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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hana Style- Personal Style Before The Internet

I have always been interested in the personal style of others and the story behind their fashion choices. People have been documenting their style through "selfies" long before digital cameras and the internet, but many of these archives of personal style remain lost or unpublished. This morning, Hagar Cygler, an artist and photographer from Tel Aviv, sent me information about a fascinating project she is working on. Hagar is working to preserve an archive of photographs, documenting one woman's personal style throughout the 80s, and the journey to discover more about her life and family. Find out more about the project in Hana's own words below and to support the creation of her wonderful book, CLICK HERE.

I found photos of Hannah at the flea market in Jaffa, Israel, when I was buying a stack of photo albums. These were simple albums, full of family photographs. There were many children, weddings and other family gatherings in them. But among all the photos I noticed some that repeated themselves - these were images of a woman, standing in the same place, at the entrance to her home, wearing in each photo a different outfit.

The fixed location, the position and here looks  in these photos, caught my attention. I understood that Hannah was ahead of her time. Hannah got dressed, photographed, printed the photo and placed it in an album, everything the technology of her time allowed her. I decided to continue what Hannah started and opened her blog. The images can be seen at:


The discovery of Hannah was no coincidence: I am an artist, photographer and collector of found images. I collect failed photographs; images that people choose to take out of their albums. I use photography as raw material for my works using different techniques to produce new works from them. When I went through Hannah's albums I found a treasure, in the exact place where everything looks the same, something intimate, exciting and surprising arose.

I've used other pictures from the album to find Hannah. I found the neighborhood; the house and the neighbors and finally met Hannah's heirs. I was a bit surprised by Hannah's story: Hannah had no children, everyone who appeared in the albums – the children, weddings, gatherings - were neighbors. When Hannah died, the content of her house was sold in its entirety and there was no one to remember her and keep the photos.


Hannah documented herself before there was Internet, Facebook and Instagram. She created a series of 46 photographs taken over more then a decade. These images, along with her story and the story of my quest after her, are soon to be published in a book. A book which is the story of each and every one of us - it has our desire to document ourselves, to be remembered and to leave something meaningful after us. This is an art and fashion book, displaying a personal and intimate point of view. It gives us a rare and original glimpse into the everyday life eighties fashion.


Mrs. D said...

Loved this so much... I had to contribute towards the project. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Karen Albert said...

Seth this a poignant venture. I love that Hannah has left behind her own legacy.

You are indeed a fashion sleuth; more than that you truly connect with

Art by Karena

Holly P said...

This is great! I went through a period of doing this at around the age of ten. Would take a lot of convincing for me to share those on the internet though!

Toots Lightbody said...

This is wonderful, it's strange to think that if we found all the selfies from today in years to come we would probably think nothing of it, just another website abandoned or obliterated! This is why film is so fantastic


Emilia de Azcuenaga said...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for alerting me to this project. It is one of the many reasons I love Advanced Style.

lorenabr said...


Anonymous said...

This is an amazing, wonderful, fascinating project!

Lucy said...

What a wonderful tale; I'm so thankful for artists who work hard to preserve and relay stories such as these.

Anonymous said...

my mother did this a lot - i could probably document her style from the 50s through the early 2000s - in the various houses my parents lived in. and thanks to this, i just might be inspired to! thanks.


Mario said...

I like it. It's an interresting project : )

Lynne97060 said...

What an amazing, loving project, seeing art in images others discard. A little treasure that will let me look at old photos in a new light. Thanks!

Palomasea said...

So fascinating...alas her legacy will live on in this way.

The Blend Style said...

I really love your blog.
this post is amazing!!

I follow you hope you do the same!

Forest City Fashionista said...

What a wonderful project - Hannah was indeed ahead of her time!

Clipping Path said...

She looks really gorgeous with this beautiful dress! :)


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