What is Style?

by | Apr 4, 2019 | 0 comments


“You see Phipps… Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear. Just as vulgarity is simply the conduct of other people. And falsehoods the truths of other people.

Oscar Wilde’s quip spoken through Algie in An Ideal Husband gives us pause to reflect style and fashion. Written in 1895, his words ring true today.

I’m to the point in my career where I’m starting to get lost in blurred lines when it comes to having Style, having A style, and straight up branding in fashion. Being on set, talking with the industry elite, those who taught us what real Style is, mixed in with teaching at Parsons I’m finding that the definition has a wide birth in the 2000’s. And as a result is ultimately watered down.

Personally, I believe you either have Style or you don’t. I’m not as much interested in a style as I am the lasting effects of Style with a capital S. In today’s world of social media and accessibility, the idea of personal branding bleeds more into what we would consider a style. Which begs the question… is personal branding in style long lasting with a real impact? Or like a flash in the pan, has style morphed into pure commercialism to drive social media engagements, advertising, sponsorships and celebrity? Momentary and fleeting.

The studio itself can be a little daunting when it comes to styling. When a stylist is not present, I take on that role and with it field frequent questions with my private clients starting out with…

What should I wear?

To be honest, I have no idea how to answer that question based on my limited interaction with you. I mean, yes we’ve got the basics, please no pastels, knits, neons, darks are always good and the like. But for me personally, style speaking, I love simple and elegant outfits, that have charm and iconicism, that are classic with line, form and shape that enhance my subject. Fitted and regal. Bold colors, elegant patterns, and black black black. But then again, that’s just me and the Karjaka brand of photography. Simple and elegant lighting to create an iconic image.

You on the other hand might not be of that Style. Of which, I may have questions on why you’re coming to me for a session. But seriously, this is where you get to do you to make your Art. If your brand of style is ripped jeans, black v-neck tee, and a pink blazer with cowboy boots, go for it. Need to rock out with your cello and golden rod hair but still want to look like a boss? Get styled by Samantha Brown Style in gold and a dego tee. Whatever your style is, be fully self expressed in your choice to wear that in the studio. A photograph is loving ones self for the world to partake in. Heed the words of Lord Goring…


To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance, Phipps.

And it starts with your style in a Karjaka Portrait.

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