04 February 2012

Small Trades in Full Flower

A uniform, as long as it is self-imposed and made from natural fibres, is very appealing. The dignified portraits of working people made by Irving Penn in the 1950s permanently inspire, and it is not prohibited to like them just for the way they look.

Our friends at Old Town unrolled a Penn-like wrinkled backdrop and photographed their own choice of Small Trades in Spitalfields recently. With Old Town's aertex shirts for working outdoors and their drill wrapper for selling fancy goods, a uniform is part of my life but it can always be added to. In this series of photographs, the get-up of The Flower Girl has something to go on. Her hat is straight out of 'When We Were Very Young' and the no-waist denim shirt would look good on anybody handling flowers or grubbing around in the dirt.

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