What a shot! The rearview mirror on the bike (or is it a moto?), the crystal-clear focus on the girl, wow. Totally timeless and classic–coat, bag, hair, makeup (or lack thereof, but she’s so lovely she doesn’t need it). She will only regret the cigarette later. I would love to put my hair up like that, but if I walk quickly it falls down. What is the trick?
I love the picture and what she is wearing. It’s a shame she is smoking though as I really don’t think it suits her. If you imagine the picture without the cigarette you’d think here is a stunning looking girl that probably smells of Chanel perfume. Instead you’d think here is a stunning looking girl that probably smells of Marlborough lights.
Love how you introduced the side mirror/image! Don’t love the ciggy–she could be walking around the states looking like that. Actually looks like someone that just woke up at her boyfriends and is making her way home.
i was in paris for the first time (!) last week and found myself walking behind two women with very similar, messy, high chignons.
in true sartorialist-reader fashion, i found myself meditating on it for a large part of the morning. in america, this style would be considered sloppy (and really only fit for a walk of shame back to your dorm room), but it seems to fit in perfectly with parisian style. any thoughts as to why it works so well?
Yah people will bitch about romanticising the cigarette and smoking, blah blah blah but take it from someone who has NEVER smoked a day in her life (cigarettes, that is), I still find shots of people smoking to be glamorous. I can’t help it. Though it’s very bad, it looks very good :)
Besides, that’s what people do in Europe and you’ve captured it well.
Sart!! On Point! She is well dressed with her short coat and stockings and purse and cigarette and perfect eyebrows and hair. And you captured it oh so well with the black and white photo! So, So, French…You rock!
One last word…whether the reflection in the motorcycle mirror was intentional or not, it really works for me. You have a Noir photograph with a little Alfred Hitchcock effect thrown on as the icing. Great!
stunning – is this the first b&w i have seen on the blog… I am trying to remember. Its beautiful. I love the coat, the way her legs look like a brush stroke in the black tights. I love the clean face and the loose up do tres chic.
Lovely shot. I’m not sure if this resembles the “walk of shame” or a sad girl after a bad breakup. In any case, I love everything but the cancer stick. She’d look much more cosmopolitan with an ipod or something in her hand, in place of the cigarette.
great action shoot. it makes me miss le marais, there is smoething about this that makes me think of jules et jim. it might be the monochrome or something about the inadvertent erotic nature of this girl. seductive but not slutty. haahaha
I could stare at this picture for an hour, just reading everything about this image… I’d say “you should start selling artist’s prints”, but the book’s coming out eventually, so I guess we’ll have to wait for that first!
What an incredible photo! The mood is so evocative of European angst in black and white, I’m weak in the knees. And the blurry bike with her in focus – you had to catch this in a hurry. Ya done good! Forget fashion this is timeless style.
beautiful. holding the cig makes it so cool too. why i dont know, it shouldnt, but it just does. also in B and w, just wow. i know i am not saying much different than everyone else but its pics like this that put you over the top sart!!!
Nope, in my opinion, the cigarette lends an air of old-world romance and perfectly matches the b&w tone of the picture (an iPod or phone would seem incongruous and destroy the glamor of the shot, I think).
But I am really writing because of the hair: I'm a fan of the messy bun look, but this seems to be a kind of double bun with a soft part on the right and one casually overlooked strand. What is going on here and do you think it would it be possible to imitate, if not recreate? I'd love to hear thoughts or suggestions, seeing as you're clearly a fashionable bunch. :-) Thanks!
My guess is this photo would be so-so were it in color. In black and white, however, it has to be my favorite of anything I have seen you do. If they were creating a pictorial dictionary for French phrases, she would be the entry for je ne sais quoi. The hair, the lips, the legs, the bag; no jewelry (visible), not even simple earrings, and short nails with no polish; wearing a coat that, perhaps, was not the one she wore to wherever it is she is now rushing from. First cigarette for the day, for a nicotine kick until she gets to the first cafe au lait of the day. Utterly inspiring – you’ve caught a muse on film!
It’s a beautiful shot. You certainly got it, congratulations!!!
but, I don’t think it captures any particular beauty on the part of the subject. I agree that her look, face, and clothes are a little mundane. But is that the point? Are you trying to show us ordinary, plain people elevated to the sublime?
In the early seventies, my very bourgeoise French grandmother and mother were saying that it was not appropriate for a woman to smoke on the street (my grandmother and my mother were both chain smokers, but would have never been caught smoking on the street).
I have been staring at this picture since you posted it. And I can’t help but wonder, did you plan the whole mirror of the scooter and your reflection bit? Given that you caught the girl in movement, it seems to me that it is a miracle that you even got the picture. The fact that it is perfect is amazing. Either way, planned or not planned, this picture is a blessing. I want to frame it and put it in my room.
I think it’s interesting how everyone has their take on the story behind this picture– a sign of great art. I didn’t think “walk of shame” when I saw it. She could just be cold. The thing I focused on in this picture is the cigarette. There was a time in history when it would not be this controversial, if at all, so the cigarette, passe or not, makes it that much more interesting. Let’s face it: vices are often sexy.
Sart, I’m not sure if you’ll permit a second comment, but I just wanted to clarify why I suggested that the girl would look more cosmopolitan if she were holding an ipod or something similar, in place of her cigarette: It seems to me that most of the women you’ve photographed, particularly in France and Italy, are always holding some piece of electronics. To me, this photo departs from that standard (not in a bad way; it’s still a lovely shot). That was why I felt that it was a bit incongruous with your other work, and that the cigarette seemed misplaced. (My “uppity self-righteous non-smoker” attitude notwithstanding. ;))
smart move to put it in black and white…and look at you in the mirror! very european… or at least the cliche made out of europe. but yeah.. it does show that way of being informal, very natural, not so neat. we are the best at doing that and ending up better than if polished.
I just love how each one of us looks at this photo, at this lovely Parisian girl and it all represents something theirs. It reflects everyone’s longings and desire to be a person this nonchalant and this grandstanding..
Love your work Scott. Thanks for this small enlightens every single day.
I’d also like to weigh in on recreating her hairstyle (which I love): stop washing your hair everyday. It will be a lot more inclined to take a shape when your natural oils have a chance to work their way throughout.
I don’t know about Doutzen Kroes – I think this girl is the doppelganger of a girl from the last season of America’s Next Top Model (guilty pleasure!)… Analeigh somebody. But who cares who she is – it’s a beautiful shot!
This thing about decent women shouldn’t be smoking in the street or in public places (actually should not be seen smoking). I used to smoke and I remember my “Maman” was very angry about it (cancer thing etc.). She was driving us to school when she saw a girl smoking in the street. She said: “I hope at least that you are not smoking in the street. You’d look like a whore!” There are a lot of other things I’m not supposed to do but I still do… (like crossing my legs or other things boys can but girls certainly not – in my grand-mothers’ opinion-) = Classic French etiquette. My mother isn’t French but easily mistaken for a Parisienne because of her posh accent…
An Amazing picture!! I love black and white. Wonder how it looks like in colors. I love her coat, it looks like she has taken her boyfriends coat or her fathers because of the shoulder seam all the way down her upper arm. I looove it! I’l go to my closest vintage shop tomorrow and look for one. Yes and also how do one get the hair like that? So it does not fall down. Did the do look good from all angles?
This picture is taken absolutely beautifully. but i can't help but think that it warns people of the dangers of smoking. she's young and beautiful but she looks like shes going to keel over at any moment from all that smoking.