Dan Stern
       Dan Stern is a street fashion photographer based in London. He usually paraphrases Jean-Paul Gaultier to explain his passion for his job. During fashion weeks and throughout the year, he runs the fashion capitals in search of candid shoots, which project a style, a personality, or a pose that inspire, captivate and especially echo individuality, sensitivity, creativity or current tastes of people.
Text St Xavier Octavius
Photo Dan Stern
Spanish Version

"Clothes are only interesting when they are on a body in motion".
Jean Paul Gaultier

"… Barcelona is like Barça, the football team, full of beauty, colour, excitement, artistry & passion…"

Self-portrait - Milan

     Fashion has been too theorized and specialists consider clothing as a proper speech. Through the way we are dressed we can send messages and from certain photographs, we can even interfere some analyses. In the era of image, the apparel has gained a significant social value and with fashion and media democratization, the emergence of sociologists, journalists, photographers or bloggers, who analyse and describe this situation, it sometimes comes to exorbitant levels. One of the great virtues of the "fashion system" is altering reality to tell cool stories, but if this same capacity moves to the street "fashion system", whose main skill should precisely be portraying reality and no altering it, the story changes because more than a virtue, in this case, it could become in a gimmick. For that reason, we really appreciate the work of Dan Stern because we found it so authentic and spontaneous: this is what gives it a real added value contrarily to some other colleagues, who have transformed this discipline into in a very aesthetic object but without any content.

What does it mean fashion for you? Fashion is a prevailing custom or style of dress, which is offered to consumers two times a year by designers via a production & marketing process controlled by a select & small group of highly influential buyers and editors of fashion media.

What does it mean street style for you? Street style for me is all about the individual ”performing” identity & personality through the dress choices they make in public urban locations. Street style is the most authentic & genuine, revealing the ensembles that people really wear, instead of what appears on the runway or in an haute couture collection.

Could you explain us your passion for shooting stylish people and since when is this your profession? Whilst travelling constantly around the world in a previous job my passion for capturing street style grew out of my observation of the different way men and women dress and style themselves in different cities. What fascinates me is the way individuals express their personality by the way they chose to dress and how urban street locations provide an authentic visual background which is far more relevant than if shot in a studio or a controlled and set up location. I have been shooting And running the website full time since January 2011 .

As Street Fashion Monitor, how do you describe your own professional style and which do you think is your contribution, in fact, why do you think you could be different to others street style bloggers? My professional style of photography is to shoot subjects on the street candid and to offer the viewer via Street Fashion Monitor a photographic database which allows them to select what interests them from over 250 search criteria. The basic technical offering of street style blogs has not advanced since the early days: the user has to scroll down the blog pages seeking images, which they might like. This process is controlled by the blogger not the user. Street Fashion Monitor is the only candid photo database dedicated to street style, which allows the user to search for styles that interest them. No other street style bloggers offer this.

In a world with a lot of photographs shooting stylish people, why, for you, is so important naturally and no pose attitude pictures? For me as soon as the subject is stopped and asked to be photographed the moment is lost and the street simply becomes an outdoor studio controlled by the photographer. I believe that clothes are not just to be worn but also to be lived in and that is why I shoot subjects unposed capturing real life situations on the streets. To quote Jean Paul Gaultier: “Clothes are only interesting when they are on a body in motion” I share the same belief and as such many of the unposed subjects I shoot are captured in natural movement. The feedback I receive from street style fans & fashionistas from around the world confirms the overwhelming preference for unposed candid images.

Which city do you prefer to shoot in? Why? It has to be London for the creativity, originality & flair.

With just a word, how do you describe english, french, italian and japanese street style scene? London: creativity. Paris: chic. Milan: glam. Tokyo: Mix.

Do you have your own street style icon, which is, if we can know it, and why? Shaka Maidoh & Sam Lambert. Cause they are cool, cool, cool, London based street style dons.

Nowadays, which is the importance of this kind of profession? Street style photography is important because the way people dress and adorn themselves is an art in and of itself, and a direct reflection of culture at that point in time. I find it fascinating and clever that an individual has put something together with the pieces they have, without a team of stylists. I find this much more interesting than following trends. Street style photography is both inexpensive and immediate and has had and continues to have a massive impact on the democratization of fashion because it means that more people can produce it and that people have more choice. They can choose who they want to listen to those street style photographers bringing fresher more independent perspectives, which inspire fashion from the streets to consumers.

Have you been in Barcelona? And even if you have not been, could you describe it with a phrase, any preconception?  Visited Barcelona in the middle of winter when it was freezing and grey like London… I need to go back when there is sunshine & heat to get a true picture. My preconception is like Barça, the football team, full of beauty, colour, excitement, artistry & passion.