I love it too. Maybe it is the juxtaposition of the shoes with the dhoti…east + west… and the the juxtaposition of the crisp, new dhoti with the tattered shirt (old + new)…and then the wooden vest. I’d love to hang this on my wall too.
I’m curious Scott, was your trip to India the most moving trip that you have taken? By moving I mean was it like a complete different world to you? All your photos are so different than photos from previous trips. http://www.mimosasandme.com
I found it interesting the shabby /worn cloth and the well done good quality shoes ..it seems like the shoes are not part of his everyday lifeâ€¦how did he got the shoes â€¦â€¦people have really hard life in India ..
Great photo. I think what’s so striking about it is that it actually resembles the ubiquitous street fashion photographs of stylish young women with artfully layered ensembles, except what is happening in this photo is not the result of careful deliberation before attending a social function but just the (perhaps) accidentally fabulous result of someone getting dressed in the morning. These types of people and photographs speak the most to me as there is something very raw and honest and unexpectedly pleasing and surprising all at once, as they capture that very “je ne sais quoi” that many try to emulate but cannot because at a certain point, trying hard to look effortless defeats the purpose.
Love the direction this blog is going in.
So agree with what you said – helped me understand why I like it so much – yes the outfit follows street fashion without the slightest intent to do so. Maybe this is where designers get the start of their ideas, sometimes
I’m Indian, not being able to afford high fashion doesn’t automatically mean unhappiness…most Indians live surrounded by family and friends,celebrate every festival and grow old playing with their grandchildren….rich or poor….we have a social structure of support…no old age homes, no lonely lives, no struggle to maintain relationships,no frequent break ups, no hunting for meaning coz life is so full…so do’t pity us too much
I just returned from extensive travel through Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and lastly, India. To click on Sartorialist and see your beautiful photos is doubly pleasurable for me. So much of what you have captured mirrors the impressions and images I took away from the trip. Beautiful stuff, Scott. More, please. ;-)
I cannot stop looking at this image. The comments have made me look again and consider other elements.
In terms of the shoes, I suspect they are old but sturdy and kept in good condition. I have been to only India once and for a couple of weeks but I have lived in developing world countries in Asia and Africa for over five years. I have noticed the care given to shoes especially, the polishing consistently and rubbing away the dirt. In places with few if any paved roads. There is effort and care put into presentation even in and maybe especially due to difficult economic situations.
I also love the way the legs of the man, mirror the wheels of the cart. And the beautiful but chipped vibrant blue. Your eyes keep moving around the image. Lovely
They say every picture tells a story, it’s a stunning shot in it’s own right with composition, texture and colour and he is walking with such purpose – it’s people like that that you want to sit down with and listen to what makes their world.
I am loving the rickshaw in the background…the layers of color and time passed exposed. Same with the layers of cloth this man is wearing. India=layers. I remember my last rickshaw ride I took…it was taking FOREVER. I kept asking the driver to speed it up. When we arrive at my destination I go to hand him his money ONLY to find out he ONLY had 1 hand!! WOAH! Man I felt like crap for telling him to speed up… =(
…he’s probably wearing the family shoes as a lot of families do not own enough shoes for each family member/job.
So they are sharing. This is why you also often see boys or men in India with shoes that are too big for them…
I find the picture compelling as well. There’s a lot of pathos in it, the fact that the shoes
are overly large for the man’s body and the realization that in parts of the world, one can be
so happy and proud to have these shoes, no matter that they don’t quite fit.