Saint Laurent, Manrepeller and Scott Schuman walk into a bar, out walks street style. There’s a reason we see street style artfully captured in photos but not so much on our every day journey to work: it’s just for show. Now I’m not calling anyone a liar here, it candidly used to exist. But there comes a point when anyone in the industry has to admit Fashion Week has become three parts dressing for the cameras and one part dressing for yourself.
Street style has always existed. People have forever been fashionable, but documenting it became more of an art form in the 1950’s. Photographers like Bill Cunningham took to the streets to hunt individuals with a keen and original sense of style. But nowadays with everyone dressing like a hyped up Instagram feed, it’s hard to say where the future of street style is going.
Having reached critical mass, the idea of dressing for yourself to attend Fashion Week seems like a crime. The pressure has gotten me for the last two seasons and I swore it wouldn’t get me for the third. But what happened? Day 1: Myself, and by Day 5, back to what I was pressured into wearing what I felt like I should be wearing.
I’ve heard our co-founder Marta talk of it time and time again, the dread of dressing for Fashion Week. As we text back and forth the classic “what are you wearing”, we both agree the topics getting a little stale. Always done to the nines and a Fashion Week Veteran, Marta shows up looking perfectly herself. On the amateur side, season after season I try to find my happy medium. As someone who aspires to dress like a lazy Olsen Twin on a black bender, arriving in a ripped tee, rip-off Stella McCartney and three-year aged Citizens isn’t exactly a camera catcher – but at least I’m me.
All fashioned up, I marched forward on the last day to meet with our Photographer Arnold Lan. He greeted me with a smile and a hug.
“Prepare for the mob,” he tirelessly declares.
Sure enough, as he had me stand for the shot the band of photographers stalking the courtyard flashed their thirsty lenses repetitively. Now I am worthy. Street style is now no more capturing the sophisticates of everyday life, but a curation of the perfect picture regardless of the authenticity of its subject.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience to have an event to get dressed up for. But let me ask you; has dressing fashionably become trendy? Street style came from grassroots and mainstream fashion often appropriates street fashion trends. So who is it that you’re dressing for, and what are you inspired by?
I can conclude that Fashion Week has become much more a spectacle and much less a celebration. But in our everyday lives, are we dressing authentically? Are you being inspired by your muses or just copying them? The next time you look in your closet I suggest you put on what feels right, and not what you think will garner you the most likes on your favoured social platform, because you might just be refresh by how original you really are!
Video and Images by Arnold Lan