Other world street fashion and culture postcard sets like Fruits?
May 1, 2016 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Back when I worked at a college bookstore, I was lucky enough to pick up the first collection of Fruits postcards, depicting amazingly eclectic and inspiring street fashion in Japan. Shoichi Aoki's photos have been above my living-room couch for the past 10 years. The question: Are there any other street-fashion or similar world-culture postcard sets like this you'd recommend?

I also own the second edition, Fresh Fruits, which I'll probably add to the wall when I have more space. I love the people in these photos. I know there's a performative, hyperexaggerated aspect to the costume-like outfits teens have chosen to wear in Harajuku, and I am mindful of the fact that displaying these on my wall as a white, Midwestern U.S. resident could be seen as objectifying, Orientalism, or exoticism. As the daughter of a ceramic artist who minored in East Asian art history, I think about that a lot, and how to appreciate other cultures without appropriation. (This question is actually what made me think to finally ask about this. See also.) I'd like to diversify and add to what I have on the wall with other photos that respectfully and joyfully celebrate fashion and the lived experience of people from cultures around the world, because the set is inspiring and captures something I love about visiting other cities, seeing what ordinary people are wearing and how they live.

I just bought a sort of related set depicting people's everyday lives indoors, Kyoichi Tsuzuki's Tokyo Style. I'm interested in that as well—cross-cultural photo collections like James Mollison's Playground or Where Children Sleep, only in postcard form.

I've considered buying those books and then just taking them apart, but I'd rather have postcards or small prints. I've also considered just going on Instagram and finding photographers that way, then seeing if they sell prints, but I'm not sure what hashtags might be best for this. I'd also accept answers that specify those. Otherwise, any pointers to postcards or print sets you love that depict people's lives and fashions around the world would be appreciated!
posted by limeonaire to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Gabriele Galimberti's book Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things also totally gets at the sort of photo collections I'm interested in. I love variations on a theme like that.
posted by limeonaire at 1:01 PM on May 1, 2016

Peter Menzel has a lot of ethnographic photography in this realm too, e.g., the postcard book People and Possessions, which I just ordered used. His book Material World: A Global Family Portrait, and his book with Faith D'Aluisio, What the World Eats, both look good. So just wanted to mention those as another cue in terms of the range of images I'm looking for in postcards. I'm kind of actively searching right now, but I'm still having trouble finding postcards or small prints.
posted by limeonaire at 1:18 PM on May 1, 2016

Also, this brings to mind Jessamyn's ongoing guestrooms photo series, which I would definitely buy if curated and put in postcard form.
posted by limeonaire at 1:25 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love the Helsinki Looks blog/tumblr for this (although they are on a break from updating, but the archive is enormous). I don't know if they do prints/postcard sets though.
posted by cpatterson at 1:53 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have used Patrick de Wilde's Face Time book for precisely this purpose. While a hardcover book, the pages are the size of (well, over-) oversize postcards or small art prints, and are on good quality paper. And de Wilde has photographed all his subjects against a black background, which really sets off beautifully the wide range of colors in the clothing and jewelry as well as the unique features of each face.

Armed with an Xacto, you can have these beautiful photos up on your walls next to your postcards moments after receiving the book! I got my used copy, in as-new condition, for only one penny, and you can too (multiple vendors offering it at this price at link above).

Have fun!!
posted by tenderly at 6:04 PM on May 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

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