I treat this as a bit of a secret, but one place on the interweb that I often visit for inspiration are the websites of Hedi Slimane. Slimane used to be a fashion designer, having led the studios of Yves Saint Laurent in the 90s and then going on to design for Dior Homme until he left fashion in 2005. It’s hard to really trace the lineage of certain modes in fashion, but most people who care about this sort of thing tend to agree that Hedi Slimane was a large reason for the contemporary emphasis on slim, fitted menswear (Raf Simons as well). Well, he’s retired from fashion design, which is both a horrible shame and maybe a great career move, and has focused on photography, exhibiting his photographs at several galleries recently.
There is something that I find incredibly beautiful in all of his images. They are simple and quiet, but I think they evoke a real and distinct sense of timeless urbanity (if such a thing is possible). Hedi works between New York, London, Paris and Berlin, but his photographs seem to be everywhere urban at anytime in the 20th or 21st centuries.
There was actually a time, not too long ago, when I really couldn’t relate to photography as an art. This was primarily when I was a painter, and maybe that explains it. If that is the case, then it has been my architectural education that has made me more and more intrigued by what photographs can and cannot capture. There comes moments every now and then when I feel like a good photographic sense is an invaluable skill for an architect.
Anyhow, the work of Hedi Slimane has been a constant source of inspiration for me over the years–probably more constant than any other designer in any field.