Negative Space and Street Fashion

When I was visiting Myki in Brooklyn, I decided to stay for a couple of days at his loft (he was more than happy to have me!) and wander through the streets of New York.

One day, I found myself in a gallery in Brooklyn (I don’t even remember what the name of the gallery was). There, I met the most fantastic person 一 Jackie.

Jackie is a photographer, a designer, an artist. Overall, a creative soul.

I mentioned to her that I was a fashion blogger, and a photographer, as well, so we talked about art and fashion.

Here’s what she told me about her style:

“It may sound strange to you, but I am all about the negative space. (laugh) In photography, in fashion, in art, in life. Don’t look at me like that; let me explain. (laugh)

As I am sure you know, negative space is most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space is used to provide the artistic effect as the “real” subject of an image. The use of negative space is a key element of artistic composition. A two-toned, black-and-white image, a subject is normally depicted in black, and the space around it is left blank (white), thereby forming a silhouette of the subject. Reversing the tones so that the space around the subject is printed black and the subject itself is left blank, however, causes the negative space to be apparent as it forms shapes around the subject. This is called figure-ground reversal.

I feel like the use of negative space in life is crucial! (laugh) When it comes to style, we need to know which elements to highlight and which ones to color in black. So, in fashion, I let the accessories do the talking, while I try to keep the outfit itself low-key; I like to believe that the accessories form my silhouette and that I am the subject colored in black. I love to look like I’m modest and that I don’t care about dressing up or fashion. You must think I’m crazy. (laugh)”

Is Jackie right? Is fashion about finding “your negative space”? Feel free to write down your thoughts in the comments below.