An Afterthought

Some Street Style Rhetoric For Your Thinking Pleasure


Herds of decadently dressed women flocked out of the runway venue built into the Calvin Klein office building on 39th Street yesterday. The show had just ended and camera lenses were ready to capture the exodus. While grouped together chit-chatting and admiring each others wears, these women looked flawless. I felt quite confident about my Stella McCartney overalls and Brian Atwood exotic skin sandals but when I came face to face with Anna dello Russo, wearing a neon colored Versace sequined mini-dress and Kenzo sunglasses that screamed nothing short of, “cheers to Fashion!” I couldn’t help feel a smell sense of defeat. Her inherent love and enthusiasm for the industry was evident. She looked like a street style photographer’s wet dream come true.

Once off site, I came upon dello Russo one more time. She looked different now. The luxe air about her previous stance had been reduced to an amalgamation of bright sequins standing on the street amid a sea of black suits and while I still admired what was standing before me, the flurry of businessmen rushing to and from lunch must have surmised the circus was coming to midtown.

I remembered the previous Tuesday when while leaving the Rodarte show, I heard a woman note that the pouring in and pouring out of show-goers pre and post shows have arguably become more entertaining than the shows themselves. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this over the course of the week. I wanted to agree.

Per the above and today’s earlier post, chronicling the slew of outfits I wore through the duration of fashion week, I got to thinking about street style and Wednesday’s New York Times article, teased with the sentiment, “New York Fashion Week Street Style is Often a Billboard for Brands,” on the evolution of its photography. The article diminished what was once the purity of street style and reduced it to what can be best described as another industry marketing ploy.

It was a smart read: interesting, informative and conceivably true. It would be foolish to ignore the vast changes percolating through the landscape. Street style isn’t street-centric anymore, it’s a string of calculated outfitting chronicles that often register contrived. And I’m guilty of it too. There are certainly moments when I put something on and either veto or acknowledge it’s power to instigate a photo-snap. This thinking process speaks strongly to the power of the craft.

And when I find myself wearing snap-appropriate garb? There is an undeniable ego-stroking-rush about standing amid a bike lane by Pier 59, clutching my purse and coyly smiling at an army of click-click-clicks, calling my name and asking me to look over.

It’s addictive, really–you just want to get it right over and over again.

Is that the photographer’s fault though? I don’t think so. I’m not even sure I can properly speak to the other side of the camera’s point of view but I will note that I am always impressed by the blunt nature of Scott Schuman’s rhetoric during interviews about the craft. I read on twitter over fashion week a headline that started “why Scott Schuman won’t photograph the people who want to get shot.”

Initially, it seemed a bit cryptic, maybe even pretentious but when I read the Times story in question, his sentiments held new value. Schuman is trying to preserve the art of his trade; using his influence not to accommodate page views with the inundation of familiar faces in off-the-press ready-to-wear but rather shine light on what is left of the “true indie spirit” of fashion. He’s not feeding whatever addiction may resonate with his subjects–it’s one that may unconsciously force them to feel “camera ready,” and this in itself takes the innocence out of street style.

Yes, looks do tend to feel more manufactured these days but fashion’s purpose, even before purity and even before tapping a true indie spirit, is to inspire and to motivate the thinking process. To recognize artistic value in a different medium and to celebrate it. After all, there is something very powerful to be said about the consistent meteoric rise in popularity of the trade.

Ultimately, what I predict in the coming years is one long string of backlashes–toward the internet, toward technology at large, toward fashion and toward the excessively accessible cues of personal style. To some extent, these all go hand-in-hand. The initial inklings on the fashion front are already bleeding through: the common denominator this runway season has been simplicity, wearability and practicality. An aesthetic that for the first time in a long time seems to champion the notion of the familiar bright sequins that so famously beg an overzealous style snap.

What do you think? Please do share in the comments below.

Above image via Style and The City

Get more Brain Massage ?
  • moiminnie

    I personally think that the internet and the world actually has got a bit overwhelmed with all of these self proclaimed fashionistas. We all want to look stylish and we all want to be praised for it. As for Scott Schuman, I really admire his decision on not taking the photos of posers. That way, as you said, he can preserve at least the bits that are left of spontaneousness and carefreeness and beautifulness (yes, I am aware those are not real words) of the people attending the FWs. The true art is in those unstaged moments. Great post, Leandra, I agree with your perspective.

  • farandwild

    as hard as it is given that in this day age we all have the same group of blogs on our bloglovin feeds, i think it’s so important to celebrate dressing for oneself and to heed your advice from a few posts back and be label blind and wear whatever the fuck you feel like wearing not whatever the fuck scott, tommy, or phil want to shoot. dressing for yourself and not for someone else, what a great idea for a blog…


  • moiminnie

    I just wrote a 500 word comment and somehow it got deleted. Or not posted. I might as well cry now. Anyway, what my point was is that so many people are trying too hard and somewhere down the road they lose themselves, their personality and the spontaneous spirit. I agree with you saying that Scott Schuman is using that technique to preserve the true art and the true colors of the people visiting FWs. Great post, Leandra!

  • effieee

    Who are your sandals from? They’re amaze.

    • balenciaga ss11 boots like duh

  • Hannah

    It seems that you are challenging the ideology of “pics or it didn’t happen.” It’s a post-modern idea (in so many words,) in which if we don’t publicize ourselves- on Facebook, twitter, blogs- the things that we do don’t exist. And fashion follows this. If nobody important sees our outfits, or if nobody photographs them and afterward publishes them, our outfits did theoretically not exist. Then, because we’re always trying to make our outfits known, they seem contrived. Fashion skips the signifier and the signified and goes straight to sign- we say something without saying anything through our outfits, whether we meant to or not. But when you’re trying to say something, when you’re looking to be acknowledged, the outfit becomes a signifier, signified and subsequently a sign. The signifier and the signified take all of the whimsy and magic out of the fashion. We love fashion because it provokes an emotion without our knowing, but when you contrive that emotion, the fashion doesn’t matter anymore. Being known matters.

    • Leandra Medine

      Yes. Pics or it didn’t happen is a brilliant comparison. It speaks to the compulsive instagram updates (which I am guilty of) too

      • Meredith

        I totally agree with what you are saying; however, didn’t we do this instinctively before the Internet? There are some people who dress up on days they will be “seen” (going to work, a party, etc.) and stay in their sweats on days they won’t. There are others who are just going to wear what they like everyday no matter what others think. We have always been communicating something with our clothes. I think it is just amplified by the actual photograph.

        – Meredith

        • Sketch42

          Right, we still do it to some extent. If you wear a great new dress to a party you think is going to be awesome and its not, dont you say “I wasted it”? Or something like that?

      • I used to cringe at all the instagrammers…to be blunt, I talked shit….that is until I received an iPad for a birthday gift, right before I took for for NYFW. Now, I’m a walking contradiction…lol….addicted to instagram…and it was perfect for NYFW to say the least!

  • dc style factory

    i love this post. and part of why i love it is because the whole idea of getting your picture taken for your outfit is so foreign to me and the area i live in. i am a personal stylist/shopper in d.c. for my clients it isn’t about getting your picture snapped, but about feeling put together and good about yourself. yes, there are recognizable cues to personal style and as i get to know a client, i access these cues, depending on their lifestyle, age, body type and likes/dislikes. it may not always be the one-and-only most original, awesome, only-i-thought-of-it thing to wear, but it makes them feel hot. it’s not fashion in the sense that you write about and see about in your world, but it’s boiled down, democratized, made pedestrian. still…as someone on this side of the fence, i can’t help but love that blogs like yours have made fashion accessible to anyone and everyone who likes it and wants it. anyone who wants a piece of that shine — even if it’s only a little of it in a {gag} neon bubble necklace — they can have it. so keep those peacocks strutting and the “circus” going because as a mother of three small children and someone who dresses people part of that sea of suits…i appreciate the glitterati and it inspires me to bring it to people who are not part of that fashion world, but want to be pretty too.

  • gemcerise

    I think the whole thing is unsustainable. So many people spend so much time and money on ‘fashion’ (me included, though I wish I didn’t). And I understand that it can be viewed as an art form, or a way to make someone feel more confident and able to express themselves, but don’t you think that it can get to a point where it may seem self absorbed? And that some of this time and money could be allocated to more ‘important’ avenues/topics/issues etc. It is a bit of an addiction.

    • The Fashion Operation

      You pretty much just embodied everything I wrote about in my post i made today. I am constantly conflicted with my interests in fashion. It’s odd to consider it a hobby because you are basing your hobby around buying ‘stuff’. Its different if its your job, of which I engage in both professionally and for recreation but sometimes it can swallow you and we can forget that fashion can can be totally boiled down to narcissism.
      check me out

  • fashionablecollections

    I love what you said that Scot Schulman was doing, “true indie spirit” of fashion. I found that everyone looked SO dolled up for fashion week and I decided to wear a vintage denim dress because I wanted to look different. I think fashion is getting nearer and nearer to everyone looking the same and I definitely don’t like that

  • I don’t really feel like anything anyone’s saying is anything new. There’s always backlash against “the industry”, and in this case, we’re just seeing happen what always happens – the independents evolve into the predecessors against whom they so vehemently rebelled.

    Street style was once revolutionary – so were blue jeans.

    Now I feel like the unique and rebellious dressers who once shocked our browsers and Thursday Styles sections have become caricatures of themselves. They no longer dress according to their personality, but according to how we as viewers imagine their personality to be.

    Don’t you get up in the morning and think while getting dressed, “how many people will tell me that this isn’t “Man Repellerish”, the same way that Anna probably questions whether people will (gasp) think she’s normal.

    Street style now is about capturing these caricatures at work, not seeking out those that still dress based on their instinct – even if that sometimes means sweats and a t-shirt one day, and stilettos and skinnies the next.


  • K Myfanwy

    Critically reflecting on your work. You are fantastic to read and to watch. Congratulations on being super sweet (sweet as in ‘sweet man’ and ‘alright mate, sweet skateboard’).

  • Sarah

    As I often enjoy your sartorial choices, It must be noted how much I enjoy your writing. I have found my own sense of style has been influenced by the exposure, costumery & excess in fashion over the last few years. I find myself turning away from patterns & layers of accessories instead opting for monochromatic colors, t-shirts & shoes that are more practical. Perhaps this is a reflection of my lifestyle, perhaps my eyeballs grow tired of the kaleidoscope that is pattern mixing? I’m not sure. I do know that it’s often the small, subtle details on an outfit that usually catch my eye & make me think ” yeah, she knows what’s up”. Simple. Elegant. Refined. Personal. I think we will see these words rule the runways in a few years time.



  • First off, I want to
    commend you on this post. I always say this when I comment, but this is really
    well-written and completely thought provoking. You have this way to put into
    words what many of us have probably had on their minds. A voice of the people –
    whilst still being rogue and unique and eloquent.

    Four years back, I remember being completely mesmerized with the
    relatively new (or at the time, at least) street-style blogs that completely
    took me away from the melodramatic days of middle school. It was like this
    alternative world where patterns were being mixed and accessories were being
    worn in larger amounts than Uggs could be worn with denim shorts, which was grudgingly seen at the local
    level. And I loved it, it was like a little club that I could belong to and
    validated all the things I believed in. I still check all the street-style
    blogs, often times still with the same enthusiasm but this time much more
    cautious. Or, perhaps ‘expecting’ is the correct word.

    As time went on, the
    looks looked more calculated, less ironic or contradictory or
    thought-provoking. My previous comments after viewing a collection were more
    “Ohh, I wonder IF Anna will wear that!” or “I can never imagine
    someone being able to maintain this garment’s beauty in real life”. Now,
    it’s more of “WHEN Anna wears that it’ll be with X-brand, Y-brand, and of
    course a clutch from Z-brand — or maybe those heels from zz-brand” The
    looks became less unique and less magical to see that the dress shown two hours
    ago was on three women nearly moments later.

    You are right, there is absolutely a market for such
    photographs. And people are seeing what they want. And we seem to want the same
    color-block skirts on the same women with the same necklaces doing the same
    poses. Or do we? I think that many of these photographers will have to reinvent
    the values that they once sought for their lenses, tracking down looks and
    people in less populated parts of the chaos. We shouldn’t be able to expect the
    unexpected.That’s not the allure of this industry.

  • Holly

    Thank you Leandra for bringing up this topic of discussion! yet another reason I love your blog. You have inspired me to be creative and confident when putting an outfit together that makes me happy but may not fall into line with the conventional rules of fashion. You are a true champion for promoting an independent spirit of fashion!! Thank you!!!! 🙂

  • mckenzie.collins

    This is so interesting! It really gets me thinking. I am so intrigued by street-style, and have been for a long time and I’m only 14. The thing I love about street-style is that a person’s personality or mood or spirit of that day or time can shine through in an outfit, and honestly make it what it is! I just hope that the art of dressing “you”, and showing your personality off through fashion and sense of style is never lost. There should be no expectation with street-style. I love that someone can make something work that you would never expect, that they can rock such a look on an average day. That is why I love to get inspired by what others are wearing, and how they are wearing it, when they post it on their blog, and do the same myself (hopefully) for other people. But then again, being inspired never means doing or making the same, just like this isn’t the way the fashion industry works or should either. Fashion inspiration is what should get us inspired to base a new look on an outfit, try something different, match something unthought of. I see that a fair amount of looks are seemingly the same, or constantly following the same trends, but I still think that there are a great amount of bloggers out there who inspire me often, who do it for none other than for themselves, and to inspire others to do and work individual looks too. I hope that people don’t fall into the category of only wearing certain clothing or something in a certain style or way to get noticed. As they say, it’s about being out to express, not impress. And that should be what street-style is always about.

    Well done on such an excellent post honestly! You write amazingly.

    McKenzie xx

  • Everyone shops fast fashion and trends + everyone wants to look ‘fierce’ = girls that all start looking the same.

  • Asia Carter

    Amazing article. While I think outfit posts lends itself to more followers and those illusive blogger numbers, I have a hard time staging outfit posts for my own blog. It is just something about putting on clothes for the purposes of blogging about it that makes for awkward photos and it is very unnatural for me. Ironically my favorite blogs are the ones that features outfit posts. While it truly isn’t my thing and an outfit post here or there on my blog is essential for readership, I do commend bloggers like you that stay true to their aesthetic and find ways to speak about fashion through the use of these types of photos. Like someone already mentioned I find myself visiting street style blogs less and less because of the contrived nature of the subjects. Scott’s blog continues to be my favorite for the fact that he does a great job of organically photographing fashion in a way that makes you appreciate personal style. Karen over at Where Did You Get That does the same as well!!

  • monkeyshines

    adorable boots!


  • Bonnie Clyde

    I don’t think, I know the authentic “YOU” is the only person any of us should be. Any thing other than this is what I refer to as Trying- too -hard. (Never a good thing in fashion, in life)

  • This is such a well written and thought provoking post. I love what Scott Schuman said about shining light on the “true indie spirit” of fashion. As a blogger of only 14, part of the inspiration for starting my blog was because of street style photographs. The thought of myself being on a street style blog – having such an influence on people as many well known bloggers do, would be a dream come true. However, I think now people try too hard, even dressing particularly to be noticed and to have their photograph taken by a street style photographer. This completely defies the point of street style photography, if you are going to try that hard then just take a photo of the outfit on a model, on a mannequin, take the photo in a studio or as part of a photo shoot. Street style photography is pretty self explanatory, its about capturing the moment of what someone was wearing on the street. It shouldn’t be planned for, it should be spontaneous and unique. Many street style looks are becoming too predictable, the same top tier fashion bloggers and the same high fashion brands. I think what Schuman means by ‘shining light on the ‘true indie spirit’ of fashion’ is that he’s trying to stay true to the originality and creativity of street style. Where someone could wear something so unique and edgy it just captures the photographers eye. It doesn’t have to be high fashion or designer it can just be whatever creates that cool and unique look. That is street style.

  • emily.lindesil

    Something about the term “Street Style” – in all its capitalized glory – has always done something to me I can’t quite define. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very useful, even powerful term. But it has always conjured up fanciful images in my mind of haute couture’s equivalents of the likes of Paul Gauguin and Margaret Mead going on some exotic fashion “safari” to ostensibly study and protect – but ultimately misrepresent or fetishize, and at times even prey upon – the poor, “primitive” Street Stylists. I mean of course everyone has street style, but only a select few are deemed – by the great gods of design and the shutter themselves – to have Street Style. And I suppose it’s on account of that ineffable you-only-know-it-when-you-see-it quality of so-called Street Style that we tend to think of it as something organic, fresh, and new. And those who seek it, just like Gauguin – yes, they’re the new primitivists – are seeking a more raw, expressive visual form among the “natives” of the streets. They are the Meads, seeking not just a different way of dressing but the very spiritual personification of Style “freedom” reflected back tenfold in the subways and crossing the avenues. So Street Style, it would seem, has as much if not more to do with the fantasies of the viewer than the Stylist. And since fashion is a medium onto which we already project our aspirations and desires to the degree that it becomes something of a spiritual exercise for many, what could be more ultimate than harnessing anything as visceral as Street Style? But then where does true Street end and just street begin again (is there a Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Street Style…is it the click of the posturing heel, the snap of Schuman’s camera, or the click of a mouse by a blogger that adulterates its purity)?

    Of course, when it comes to fashion, it seems like there is always less and less new under the sun (I’ve already seen my teenage years begin to be recycled – and I’m not sure whether to feel old, a little bored, or just glad I still have my old clothes). Maybe this is the curse of the photographic era and the age of cheaply manufactured garments – a few centuries back, there wouldn’t have been nearly so many other people from whom to differentiate ourselves in the first place, would that we could afford it. Yet interestingly, many of this year’s shows seemed to offer both a solution to this problem of cyclical fashion and homogeneity, and also an antidote to the Street vs. street issue of purity. I don’t know if the gods of design all simultaneously took up Buddhism this year, but you see in Buddhist practice there’s a key teaching that some things are innately pure, and some things aren’t, and you simply cannot make an impure thing pure no matter how hard you try, but both still coexist together in our world as dualities of nature. What emerged on the runways seemed like a great expression of this – in gorgeous mixed materials, in mixed patterns, in layers coming out of layers coming out of layers, and especially in endlessly mixed-and-matched separates. So if you want to be pure, I suppose the message is go ahead and go topless (or bottomless)! But there is with so many of this season’s looks something that just begs, “play around with me,” and, “just have fun,” and above all, “you be the S/stylist,” in a way that I haven’t seen for a while, and I think may give a lot of pieces unique lasting potential for some time to come. Few shows took themselves too seriously, and I certainly racked up a staggering wishlist of outfits in which I’m sure I would have a smashing (and even comfortable!) good time begging for rent money.

  • StyleNonsense

    Street Style Has Almost Become An Industry In Itself, I Think For Some People Street Style Is Calculated & For Some Others You Can See That. I Think People Should Have An Irreverent Approach To All These Things, Life Is Too Short!

  • ardenarose

    I think the problem of street style turning into this “industry marketing ploy” comes when you have brands sending their merchandise to bloggers, stylists, celebrities, fashion icons, etc, right before the shows… I’m assuming their intention is for the recipients of the free clothes to wear them on or around the day of the show, to then later publish shots taken of them wearing xyz as shot by Tommy Ton, or Mr. Newton, or’s photographers. In this sense it has become just another form of advertising, where brands and designers are, in a way, “paying” people to wear their clothes and using the street style medium to their marketing advantage.

  • I understand Scott Shuman, he wants to protect his business. For a while his blog was too crowded with “fashion week” faces. As a reader I was feeling like there were like 20 people that were always pictured, a too small world of people that worked in fashion. If was fun to look at front row faces for a while but you get tired of it on the long run. Streetstyle is something else, it’s what cool hunters do, try to capture the essence of style on real people. It’s good that Shuman is trying to get back to it.

  • Reen Reen

    Yours are one of the few places on-line that seem to put as much thought into the words as the images and I love that.

    PixelHazard | Bright Green Laces |

  • Lisa Simone Daniels

    Right now my thoughts are off towards your shoes

  • Gabrielle S.

    Kudos on starting a substantive debate. I agree with your anti-technology backlash. I think that’s absolutely happening. I’m curious to know how you plan to adopt your site to the change?

    While I respect Scott’s attempts at preserving his craft, he really can’t control the whims of his fans. Was anyone else in attendance at the opening night of his gallery show? What a shit show of fans clamoring to be photographed, and about 50 photographers actually taking their photos. His own event turned into a spectacle.
    On the topic of the expansion of branding to street style. It appears that early every style blogger I follow was either sponsored by a brand this past week or was flown to NYC and co-opted by PR firms representing workout studios, salons, and even big box stores. J. Crew has a presentation now. This must be armageddon.
    What blew me away was that some of these bloggers even had the audacity to thank these PR firms by name for a “life changing week”. WTF?
    I’m a journalist, and I have to wonder, if any of these writer spent any time considering that they would lose their own objectivity, readers, and have to accept that a free trip changes the total intent of their blog. It is now a marketing commodity.
    Perhaps I’m being old fashioned, and everyone has already shifted to a post modern blogging world. One where we all just accept, that a marketing campaign in print is no different than an indie blog post about the same brand. And it doesn’t matter where in the country you’re based, the companies have gotten to you. Perhaps that’s the death of the fashion blog, where there is no way to distinguish a campaign from an unsponsored post and people stop reading.
    So what’s the answer? I don’t know, but I want to know what is the next frontier for independent perspectives.

  • A Couples Gallery

    We envy you for meeting all the great designers and visiting their shows! Great job.

    We’ve just published our first streetstyle-post from the VFNO in Berlin and Düsseldorf:


    Deborah & Gabriel

  • dcla

    what used to take months then weeks now takes days almost hours… trends are seconds long…yes street style has been sold as the latest billboards..and everyone knows it and whats even sadder for me is fashion is getting boring..ubiquitous yes but boring its everywear…i like the rare and cool that makes me tingle but now you see these people mimic that like a knock off. one thing for sure change will come again and again…truthfully i adore your chat about fashion and the philosophy of your “stuff” . thank god for you…

  • Liz

    I love this post! Street style just like other facets of fashion inspiration has finally gotten to that inevitable point. It’s the nature of the beast. Anything fresh, new, and inspiring is going to one day seem stale, expected, and almost staged. Next thing you know, “Off the Grid Bloggers” will be the next big thing! 😉

  • Emanuella

    I absolutely agree with you. I know for a fact that many blogs have become walking billboards because I read a lot of fashion blogs (no like seriously a lot). It’s also sad to say that having read these blogs on a daily basis I actually noticed that many bloggers presented the same products as their “new favorite thing”, sometimes within days of each other evn though the bloggers were based in two completely different countries. This lead me to assume that they were all basically receiving free products and were marketing to the general public.

  • Kate

    I have to agree as well, I feel like it is not genuine street-style anymore if editors and bloggers get gifted clothes to wear at fashion week, just to be a billboard for the company that sent the clothes to them.. which I normally have nothing against, but it is not really inspirational to wear a runway look, since everyone has seen the runway look already, also everyone is wearing more or less the same thing.. When I look at a fashion blog I want to see great individual outfits, that I may like or not, but not just expensive gifted clothes, I can look to celebrities for that.. great post!:)
    xx Kate

  • =^..^=

    As much as I enjoy the fluff & pix & general outrageousness of the MR blog, it’s refreshing to read your recent forays into more serious thoughts about fashion & why we dress ourselves the way we do.
    brava, sister ~.

  • Fabita Punk

    Those boots are insane 🙂 LOVE THEM!


  • modaamore

    absolutely lovee…. i would like for you to visit my blog

  • YES YES YES! Glad to hear someone on the “inside” admit to something that’s pretty obvious. You ROCK!

  • amelia

    every season for the last few years, i’ve followed the shows and the street street pretty religiously, and ive notice that the street photography has gotten a little ridiculous, and a very, obviously, contrived. Honestly i’ve been waiting for someone to write something that adresses this, not in the condescending way the big media outlets do (and are generally toward aspects of the fashion industry) but in a way that you have here… it makes sense, with you being as smart and observational as you are,Leandra, for you to sum up the circus that street style has become so perfectly

  • Guest

    I love the outfit! But the booooootsssss…. to die for…. ;-P

  • Arzu

    I Loooove the dress, but the boots…..are to die for! ;-P

  • Laura
  • Mademoiselle Michelle

    loved every bit of your coverage of nyfw! and your outfits couldnt be any more perfect!

  • Sammy

    I used to follow a few street style blogs, but I got really tired of it. No matter how dolled up I got, there’s no chance that I’d be photographed for one of those blogs. The whole thing feels contrived. Rather than highlight fashionable people around, Scott Schuman’s blog is just a stepping stone for social climbers (including a girl from my high school who has become nothing more than a “New York downtown ingenue”).

    Street style is interesting and inspirational when it really does capture people on the street, but how often is that the case anymore? It’s supposed to be accessible, but instead it’s become as elitist as being on the cover of Vogue.

  • Loulou

    coolos picture , great style as usual ! x

  • ali moresco

    I love this post. It really shows heart and speaks the truth. You should write more things like this!

  • Elif

    I still enjoy street style, i really do – maybe even more than the shows, but now i look at them as a source of inspiration, just like editorials or runway stylings. To me, they are not real “street” style anymore, not at least during fashion weeks. People just doesn’t dress for themselves anymore, if i am not going to go somewhere special or somewhere where “my kind of” people will see me – and/or i will take photos of myself for the blog – i wear my usual jeans and espadrilles. Its like i dont want to waste my pretty outfits if no one is going to see them. This is a result of consumer centered society and the need of approval at all times. It’s sad, but true.

  • sketch42

    I was on the subway the other day and I wanted to take some photos and blog about what REAL “Street Style” looks like…. I dont consider it STREET if the people in the photos are in the industry and standing in Lincoln Center. Maybe someone in the industry on their day off, but not during prime working hours 😉

  • theabraham

    Leandra. Apart from your blogger-driven looks – looks great, whatever – you should really write a book. Plum Sykes is just fruit to me now.

  • Jully Erikson

    These are all so great! What an amazing concept and idea to add video to your blog experience.It’s totally relates to fashion clothing.Thank you for always inspiring!

  • Sylwia

    Beautiful photo 🙂 Amazing shoes.

  • Christian Jenny

    I enjoyed the photographs. Really casual street style

  • I love this post Leandra. Especially your sentiments in the last paragraph about a backlash and move toward restraint. I read the NYT article last week and found myself wondering how much further can this go in the coming years? Can it get any more downright commercial than it is now? I love seeing slideshow after slideshow of kooky awesome street style, but it does seem so contrived and so branded. It bothers me thinking that someone can be decked out by a designer who is really just trying to advertise and thereby considered super fashionable. I don’t have the budget for anything designer really, but I find that my creativity is stretched by looking for timeless, stylish pieces in fast fashion and thrift stores, and conveying a distinct style perspective within those limits. Maybe that is just my frustration as an outsider, but I think there is something to it. Of course fashion is a business, but it is so much an art, and I wonder if this desperation of show-goers (or lurkers) to get their pic snapped overshadows the work being shown by designers. I don’t know if I’m really making a cohesive arguments here, except to thank you for exploring this topic and to acknowledge that it all seems like it’s becoming a giant zoo. I would love it if restraint followed in the years to come. And I love my Instagram, too.


  • Julia

    The irony is such a fashionable condiment that makes the way of look-interpretation even more interesting. I must say that I really appreciate your self-created parody of street style that is vastly celebrated on the streets – and how you handle the paradox.

  • SloanCelette

    I appreciate what you say about Scott and preserving the art of his trade. However if he (or anyone else, really) wanted to focus on preserving the true essence of street style, don’t you think they would start photographing people in other cities? Just a thought — but I’m willing to bet street-walkers in other cities don’t have “moments when [they] put something on and either veto or acknowledge it’s power to instigate a photo-snap”. Maybe NYC street style photography has saturated the street style market too much. Perhaps take pictures of Chicago, DC, Dallas or Seattle?

  • Tbo

    Ah yes…the “Street”. So many inspirations from that magical place. Take the “street taco”–something poor, working folk have been eating for years…but throw it on a fancy plate (and PULEEZE leave out the gluten) and, voila, you’ve got yourself the latest and greatest in eatin like the locals (without them really being in the restaurant with you). Personally, I can’t wait for the next “street” craze—designer cardboard houses, replete with “alley way” acootermints–like a refrigerator that looks like a trash can (it makes ice AND was tramp-o-layed by that really cool graffiti artist who lives in that loft where they used to make meat). AND you’ll be able to transport your new architectural street origami in a GM or Ford inspired grocery cart (gotta keep Detroit alive!)…it’ll be all the rage. The street…keepin it real for the people who have vision to see how awesome the street really is. I TOTALLY love your blog and, although I don’t have one to plug, if I did, it would be “Street Repeller”–my homage to you. Smooches (and not air ones either)

    • Meredith

      Your comment cracked me up.

  • Nat

    I absolutely love your quote: “…fashion’s purpose, even before purity and even before tapping a true indie spirit, is to inspire and to motivate the thinking process. To recognize artistic value in a different medium and to celebrate it.” If a person ultimately chooses to wear a piece of clothing or an accessory because they believe it will attract the lenses of the top street style photographers, than the main purpose of fashion is lost. Fantastic post; so honest and relevant.


  • Catherine Fishback

    Read my response here:

    It’s all goooood!! Haha.

  • I can’t say that I’m not excited about bloggers who are actually writing more, but this article is the truth. At first when i started reading blogs that had the same setiments I thought, well duh, most of these girls who I know going up to NY for fashion week are legit hoping that they will get photographed and some how it will work for them. I won’t get into that because I know some of the bloggers that do this, and they aren’t looked at twice. I look at bloggers whos twitpic and buy outfits, items solely for purpose of FW. But what I love about street style is that the pictures that I come to love are of those who effortlessly, or at least appear to effortlessly put outfits together are the ones that end up on major sites, or even the serious street style blogs. I’m over over reading outfits, and thinking…okay they are trying way to hard, and then i figure well maybe their style isn’t my taste.

    I didn’t read the Schuman article but I’m sure I probably agree with him. He is selective, and that is exactly why I go to his site. His images are strong, and almost tell a story, you can use your imaginaton and wonder what type of person that person is because of their choice in style, and most important it’s not about labels, it’s not about trends, it’s about pure style and that is the exact reason why I’m not impressed by the tons of shots i see coming from others. I live for dressing for yourself, not to appear “fierce” or for the Kudos. But simply because you have amazing style that isn’t taken to seriously. Which is why i came here, loved and come on here almost everyday. Some of the stuff you wear , I can honestly say i’ve never heard of but love to find them because there are so many people who are afraid to even be inspired by those designers and step outside the box for fear of not getting the attention they crave.

  • Sarah

    Love your brain, girl. I just read a piece yesterday on IFB about how there were allegations about bloggers getting paid $10k to wear certain brands during fashion week. It seems like there are a lot of fine lines around this issue (as well as some pretty thick ones regarding the legality of endorsement disclosure), but to me it seems that street style can be preserved as long as a distinction is made between an actual chance encounter and a more styled photoshoot.

    I’m inspired by street style because the people being photographed look like “real” people, albeit amazingly stylish real people. If street style blogs are going to turn into lower-budget replicas of a polished fashion spread, that’s an entirely different breed and needs to be distinguished as such. I just want honesty.

  • eterlak

    This post definitely got me thinking! I’ve been blogging for about two years, but not straight through. I actually abandoned my first blog because I began feeling negatively about it.. like it was me playing dressup, taking pictures, and hoping for comments. But I dearly love fashion! And I love sharing what I love! I was so conflicted I just gave it up. Plus, I was busy enough finishing college that it was almost a welcome reprieve.

    After I graduated, I found myself missing my blog (and with some extra time on my hands). I began a new career direction, aiming my sights on personal image consulting. My blog became a way of not only expressing my business, but also a way for my potential clients to get to know me. The REAL me. I stopped taking “street fashion” type outfits because they didn’t suit me. I only posted outfits that felt truly “me.” This was a natural transition, since in my consulting, I help my clients find a style that is natural for them, yet fashionable.

    I’m thrilled when someone comments, and it’s a REAL thrill because I see that they recognize and appreciate MY fashion. The way I communicate AUTHENTICALLY. So, in that spirit, I don’t mind using my Instagram and whatnot… because I’d never post something that didn’t seem “me.” People inherently look to express themselves. We want to be heard, acknowledged. When we are given the chance to look into someone else’s reality and see something that resonates with us, it’s a really human experience. That’s why I blog.

  • Weaves

    Love the shoes in photo – who are they?

  • Natalie Ast

    I think that the street style might shift to a more sophisticated, refined palette since we’ve been inundated with OTT fashion. While I love the whimsy and free-spirited ness, I think people take fashion too seriously and it’s time to have fun again and not obsess over wearing the most oulandish pieces to end up on a style blog. I also think that the whole disclosure rules with bloggers should be dropped… high-end bloggers are as influential (if not more) than magazines, and if they need to disclose gifts, magazine editorials should too! you can read more about what i think on this (and my own response to the NYTimes article) on my blog –

  • justafan

    I agree, women strive (or is that starve?) for the fashions…my only comment is you look great!

  • <3 balenciaga's


  • fbcreations

    Love your pungent words and crisp clarity. Thank you for writing these notes and for provoking such an interesting series of comments.
    I guess there’s a distinction to be made between street style and street fashion. Virtually everyone belongs to the first and by denomination the few belong to the latter.
    Scott is that rare genius, like Bill Cunningham, that wears a heart behind his lense and is capable of capturing that “street style” in whomever doesn’t pose. That je-ne-sais-quoi that is in all who (like you) wears effortlessly an outfit and just makes a statement.
    “Street fashion” is that Anna Dello Russo magnificent way of combining the latest couture, the most eclectic jewelry and looking fabulously camera-ready.
    Both are palpably and vividly feeding pages and pages of blogs, Pinterest boards and Twitter feeds and I assume boost our passion for Fashion, or, we wouldn’t be here. Frankly speaking all that lingers in the middle is of little interest. Note: hope this last sentence will not cause some resentment, considering it is my own opinion.

  • Lucie B

    I’m with you: Scott Schuman was the first street-style blogger I followed, and The Sartorialist is still my go-to when I want to remember the creativity and individuality of composition that made me want to do fashion design in the first place. He even made me want to blog street-style myself, but I found I’m better at designing fashion, not recording it. The little bit I did do, the best part was the shy, flattered look I got from people who didn’t think they were anything to photograph. It gave me new respect for the people behind sites like this, the people who find the good stuff, the striking stuff, and share it.

  • Barbora Simek

    I’m a street style photographer in the city of Toronto. While our city is not known as a fashion capital, our fashion industry continues to grow in both size and prestige. For cities like ours where fashion is in a pre-teen like state, street style photography plays an important role. A glimpse into the street-styling of established fashion meccas like New York City, Tokyo, Milan and Paris has given our streets a swift kick where it needs it the most.

    Girls and boys alike are at long last growing some fashion-kahunas. Sure, they are hoping for coverage, but as you mentioned there is a rush to “getting it right” and getting snapped. I personally think that rush challenges us to continue to push our average sartorial boundaries and helps us have the confidence to stand behind risky and creative decisions on a daily basis. The Toronto streets can certainly use that confidence boost.

    Speaking on the idea of what makes a good image, Schuman does a wonderful job of explaining what he looks for in his first book. He talks about how he watches silhouettes from a distance and judges an outfit to be fit to capture as it nears. His technique has been hugely helpful for me.

    When I consider what has made some of the most powerful images I have taken, it hasn’t always been the clothing. Our city is notorious for wearing a huge amount of vintage, so good outfits here are often brand-less. The truth is good street style is someone who believes in what they are wearing. Someone who hasn’t just thrown on an outfit for show
    but who lives their style and believes in their outfits. Del Russo has that. Sure, she doesn’t sit in boardrooms in sequins but that doesn’t mean the sequins don’t speak to something that is very “Anna.”

    I believe that is what makes us love street-style images. Seeing someone who has chosen a collection of items that represents a facet of their personality. It is about seeing clothing that actually reveals something about the person. It is the je ne ce quois that editorials are missing, the one thing that models try to depict, and adevertisers consistently try to convince consumers of– that fashion reveals something unique about an individual’s spirit.

    There is certainly a part of that which will be tainted with time. But good photography is not as simple as taking a well exposed and composed image of an attractive subject. A good street style image will show you something about a person you wouldn’t have known otherwise. It will narrow the gap between the superhuman world of the runway and make you feel that you can be a part of the fashion world. That synergy between photographer and street-style subject will draw attempts at corruption but, I like to think, will remain safe and stand apart from in-genuine imitation.


    I’m always in awe of the way you write,I love you manreppeler,i have no other tnoughts other than your writing is captivating:)you inspire me:)

  • Robert

    It’s not a photographer’s fault anyway! However, she looks good in that apparel