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Hana Style- Personal Style Before The Internet

Thursday, May 9, 2013

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"selfies" long before digital cameras and the internet, but many of these archives of personal style remain lost or unpublished.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: hanastyle.tumblr.com

 

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.