Monday, May 12, 2008

Street-Style Weblogs

A recent genre of blogs that has established itself on thousands of browser’s “Bookmarked List” is Street Style Blogs. When talking about this type of blogs, one must mention: The Sartorialist is like the Napster of street style blogging, it started it all. A few months ago, when looking at a Time Magazine Article on the Top-25 Blogs on the Internet, I learned about the Sartorialist Blog. This weblog ignited my interest in the blogging world and became the first blog I regularly checked.
The concept of The Sartorialist and other Street-Style-Blogs is simple: the weblog operator (For the Sartorialist, a retired fashion industry executive with the hobby of photography) roams through the streets of their city (New York, Milan, and Paris) taking pictures of complete strangers they encounter that they believe exude a strong and colorful sense of personal style. The weblogger will post a few of these photos each day, with a small caption stating the location and some description or insight like: “Yves Saint Laurent Trench Coat” or “Vintage Floral.” [As you read, open up The Sartorialist in your browser for a better understanding of the nature of these Street Style Blogs.]
Amazingly, this simple blogging concept of The Sartorialist has had a profound influence on the fashion world, Internet blogging, and many individual’s personal style.

Fashion World: these “street-style” images of [a complete stranger pausing in the motion of their everyday life to be photographed displaying solely their daily persona] has found their way to many “inspiration boards” [for brainstorming the brand’s next line] of many prominent designers all over the world. In addition, capturing fashion in the time and space of a random moment in a person’s “everyday” life on a random urban street, introduced a new form of Media. This contrasts with the previous portal of fashion in the Public Eye: Pre-Oscar Red Carpet Shows, E-Fashion News, Vogue Fashion Magazines, etc. The Sartorialist images feature everyday people [not celebrities or models], on the streets [no red carpets, Greek isles, or costly backdrops], in every-day clothing [department store clothing, thrift store items, and high-fashion pieces]. These were images of “clothes in action,” gently embracing our skin while we experience life. These images reminded us that fashion is not solely about pristine faces and physiques graced in wearable works of art that cost enough to feed an entire African village for 1 year. Couture began to be viewed outside of the glass cases and off the mannequins.
Fashion, more particularly personal style, is the way we approach and present ourselves to the outside world. It is the shells that we put on to protect ourselves from the natural elements. Our personal style and image (like it or not) shapes the way we and the people around us think of ourselves as unique individuals.

Blogs: revolutionized the Media-type expressions of many fields. In this field, it presented a piece of art [photograph of the art of clothing (fashion)] on a weblog for people to reflect, comment, learn and/or be inspired by. Also, it proved to major fashion corporations that the street style blogs that are significantly transforming the public expression and conception of fashion (the fashion media) are here to stay. Both Gucci and Absolute Vodka have paid The Sartorialist weblog operator for ad-space on the blog. Numerous street style blogs have now arisen out of this wave: look into the “Cool Hunter Blog’s” list of each of these city’s street style blogs: Helsinki, Finland New York City London Berlin Stockholm Moscow Australia Tokyo Shanghai Paris Sao Paulo Toronto Barcelona Zurich Vancouver Reykjavik Oslo Milan Mexico San Francisco Lisbon Munich.

Personal Style: The Sartorialist and other street style blogs feature the diverse pallet of the human race. Capturing people with various ethnicities, ages, backgrounds, values, tastes, environments, financial statuses, etc. One image might feature a NYC Painter taking a cigarette break while the next image shows a store-manager of Bergdorf Goodman. The value of These blogs have reminded us that being fashionable is not possessing a Louis Vuitton Hand Bag or wearing a particular pricy-emblem to conform to the “fashionable bunch.” Fashion is important, and should be unique to all of us; it is the distinct representation of our unique place in the world. Looking beyond the superficiality of fashion and fashion media, these street style blogs express and reflect on the task we each have every morning: constructing our personal image. As we match colors, textures, materials, and purposes to suit the weather and our plans for the day, we are the artists and our body becomes the canvas. Although it may appear tawdry, these personal blogs have helped many people become aware of the potential and significance of their own style.

I understand how this trend can be considered dull and inane. There is logic in the thought “Fashion is dumb, individuals that focus on fashion or style are superficial, and people should be concerned with the greater content of an individual over their personal exterior style.
However, many consider fashion a significant art-form. There are countless people working in and around the fashion industry. In addition, millions pay a lot of their money for their love fashion. In turn, the fashion media plays a major role in the media-world and our culture at large (both artful and consumeristic).
Regardless of one’s own beliefs, with such a mass of people, this transformation and influence, originating from Internet-Weblogging must be recognized. Street Style blogs are moving fashion into a new direction, expressing it in a more pure and relevant form.

[I apologize for the length]


Charlie said...

I know that some clothing companies hire "trendspotters" to find what's hot in the streets of the world's most fashionable cities, but it's interesting that blogs allow a person no longer affiliated with any company to become a fashion influencer, a mediator between those who are sporting innovative styles already and those who are in search of new styles.

Not only does this have a huge effect on style around the world, but also the pictures alone allow a wide range of viewers to witness a moment in time across the world from them in the form a consistently updated, exciting website.

I just check out the photos and texts on The Sartorialist, and I noticed that this blog transcends the importance of fashion alone. The photographer finds those who really just stand out in the street --the kind of people you see and immediately want to talk to. From the NYC building painter to the young French blonde to the stylin' elder in the blue blazer, this easily accessible blog has cheered up my day.

*kt* said...

great article!
I'm just wondering, how did you get external links inside your text?