“Street Style Killed the Personal Style!”
(this phrase should be read while humming the song “Video Killed the Radio Star”)
This statement is obviously absolutely personal and it’s the result of weeks and weeks of not feeling inspired with anything I see online and questioning myself about the motive for that. I used to resort to my trusty Pinterest in these uninspired moments and I always found some street style photo that felt refreshing and satisfied that need. Now not a single picture on my feed feels exciting, new, unexpected and ultimately alluring. They don’t spark any emotions or new ideas for looks and new styles. That’s what street style photography was all about, inspiring my personal style through other people’s style. These pictures that started showing up about seven years ago with photographers like Scott Shuman, Phil Oh, Tommy Ton and so on, used to feel personal. Their style felt genuine, not some edited version of what some fashion gurus felt we should be wearing. We looked at those pictures and we saw different points of view and perspective on style, you saw the girl that was clearly inspired by her cultural background, her music references or dramatic runway looks. There were as many different styles as people photographed. Now that’s not the case.
Now people that are photographed on fashion weeks around the world get dressed in the “street style blogger uniform”. They seem to have neglected their own personal style and dived into what Who What Wear tells them are the most worn styles and trends. What you end up seeing is every girl wearing the same Gucci logo t-shirt, the same loafers, the same logo belt and distressed jeans hemlines (guilty of wanting all of this). Personal style is dead in most pictures I see. There have always been trends and clothes that standout every season and if you follow fashion you almost unconsciously turn to those references but somehow before the street style epidemic you used to still be able to see different points of view, different ways to sport that Gucci whatever.
For a few months I’ve been imposing myself some restrictions just to ensure that I’m not falling in this “blogger uniform” trap. I try to avoid going for what everybody is going. I choose to not know what these online fashion websites are saying about what you should be wearing if you like to be perceived as a fashionista. That’s a way to avoid getting tainted by their opinions and style rules. I only want to be perceived as myself. I believe that some girls unfortunately feel they have to adopt the blogger uniform to legitimize their presence as fashion bloggers or connoisseurs and that is worrying. We could get even deeper and think about how this probably entails a deep lack of self-confidence and self-knowledge but let’s leave that for another day.
Sometimes I’ve been able to recognize that I have no place wearing that particular trend because it has nothing to do with me and I don’t feel comfortable wearing it. Other times this isn’t so easy, I fall in the trap and buy that item that ends up on the back of my closet collecting dust. So my answer to the quest of discovering and protecting my personal style is simply trusting my basic instincts. I start by rejecting predictable blogger choices unless they feel so absolutly exciting that I day dream of myself wearing that Gucci t-shirt or whatever. I only go for it if my emotional response to that trend is so strong that I can’t ignore it. In those situations I don’t care if everybody is using that same thing in that same way because I know that my choice was true to myself.
I’ve also embraced simplicity and boringness (did I just create this word? Maybe.) with a smile on my face. I wear jeans, sneakers and a simple top 300 days of the year and I do it with the same easiness that I put on a big pink fur coat with a sequined bomber underneath. Loving fashion and working in this field does not mean that I have to succumb to peoples expectations of what a fashion lover dresses like. That’s what most bloggers outhere are doing and in the process of denying their personal style (a.k.a denying themselves) they are consequently taking the fun out of street style.
When I looked at street style pictures I felt inspired because they used to be liberating, if that girl dresses like that then why can’t I dress the way I want to. That understanding is what was most inspiring about all of this, that permission to be yourself. Now we’ve lost that freedom, now we look at the pictures and mimic their style that isn’t actually theirs in the first place. No one is being true to themselves. Street style photography should be the ultimate celebration of individuality and it has become the demise of it.
Again, this is what I personally take from this evolution, it doesn’t mean that you feel the same way bu if you do let me know.