TAKE MY PICTURE

  Anna dello Russo, photo © Streetfsn by Nam

 “When we set out to make this short, our intention simply was to observe the phenomenon of fashion bloggers and street style stars. As we started to review the footage, two salient trends became apparent: fashion editors frustrated by the ensuing commotion outside of shows, and the rise of “peacocking” street style stars as a result of the proliferation of blogs. This film examines these themes from both perspectives.” – Garage Magazine

“Today, the people outside fashion shows are more like peacocks than crows. They pose and preen, in their multipatterned dresses, spidery legs balanced on club-sandwich platform shoes, or in thigh-high boots under sculptured coats blooming with flat flowers.[…]Ah, fame! Or, more accurately in the fashion world, the celebrity circus of people who are famous for being famous. They are known mainly by their Facebook pages, their blogs and the fact that the street photographer Scott Schuman has immortalized them on his Sartorialist Web site. This photographer of “real people” has spawned legions of imitators, just as the editors who dress for attention are now challenged by bloggers who dress for attention.[…]  But two things have worked to turn fashion shows into a zoo: the cattle market of showoff people waiting to be chosen or rejected by the photographers, and the way that smart brands, in an attempt to claw back control lost to multimedia, have come in on the act. Marc Jacobs was the first designer to sense the power of multimedia. When he named a bag after Bryanboy in 2008, he made the blogger’s name, and turned on an apparently unending shower of designer gifts, which are warmly welcomed at bryanboy.com.”   The Circus of Fashion – Suzy Menkes

Or, as Demetrios Gkiouzelis from Yatzer says: ” Just as there are two types of celebrities, there are bloggers who are famous for their work and there are bloggers who are famous just for being famous. There are bloggers who actually know their craft and offer insightful criticism. Then there are the others. What this film sets out to question is the motives of the latter.”

“Looking at the frenetic mayhem that surrounds Fashion Week venues, one cannot help but wonder about the sheer number of fashion bloggers who turn up since inevitably most of them will not be admitted to the invite-only shows. It would be noble to think that this is due to their sheer love of fashion. However, in reality it appears that some of them are more interested in their own image than supporting the designer showing his/her collections inside. They dress up in eccentric ‘look-at-me’ outfits and shamelessly flirt with the cameras in order to attract and turn the photographers’ lenses in their direction. They want to be seen – which they show through proudly uploading their pictures or flaunting items that designers may or may not have given them, going so far as to fake freebies in order to fabricate a pseudo-VIP status that will distinguish them from their peers. More interested in claiming a faux-celebrity status, fashion itself fades into the background.”

 Giovanna Battaglia, photo © Stefania Yarhi / Textstyles

“Everybody is on Facebook, uses Twitter, filters images through Instagram or documents their lives in a blog. And for a fashion blogger there is no event more rife with photo opportunities to share than Fashion Week. With New York Fashion Week attracting 232,000 out of town visitors in 2012, it’s as if the shows are becoming a tourist attraction in their own right, albeit a rather odd one where instead of taking pictures of the sights, one now strives to become the sight to be photographed. Admittedly, fashion is a medium which ardently favours the visual, but what happens when what was once a spectacle to witness and behold is turned on its head and becomes an opportunity to be seen?”

  From left to right: Elena Perminova, Michelle Harper, Natalie Joos, Miroslava Duma, Anya Ziourova, Anna Dello Russo, Giovanna Battaglia 
photo © Streetfsn by Nam

“In our image-driven society maybe we should not be discussing the concept of seeing, but capturing. The camera lens has replaced our eyes and sight where the image captured has become our object of affection. An appropriately snapped picture becomes the validation of who we are and what we have achieved. And in a time when snapping, uploading and sharing the latest style icon or trend can be done so easily, the image of a blogger outside a hot-ticket show becomes the medium that will ensure recognition for his/her blog. In the same vein, Anna dello Russo’s arrival at the Lincoln Center becomes the new ‘must-snap’ sight for any street style photographer’s blog. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. However in-between supposedly spontaneous stylized posing and obsessively repetitive snapping, what is a picture like that actually worth? When everyone is capturing the same people wearing the same clothes posing outside the same events, what is original? Is there any purpose to all the replicated photographic material that they create? Maybe, one could argue, it’s not about being original. Maybe it’s simply about being there. And showing it in the best way you can. Reblogged and retweeted, widely viewed and extensively commented on, the street style picture acts as an authenticating agent of your very own personal Fashion Week experience, whereby one can establish a name for one’s blog.

In what is a relatively new profession, the rules for successful fashion bloggers are still being written. So maybe fashion editors should just let the bloggers create as they please so that they can find their own voice. At the end of the day, time itself will judge who will be strong enough to rise above the endless chaos of neon-wearing posers and pseudo-VIP charlatans.”

  Hanneli Mustaparta, photo © Streetfsn by Nam

 Garance Doré, photo © Tommy Ton / Jak & Jil

 David James Gandy, photo © Tommy Ton / Jak & Jil

 Anna dello Russo and Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), photo © Tommy Ton / Jak & Jil

“Playing King Canute and trying to hold back the wave of digital fashion stuff is doomed for failure. But something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade. Perhaps the perfect answer would be to let the public preening go on out front, while the show moves, stealthily, to a different and secret venue, with the audience just a group of dedicated pros — dressed head to toe in black, of course.” The Circus of Fashion – Suzy Menkes

 © Kessler Studio; Sarah Aubel; Team Peter StigterFrom left: Vogue Paris’s Emmanuelle Alt; French Vanity Fair’s Virginie Mouzat; Interview’s Ludivine Poiblanc.

The opposite of look-at-me fashion: leave it to the French to master understated chic

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