Friday, December 7, 2012

Street Style: Because in kindergarden they taught us to ask questions

Street style blogging is a phenomenon that has emerged in the fashion industry in the past few years. It started out as something super accessible because anyone could take their camera and their style eye out on the street and capture interesting people wearing interesting clothes. People loved them because it was much easier to look at a blog online than to pay hundreds of dollars to go to a fashion show and you got to see many different perspectives. Does this however mean that true fashion shows are becoming a thing of the past? Will the industry eventually grow tired of street style? Because it is so popular and is so often being mimicked, is it losing it's authenticity and becoming commercialized?

Faith Cummings stated on the blog entitled Clutch that "The sidewalk has officially become the new runway." Does this mean that the catwalk has met it's demise? Will the fashion show of the future rely solely on your internet connection? It seems to be a popular opinion that street style is much more relevant than couture because it represents what real people are wearing, not what someone is trying to sell to you. We all agree that models are good at looking good but it is so much easier to compare yourself to someone who is much more similar to you; where the goal of looking like them is far more attainable. People say that fashion can be a cultural indicator, does this mean that our culture is being lazy or is it simply growing to become more realistic?

Others may, however, argue that street style is a representation of our modern world's thirst for authenticity. In a society where meat, bags and boobs are fake, have we become desperate for anything genuine? In Ted Polhemus' book, Street Style, he says: "If today more and more people use their dress style to assert: ‘I am authentic,’ it is simply evidence of our hunger for a genuine article in and age which seems to so many to be one of simulation and hype."

It is also being said that because street style has become such a huge phenomenon, it is loosing it's appeal. It is no longer interesting to look interesting if everyone is looking interesting. Because there are so many "wanna-bes" in the fashion industry that want their five minutes of fame, it is becoming harder for any kind of authenticity to shine through all the fakes. Michelle Marques once said that "Street style begins as an innovative until it 'bubbles-up into mainstream, becomes sanitized, and loses its subversive edge."

Fashion watchers also argue that street style has lost its indie edge and is turning into something completely commercialized. Blogger, Lauren Tracey, stated that, "...bloggers can be paid upwards of $2000 per appearance at events where they will be photographed, wearing the clothes and accessories that designers supply them with. It is here that a boundary has been surpassed." This, to me, completely defies the entire purpose of street style. It is supposed to be about what real people want to wear, let it be vintage or designer, it should represent a genuine perspective not a sum of money. 

Another popular opinion is that street style is as relevant as ever. Shannon Weissburg posted on the blog, The Quad, that; " In recent years, however, designers have become more and more inspired by street fashion, bringing that inspiration to the runways." If designers are being inspired by people on the street, and people on the street are being inspired by designers, then this creates massive, global network of creativity. I simply cannot begin to fathom anything more amazing. 

At the risk of sounding like a crotchety old man; the world is forever evolving. We must evolve along with it in order to be able to explore brand new ideas. However, we must always remember to remain true to ourselves and remain true to what is genuine.


  1. agreed! honestly, street style inspires me to look better- it makes style a lot more accessible imo. however, i also like traditional fashion shows simply cause they're crazyyy <3