About the Book
“Appearances” explores fashion in Tucson, a city with an eclectic array of fashionistas. Hippie, Punk, Grunge, Western, Cosplay, Indie, Fairy, Skater, Mexicano, Biker, 80’s, 90’s, Y2K, Witch, you can find them all. The project aims to photograph people whose outward expression of identity catches the attention of others. Identity is embedded in fashion, it sends a message about an individual’s self-conception—the impulse to create a unique uniform and author how the world will view them. This work was guided by two initial questions: What makes Tucson fashion different? And, how do fashion and identity intersect? Through the process of searching, I was able to meet countless genuinely interesting people who had a strong sense of self-expression. I photographed many local artists and people trying to launch fashion brands which felt encouraging, as I validated many people’s art without initially realizing it. One of the people I photographed, Crystal Beltran, is a local seamstress, in her portrait she is wearing one of her designs—an olive green overall dress brushed over a black fishnet undershirt. We had a moving conversation about how the addition of personal touch gives meaning to clothing and her aspirations of pursuing the creation of her art full-time. Another fun interaction came from the Glesers, the father Brian shared a little of his life with me, a story of a young boy who grew up on a commune who is sharing ideals of peace, love, and tie dye through his family-owned business. People like these quickly became the heart of the fashion identity in Tucson.