Normally, New York is city full of varying styles from conservative to punk; it was a great place to see “street fashion”. Street fashion is the idea of seeing real people (read: not models) dressed in a style they choose based on who they are and what they want to communicate about themselves to others. While street style can be found anywhere there are people (who aren’t totally nude), the most varied can be found in very large, metropolitan cities: New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Milan, etc. Street style was the Holy Grail for fashion: while real people wore and were influenced by fashion, they were not controlled by it. They wear their clothes based on their mood. Designers were able to see how their clothes actually looked and were worn by real people, and take inspiration from this.
However, it seems times may have changed a bit. The retailers have found out that many of these bloggers and street photographers can be (gasp!) bought! Many bloggers or ‘real people’ have been paid to wear and mention certain designers in their blogs or to others. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/fashion/new-york-fashion-week-street-style-is-often-a-billboard-for-brands.html?ref=style) It seems many people are outraged over the backroom deals made by many bloggers. I can’t say I am one of them. What we choose to buy and wear influences us, which, in turn, influences the people we buy it from (they make more if it’s a best-seller), which begins the routine again. Shouldn’t it be that way?
You can Google street style and you will find many blogs showcasing the work of photographers and fashion enthusiasts taking candid or posed photos of ‘real people’ found on the streets. For many years, this was a popular blogging method. Bill Cunningham is thought to be the very first street style photographer. You can find out more about him here: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/27/style/bill-on-bill.html.