LCF journalist Sarah Thomas explores the ever-growing importance of street style at Fashion Week.
Fashion Month always “breaks the internet”. Instagram and Twitter feeds are inundated with runway snaps and pics of bloggers donning the most coveted designer threads. It is perhaps one of the most exciting elements of fashion.
Yet, more frequently, the anticipation of street attire outside the show is becoming more influential than the runway itself. Journalists, socialites and bloggers work their own catwalk, with inspiring wardrobes more attractive for daily life.
Whether it is an eccentric style mix or the preened chic aesthetic, photographers burst into a frenzy at every show, aiming for the best of the street style stars. Vogue UK dedicates features praising their successes. Yet, interestingly their sister title Vogue US dubbed the blogger stars of the streets as “pathetic” advising that they “find another business”. The controversial Vogue article was met with criticism, as renowned bloggers like Susie Bubble and Bryan Boy defended their industry – including their millions of followers who Tweeted in angered response.
The underlying message here seems to be that Vogue US feels threatened by bloggers and influencers alike on the streets and the front row. The idea that independent street style stars have a growing authority on purchases must trouble the Vogue editors.
But there is a case to say that it is street style that makes Fashion Week a success. From the outlandish to the chic, the pre-show buzz that occurs outside creates hype and makes Fashion Week more than just an event for industry insiders. These bloggers and sartorial characters open up the once exclusive fashion sphere to a global market.
Founder of fashion blog Man Repeller, Leandra Medine has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, all waiting to see her next outfit. It is this friendlier and more carefree approach which is inspiring industry outsiders, bringing a welcoming element to fashion, rather than a V.I.P only editors front row.
It is true then that street style is incredibly relevant for the future of fashion. While the pure glamour and extravagant staging of a real runway could never be underestimated, the catwalk and street style are inspiring each other. This mix of the new and the old; the glamour and the accessible; and the DIY vs the establishment is what keeps fashion interesting and the sooner the Vogue US editors admit this the better it will be for the industry.