Fashion 2.0 Street Style Talk
Street style has reached peak frenzy whether through blogs like The Sartorialist or street photographers like Bill Cunningham, Instagram #OOTD posters that have reached celebrity status, and designers plying fashionistas with their garments in the hopes of having their latest designs snapped and in a magazine style section. We admit to taking part in this runaway train of a movement, Instagram stalking our favorite fashionistas for style inspiration in our own closets.
It was in pursuit of discussing further how this phenomenon is impacting the fashion industry that took us to The Drake Hotel for a talk with Stefania Yarhi of Textstyles.ca. The first in a series of fashion talks, this Fashion 2.0 chat featured panelists Gracie Carroll (GracieCarroll.com), Randi Bergman (Digital Editor of FASHION Magazine), and Stephanie Mark (The Coveteur).
The intimate space was full of industry professionals from the media – bloggers, PR reps, and even a past Vogue employee whose life sounds so fascinating that we think a film should be made about his life.
For two hours we discussed our opinions on street style and how it was affecting the industry, if it was on the move out, and how the industry is changing.
Street style photography was initially a device used by trend forecasting scouts. They would pound the pavement taking snaps of people’s style at a time when asking someone for their photo was more difficult than in this digital-driven age. Images would be catalogued and compiled, trends would be determined, and the inspiration derived from those early images would translate into a designer’s collection 3 years later.
Now street style photography has become a public obsession. With social platforms like Tumblr and now the extremely popular Instagram, everyone is posting their style shots. #OOTD posters are gaining celebrity status from their slews of followers. Magazines are adopting street style sections in their digital and print publications due to the demand for these types of images. We look to these street style snaps to see how to put our outfits together, what to do with that tricky statement piece, and for inspiration.
The joy of street style is its ability to show us how fashion works in the real world on actual people’s bodies mixed with high and low wares. Stefania Yarhi describes these images as being like catnip, something we simply can’t get enough of.
While having an alternative to stylized editorials that don’t necessarily reflect the average person is wonderful, street style is also starting to create burn-out in the industry.
The fashion industry is all over Instagram, using the device as a simple means of sharing the hottest styles and creating mood boards of what gets our crank going. With this onslaught of imagery, designers have jumped on board and begun placing their products on those who will be sure to be snapped or Instagrammers with large followings. Stephanie Mark referenced a recent Stan Smith’s sneaker purchase that was largely in part to street style snaps she was seeing on-line. Designers have realized what a strong marketing tool this medium provides in getting people to buy their products.
Given this over-saturation, is street style losing its authenticity?
There is more pressure for those in the industry to achieve a certain look at events. Photographers outside of Fashion Weeks around the world have taken on the aggressive frenzy of paparazzi. Fashionistas go out of their way to attend Fashion Weeks, lurking in wait and casually taking poses in stances that are beloved by photographers. Trend-setting is starting to be less of a focus than wearing the latest, hippest garments. “Peacocking” is much more prominent.
So what is next for street style? How will this industry medium be reinvented? Has it reached its zenith? What do you think?
Stay tuned for the next Fashion 2.0 talk at the Drake Hotel with Stefania Yarhi on July 6. The next talk will be on E-Commerce.