The #fblchat the other week was all about street style, and it was pretty interesting. The conversation turned to the street styles at fashion shows and whether it was OTT etc. Contentious topic! Anyway, I saw someone tweet that that they thought that people dressing in a boring way at fashion week was an insult to the designers. I thought this was pretty interesting and wanted to put some thoughts about it all into something longer than 140 characters.
For me, the style at fashion weeks is a little complicated. It isn’t like the usual street stylee; peoples’ looks are certainly more conscious and thought about. I tend to be drawn more to everyday street style, because I tend to be more intruiged by the effortlessness of many people’s styling- the way they can put together often very everyday pieces in an unexpected way or how someone can make a bold statement look completely natural. I feel the style outside fashion shows is more trend driven, and often pretty eclectic- the fashion week style pictures that tend to end up on our tumblrs and on blogs tend to have little reference to everyday practicalities, and alot to do with a carefully staged presence, constructed to elicit a reaction. And I can appreciate that- heck, I work with costumes every day, I can enjoy a bit of theatrics in clothes 🙂
But, that doesn’t mean that everyone at the shows has to be the next Susie Bubble or Leandra Medine in order for their presence there to be right, does it? We can’t all manage to put together prints and colours and layers and shapes in the ways that they do! And I think that that is ok. I wouldn’t even try because it isn’t what I wear, and doesn’t represent me. But would that make me boring? Would I be disrespectful of the designers? Would I be less qualified to be interested in fashion? It is easy to declare anyone not wearing the usual busy outfits at fashion weeks to be dull or boring, but I think fashion is more complex than that. As I tried to say on twitter, I think fashion is also about quality and build- a simple outfit with just a top and a bottom, in single colours but made with fabric that has been handmade, or an experimental material, or an item that has been custom made to fit like a dream, or using interesing fabrics and methods, is definitely interesting, even if it looks unimaginative in comparison to someone else’s kaleidoscope of colours. I think it would be ridiculous to say that one style was more respectful or a more appropriate homage to the designers. Fashion can be all about the spectacle yes, but it can also be all about the details. Surely the whole point is that fashion is all encompassing? This snobbery over who wears what and who is qualified to talk fashion or be fashionable is disconcerting to me, not to mention somewhat ridiculous- does it mean Alexander Wang in his simple outfits is less ‘fashion’ than Vivienne Westwood? I often find it funny that many designers wear incredibly simple clothes themselves whilst putting the most complex, intricate and amazing outfits out onto the runway…
I cannot quite make my mind up about the style at fashion shows. I love finding out about new brands and especially new designers that can get exposure attending shows in their own designs in a way that could never happen otherwise. I love seeing new trends being put into action, barely off the runway. I love seeing the myriad of ways that people can express themselves through fashion, and the power that clothing can bring – just read what Anna Dello Russo said of her street style discovery! But I also feel kind of uncomfortable seeing people wearing things they never would wear otherwise, and even more uncomfortable seeing people wearing things they’ve been paid to wear and be photographed in. I don’t like fashion week being just a business opportunity for photographers and attendees alike- surely that takes away from the work of the designers more than anything else?
What do you think? How do you feel about street style and fashion weeks? Do you think it is artificial or a great means of expression? A circus or an homage? I’d love to know