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Work / Photography

David Williams photographs the vivacious style of Mexico’s Pachucos and Pachucas

While scrolling through Instagram a couple of weeks ago the high flash and high colour photography of David Williams caught our eye as he took over The New Yorker’s account.

From commissioned work for the election night in New York, to personal work such as Men With Cats and documenting Ancient Society of York Florists, David’s work adds a glossy sheen to photographs and is a style he has made his own.

A project David shared with us is Pachucos in Mexico City a recent personal endeavour that displays the photographer’s technique “where I basically obsess about a subject and find a way to make it happen,” and with results like this, it’s an approach that is clearly working.

“Pachucos became a subculture in the 1930s and 40s in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, before eventually catching on through popular culture in Los Angeles,” David tells It’s Nice That. “The Chicanos and Mexican Americans are associated with colourful zoot suits, street gangs and nightlife, maintaining a flamboyant playboy attitude.”

Brilliantly, the Mexican women didn’t let the men have all the style: “Pachuca’s are the female counterpart who broke cultural stereotypes by wearing men’s style pants and appearing in public with their Pachuco boyfriends.” The master of this style is “José De La Rosa the Pachuco leader in Mexico City who is inspired by his 90 year old father who lived as a Pachuco in the 1940s. José dresses as Pachuco every day because it his life and part of his family heritage. He owns 63 custom made zoot suits, many are replicas of the suits his father owned,” explains the photographer.

David captures this culture with his signature vibrancy and considered in composition. Partners in matching suits, characters against vibrant graffiti, tiny details are zoomed in upon and chucklesome posing stances are all featured to make a coherent, vivacious series.

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City

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David Williams: Pachucos in Mexico City