Reactor

Photos of Couples Switching Outfits

by An Xiao on April 11, 2012

"Ben & Mandy". All images via sincerelyhana.com.

"Ben & Mandy"(all images via sincerelyhana.com and copyright the artist)

LOS ANGELES — Some couples, I’ve noticed, start to dress and look like each other over time, adopting each other’s personal styles and looks.  And with the popularity of skinny jeans for men and blazers for women, straight couples often do dress quite similarly.

"Michelle & Jesse" (and a dog).

"Michelle & Jesse" (and a dog)

But there are still differences in color choices, fabrics and cuts, and Vancouver photographer Hana Pesut has set out to explore that visual relationship. She’s been photographing various couples in diptychs. On the left, we see the couple in their natural state. On the right, they’ve switched clothes. It’s easy to overlook the shift till you look more carefully, noticing a bearded man in a mini skirt or a petite woman in overly baggy clothes. Even subtle details like a leg bandage make the switch.

I spoke with Pesut over email about her Switcheroo series:

“Some of the couples try on each other’s clothes before the shoot (I guess so they can make sure it fits) so they already have an idea of what they will look like but other people just go for it and usually seem pretty surprised at how they look in each other’s clothes.”

Indeed, the idea emerged during a camping trip, when she noticed one half of a couple was wearing a monochromatic black on black outfit and the other was wearing tie dye and sequins. She photographed them after they switched outfits and now has dozens and dozens of shots posted on her blog.

"Stefanie & Stu"

“After that,” she told me, “when I would see couples I started to wonder what they would look like in each other’s clothes so I thought it would be fun to find out.”

Pesut is in Los Angeles and Palm Springs this week shooting couples until April 20. To get in touch, you can visit her website.

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  • http://twitter.com/modesttunic J.M.

    Couples consisting of two males are grossly underrepresented in this series.  The novelty of straight men in women’s clothing is too obvious to be interesting…unless the viewer is conditioned to be underwhelmed in the first place.  The only same-sex couples at all are female and one is, so it appears, to be in a polyamorous relationship. The fact that the artist captures an image of a child duo switching clothes further supports the gross heteronormativity of the entire series.  It’s unclear if the artist is misandric or lacks an eye for equality.

    • http://twitter.com/producer_man Rick Fitts

      what is your point. Why is art PC all the time?

    • http://hragv.com Hrag Vartanian

      I saw it more as a critique of gender roles.

  • smaxim00

    So by your analysis, the series is not ‘fair’.  What exactly in the photos made you expect the photographer to be equally representative?  What do you mean by ‘an eye for equality’? Artists usually don’t have an ‘eye for equality’ as it is particular things, moments and subjects that pique their interest in the first place.  Artists don’t have any obligation to check off people / viewers / groups for the sake of ‘equal representation’.  Through your evaluation, you’ve collapsed the creative act into something akin to a census survey.  And you’ve confused absence with prejudice and, even, misandry. wow. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1239919892 Yulianna Aparicio

    I think the work would have more depth and dimensionality if the couples were more diverse in general. For instance, how hard is it to find people that don’t shop exclusively at Urban Outfitters?

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