Men In Focus > Paul Hartnett at London Fashion Week
#2 in our Featured Photographer Series
“The Style Stalker in Search of What’s New & Next”
Decades before the new breed of street-style photographers such as Scott Schumann (The Sartortialst), Yvan Rodick (Facehunter) and all those bloggers who block up the cobbled entrance of Somerset House each season at London Fashion Week, photographer Paul Hartnett was style stalking London’s clubland back in the late 70s and style hot spots ranging from Chelsea’s King’s Road and Kensington Market in the 80s to Tokyo’s Harajuku district and the fashion schools of NYC.
Freelancing for the fashion forecasting company WGSN, Paul Hartnett is invariably the first face to arrive at London Fashion Week each and every day, each and every season.
‘I like to start early, documenting the hair and make-up teams as they arrive, the models, the LFW exhibitors,’ says Paul, who took his first street-style snap back in 1976 at the age of eighteen.
‘What I seek is the unexpected – the originators, the innovators.’
‘The trend in recent years at London Fashion Week has been for the men to turn heads. Whilst the limo exits of Carine Roitfeld or Anna Dello Russo will get many a camera flashing, for me the excitement is about putting men in focus. Ones to watch? The recent Kingston University menswear designer Ross Williams works a great look. Kind of young Frank Sinatra meets Bowie’s Thin White Duke meets the boy Morrissey would die for meets eccentric Newcastle bingo caller. Yes, really, that exact combo. He’ll be showing at Blow’s ‘Ones To Watch’ Off Schedule event.
The Italian-born editor of ‘W’, Stefano Tonchi, is a man in his fifties who knows how to dress in the most dignified and effortless manner. ‘Clash’ music magazine fashion stylist Matthew Josephs, a graduate from Central Saint Martin’s, works an almost cartoony Goth vibe, mixed with layered sportswear and always a kiddy hip-hop flava. Elgar Johnson, i-D’s Menswear editor, is a total geezer in double denim or trad’ skin’ead suit and that is refreshing.’
Paul talks with great enthusiasm for ‘originators’, such as stylists Panos Yiapanis, Alister Mackie and Tokyo’s Yu Masui.
‘Industry insiders such as Panos and Alister are so understated that many photographers just don’t pick up on them. For me, the focus tends to be upon such innovators, and recent graduates. Whilst models such as Cole Mohr may send out a certain vibe, it’s the likes of Omar Kashoura and Ross Williams who are the ones to watch, the ones who makes up think about all things new and next.’
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Paul Hartnett is #2 in our Featured Photographer Series