Jeremy Kost’s foray into photography began—as so many things do—by happenstance. And, like many a shutterbug before him, Kost quickly realized the social utility afforded by his beloved Polaroid. “I took it out one night to The Cock on Avenue A,” he explained, smiling, at Thursday’s press preview for Dress Codes, the culmination of the International Center of Photography’s (ICP) yearlong focus on fashion. “The camera became a reason to interact with people,” he added. Indeed, his snaps led to an interaction with David LaChapelle, who advised Kost to “take it seriously.”
Dress Codes deviates from traditional fashion photography, à la Steichen and Avedon, into decidedly quirky territory. Among the standouts: Cindy Sherman’s series of self-portraits for French Vogue; Thorsten Brinkmann’s images of heads obscured by flower pots and lamp shades; and Kalup Linzy’s SweetBerry Sonnet (Remixed), a video sequence of the artist singing, smoking and frolicking on the beach in semi-drag.