So many photo blogs out there. A photo a day, travels, reflections, whatever can be photographed has its own dedicated blogs. Now this one’s unique: What Ali Wore by Melbourne photographer Zoe Spawton is devoted exclusively to Ali, an 83-year-old migrant gentleman who lives in Berlin, fathered 18 children and owns nearly a hundred suits. In her blog, Spawton celebrates the many outfits of the chatoyant retiree.
In a way the road is Ali’s catwalk. He’s even a bit famous by now thanks to Australian Spawton who currently lives in Berlin. Ali never wears the same outfit twice, and only he knows what he’s wearing the next day. Ali walks past Spawton’s work every morning wearing great clothes. But it takes a photographer like Spawton to see this story.
How many stories we miss because we’re not really willing to look? Now Ali makes it easy for her. Once he’s dressed from head to toe in denim, then like a soldier in camouflage. Be it urban cool or monochrome, Ali has it. His favorite style though is business attire. Ali must have a hundred suits, says Spawton; they are gray, black, mustard, even burgundy.
Originally from Turkey, Ali has lived in Germany for 44 years. He is a retired doctor but now works as a tailor. And I bet there are many Alis and similar stories out there, we just have to be able to open our eyes again and dare to see. Or even an 83-year-old with an inkling of a smile teamed with a diamante skull baseball cap doesn’t make us take notice anymore.
Would we see this story? Or are we too jaded?
Spawton says Ali’s even a bit proud by now, tells her how he wants to be photographed and brings her gifts, apples, chocolate, flowers. Once presumably hyper-flamboyant Ali is no longer flirting with women, but his garments — many of his own making — do the talking.
See how Ali dresses up right here at What Ali Wore.
Lens and camera make don’t matter that much. It’s about seeing and telling the story. Do you know a similar one?