Street Style Feels Authentic Again

During a MR slack conversation going on earlier this week, a member of our business development team mentioned that she felt like street style was becoming real again, like it was in the beginning. It was interesting to hear such a pointed perspective from a woman who has, for as long as I’ve known her, shown little interest in the nuances that distinguish one fashion week from another.

When you eat, breathe and sleep this industry, noting the changes, no matter how subtle they are, is part of the job. But if you’re a spectator and don’t necessarily participate beyond just watching from a distance, to say that street style seems “real” might sound gravely untrue.

Because the circus is still very much intact: there are sequins, there is ambitious head gear. The color in some cases is still brighter than day, unseasonal looks still shine where the sun does not and on the opposite side, some silhouettes will still make you fall asleep from just looking at them. Yet there is a vital difference that separates the hoopla of today from that of yesterday’s. It’s the difference between being genuine and contrived.

If three years ago, you saw a woman in a skirt that could be mistaken for a beach hut in Hawaii, it was probable that this skirt was part of a larger ploy to get photographed — her facilitating the creation of a submarket of content to release during fashion week. But when you see those kinds of looks on display today, they don’t seem as out of place; the daring dressers still dare, the white jeans and blazer-wearers still whisper. Anna dello Russo has always been Anna.

It’s almost as if the show-goers have become immune to the swath of photographers that litter the streets outside the shows. They’re just there to do their jobs, like everyone else is. And it seems like we are realizing that for them to do their jobs, that is, capture honest-to-God style, all we have to do is be honest. Which makes getting dressed so much easier. And that ease? That’s what started this whole thing in the first place.

All Photographs via Style du Monde. Feature Image by Victor Virgile via Getty Images.


Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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