Friday, 28 February 2014

The Stylish & The Show Offs

1 comment:

Street Style Shots at London Fashion Week

During bi-annual fashion weeks, the Industry's eyes lock on to street style for the latest in styling, trends, and colours. Which subcultures are bubbling through? Which era is having a spot in the limelight? Fifties? Nineties? From articles in newspapers to street style photographers and fashion bloggers, we can't get enough of street style but is it as innocent and glamourous as it seems?

I'd like to begin by stating that I think street style is fascinating. I interned as a street style reporter for fashion forecasting company Stylesight capturing the chic, quirky and absurd at festivals, in fashionable neighbourhoods and at LFW itself. I loved it, but after taking a back seat for a couple of seasons now, I've noticed a phenomena building that I was blind to; I'm going to call it as Peacocking, although I don't think that's quite the correct word, it doesn't hold the entire meaning of what I am referring to. Suzy Menkes refers to the same concept as a 'circus' in a recent article, which you can read here, although I feel that might be a little harsh. The following quote from said article certainly got me thinking:

"There is a genuine difference between the stylish and the showoffs — and that is the current dilemma. If fashion is for everyone, is it fashion?"

The Stylish and the Show Offs. Menkes describes what I've seen outside every show I've been to (I was a photographer's runner for a few seasons, so was outside all of the big shows. Frightfully glamourous, it was not. It was cold, very cold.). The juxtaposition of a clutch of sultry chic women, dressed in monochrome speaking in low voices on their phones against a gaggle of flamboyantly dressed men and women strutting past the groups of photographers willing to be stopped and asked for a photograph.

Street Style Shots at London Fashion Week

In my humble opinion, regardless of the event people should always dress for themselves. Something timeless, stylish, something well loved or dressing around an unusual piece that makes the wearer feel inspired. Those of us dressing for others, or with the intention of being 'papped' end up walking around all day looking and feeling uncomfortable and being gawped at by the general public. This is because it all appears fake, and outfits end up looking anything but effortless.

Fashion lovers are all to much being force fed images of eccentrically dress folk, who they are led to believe are the elite of the Industry. There seems to be an unwritten rule that once papped in something, it is impossible be seen in it again. A huge waste of money and resources. What's worse if that through street style many are trying to recreate these environmentally unfriendly looks, and spreading this waste farther, not to mention breeding an attitude of throwaway fashion.

Street Style Shots at London Fashion Week

The Industry is making mannequins of these men and women by 'gifting' or 'lending' them outrageous items with the hope that the item will be worn to a show and thus being photograph repeatedly. Nothing wrong with that, if everyone was aware of who at fashion week has become a walking advert. It is vital to remember that businesses pay a lot of money to get advertising space in Vogue, for instance, but getting high price point products into an issue or on the website via street style in fashion week is free and so carries priceless promotional value. I don't think it is fair to promote this glamourous lifestyle to the masses when a vast majority of it is fake. Bloggers and Vloggers have disclaimers about sponsorship and gifting on their websites and profiles but this is never made clear via street style shots. Sadly it impossible to keep track of with the speed of it all.

Being aware of the commercial value of street style is important for the general public and fashion community. However, I also want to point out that street style does have a time and place. There are hundreds of beautiful images shot at fashion week giving a great insight into global trends, as well as similarities and differences across the fashion capitals of the world. It's definitely an art form and as a result many love putting these kinds of fashion relevant images onto blogs, tumblrs and moodboards for inspiration. No doubt this will continue for the foreseeable future because so many of these images truly are inspiring. 

What do you think, is fashion week becoming a circus or is this type of dressing true to a modern fashion society? Are you on the stylish side of the street or hoping not to be rejected by the photographers with the fashionistas?

1 comment:

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