The Art of Fashion

A Quirky Glimpse of Paris Fashion Week Pops Up in Houston

Fashion photographer Jesse Greene plays up an unexpected theme in "Phone Y Fashionistas."

By Julia Davila September 12, 2017

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An image from Jesse Greene's "Phone y Fashionistas"

Image: Jesse Greene

Fashion photographer Jesse Greene has been traveling to Paris and Chicago for years; showing work, exploring and shooting prominent fashion events like Paris Fashion Week.

His work is on display in Houston at the Alliance Française for one week only in conjunction with the current Spring/Summer 2018 shows currently taking place in the French fashion capital. "Phone y Fashionistas" is a "visual look at the relationship between color and environment," featuring images compiled from Greene's Paris Fashion Week coverage from 2013 to 2017. Going through his archives, Greene was intrigued when he noticed multiple photos of people on their phones outside while waiting for a ride or smoking.

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“When I would leave the shows, or I was outside of the shows hanging out and taking pictures of the attendees, I would catch these moments where off-duty models, A-listers ... were on their phones,” Greene said. “And what I noticed was a lot of times people go to their phone as a comfort zone but it’s really interesting when people are doing it in a situation where they really shouldn’t be, I guess you could say they’re doing it to hide themselves, a little bit, because they don’t want to be photographed by 40 or 50 people at the same time.”

Greene felt the photos had potential but needed a “colorful flare or twist to give it an extra look.” Through graphic design and the use of color, he visually erases the phones from the images, which only serves to emphasize how they monopolize the subject's attention. The result is a collection that offers something for street fashion and photography lovers as well as those interested in tongue-in-cheek visual statements about our collective obsession with technology.

Attendees can enjoy crepes from The Crepe Machine, just the thing to complete the Paris street vibe, and guests are encouraged to dress up the the neufs just as catwalk observers do. Collaborating with STRUT, an organization that brings the Houston fashion community together, the best dressed male and female will win a prize.

In the aftermath of Harvey, Greene wanted to strike the right tone with the exhibition, so he's redubbed the opening a “clothing drive art event” and is encouraging attendees to donate clothes and food to those who have been affected by recent storms in Houston, Florida and the Caribbean. Twenty percent of all earnings from photos sold at the event will also be donated to charity.

“Yes, we will still be showing art, having fun and loving life, but during this time, helping and giving back should be the community’s top priority," says Greene.

The "Phone y Fashionistas" exhibition opening takes place Sept. 14, 6-9:30 p.m., at the Alliance Française, 427 Lovett Blvd. in Montrose.

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