It was a beautiful thing to see the shift in fashion media from celebrating celebrity style to acknowledging our own. Afterall, celebrities often have stylists and their pick of free clothing from the most prominent designers in the industry. In theory, it’s easy for them to step out and look good. But an everyday woman has a budget and a relatively smaller wardrobe. To see how she can make the pieces in her closet come alive with her imagination alone, is endlessly more fascinating. It was with that belief in mind that street style was born. Photographers began shooting, bloggers began posting and suddenly, street style became a phenomenon to be reckoned with. And just as quickly, it started to take a turn for the worse.
People stepped out in bold, highly-stylized outfits with hopes of landing on the famed Street Style blog, The Sartorialist, a site like Vogue Black or on Essence.com. Instead of a photographer happening upon a stylish person with an effortless and unique look, it seemed as if people were dressing for the sole purpose of being seen and noticed by photographers. The attention seeking reached new heights with the advent of Instagram and Pinterest, where at any given minute, you can see a flood of highly orchestrated style shots with subjects begging to be noticed.
But perhaps the most distressing thing about street style culture is what happens when the cameras stop flashing. Anna Dello Russo, a style icon who has enjoyed a rise to fame and prominence through street style, said she’d be miserable if photographers stopped taking her picture. We’re pretty sure she’s not alone. Street Style has given fashionistas such a vast and adoring audience that dressing for attention is now pretty much commonplace. If they were to lose all that attention, of course there’d be some level of sadness. The thinking goes: If I wear a cute outfit, and no one’s around to take a picture of it, did it even happen?
When you start looking for someone else to validate your style, it’s a recipe for disaster. Sadly, the culture of Street Style has turned into one huge cry for validation.