Virginie Mouzat at New York Fashion Week

Virginie Mouzat is the fashion editor of Parisian newspaper Le Figaro. Along with her fellow Parisian Carine Roitfeld, both have a serious love affair with Givenchy Fall 2011 novelty prints. Who can blame them?

This photo also demonstrates precisely why I believe candid street-style photos are superior to posed street-style shots. It is very difficult to take high-quality candid street-style photos on the streets of Chicago due to sidewalk crowding in the areas where fashion is the best. In fact, capturing amazing candids is one of the reasons I most look forward to shooting street style at New York fashion week. There is an unmistakable authenticity that cannot be reproduced or faked in a candid shot.

Anna Dello Russo, Secret Olympian?

Anna Dello Russo Turned
I mentioned in last week’s post about Taylor Tomasi Hill and Joanna Hillman that Anna Dello Russo is the owner of quite possibly the greatest legs in fashion. “But she’s not a model,” you secretly think, laughing at my childlike enthusiasm (a lot of people do!). Since when have you ever seen a high fashion model who is the picture of health and vitality, excluding the anomaly that is Gisele? But what about that Refinery29 slideshow… oh that’s right, it was about how unhealthy they are at the end of fashion week. Discoloration of the hands and feet is one side-effect of eating disorders.

Anna’s athletic, toned body is as much a part of her street-style imagery as the over-the-top outfits. In a few different interviews she’s disclosed her early morning work-outs and healthy eating habits as the key to her remarkably in shape body. My mom is an avid runner and she used to invite me to go on runs with her from time to time. I accepted because I never turn down a challenge, but was always secretly miserable because I could never keep up. I felt bad because not only is she my mom she was also in better shape at 40 than I was at 14. In her defense she always encouraged me by saying “you can’t just wake up one day and run six miles fast without training” to try to get me to go on more runs. I saw right through that one. I’m a perfectionist and could never get past the “warm up” stage of running when your calves burn like hot coals.

Fast forward to now, and my best friend from college is a big runner too. Every time she stays with me in Chicago she runs in the morning while I sleep in an extra hour. Yup, I’m that girl. My ability to eat whatever the hell I wanted and maintain a svelte figure, which lasted a full 25 years, finally disappeared this summer. I’ve fallen out of shape and I think this photo is the inspiration (aka a kick in the butt) I needed to get back into shape. After all, now both Anna Dello Russo and my mom are in better shape than me, and they’re both twice my age at around 50 years old!

Obviously since winter is around the corner I’m not going to run around in the snow crying tears of ice about how my metabolism finally slowed down! I’m going to be proactive and join a gym.

So, my loyal readers, can you recommend a gym in Chicago for me to join?

All Smiles: Taylor Tomasi Hill & Joanna Hillman

Joanna Taylor Laughing

There is so much I love about this photo of Marie Clare‘s Taylor Tomasi-Hill and Joanna Hillman from Harper’s Bazaar. Sure, they’re both dripping in insanely fashionable items. I was obviously drooling over the Alexander Wang ribbon skirt and leather clutch. There’s nothing particularly surprising about these women looking phenomenally good, although I must admit that Joanna gives Anna Dello Russo a run for her money in the “most toned legs” street-style award category.

Beyond all the hip accessories and bleeding-edge fashion, what is this a photo of? Friends laughing together. It’s so simple, a universal human experience, people bonding over a good chuckle. I love that Joanna is the one who made Taylor laugh. Every time I saw the two interact on the street they appeared to be genuine friends. Great photos cause an emotional reaction, and this one sparks a natural sense of curiosity about the subjects. A really great photo, particularly a street-style photo, has to contain a number of different layers. For me, there needs to be a depth that goes beyond composition and lighting (although obviously I’m working on those, too). There has to be a soul. A two-dimensional, soul. After all, that’s what makes still photography so tough!