Hipster: hip-ster. Noun. A person who follows the latest trends and fashions.
Okay, first things first: I don't actually hate the hipsters. That would be a little too far. But, what I do have a problem with, is fashion's current fixation with street style.
Street style is very much in vogue. Just flick through any newspaper, magazine or blog, and there will be pages of papped people along the streets of the worlds biggest cities. Infact, whole websites and blogs are dedicated to street style: it is fast emerging as a hugely important element of twenty-first century fashion.
That said, even street style wouldn't be a problem if it was just that- street style. If street style was what everyday people wore to the office, to go shopping, or to nip to Boots because they'd run out of toothpaste, then it would be fine. In those cases, street style would be genuine; catching unsuspecting members of the public and celebrating their sartorial selections. It would surprise the chosen street stylee as much as the blog/magazine/newspaper readers.
The crux of the problem is, street style is no longer a surprise. It is planned, meditated, even predicted by over zealous fashionistas, who purposely leave the house with the sole aim of getting papped. Are they after a slice of fame? Possibly. Are they just trapped in the world of street style, endlessly trying to out do each other? Probably. It's not an easy world to get out of either. I for one worried for days about my Fashion Week attire, with my main concern being that I would look 'too boring' amid all multi-coloured printed peacocks.
London Fashion week was prime territory for the 'accidentally on purpose' street style snappers. Precise location: Somerset House, circa midday, perched nonchalantly on the walls. Outfits of choice seemed to be based on the theme of 'how can I look more bonkers than the girl standing over there?' I saw everything from quadruple print clash to quintuple denim. Girls were dressed like cartoon characters who'd had a rough night out, combining cropped bralets with print leggings, dainty heels and multi-coloured barnets. I know fashion is democratic and street style is important, but there was no denying that many LFW revellers just look plain ridiculous. What has happened to subtle, understated, timeless style? Suzy Menkes from The Daily Telegraph commented quite rightly, 'there is a genuine difference between the stylish and the showoffs -- and that is the current dilemma.'
Fashion is obviously one of the most subjective things in the world. If it was what they truly wore everyday, then that would be great. But it's more sinister than that: Fashion Week attendees preen like parrots infront of the cameras in the hope they will be scouted.
As my editor at Pillow Magazine said to me on the subject of suspicious street style, 'I used to be obsessed with 'street style' when I first starting writing about trends/fashion - but LFW was a joke! To spot real street style you gotta go away from where people are 'trying hard' if you know what I mean'. I couldn't have put it better myself. Blogger communities have developed hierachies, primarily based on the quantity and quality of free booty you receive. Surely this is fashion fascism at its finest?
I haven't included any images with this article because I wholly agree that fashion is an individual thing. It would be heavily hypocritical of me to effectively 'name and shame' Fashion Week attendees, branding their style as awful.
Instead, I'll let you make up your own minds.
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