The internet thrives on street style. From The Sartorialist to the regular Wear and Where series by our sisters at Tongue in Chic, it’s a photo form that appeals to our sense of everyday glamour. Street style photography elevates ordinary people to models – at least, for a moment.

But despite the sheer of people snapped all over the world, captured candidly from Paris to Tokyo to New York, street style portraits can be rather predictable. Fashion events often serve as the backdrop, while designer brand names abound. It’s a medium that anticipates a certain affluence.

That’s why it’s refreshing to see the Chow Kit Street Fashion Tumblr, a fantastic collection of street fashion portraits taken in Chow Kit. The photographers are teenagers who live there, and subjects are residents of the neighbourhood too.

It’s a project initiated by Chow Kit Kita, a group which has been working with young people in Chow Kit for the last few years, conducting workshops that empowers them to re-define their neighbourhood in a positive light. Young people are encouraged to reclaim the space through projects like mapping the diverse landmarks in the area, helping to dispel the stereotype of Chow Kit as a dodgy drug den and red light district.

After working with the themes “ethnic and religious diversity” and “food” in the past two years, this year, the theme is fashion. These photos were exhibited as part of Pesta Chow Kit in December, which also involved a tour of the area’s bundle shops and making fashion from recycled objects. You can look at the full selection of photos on the Tumblr.

Ling Low

All photos courtesy of Chow Kit Kita.