real style can’t be bought (beautiful photos of young, hip runaways)

real style can’t be bought (beautiful photos of young, hip runaways)

one of my favorite online art magazines is San Francisco’s Fecal Face. they have an article on a photo essay by an amazing polaroid photographer named Mike Brodie (aka The Polariod kid), who travelled across the US on the railway taking photos of these gorgeous young kids who are middle-class runaways and true-to-life hobos. they are beautiful photos, but i was just so struck at the magnitude of their hipness. these look like fashion photography to me.







related posts:
style is what you make it- fashion revolution!
squatting lovelies- homeless girls in London

41 comments to real style can’t be bought (beautiful photos of young, hip runaways)

  • Kori

    wow! beautiful, powerful photos. they almost make me want to run away from home in hopes of gaining a little hipness haha.

  • I am stunned by the beauty of these photos and the stylishness of their subjects (not to mention the fact that they are photogenic to boot). Thank you for sharing.

  • met kids like these

    Seriously, I know kids like these and even if they are runaways, they come from money. They don’t find their clothes in the dumpsters and the certainly don’t dye their hair from what they find in the dumpsters. I’m not saying that they don’t have problems and that this comment applies to all runaways. However oftentimes their life from my point of view is kind of hypocritical. The fact is that for some of these kids, they have something to fall back on. Yeah they look hip. But it is kind of demeaning to the people who really don’t have anything to fall back on. Are they hip? Are they photogenic. Are they able to feed themselves?
    One of these kids asked me before why it is that homeless people in new york don’t dumpster food or they see it as degrading when there is so much good food thrown away. The reason is that these ppl see it as something demeaning to be eating the cast offs of other ppl. They would much rather be able to work and pay for their own food. For the runaway kids, it’s much more an idea of look i can be outside the system and it is part of a lifestyle that they chose.

    I’m not going to say that these kids don’t have style and that they aren’t beautiful, because they are. And sometimes their ideals are great(the ones i have known). But it is still hypocritical and if you come from a background with a good education and money, which in the end means connections, you can make much more of a difference trying to figure out how to change what you don’t like about how things are run, then to traipse around the country acting like you don’t have anything.

  • thanks for your insight, Met Kids. you’re right these kids did come from middle-class families, but i’m sure there are much deeper issues happening here. but being that this is a fashion blog and fashion is inherently superficial and ever-changing, it is still impressive that these kids manage to stay fashionable without the help of their parents’ money. and yes, changing the world is a good thing, but maybe some people are happier starting from the ground up while they’re still young, living life simply, day to day, swinging on rope swings and wearing beautiful things. for them there’s plenty of time for connections and responsibility and, yes, money.

  • sarah

    even if they came from middle class families, you gotta feel bad for them! they’re so young.

  • Lynne

    If they came from money, it’s quite possible they are rejecting their parents’ value system and/or trying to figure out their own. I know moneyed parents who are really unaccepting of their child b/c the kids march to their own drummer and mom can’t trot them out as miniature versions of themselves–one of my 18yo’s pals has that–she’s a terrific kid but her mom doesn’t see it b/c she has different tastes and interests than what her mom finds “acceptable” in their social circle. It’s her mom’s insecurity that’s the problem, but this girl has run away several times b/c her mom pressures her constantly to change. The lifestyle of some of these pretty “hobo” kids may be rebellion, and as more mature people they may well contribute a lot to our society b/c of their unique experiences.

  • Lynne

    And yes, both the stylishness of the kids and the photography are gorgeous! I wish I could wrap a spotted rag around my head and look instant haute couture. The bright sweater cuffs turned back over the jacket sleeves is so cute, maybe I’ll try it sometime!

  • Maplethorpe

    To presume that on some level we know anything about these kids other than that they posed in a photo and looked haggard and beautiful at the same time is bullshit anyways. When we are looking at fashion , we are looking at fashion. When I am looking at war photos I am looking at war photos. And yet, photos of Hamas terrorist green bandanas and flags make me think “huh, that some chic warpaint, I wonder what role it plays in the power of their propaganda?” And thus, these kids in these gorgeous photos make me want to ride the rails, nothing but a jug of moonshine, a fedora, and a empty birdcage around my neck. Fly pretty bird, fly. Terry Richardson anyone? Gummo?

  • unhip and droll

    There’s something to be said for these kids. If it is about fashion, it’s bohemian and punk rock at once. If it’s lifestyle choice, it’s punk rock, bohemian, with a splash of Kerouac and Boxcar Willie. These hobohemian punk kids have more guts to jump off the grid, especially coming from the middle class, than anyone who goes to college and whole-heartedly, willingly, buys into the capitalist lies and the rat race. They’ll receive an education that we will have only read about, written about, or envied in some way.
    Hypocritical is not a word that I think accurately describes these kids. In fact, it may be that they are simply critical, of modern life, superficiality, constructed and contrived security, and of fashion.
    I dig these cats and there choices!

  • eve

    AMEN, Unhip and Droll!

  • Spampoems

    Is anyone else here reminded of Zoolanders fashion hypocrisy joke ‘Derelique’ ? Honestly. Fashion really has disappeared up it’s own a**hole. What’s next, “look at how beautiful these homeless heroin addicts are, see how they evoke a hopeless chic with there soiled trousers and surgical tubing accessories!”
    I am not opposed to talking about street fashion, or any such subject, but does no one else here feel like Vultures above a sick foal?

  • haha, thanks for your comment, Spampoems.
    these kids are actually on the streets (or rails as it were) on their own accord. they’re actually from middle class families.

    should we feel like vultures? i don’t think so. i’m simply admiring their creativity, resourcefulness and balls to enjoy their independence and get the fuck off the grid.

    BTW, these things have already been much more beautifully stated by Lynne, Mapplethorpe and Unhip & Droll

  • Pablo

    I think they just don’t like to wash and probably be responsible :)

    I know many kids who are punkers with enough money to buy Dr Martens 100 pounds shoes

    so if they are beautifull for the photos remember all the people who are really starving and are brought to the pit of the humanity because of them and possibly us

  • aj

    I’m pretty sure that people who are homeless are typically (1) not homeless of their own accord, and (2) dress for survival and movement, not style.

    These kids just read some Kerouac, and after a couple months or maybe a year, will be back home in the suburbs, and talking about the year they were “homeless” for the rest of their lives as they work at the Gap and have 9 kids and a series of divorces, you know, a normal middle class life.

  • I am having a difficult time deciding why anything about this is important. Why should I care about this? Stumbling has brought me here and I stopped for the faces photographed….but to make it some sort of statement is ridiculous to me.

  • Suzy

    i agree. The pictures are great, and I love fashion because it is an artform. But I’m dumbfounded at the comments that were left here. How is it that everyone seems to know these kids’ life story by looking at the pictures? is there some sort of caption that I missed? why do we have to put a price tag on everything and roll ours eyes when we find out that some fashionable item either cost the wearer too much or too little?

    Judge not.

  • Wow. I’ve never seen “street kids” look that good. Where I come from, street kids look like street kids- not like they just walked off a runway.

  • Ben

    Great pictures. Have you just said that you dress like a hobo, or that they dress like you?

    Either way…

  • wiggles

    If these kids are so creative and resourceful, why are they always pestering me for cigarettes and spare change?

  • stella stink

    they look like your average hipsters to me. except maybe dirtier.

  • golightly

    It looks like one of them is wearing a skirt from Urban Outfitters… I’m not sure why this amuses me so much, but it does!

  • ilana

    if i didn’t know any better, i would have thought these were serious fashion photos. these kids definatly know how to make the best come out of a simple outfit.

  • Meko

    This is so fucking stupid. Stumble, why have you led me here? All that I see is a bunch of dirty STD infested hipsters. You hippies and your damn fashion. This isn’t fashion, this is garbage man chic.

  • Lord Haw Haw

    Well I’ll be damned! That freckly blighter is only wearing my handkerchief as a kneckerchief. Jeeves…the Deringer…

  • shawna

    I think this is beautiful…true individuals.

  • Charlie Craplin

    Hipsters? Try dumpster divers.

    Most likely, these youths had to flee their rotten parents, parents infected with a credit bubble lifestyle of home equity loan and maxed credit cards phony richness.

  • lillia

    whoa. this is a great post :]

  • {Читаю {ваш|этот|} блог, и понимаю, что {ничего|нифига} не понимаю. Все так запутано. :)

  • alex

    they look happy and somehow cool and hip now but its gonna start getting sad as they start turning 25 and still looking like that…

  • Atlanta

    Anyone can catch a train on the fly, or hitch a ride to anywhere.

    I dig the clothes. I dig the aesthetic. I dig the photos.

    Trying to make it mean anything else is kind of pointless.

    Let them live their lives, live your own life (adventures included).

    I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to jump on them because they’ve got the whole ‘white privilege fallback gig.’ Some folks just gotta have their adventures in poverty.

    It’s not like they’re going to read/care about any of these comments anyways.

    WTF. This website is fucking bollocks anyways.

    Living is a DIY kind of thing.

  • jouy dioutu

    Bullshit! those kids are not runaways!

  • Very nice concept.
    Blog Mode´s last [type] ..Blog Mode – Enceinte Carla

  • I received more than I bargained for with this post. Interesting topic. Will follow.

  • Homeless chic! Love!
    Rejina´s last [type] ..Vintage!

  • These photos seems to be very natural. This is a fine professional work.

  • You got stunning pics here, very nice clicks really. I genuinely liked the tattoo of star on the knee of the girl in last photo. Good Work! :)

  • There is a contrast it seems in those photographs. The facial appearance, the dress and the surrounding all are contrasting each other. The photographer is precise and the fashion style is also appreciating.

  • I your writing style genuinely loving this net website .

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