A High-End Fashion Shoot in the Midst of Occupy Protestors

Haute couture and Occupy protests are two things that are completely at odds with one another — the perfect combination for a photo shoot dripping with satire and social commentary. Photographer Ben Ritter did an American Psycho-themed fashion shoot featuring models wearing pricey suits hanging out among semi-homeless Occupy protestors camped out in Zucotti Park in New York City.

In one photograph, a model sporting a Christian Dior suit sits next to a dreadlocked guitar player while daintily eating caviar with an oblivious look on his face. In another, a model takes on the role of a fashionable protestor, attempting to blend into the crowd by wearing his Dior tie as a headband and banging away on a bongo drum.

The Washington Post writes that the photographs are anything but a jab at the protestors:

Shooting photos of designer fashion amid the semi-homeless protesters could, at first glance, be taken as a callous “let them eat cake” statement. It’s a fabulous contrast, with the clean-shaven models in their pinstripes next to bearded men in puffy coats and tents. But Vice isn’t mocking Occupy — the title of the story, “American Psychos,” shows that the magazine is leveling its criticism at the people who can afford the clothes it is presenting, just as Bret Easton Ellis did in the book that inspired the shoot’s name. Sending models in suits worth thousands of dollars to occupy Occupy Wall Street verges on performance art.

You can find the rest of the photos in the project over at VICE Magazine.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Billy!

Image credits: Photographs by Ben Ritter/VICE and used with permission

  • ion sokhos

    were these shot with an iphone?

  • Kaitlin Bledsoe

    Agreed with that. Looks like they paid too much attention to the on camera flash -_-

  • Mansgame

    I like the concept but technically the pictures aren’t very good – horizons are not straight, legs are cut off at odd places, etc. Also, as pointed out on reddit, you don’t eat caviar with a metal spoon!

  • Mel

    It may be a “fabulous contrast” but it doesn’t make it any less callous.

  • Jared Monkman

    agreed! Love the concept, dislike the execution

  • iki

    I saw them that day. The photographer was terrified. The models just pretty.

  • Steven Alan

    I think that’s the point. To make them look more editorial and “news worthy” rather than portraiture and “glamorous”. I happen to enjoy them.

  • 9inchnail

    Actually, I don’t think that’s the point. There are enough people wearing suits on Wallstreet, you could just shoot them if you wanted that look. The intention was propably what the title of the article suggests, a fashion shoot with the corresponding look. The photographer failed in getting that look.

  • Gary Ream

    Nice to see occupy is tolerant of Twinks

  • Eziz

    Could’ve been a lot better if Sacha Baron Cohen’s Brune was there

  • jake

    every snapshot from anybodys party has more saying than this bs…

  • John Dunne

    Bad tastes as far as I am concerned.

  • bob cooley

    Agree totally – +1 for concept, fail on execution. This was a missed opportunity; hopefully he’ll take another shot at it (no pun intended)…

  • Mansgame

    Yeah it looks like he just took some snapshots and got the hell out of there!

  • David Thunander

    Wow, so thats what high end means.

  • harumph

    These photos say absolutely nothing. (And they’re obviously lousy photographs.) The reason Occupy is on Wall Street is because Wall Street is already filled with these guys. Bringing in models pretending to be these guys is a meaningless gesture. It expresses nothing that hasn’t already been expressed by reality. Did you see the shots of traders sipping champagne as they looked down at the protests?

  • matt

    photos are really bad.