Tangled yarns from London's passers-through

005 : Paul Hartnett outside the Raffles department store at People’s Square, Huangpu
Born in 1958 in London, Paul Hartnett currently works as a photographer, writer and teacher. Why Shanghai? To observe and document. He digs the following Shanghai bits: the Ifa Paris fashion school, the Raffles Design Institute, Vision magazine, the artist district, designer Qiu Hao. He is, however, a bit miffed by air pollution, air pollution, air pollution, air pollution, air pollution. For more info on Paul Hartnett you should send an email or visit his website.

image: Shantell M.

“It's like... one long catwalk of H&M zombies. Where are all the individuals?”

I hope this is going to work. Feels kind of weird.

Rodney said this would be a good place to get pictures. Raffles[1]. Hm, Don’t know. Will have to wait and see.

Feel kind of wonky. What time is it back in London? Jet lag, a curse.

Not sunny, not dark. Light’s kind of OK.

People think this kind of photography[2] is so easy, that you just go out and there are stunners every five minutes.

Maybe I should have applied for a journalist’s visa. What happens if I get stopped and questioned?

Nothing yet. This is how a fisherman feels, waiting for the bait to get taken. Maybe I’m getting too old for this. I kind of feel like a dirty old man, stalking the streets. For ‘street-style’? Yeah, right. Oh, I’m getting paranoid.

Oh, here’s one. Nice bit of customising on the collar.

That was easy enough. Giving a card always helps.

And here’s another. Cool hair. Six hairstyles all on the same head. And, yep, some piece of crazy MADE IN HONG KONG plastic toy crap to accessorise. Coolio.

Nearly an hour, and that’s all I’ve got. There’s just so much black cotton about, black denim. Just black. Just nothing. Where are all the individuals?

It’s like… one long catwalk of H&M zombies. Where are all the individuals?

Oh, here’s one. Fabulous. Those shoes are just…

referenced works

  1. Raffles City is a large, high-rise shopping centre located in downtown Shanghai, across from People’s Square.

  2. Paul Hartnett is a fashion photojournalist specializing in street and club culture; in essence, a coolhunter by trade. ‘Coolhunting’, as a term, was coined in the early 1990s and refers to the observation and prediction of existing and emerging cultural trends. Hartnett’s fashion photodocumentaries have appeared in Tank, Time and The Guardian. His photos from Shanghai appeared in the October 2007 issue of i-D and issue #3 of 100proofTRUTH, among others.

location information

  • Name: the Raffles department store at People's Square
  • Time of story: Afternoon
  • Latitude: 31.231900
  • Longitude: 121.476700
  • Map: Google Maps



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