The Sameness of Fashion

Lens Culture brings us a book of photographs by Hans Eijkelboom that explores patterns of fashion and art in three cities across the globe: New York, Shanghai and Paris.

The brilliant design of the book folds out to reveal three connected books with identical sequences of near-identical subject-matter: opened and stretched out on your reading desk you have three books side-by-side. It then becomes natural to turn the pages of all three books simultaneously as you proceed. With delight, we are presented with, for instance, photographs of French, American, and Chinese men all wearing camouflage clothes as fashion statements in all three cities — lots of men, lots of camouflage, in cities!

Eijkelboom’s book sounds like a pleasure to read – or, more accurately, look at. There’s a constant push and pull between regional individualism on the one hand, and mass-market globalization of trends on the other. This book highlights just how similar we’ve all become.