Thursday, August 2, 2012

Philadelphia Street Style: Nirvana, Walnut St

I don't know when earbuds transitioned from tools for blocking out the world into must-have fashion accessories, but it's obvious that the transition has happened. Those iPod commercials a few years back with the silhouettes dancing to Swedish indie rock no doubt had something to do with it, but the process was already well underway by the time of the Sony Walkman. In retrospect, it seems inevitable. "Cool" has always been about stylized detachment, remaining unflappable and unmoved in the face of authority and opposition. And what better way to achieve detachment than bombarding one's ears with a thudding persistant beat? In any case, some 1/3 of the people I photograph have them in their ears when I stop them, a fact that complicates my job considerably. In fact, I would venture to say that earbuds remain the number one tool for politely ignoring canvassers, panhandlers, and well-meaning street style photographers all competing to get one's attention on crowded city streets. "Oh, were you talking to me? Sorry, I couldn't hear you amidst the beeps and the blips." 

Nirvana, the aptly named subject of these photographs, seems almost the poster girl of such stylized detachment. She was, however, gracious enough to let me interrupt her private revery for a couple of minutes.  


  1. I love the closeup of her face with her direct stare into the camera - she does have a very zen quality about her.


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