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The art of getting dressed

Garment moment: Charlie Porter photographed at home, wearing a jacket by designer Craig Green. Photograph: Toby Coulson/The Observer
Do artists have a more liberated attitude to clothes? Fashion journalist Charlie Porter talks about his fascination with what painters, sculptors and photographers choose to wear to work in the studio
The fashion writer Charlie Porter has always been a compulsive reader of the language of clothes, his eye drawn irresistibly to the colour of a stranger’s coat; to the cut of their suit or the logo on their trainers. “I think everyone’s a bit like that,” he says. “We all do it, all the time. Clothes are information. A policeman’s uniform tells you what he does. If you feel threatened or out of place, it’s often clothing that gives you this sense first. But because I’ve worked in fashion, I suppose I’m particularly attuned to it.” Is the sartorial ticker tape in his head a bit exhausting sometimes? “Not exactly.” He laughs. “But the pandemic has given me quite a nice rest from it.”