Fashionable Selby, a new fashion book by photographer Todd Selby
Photographer and design magpie Todd Selby‘s book Fashionable Selby has just been published and I got my hands on one of the first copies. Originally known for his photographs taken inside the homes of designers and other creatives, (usually showing off their eclectic, maximalist collections of ‘gorgeous things’), in this new book, “The Selby” focuses his attention on the studio spaces of people working within the fashion industry.
There are big names – Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Nicola Formichetti – but some of the most interesting characters and spaces explored belong to people I hadn’t heard of before, like Dutch stylist and exhibition designer Maarten Spruyt, and ‘punk’ design trio Blackmeans from Japan. If his last book, Edible Selby (based on photographs taken in some of the coolest professional kitchens around the world, as seen in The New York Times) made me want to go and eat in all of those places at once, then Fashionable Selby makes me want to dust off my personal world-travel souvenirs to appreciate anew, Gollum-like, while simultaneously getting creative with the (imaginary) craft basket.
Selby’s photos capture his subjects passion for their work. He clearly has a knack for bonding with his subjects because there isn’t a posed or self-conscious photo among them (Formichetti’s piece possibly being the least spontaneous). London-wise there are features on bespoke shoemaker Sebastian Tarek, the legendary Andrew Logan, props and accessories designer Fred Butler, vintage clothing dealers Cosmo and Richard Wise and my personal favourite, designer Julie Verhoeven, whose work I have long admired and who always communicates a visceral sense of excitement about what she does. From organic dyers to vintage clothing dealers, couture artisans, ethical Angora farmers and accessories designers, this is a unique and insightful look into the creative workspaces of some of the interesting characters in global fashion. The visual chaos and colour in The Selby’s photographs make the factory visit/artisan manufacture porn (beloved of a certain type of menswear blogger), look very humdrum indeed. In essence, this book isn’t really about fashion at all but pure creativity, communicating an invigorating sense of people doing what they enjoy most and sharing their joy in having a space to do it in.