A quick stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard yields sensory overload: lights, sounds, music, dare I say smells…? But for me, perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the Strip is the use of personal style to send a message to the world. No where else can you dress in costume 365 days of the year. Visitors to Las Vegas have the unique opportunity to be whoever they want to be, because after all, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” If that means spending a weekend dressed as Marilyn Monroe or rockin’ your flashiest duds (which would be in no way acceptable back home, wherever that is), you are free to do so. And guests take full advantage of this freedom and anonymity. Using my Nikon D5000, I set out to collect images of interesting and defining dress to show the wide range of style found on the Strip.
There may be a lack of originality of dress when you enter a nightclub here. The standard uniform for “nightlifers” is a fitted mini-dress and sky-high heels for women, while men usually opt for a classic button-down shirt and a snazzy pair of jeans. Club style yields sartorial clones, and I’m not afraid to say that this mindset lacks creativity, class, and visual interest. One can see only so many body parts bursting at the dress seams before falling weary of the whole club look. However, a glance to the streets outside of the nightclubs reveals a kaleidoscope of personal style statements. Here one finds a variety and purpose of dress which defines individuals and separates them from the herd or, on the flip side, binds together clusters of individuals who share similar style tendencies.
In Las Vegas, your outfit is your billboard. What do you want to say? For some, the message is “I’m here to party!” for others, “I am here for a very large and corporate work conference,” or, “I am who I am, and I am ________.” There is a strange and dynamic juxtaposition on Las Vegas Boulevard of zany personal expression and profession-dictated style. Somehow, the blend just… works.