Jason Evans is not a photographer I have come across before. He worked under the pseudonym ‘Travis’ and his work first appeared in fashion and lifestyle magazines.
It seems that his work was rather similar to Bill Cunningham in that he would go out and photograph fashion on the street. In his Strictly series, he has photographed a series of young black men in a variety of fashions out on the streets. His style is very much like that of August Sander. The subject stands unposed, looking directly at the camera with a dispassionate expression on the face. Evans shoots from a low vantage point thus seeming to give the subjects a sense of power as the viewer has to look up to them, a possible metaphor for the absent catwalk where viewers also have to look up to the models parading the latest fashions. Evans was intrigued by the nineteenth century dandy and this series of work portrays the contemporary dandy in his eyes.
Unlike Cunningham, however, Evans used a stylist in the production of this series. His stylist was responsible for putting the clothes together, doing location scouts and finding the models. The clothes worn by Evans’ contemporary dandies are a strange mix of British tailoring, preppy and sportswear and are very eclectic rather than fashionable. But the outfits would definitely not be out of place on the streets of New York, nor would they seem strange in a place where anything goes.
“The syntax of the clothes was completely upside down,” Evans said of the work. “It was a new vision of Britain. We were trying to break down stereotypes.”
(Evans quoted in Val Williams, Look at Me: Fashion and Photography 1960 to the Present, exhibition catalogue, British Council, London, 1998, p.113)
Although the work in this series was primarily for fashion photography, the photographs could very easily fit into other genres, such as street photography or documentary.
Jason Evans, Stylist Simon Foxton (n.d.) [online] Tate. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/evans-foxton-no-title-p11788/text-summary [Accessed 24 May, 2016]