Monday, September 23, 2013

NYFW Street Style: Mademoiselle Yulia, outside Jason Wu

There's a passage in Don Delillo's novel White Noise that has always resonated with me. Delillo describes "the most photographed barn in America" as a tourist attraction in the middle of the country with so many signs advertising it on the way there that people are almost almost unable to see it once they finally arrive. People come to the "most photographed barn in America" for one simple reason: to photograph it. Why? Because it's the most photographed barn in America. 

There's something of a similar phenomenon going on at Fashion Week. The street style photographers come from all over the place to take pictures of those people who have their pictures taken most often: Natalie Joos, Miroslava Duma, Aimee Song, Rumi Neely. We know these people are worthy of having their pictures taken because we've seen so many pictures of them already. We've been primed to see them as photographs. Under such circumstances, it is almost impossible to know whether such subjects are intrinsically photogenic, or simply appear to be so, because we've already seen so many pictures of them. It's easy for one's judgment to become clouded. Am I taking this person's picture because they look amazing, or do they look amazing because I've seen so many pictures of them?

That's why it was something of a relief for me to see Mademoiselle Yulia strolling up Mercer St before Jason Wu. Sure, I'd seen pictures of the Japanese DJ and musician before, on Koo's site, for example, and Le 21ème, but there is no question that I would take her picture no matter where I ran into her and no matter who I thought she was. For me, she is like a street style archetype: one part high-fashion, one part Harajuku, one part hip-hop inflected streetwear. The woman just oozes attitude. 

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