What an interesting time to be alive and in fashion. We’re living history, people! Fashion is changing before our eyes and we’re watching it like frogs inside of a cylinder full of water that is boiling slowly — too slowly for us to jump out but fast enough to recognize that it’s happening.
Man Repeller ritually reserves a story for street style for each of the fashion cities every season. London is always my favorite to cover. The real energy of personal style gets a chance to pump itself through the veins of curious onlookers who might be caught in a rut or may be looking for something weird to wear, but this season? I don’t know. I can’t quite tell if it’s just me feeling disenchanted — like a cynic who’s been born out of the Sandy Kenyon school of shitty commentary — or whether there is truly a lack of zest permeating the sidewalks that lead way to the venues that tell of next season under the grim veil of confusion.
Are you feeling it too?
I started to realize in New York that the street style fanfare was dying down. Yes, it was still there, but not the way it used to be. Yes, a ton of it was fantastic, but nothing made me want to go home and change. Did you want to go home and change? There were fewer photographers, fewer photos — a more condensed fanfare through the varying feeds of social media. And this might be a good thing! Maybe natural order — Darwin’s survival of the fittest — will resolve the complexities currently floating through fashion but because I’m me, I do also wonder if we’re hitting a curiously depressive slump.
A lack of will to get dressed.
Here’s how I see it having played out: We experienced an incipient boom with street style — one that was ushered in by the celebrification of fashion editors in the earlier portion of the 2010s. An editor’s outfit at a show has always been interesting but we — the public — didn’t know about that until we were granted access by way of photographer. Brands caught on quickly — turning to their closets to provide samples and gifts to the new-age celebrities (free marketers) who could wear their clothes, get photographed and be seen. Publications caught on, too, enlisting the help of these photographers and ones just like them to create content for their platforms. As a result, the supply grew and maybe by virtue of the Canon-clad mobs that started to loiter among the shows, the attendants felt a heightened sense of pressure to either perform or merely slip away. So the impetus of getting dressed was disturbed. It lost what made it honest. And so the burn out started. First, as a movement called normcore but now? That curiously depressive state of profound disinterest to get dressed for the flailing balls of it. I had to look hard to find stuff to get me going — maybe that’s a piece of it, too. I’m so used to letting it fall into my lap. But I don’t know, what are you thinking?
Collage by Elizabeth Tamkin.