IS FASHION WEEK REALLY ABOUT PERSONAL STYLE?
In reality, I slept my way through most of last weekend, a post Mercedes Benz Fashion Week haze that in truth I'm only now coming out of... but between the countless hours of shut eye, I did manage to read and comment on a Fashion Journal article that got me thinking.
Is street style too fake to be relevant?... the question asked.
The answer, [or at least in my own opinion] it is completely dependant on where you are looking and what you consider 'relevant'.
Street style, originally the documentation of everyday people wearing clothes on the street became the main visual for the early influencers. An obvious partnership that saw everyday girls in street style imagery influencing audiences with their 'inspirational' lives... in the days before this space was about sponsorships and product placement.
Now, only some four years later there are 202,000,000 results for street style on google and 28,778,180 posts using the #streetstyle tag on Instagram, not to mention all the varying searchable options. It is an overused aesthetic [yes... I know, what am I saying] that has definitely also become an opportunity to sell 'stuff'... and of course fashion week is the mecca.
For me, I think it all comes down to your source of imagery [inserting link to Vogue gallery, which I worked bloody hard for and am super proud of] and why you are looking at it. At fashion week there are now hundreds of photographers shooting street style and no one person can or should shoot everything. What we [as street fashion photographers] do is edit moments from the crowd of people attending, showcasing what we personally think is interesting and/or relevant to what is happening at that time or event. If we look back at these galleries from a historical perspective [imagining 10 years from now], the brands will fall away [just like they do on our Pinterest boards] and the colours, shapes, styles, combinations and details of the clothes we are wearing today will be relevant regardless of whether they were sponsored or not... because the fact that this is a new shape of advertising in our current time is really no different from the age old subliminal advertising that has been practiced for centuries - think movies, tv, video clips, personalities [from news readers, to politicians] and it girls of yesteryear.
Is it relevant to our current times? Well, that all depends on what you mean by relevant... do you mean as a documentation of who attended and what they chose to wear to these events? Do you mean as a relevant source of inspiration? Or even relevant to our ideas of personal style?
Let's get something straight, fashion week is not really about personal style. Sponsored or not sponsored, fashion week is an opportunity for people to celebrate fashion in all it's glory. An opportunity to wear outfits that you may never wear on the street, to your office or your day job. It may speak to one side of your style, but on the other hand I think [as I sit here with no makeup on, my 3 day old hair slicked back into a ponytail, in a men's XXL black sweater, skinny jeans, and vans - clearly a picture of inspiration :-)] that it's on the days we think no one is looking, that we show our true colours... and our true sense of personal style. Not at a fashion week, which is a highly publicized event, put on to showcase and support designers within the Australian fashion industry.
Ok, so second, is it a relevant source of inspiration?? Well my friends, that is all in your own opinions.
I will lastly point out, which is also in the comment I made on the 'Is street style too fake to be relevant' post, that Influencers are a serious minority when it comes to fashion week and if your a photographer who gets caught up in the prancing around that some of them do, then you definitely need a lot more practice. Models, Stylists, Buyers, Photographers, Journalists, Magazine teams and other industry people are THE MOST INTERESTING people to photograph at fashion week. They wear clothes in unique ways, because they have dedicated their lives to fashion and actually have jobs to do.
Here are a few of my favourite moments that showcase the industry people at fashion week. xxx