Eye Spy

by Madison Chiang / Garnet & Black

We, as humans, are in constant transition. Personal belongings can serve as a map of that growth. We all have something from our childhoods that we just can’t get rid of, no matter how functional it actually is. Perhaps it is a shirt that you have long since grown out of, or a favorite stuffed animal gifted to you by a relative. 

Why do we feel the need to collect and keep things over the course of our lives? It’s clear that objects possess sentimental value. Collections may also bring a feeling of familiarity and comfort to their organizers, or else serve as an entertaining hobby. The way we populate our personal spaces with objects can be an outward reflection of our personalities. The same can be said for fashion. How do you decorate your body to reflect what lies within? 

Today, trend cycles and mass production have made nearly everything feel disposable and impermanent. In the wake of fast fashion, even the clothes that we wear are treated as easily disposable commodities. But clothing is an extension of the wearer, too. In the age of BeReal and a love for relatable celebrities on social media, there seems to be an ongoing quest for public authenticity. What’s more authentic and personal than a wardrobe made up of well-loved items collected over the years? That five-year-old denim jacket from your uncle might not be on-trend, but it tells more of a story than a polyester halter top from SHEIN. 

This shoot, titled “Eye Spy,” proposes a new narrative. Objects themselves are living history, just like their owners, and should be respected as such.  By photographing models against the backdrop of an antique shop and styling clothing from local thrift stores, boutiques, and personal collections, our team aimed to evoke this theme. 

Clothing and objects that are deemed old or unfashionable by popular culture can always be re-used or “re-loved” elsewhere. It’s a matter of placing these items into new aesthetic contexts, while still respecting their origins. Let’s explore these ideas more in our daily lives, and have fun with them.

Thank you to the Old Antique Mill Mall in West Columbia for allowing their location to be used for this shoot.

 Models: Emma Galluccio & Kat Wyandt 

 Outfits sourced from Sid & Nancy, Revente, and personal collections.