Not that street style ever exited or became irrelevant. But the return of street style with a side of personal touch has made it interesting again – at least for my own viewing pleasure – the less runway version of it. It’s only natural that if fashion is cyclical, those who wear the clothes go through similar motions. So here’s my hypothesis of what happened, and it’s unscientific and purely out of observation down memory lane:
In the late 2008 it was the birth of style blogs; in other words, self-focused photography with the lens pointing inward, which shed light on the fact that it wasn’t just editors who had an opinion on fashion (bryanboy, fashiontoast, stylebykling, etc.,) and fashion mood boards (lefashion & oldens anonymous) were my go to source for inspirations. And meanwhile civilians with an eye and a camera realized that people on the street dressed pretty cool too. That fashion was happening off the runway — and it wasn’t all designer or all the latest trends (the sartorialist, jak & jil, streetpeeper). Much like the blogs, it was personal, and then these guys made blogs too.
And as of 2011 to-date Fashion Week became a playground for all, from personal style bloggers, street style photographers and notoriously well-dressed editors clashed, so much so that it became more of a competition. Everyone trying to outdo one another in outfits. Industry veterans, fashion outsiders and myself alike missed the way things used to be, and who could blame them: the fact that outrageous style, “who-the-hell-would-actually-wear-that-style” became the front-and-center of attention meant that personal street style eventually became a hoax.
And in between (as to retaliate so to speak) in 2013 normcore happened. Everyone had had it, myself included. To hell with puffy floral skirts. To hell with trying, because trying meant trying too hard (right?). Sneakers and high-waisted Levi’s jeans à la Seinfeld made a short-lived glory moment.
Fast forward to the most recent New York Fashion Week (week of February 11th, 2016) that just passed us a couple of weeks ago. When observing the attendees I noticed subtle hints of authenticity to people’s outfits once again. Firstly, the weather was weirdly warm (not complaining). But maybe Mother Nature was giving us a pass, a sort of last attempt to get us to put in some effort and let normcore be bygones. Or maybe this whole shift in crazy weather has made us stop overcomplicating everything and forced us to look into our actual closets.
The oversized coats, but not for the sake of the shot, but to layer in case of a snow blizzard or drop in temperature. We even busted out knits because suddenly they’re cool again and who doesn’t love a good find? Good jeans in all shapes and sizes and not because they’re purposely normcore. And shoes in heels or flats because Eureka! We realized comfort comes first. The occasional logos because we like to acknowledge where credit is due. Just like that our outfits were blending into the background instead. And people were dressing in a way that makes us happy and feel bold and confident, because that is the noticeably trending concept this season.
What I personally wore to one of the shows. Yes IRL. I think street style finally got its groove back and we can be ourselves once again.
SHOP MY LOOK: