left poolside, hanging from street signs.
The nostalgaic and adventurous, yet playful attititude of the photos seemed to contrast the ‘white cube’ atmosphere of Coach’s Printemps Haussman boutique, where flat light and reflective surfaces give the store the feeling of non-place that ostensibly allows branding and product to absorb all of the passers-by’s attention. However, there was something akin to the effect of a modern art gallery, should it have been emptied of handbags. In fashion, as in modern art, the object becomes the center of a visual vacuum. At the CarolineDaily vernissage, however, a healthy dose of cocktails concocted specifically for the event, and a crowd of media and fashion workers helped tone down the sacrality of fashion, and of art.
CD is not only about fashion, but it is a good example of how the fashion industry relies on bloggers and social media users to get their image out, so much so that commissioning bloggers like Caroline has become common practice. Aesthetically, the images and videos created by third parties seem more like user created content or digital art than advertisement. They seem to manifest the blogger’s personality brand as much as they do the brands they feature, giving a new visual mode to fashion images. Not always glamorous, well-lit studio shots, they aim at the authentic, the trendy, and pull their stylistic influences from anything from traveling itself, to film, to the mythology of music.