Archive for June 20th, 2007

“Low” Fashion Photography

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

There is a wonderful new photo on our kitchen hutch. It’s a picture of our son Erik and his date Adrienne on Prom night. She is wearing her hair up in an elegant, yet simple way, and she looks timelessly beautiful in her classic gown. He beams with justifiable pride to be escorting such a lovely young lady. In fact, there’s only one thing wrong with this picture: Erik’s outfit. He is dressed in a 35-year old maroon tuxedo and a pink, ruffled, big-collared shirt – both of which I bought new at a time when they were – I thought – the epitome of fashion.

I mention this because – like Erik and Adrienne’s Prom photo – life’s other milestone events tend to be documented in pictures. The clothes and hairstyles of decades past (in my case – my muttonchop-sideburned wedding shots) can really come back to haunt us when future generations peruse the family albums.

Because Erik wore my old tux as a goof, he won’t be as subject to embarassment. He looked silly on purpose. But – looking at his Prom photo – I am at a loss to explain why I ever thought that outfit (or my paisley tux shirt, or “clown”-sized bowties) actually looked good. Ladies of my vintage often have a similar reaction to pictures of their 70s-era Farrah Fawcett curls, hot pants, etc.

There is a way to prevent these photographic horror stories, and it is one which Adrienne instinctively understood: go for that ageless “classic” look on such occasions. Tell the guys to shave their scruffy goatees, trim their sideburns and hair, and leave the platform shoes and gold chains at the Goodwill Store. For the ladies, avoid “this year’s” colors on nails, lips, and eyes. Also eschew any trends in dresses and shoes that are “the latest thing.”

A potentially beautiful young lady once said, “I want to be different and look good.” To which her wise mother replied, “Just look good – that’s different enough!”