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Words on DOCUMENTARY: New York Style Stories

January 24, 2011

Michael - New York Style Stories, episode 3 (photo by Stephen Elledge)

In a city of 8 million people, where everyone is eccentric in some way, standing out requires true dedication. New York Style Stories is a series of short style documentaries that portrays individuals that have mastered this art and the brainchild of my dear friend Maaike Holvast. Before you watch the first six episodes at Limboland, learn more on Maaike’s motivation and…

How did you select the people that show up in New York Style Stories? What’s so special about them?
I am always observing people and their visual presentation of themselves. It’s an essential part of being a stylist, which had been my profession for almost ten years. Mostly I am intrigued with people who clearly have their own thing going on. So not the people who follow or try to look like someone else, but those who are clearly telling a story with the way they dress. How I picked these people specifically, I am not sure… It’s a personal click you feel when you see someone on the street or on the train. It’s not even always positive. Someone can be annoying at first. But that can be the one that make me go “I would like to know what you’re about that makes you want to look like that!”

What did you learn from making this series?
While making these movies I learned something that I kind off already knew before, but that became even more clear to me and that is that style is everything but superficial. It is a really strong tool in human interaction. We are all stuck in a body and, whether we want it or not, we give off signs about ourselves by the way we look and dress. Therefore, as a starting point, it can be a ‘way in’ to understanding universal human needs like belonging, our need to be seen and our need to hide the things we think are less attractive.

Zelda - New York Style Stories, episode 1 (photo by Stephen Elledge)

Luzer - New York Style Stories, episode 5 (photo by Stephen Elledge)

Do you have a personal favorite episode of New York Style Stories?
Not specifically, as I like all the characters for another reason. You can’t follow people that closely and spend so much time with them in the editing room without caring for them. I care about all of them, so it’s hard for me to have a favorite. Other people told me which of the six portraits they love the most, but it’s a different one for everyone. That’s a good sign for me! It means that everyone is touched by a specific story, because it reminds them of something about themselves.

What are your plans for the future? Can we expect more episodes?
Yes, it’s my dream to make a New York Style Stories, part two. There is already a bunch of characters that I would love to follow! Currently I am looking for opportunities and investors or sponsors to finance the project, as it’s very labor intensive to make these movies. But, I have good faith that I will figure it out. People have responded so well to the series, that I believe there is a much bigger potential…

Well, let’s cross fingers for Maaike that the new series can be produced soon.
I really look forward to it!

Watch the trailer of New York Style Stories here.
And visit Limboland to watch the full first series of six episodes.

Nyisha - New York Style Stories, episode 4 (photo by Stephen Elledge)

Elijah - New York Style Stories, episode 2 (photo by Stephen Elledge)

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