Note: This piece was first published in May 2020.
Words & photography by Carl van der Linde
I’m a photographer from Cape Town, South Africa. I find great interest in portrait, fashion and documentary style photography – often incorporating friends, strangers and fellow travellers as my subjects. I also choose to use film exclusively to shoot on, as its the format that I started on and fell in love with. I live my life as nomadically as possible, making it more likely for me to meet and create with people from all over the world.
The ‘Sao Paulo Fashion Book’ project showcases various subjects in my travels to Sao Paulo – from friends and models to people on the streets, artists and music producers. The aim is to tell the story of Sao Paulo (Paulista) culture, a Brazillian subculture that can only be described in a plethora of images. It’s a space where the lines between gender and sexuality are very much blurred and for a couple of days during Carnival, the whole city turns into a giant middle finger towards the Brazillian fascist government. Sao Paulo offers great cityscape backdrops with pastel tones and brutalist buildings. The people are friendly and proud, with absurdly great style – I hoped to have captured and showcased this best possible.
I reached out to my dear friend, Romy Ortega, who manages numerous electronic music artists in Sao Paulo and also serves as my unofficial guide to the streets of the city. We decided to collaborate on telling the Carnival story through the eyes of Paulista’s. I stayed with her and her family and was warmly welcomed to the Ortega family and their many dogs. Navigating the Streets of Sao Paulo during carnival is hard, especial trying to squeeze through crowds at “Bloco’s” or travelling street parties, with my camera gear. The other challenge was that it was pouring tropical rain every afternoon over the giant crowds of people. Romy also served as a subject and muse during my stays with her, her family and her friends.
I met Paolla di Monica and Clara, her roommate, 2 hours before Paolla’s flight to Paris for fashion week. She is a model from Sao Paulo and agreed to have me shoot a few photos before her flight. She has amazing tattoos, beautiful orange hair and great Gucci-esque style. I ended up connecting with Clara and she managed to arrange for us to shoot with local music producer Diamante (easily recognised by his style, attitude and tattoos), with his wife Kerolyn, muse Merry Jenny and baby Shine. Clara styled them in her very own Fauve label, a Sao Paulo based streetwear brand of which she is the main creator and designer.
The ‘Sao Paulo Fashion Book’ is an ongoing photography project and is shot on film exclusively.
Carl van der Linde on Instagram www.carlvanderlinde.com
I would like to credit Romy Ortega for putting me in touch with my subjects and showing me around the city. She is my unofficial guide to Sao Paulo (@romyzeta). The editorial with music producer and artist Diamante (@diamante), his wife Kerolyn (@kerolyngeho), muse Jenny (@m4ryjenny) and baby Shine was styled by Clara Pasqualini (@clarapasqualini), owner and designer of Fauve (@fauvebrand). Special thanks to Bernardo Ferraz (@bernardoferazzz) Paolla Di Monica (@paolladimonica) Thays Vita (@thaysvita_) Thay Rodrigues (@thayrodrigs) Livia Ortega (@liviaortega) Karen (@Ka_karecos) and all others that allowed me to document their Carnival experience in 2020.