Street style has been under a lot of pressure lately. Enduring conspicuous yet uncannily kosher criticism, a lingering feeling of nervous dubiousness has been palpable amongst fashion vanguards – from highest ranked editors to the digital influencers and their entourage alike. This seemingly banal notion of ‘What to pack?’ for the notorious month-long carrousel has been hanging in the air for a while now. The question echoes a feeling of Damocles’ sword, or the ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t‘ situation, where if choosing to opt for a deliberately flaunting approach one is certain to face eye-rolling and criticism, yet too casual dressing is deemed as a ‘boring lack of effort’. Thus the discernibly blunt question of ‘What to pack?’ – playing on the ignorance of the fashion stereotype and seemingly eschewing all the responsibility of current social and cultural affairs as solely the notion of what to wear preoccupies one mind– became the one of identity- or the lack of. Contemplating over the semantics of dressing over the last months led to the inevitable question of what makes for the winning outfit: the one that allows for acknowledgment of fellow colleagues but still captures the cunning eye of a street-style photographer. The exquisitely artistic intricacy with which certain showgoers mastered the unorthodox mix of this and that was in truth the digested version of experience and knowledge harvested over years and thus hard to replicate. Not that many didn’t try- yet one was left with a certain feeling of plastic-fantastic- the poised exterior which despite it’s perfection was lacking life and luster, a character and authenticity that the human element imbues. It was a question of identity and/or hyperreality.
The street style bubble existed as a paradox to itself: on one hand it was meant to celebrate newness created by pushing boundaries, it also allowed the wearer to explore new style territories under the parole of charming brazenness, the search of the new. On the other hand it prompted a myriad of costumey outfits – what wasn’t lacking in the stylistic perfection was deemed boring due to the lack of character to follow up the exterior affair. Somewhere down the rabbit’s hole of pushing boundaries and the exploration of one own’s identity the sentiment was lost, and along with it the art of dressing. Social media worsened the matter furthermore as it allowed the quantity of the followers to pave the way for many influencers towards the front row. Now, content that resembles a mediocre lifestyle – come-fashiony magazine (as it contained a fashion spread or two) was due to the visible amount of followers and likes prompted to the stellar status,
on the expense of more serious publications which were championing culture rather than cultivating quantity. Yet this season there was a palpably relaxed tone in the air, a sense of apathy seems to have won over the crowd as the fashion system is pacing full speed ahead into an oversaturation of senses that won’t end well. It seems that the mixture of I-really-don’t-care- attitude and a lack of boundaries (one might argue that there isn’t such thing as good/bad taste anymore) has turned out for the best. There was a fresh sense of intrigue intertwined with the stingy winter air of New York as showgoers looked profoundly surprised by the coincidental innovativeness that harvested from the deluging. In a way it seems like the system went through a maturing process and has finally settled for an equilibrium that has planted a seed of newfound enthusiasm. Only time will tell if streetstyle will endure.