The kindly folk at Thames & Hudson sent me a copy of the new Facehunter book today, which presumably means that the embarrassing letter I sent them five years ago begging for a job on the basis that I was a senior bookseller at Waterstones and really, really liked books, never made it onto their weirdo blacklist. Phew!
Facehunter (Yvan Rodic) is a bit like Stylebubble in that it’s been a permanent presence in my bookmarks folder since it started all those moons ago. Other blogs come and go, my tastes change, but Facehunter remains a constant for me. I guess that’s largely because, like Susie’s blog, it’s more about straight up personal reportage than following trends. And yes, I do still rely on a bookmarks folder not a reader. I could reveal a whole bunch of your favourite internet superstars who do too ‘cos I’ve asked them. OMG!
It’s easy to draw comparisons between Facehunter and The Sartorialist, seeing as how they’re both successful street style photographers, but I think there’s a lot of differences. Sart is obviously an incredible photographer and I have a lot of love for him too but his pictures are kind of as much about as him as they are the subject. It’s his view of someone and the photos are judged as much on the fact that the nice blue sky works with the yellow hat or the fact that the subject is old/homeless/smoking as they are on the clothes. With Yvan, maybe the photographs aren’t as pristine but that just means you focus more on the outfit, which is pretty much the point… right?
Yvan says in the book that often street style photographers are obsessed with asking their subjects what they’re wearing. He says, ‘who cares! I’m not writing a shopping guide.’ He’s right. Although sometimes it’s nice to find out where an outfit is from if there’s something you want, does it really matter? I’d rather just look at a good outfit and enjoy it. I absolutely love the fact that in this book each image is just captioned with the city and date. No names, no job titles, no pithy description of their personal style mantra. Just a good picture of a great outfit. It’s nice in this era of information overload to just be given the bare minimum and do the rest in your head. Why is he wearing that? What made her think that dress was a good choice? You get to use your noggin, how’s about that? There are a few choice paragraphs from Yvan about his process and some bits about his favourite shots, but for the most part it’s just about the pictures. As it should be! At one point he does say, ‘sorry guys — I don’t know much about fashion’ and that warms my cockles heartily.
Needless to say, the pictures are great. Apologies for the quality of these ones, they’re in no way indicative of the book. As I was fannying around trying to take these shots of my favourite looks (some of which are saved in folders on my laptop from when I first saw them on Facehunter years ago!), my boyfriend pointed out that I could have just copied the pictures off the blog, seeing as how they’re all dated and referenced in the book. That’s why he has a proper job and I don’t.
Anyway, the book is a lovely hardbacked hunk of beauty — the perfect addition to my new coffee table which is arriving on Saturday after being purchased in December and locked in my mum’s garage in Sheffield ever since, awaiting the kindness of someone with a car.
Facehunter by Yvan Rodic, £14.95 goes on sale 15th March 2010, published by Thames & Hudson. If you’re in London town, get down to Foyles on Charing Cross Road at 5pm on 12th March 2010, where Yvan himself will be signing copies of the book!
Thanks to Lauren at Thames & Hudson for the love!