I’m starting to believe that unless these girls both got sugar daddies (seriously, who can afford these clothes and hair dressers at their age??) then the Pygmalion is you, Sart ;-)As you’ve been my Pygmalion too, but I clearly don’t have this kind of loot!
Wow. I honestly don’t understand how someone could change that much in that amount of time. I really think the hat and shoes are key flashes of her style in the second pic. The whole ensemble is pretty chic.
It’s amazing, one year in a large metropolitan city and it’s like night and day. Both Kelly and Kara are in black, I wonder if a bit of color could do them some good, like a nice pair of red socks. ;-)
i’m sure a lot of it does have to do with coming to nyc. but it also could just be because they are getting older and their style is elvolving into something more mature. either way, she looks very chic. i love that grey skirt.
This chick raises an interesting point- because her style (hair makeup etc) is really the same in both pics.
Don’t we all sometimes dress like… a crazy hippy tramp… and then, we have to go to work, so we dress like a sexy secretary?
Sometimes I’m afraid I’m going to run into my coworkers on the weekends because I definitely dress very differently. I don’t mean “dress down” in sweatpants or something, I just mean… the other personality comes out.
You’re right, “somewhat” shocking… But, step back and look at the first photo again– she still took care in how she presented herself. Good for her! A woman, person who cares about how they look. She looks just awesome.
Never thought I’d say this, but I think I appreciate the ‘before’ look more. I usually do not like this kind of homeless, flowerchild rocker/raver style due to the over exposure to it I experienced while attending art school…
However, I feel like for some odd reason it works on her better than the more pulled together look. She looks good either way, but I’m just drawn to her more in the first shot.
Personally, my style leans more toward the after shot, so I can’t really put my finger on why I like the before look better…interesting.
I can’t tell you how many times I scrolled between these two shots. Amazing! She’s an adorable girl in both photos, but what impresses me the most about photo #2 (the “after” shot, if you will) is the incredible amount of self-confidence that shines through past the sophisticated garb and snappy chapeau. I’m an ex-NYer, stranded in LA, but everytime I get back to the city, it just takes one stroll down Madison, or Park, or Fifth, or CPW and I feel like she looks. Fantastic!
I love both the before and after.. I would like to see if she could find a way to balance the two. Add a Marni necklace or a pair of the new Prada stockings to not only make the new look younger but also more carefree. Her posture is already giving this effect but the clothes are a bit too stuffy for her.
Also people need to stop crediting New York for these transformations. New York is dead.
i think that what you see here is a woman who, in the first shot, clearly sees herself as an individual with a distinct point of view and a strong need to express it, but one who is still trying to figure out who she wants to be when she grows up. i think that she is using her clothes to set herself apart from the pack, but i don’t think she has the confidence or self-knowledge to let go of all the bells and whistles that distract and deflect.
in the second shot she appears to be well on her way to not only knowing who she wants to be, but who she actually is and how to express it — beautifully, i might add, and with a wonderful sense of humor. she seems liberated, and her earlier “i’m a free spirit, who am i?” vibe has been replaced with one of great individuality and flair.
the exciting thing about her, to me, anyway, is that you just know that as she matures she will only improve and refine her already tremendous personal style, and become even more interesting and compelling as the years pass. maybe sart will see to it that we all can watch as it happens! don’t touch that dial…
Those glasses always make me think first of Jackie O, not the Olsens. But I agree, girls, check your head size before selecting a style.
I’m not doubting that she has risen to the occasion, or rather locale of the generally upscalier climes of Manhattan. But I’d like to know what she wears NOW to do errands – as she is clearly is not off to the laundromat in photo two). I think of myself, one day the vagabond and every few days glamming it up. I mean, there’s days for pretty rags and days for 4 inch heels and a pencil skirt, as the mood or plans dictate.
At first I thought the fist picture was the more current. That is the look I really like. The other doesn’t compare, in my opinion. One is just so much more interesting than the other. Not to mention comfy–I love wearing layer over layer as in the first look. Great photos!
Uh, yeah. Add a Marni necklace or pair of the new Prada stockings and that would make it younger and carefree?
I’d say that affording either of those as a new and young resident of NYC would cause you to care about affording rent a lot more.
She embodies the spirit of NYC fashion in the early eighties, where people made or invented their personal look and were admired for it. Not by running to the designer du jour for some easily identifiable, out after one season and far too expensive items.
Can anyone say Robot Charms?
NYC is dead? Puh-lease.
Every couple of years, NYC, London, Paris etc., etc. is declared “dead” or “over” then it has a renaissance and every editorial mag has articles on how each place is so hot and all the bright young things arrive in droves to soak it up.
I think she’s a lovely woman either way, but I personally prefer the before picture. So much more personality and originality. The clothes in the after picture don’t provide much expression and looks like something girls here in the Midwest would easily pick out for their first job.
I’d really like to see her create something between these two looks. I think it would be quite charming.
I’m not entirely convinced by the whole pygmalion thing – I have a wasp-waisted bespoke chalkstripe suit that I’m sure would catch Scott’s eye (were he ever to feature us Londoners) but equally, right now, I’m wearing shorts, a t-shirt and 5-day stubble. Some days people just dress smarter.
She looks amazing! What a transformation. It’s fantastic that a city, and the style of that city, can rub off on a woman like this, so that she can refine her look. I can’t stop staring at both photos!
She’s clearly working with a different colour scheme, but the essence remains much the same- she looks happy, and clearly works the new look wonderfully- this is one girl whose clothes will never wear her.
Hi, IÂ´m visiting your blog for about a year now and I really love it. I love the sublime thought that we gain, that everyone, despite race, religion, sex our weight, can have a remarkable style.
I see that you post a lot of pictures from Stockholm and I understand why. I hadnâ€™t gone there I would never believe the sense of style and fashion that the Swedish have. Men and women. We expect it from NY and Milan, but we get surprise with the northern Europe cities.
IÂ´m loving this before&after series! It shows that we are not obliged to stay the same and that we can always try new styles if we feel like it.
You have to come to Portugal, and if you do, donâ€™t miss Madeira Island!
IN the Garden of Paradise, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, bloomed a rose bush. Here, in the first rose, a bird was born. His flight was like the flashing of light, his plumage was beauteous, and his song ravishing.
on a slightly unrelated note – sart and sart fans, particularly the men’s suit fanatics – y’all should check out gay talese’s article at vanity fair’s website called “the scion, the stitch, and the wardrobe” about his love and patronage of custom tailoring. it’s beautifully written and expresses what many have discussed on this website about the art and craft of tailoring. he also talks a bit about the history and origins of the southern italian tradition in tailoring, which i found really really interesting. and i love the first lines:
“There are people who are greatly concerned about the environment and the well-being of Bengal tigers and yellow-headed Amazon parrots. And then there are people like me who worry about the professional survival of men’s custom tailors. Each year I spend large sums of money in shops that employ these craftsmen, whom I see as an endangered species.”
OMG, This can’t be the Gerber Baby Girl I remember! Oh yes it certainly is the fine young woman who has had her very own unique look every year of her life (Happy Birthday Baby). New York – You wear it well!!!
Looks like their naive charm and ingenuousness were steamrolled and they’ve become Lucky Mag clones. In time they will re-assert their personalities and we will see true butterflies emerge from the cocoon and tyranny of “Neutral”.
The detail that makes it for me is the colored Nat Sherman (cigarette) in photo one. If the gal in photo two still smokes (and as a young woman in New York, it’s likely that she does) I’ll bet she’s now smoking something that can be bought in the local bodega.
I think she has a great sense of personal style. She had it back then and she has it now, and seems to be using it consciously as she sees it fit. And although, perhaps, she wouldn’t want to be caught now in what she was wearing years ago, she looks like the kind of person who makes the next generation kids eagerly look at the pics of her and say, wow, my mommy/auntie/dad’s friend… was so hip.
As to affordability of the outfits in question: (re annon 6:15, etc) the outfits pretty much looks like thrift/vintage. I have the same shoes as pic 2- mine are ferragamo-bought for $5 at Goodwill. As to moving to nyc because of these fashion pics- why can’t you do it where you live? No doubt it will be cheaper to do it where you are now than to try it in nyc where even the thrifting is more expensive. Don’t gank style, create your own. BTW, she’s a dime a dozen in many parts of Manhattan, although a very fashionable dime.
I’m dying to make this same change for myself. I just got my first fashion job and would love to look the part, I just can’t wear heels all the time. It’s so hard not to want to, but my body, my feet, they rebel. So I stick to moderate, rather than going for it. Someone tell me to go for it. Convince me my feet aren’t that important.
I love both the idea that she woke up one morning and thought, “I will look like this now,” and the one where she slowly evolved over one year. I think it’s easy to get trapped in a single paradigm. The concepts of reinvention and of playing dress-up, both literally and metaphorically, is so exciting.
I’m not in love with this woman’s first look, but honestly, Sart, don’t you think it’s a little commentary-worthy that both of your highlighted “transformations” show girls who look like they lost weight, strapped on impractical-for-NYC high heels, and put on plain black clothing? I mean, one transformation like that would be one thing, but both? Weeeeird.
Wow. The outfit in the second picture is my favorite of all that I’ve seen here and it’s great to see how her style has evolved in just a couple of months. Can we have more of these “before – after” shots, please? :)
Their change in style is blatant and gorgeous. What I am most intrigued by is how both of these re-creations strike a very different pose for the camera than their former selves would have. Does anyone else find this meaningful?
Wasn’t Kelly’s second picture from a shoot you did in which the clothes were provided?
The change in Kara is astonishing, though. She looks great, but there are so many other women in the City who pretty much look like that (NYC has taken her over!). The bangs are her special touch, there, I think.
Loss of originality translates “high fashion?” This is the kind of thinking that has a knack for laziness. What about her after look makes her any more *her*? If anything the before look registers the secret of personality: it’s not the final destination; it’s the search.
What I find most interesting from these and the other photographs is that you were drawn to shoot these young women without realizing at first you had done it before. That shows they have something appealing in them with whatever clothes.
Wow! I do have a thing for homeless looking hipsters, but nothing (nothing!) compares to a fabulous hat, sleek silhouette, and sideways “I’m a woman now” glances. And kudos to you for capturing the metamorphasis!
she looks so elegant in the second picture. I dont think you need a lot of cash to look like that , these days the market is so saturated with good items and also vintage items work. The key is putting it all together to look like your high class. I have seen chanel worn badly and that upsets me , but when i see someone dressed so well and ask where she got it..and get zara as a reply i cant help smiling .. looking closely at her top .. and skirt i wont be surprised if it was high street items. XXXX wishing you best of luck sart :)
Did these women find themselves or did they loose themselves? Both are beautiful. The first pictures they look like real people. The nice girl you would want to be friends with. The second pictures they still look great but not as comfortable in their own skin. They look like they were cloned to look like every other women in New York. New York does do this. Presure to look unbelievably stylish and well groomed. I just feel the natural beauty these women posess has been covered up in New York high style. Yet the first pictures are just beautifully raw and original, I prefer the feeling the befores evoke.
WHOA WHOA WHOA – My roommate is from Kearny, NE, and she lived in NY for a year and moved back home – I always wondered where she found her STYLE and now I know. It was definitely inspired by New York.
holy smokesss!! same gorgeouss girll totally new style i like it. in fact. i love her ‘o6 look a lot. the laidbackk hat, shoes, scarf i can see myself wearing something smiliar actually :] but the ‘o7 look. wow.sexy
saw kelly in the spread for ELLE magazine uk edition. You wouldn’t kow it was the same girl but in both looks kelly = perfection. It’s like she’s dressing for whatever mood and she goes from funk to sophistication seamlessy. It has got to be inate to be the effortless no just one year in the city, COMPLETLY DEIFIC!
She pulls off the first look so much more fantastically. This is someone i’d love to meet and fall in love with. The second girl is someone who I might see in the streets and wouldn’t think more than “standard, but flattering”
Spotted this picture in a magazine here in London and just adored her effortlessly laid back uber chic look. The tiny article directed me to this blog and I’ve been hooked and spreading the word ever since. Love it, keep up the good work Sart!!!