TAKE MY PICTURE: The Street Style Phenomenon

A closer look on the phenomenon that is street style photography, along with a short but insightful documentary by GARAGE Magazine.

If you plan to walk the streets of any major fashion capital – New York, London, Paris, Milan – on Fashion Week, you better brace yourself for the sheer mayhem and pandemonium that you will encounter. Why? Because from an outsiders point of view, that is most probably definitely what you will see.

Imagine a handful of eccentrically-/impeccably-dressed individuals walking around and surrounded by a large flock of photographers. It’s crazy and overwhelming, and you would think for a second that the show has already started. (It hasn’t.)

And that’s not counting that other group of eccentrically-/impeccably-dressed individuals that you will see a few meters away, taking seemingly-gratuitous photos of themselves and of each other.

What’s all the fuss about? What’s with the ruckus?

That, my friends, is the phenomenon that is street style photography.

Since time immemorial, the world of fashion has always been linked to the world of photography. It’s a long-standing romance where millions and millions of people have gotten a benefit of. While this benefit comes in a single form (photographs), it comes from a number of different reasons:

For the designers and the magazine editors, the photographs are a tool to help dictate the trend. For the photographers and the models, it is art and expression. For the regular man/woman from the street, it is a door to another world – a world of glamour and excitement that they don’t see every day.

Heralded by the legendary New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham and followed by the rise of popular websites like The Sartorialist, street style photography has managed to bridge the gap between the normal real world and the dizzying world of fashion. As they are shot in a street-setting – something casual and every day, and not as daunting as a studio set-up — it has encouraged the idea that everybody can be a part of the industry.

Photo from onlinemoveshut and The Sartorialist

However, what has started as a celebration of beauty and aesthetics in the everyday set-up, street style photography has managed to grow into a nearly uncontrollable rate in the past few years. In fact, GARAGE Magazine has made a short documentary observing this phenomenon.

“As we started to review the footage, two salient trends became apparent: fashion editors frustrated by the ensuing commotion outside of shows, and the rise of “peacocking” street style stars as a result of the proliferation of blogs. This film examines these themes from both perspectives."

Frankly, it is quite unknown if this trend will stop anytime soon. With the vastness that is the Internet and the fact that both photography gear and high-end fashion are now readily accessible to the masses, it is quite possible for everyone — and I mean everyone — to get their 15-minutes of fashion fame.

And if by any chance that the street style phenomenon is here to stay, then we better hold on to our seats because as fickle and as short the attention span of fashion is, then we are in for a wild ride.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” — William Shakespeare

written by geegraphy on 2013-03-18 in #news #bill-cunningham #phenomenon #take-my-picture #photojournalism #fashion #trends #street-style-photography #the-sartorialist

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