Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weighing in on the Street Style Debate

Garage magazine just came out with a documentary short about fashion bloggers and street style stars that has really lit a fire under the debate about their legitimacy and the rising trend of "peacocking" that goes on outside of Fashion Week shows (when you watch the video try not to laugh when Anna Dello Russo walks in sharp, repeated mini-circles while getting photographed by Tommy Ton - I just keep picturing her head on a peacock's body, it's a gif begging to be made).

While I think that street style started in a genuine place, I have to agree with Tim Blanks that it has definitely created some "monsters." I was on Instagram the other day and Rebecca Minkoff had posted yet another picture of Leandra Medine, a.k.a. "ManRepeller" and people were sounding off in the comments:

@priscillamanon: I saw that exact coat at my local thrift store!
@stylephotos: Lord no
@breroz: I thought this was a homeless person at first!

After those 3 consecutive comments Leandra herself wrote back "you guys are really, really mean." Listen, if you're going to get famous off of the public, then you can't get mad at them when they don't like something you do. Fashion is a critical industry and if you were able to become famous by taking the fast track then I think that it's only fair that you are subject to even more criticism than the normal designer/model. (Also, ManRepeller just published a book of essays, as a writer I find this as offensive as James Franco being published by Graywolf Press, but that's a different argument).

I used to really like Kelly Framel, aka The Glamourai. I remember stumbling across her blog and thinking, "that's cool, Silver from 90210 is doing a blog," until I realized that they were 2 different people. I liked the way Kelly styled her outfits and she seemed accessible. Now it's all professional photographs of her sipping Veuve Clicquot at sponsored events and I find myself rolling my eyes at times thinking, we get it, you're fabulous, your life is awesome, bully for you! I accept that the entire concept of blogging is always self-indulgent on some level, but I think there's a line that's crossed with the blogger becomes subject and is tooting their own horn louder than their readers.

Personally, I'm over this TMI culture - if Facebook and reality TV ceased to exist, I would be totally okay with that (I'm not willing to give up Twitter and Instagram just yet, but I do think they should start banning certain people from having an account -- ahem, Kim Kardashian). I have plenty of reality in my own life - give me fiction! Give me fantasy! If I'm going to get the truth I'm okay with getting it solely from experts who have the life experience and/or degrees to back their opinions!

If only everyone could be more like Ari Seth Cohen and the women of Advanced Style; I don't think there's a more genuine street style blog out there and those are the type of women I aspire to be, not these wannabe models who are the subject and purveyors of this kind of "street style."
Or maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have anyone to take pictures of me and all of my style shots are of the dreaded "selfie" variety (see below).

Rant over.

Bloggers note: Shout out to Atlantic-Pacific and Extra Petite for keeping their personal style blogs accessible and helpful. Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific is great about showing readers how to rewear an item in a completely different way and she also lets readers know when an item she features in an outfit is older, but offers suggestions on where to buy similar items in the current season. Jean of Extra Petite is all about sharing helpful hints about everything from tailoring clothes for a petite frame to how prevent "pitting out," as my sisters and I would say. While neither blogger is exactly revolutionary, they have the type of fun, feminine, put-together and timeless style that I admire.

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