From the Ground, Up
Over the past month, we have been overloaded with shots from fashion weeks around the globe. But unlike five years ago, an increasing number are not from the dark depths of the shows, which many of us don't get to experience first hand, but from the street outside.
Clusters of photographers flock at the entrances of major shows looking to capture its attendees as they arrive in their assortment of styles. So, why are the snaps of the stylish showgoers starting to making more of an appearance than the shows themselves?
From Vogue to Hypebeast you'll find London, Milan and New York fashion week street style headlines plastered on the home page. For every piece about what the shows have been like, there’s a follow-up article of who's attended and what they have turned up wearing, and occasionally a photo of an unsuspecting passerby who has no idea what is going on.
So why is this? Seeing outfits on the street gives us the sense of accessibility and relatability. Because really, how many of us can relate to one of those models walking down the runway? We are looking at the influencer, the ones whose lives we follow every day on social media, who give us a true insight into their reality without donning the rose-tinted sunglasses of the fashion week world. There increasingly needs to be an element of real life injected into the shows to bring back the attention of the wider audience.
We've seen it all too many times— tall, slim models walking around in an over the top looking collection, styled in a way none of us would be able to wear in our everyday lives. Seriously though, how many of us are looking for a jumper with sleeves dragging along the floor behind us, waiting to get trapped under the wheel of a trolley on the weekly shop in Tesco? As much as these collections are incredibly beautiful, they aren’t practical, and as consumers, we want something that is stylish, but still able to be worn every day.
Yet street style ticks all the boxes that the runways do not.
Relatability, practicality and accessibility, when you compare street style to the collections you see on the runways, street style comes up as remarkably more approachable. You don't need a fancy invitation to be a part of it. It's all about waking up and doing your own thing, and you could find yourself an Instagram style icon by the time the show has ended.
It has developed, moved with the times but still resourcefully taking from the past. It's something that differs from city to city and person to person, as it's what you individually bring to the street.
The street style take over isn’t just about those who show up in their carefully curated outfits, but those who document them; the ones who are posting the images to multiple websites. The photographers, some are looking for the shot that could make themselves a fashion week star and others are highly respected figures in this whirlwind industry. Bill Cunningham is one of those highly respected figures.
A New York Times photographer who famously cycled around New York with his trusted camera and blue workers jacket, snapping photos of anything that caught his eye around the city. Bill started his work during the 70’s and continued for the most of his life. He had famously quoted ‘The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been and always will be.’ Today we see hundreds of street style photographers trawling the streets for the next internet breaking look, aiming to build a legacy at the status of Bill Cunninghams.
Fashion is from the street and we want to welcome it home.
Written by Otis Anderson otis_anderso