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Archive 2012 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World
  
 
benjikan
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p.1 #1 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


Not that Los Angeles is a Fashion Capital…

Differences in Perception of Fashion Between Los Angeles and the Rest of the Fashion Capitals of the World Part 1


I will commence by saying that I did once live in Los Angeles. It wasn't a very long stay, a bit over a year, but it was enough for me to realize, that in the metier I had chosen, it was certainly not the place I would want to be living in. In fact, after my little stint in LA, I can say unequivocally that it is not the kind of place I would consider people friendly.

I remember when I arrived at LAX from snow fresh Toronto and was greeted by my brother, I noticed something that was quite odd. I looked around me and saw what I thought were literally hundreds of hookers meandering around the airport lobby. I quietly whispered in to my brothers ear, "Marv, there are a lot of prostitutes at the airport, why? I mean are they allowed to sell their wares in public?" He immediately broke out in to a huge grin and then uncontrollable laughter. "Those aren't prostitutes, that is how women dress here!" That was how I lost my perceptual virginity in Los Angeles.

That one little observation was more telling than I could have imagined at the time. Ones perception of others, of how one expresses ones self and the overall demeanor of the society at large in Los Angeles was expressed to me at that one moment. Coming from a more muted Toronto, Canada, where understatement is what is expected, LA was the polar opposite. LA is a more of a "Look at MEEEEEEEE PLEASE, I am HERE, I exist." environment than the Toronto, New York, Paris or London's "I am who I am, want to hang" attitude.

Now, being that LA is what it is, everything that relies and gravitates around that reality is reflected in all of the professions there. Literally everything is Surface based, where the crust is more important than the core. First impressions generally don't go further than that, as most aren't interested in what goes on behind that first impression.

It is the first impression and surface impression that gets published in most of the pulp papers and online blogs. I doubt if one will find an in-depth and honest interview with a celebrity on a late show that lasts more than three minutes at best. It is that three minutes that is needed to communicate the gloss and glitter and not the essence of the individual being interviewed. Now this is where I think I should and will get to the crux of the title of my little expose.

In LA the Paparazzi is King. It is the Paparazzi that is the Star at capturing those "Surface" moments that all of the major pulp mags starve for and pay huge amounts of money for. It is also the Paparazzi, that gets most of the disdain, disrespect and foul treatment by those who depend on them for exposure.

Now, when I call a model agency or talent agency in Paris, New York or London, they are accustomed to the Fashion Industry and the huge differences between a credible Fashion Photographer and a Paparazzi and give me the respect I believe I deserve. The agencies in the above cities appreciate the importance of the synergy between fashion and film or music. Unfortunately, Los Angeles just doesn't have the pedigree of a Fashion culture, thus when one does call a Talent Agency to do a credible Fashion shoot for a credible Fashion Magazine, more often than not one gets treated like a Paparazzi. Don't expect to get your calls or e-mails returned with the same semblance of respect you were accustomed to in NY, Paris, Milan or London. You may get a curt "Got it, will get back to you" or "Received Thanks" at best. Now I am not saying that this happens with out exception, but for all intent and purposes and based on my own experience, that is the case. Fashion Photographers in most cases are Commercial Artists and NOT Snap Shot Amateurs! But try explaining that in less the three minutes to someone who relies on and resides in LA.

I can't totally "Dis" Los Angeles for this attitude, as the problem is quite malignant and endemic and will probably never change and those who are functioning there probably have to be that way to survive. But what I find interesting, is that those who are truly in power in the Fashion centers around the world and that does not include Los Angeles, are more down to earth,human and accessible than most I have dealt with in LA. I guess, when you really are not in a position of power to decide, you have to give the impression of having that power on the "SUFACE" at least. Now if they do have a little power, LOOK OUT! You will most definitely hear about it as it will be wielded like a Samurai Sword. Power corrupts and a little bit of power can destroy.

Ah, what I wouldn't do for those glory days of the 80's & 90's when Fashion Magazines featured "MODELS" on their covers and celebrities were featured on magazines the likes of People, Look etc…

Oh, why did I move to New York from LA? As I was driving in my Delorean over Topanga Canyon and after being on the Freeway for over three hours and looking at the torso’s in other cars, a thought came to me, “…you aren’t happy, you aren’t sad, you are NUMB…”. Three weeks later I left LA. I arrived at Washington Square in New York City, where I was surrounded by a mass humanity, tears of relief came to my eyes and I thought, this is what it is all about.

I hope this wasn't more than three minutes!

More to come...
http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/776o



May 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


Hmmmm. Must be a parallel universe. Not the L.A. that I've known and lived in since 1982. It took me three years just to learn my way around using a Thomas Guide (y'know - pre GPS). Maybe you didn't spend enough time here to get to know the real L.A. with real people doing real things and not just on the surface. We, and they are here, all over this great city. You make of this place what you can, and some make more than others. Personally, I always hated L.A. before moving here, referring to it as Smell-A or LaLaLand, but once I got here, I soon learned it was so much more than that, and being in a place where you could literally ski in the morning and surf in the afternoon gave you a different outlook on life in general. It's not for everyone, but it's not nearly as bad as you make it out to be either.


May 27, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #3 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


Best thing about the story is that you had a Delorean


May 27, 2012 at 08:43 PM
sirimiri
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p.1 #4 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


Los Angeles is, for better for for worse, in a class of precisely one. My opinion is that socially speaking, LA is essentially a (very) large high school, with all that that entails.

As Peter says: "it's not for everyone". Realistically, I don't think anyone can arrive in Los Angeles, with their eyes and mind open, and feel that they were shorted or misled. I very much agree when he says:
"You make of this place what you can, and some make more than others."

I saw Norman Jean Roy lecture at Art Center some years ago, and somebody asked him about working in Los Angeles. To paraphrase, he said it was/is a wonderful place to get started, partially because of the sheer amount of opportunities that exist in the entertainment ecosystem.




May 29, 2012 at 12:06 AM
 

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Deezie
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p.1 #5 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


His rant is utter nonsense and doesn't reflect my experience of living in both Los Angeles and New York. They're both terrific cities for different reasons. There's an old saying, "Wherever you go, there you are," which reflects the notion that a place doesn't define a person, the person defines what his environment means to him. If you look for problems, you're certainly going to find them.




May 29, 2012 at 03:56 PM
cineski
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p.1 #6 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


As an LA resident of 11 years, I will say you couldn't be more wrong and you couldn't be more right. However, your post reminds me of someone who has their own tight bubble around their head. First, I have never been to LAX where I have seen a prostitute of any kind. My guess is that you're used to the most conservative women on planet earth and any free spirited woman you see is labelled a prostitute. I mean come on, that's about the craziest observation I've yet to hear. This is coming from a fashion photographer?! I'm from the midwest where women don't dress risque but there's nothing about the LA culture that screams prostitute.

It's not all roses here just like any city. Although LA is more mid-scooped. There's a lot of really bad stuff and a lot of really good stuff. With the bad, LA is overcome by Hollywood Buzz. I try to avoid these people like the plague but they do exist. Yes, there are a very good amount of people here dying to be discovered. Those are the people where everywhere they go, they're hunting and showing off. They only talk about themselves and they pose and walk like they're on a runway. Every second of every day. I can smell them a mile away. Is it everyone? No. Metro LA has 18 million people. A very small fraction of those people act this way. Problem is, when you encounter them, they're so overblown that they take over all other people.

The one paparazzi I know owns a very large house in a beach community. Yes, paparazzi's make way more money than an artist and I'd say he makes a figure or two more than you. Sucks, but that's a fact. There are obviously some extremely talented art based photographers in LA but I'm finding out a shocking number of those people are independently wealthy (including LA's queen photographer) and they get to spend all their time not having to worry about paying bills in an extremely expensive city like LA which allows them to schmooze and test and become successful photographers. Is one better or worse than the other? Not in my opinion. I asked my pap friend if he liked what he did. He said no, but he went on to say but he gets tons of money and if someone doesn't want to be in the public eye they shouldn't become famous in the first place. Yes, fame can be a choice.

So what does your post tell me about you? It tells me that you're kind of a spoiled brat. Sorry, but that's my impression after reading your drivel.

benjikan wrote:
Not that Los Angeles is a Fashion Capital…

Differences in Perception of Fashion Between Los Angeles and the Rest of the Fashion Capitals of the World Part 1

I will commence by saying that I did once live in Los Angeles. It wasn't a very long stay, a bit over a year, but it was enough for me to realize, that in the metier I had chosen, it was certainly not the place I would want to be living in. In fact, after my little stint in LA, I can say unequivocally that it is not the kind of place
...Show more



Jun 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #7 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


An admitted Delorean driver coming to a city like LA which thrives on superficiality to work in an industry (fashion) which thrives on superficiality and finding superficiality is not surprising.
You find what you are looking for.

Sounds a little like Captain Renault from Casblanca: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!




Jun 01, 2012 at 08:31 PM
cineski
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p.1 #8 · Los Angeles and then there is the Rest of the Fashion World


Come now, Micky, I would drive a DeLorean in a heartbeat. I've had my fair share of pictures taken in front of the occasional street-side DeLorean. No superficiality here, just a child of the Back to the Future era


Jun 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM





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