Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NYFW Street Style: All Blue Outside Lincoln Center

Just about every street style blog I follow — minus, perhaps, The Sartorialist and Lord Ashbury — goes through the occasional slow period. Posts get further and further apart. Days, even weeks go by without anything new. Often, these slow periods correspond with winter, when shooting street style is physically painful to accomplish. Other times, they correspond with summer, when bloggers, like everyone else, go on vacation. But just as often they set on as a gradually building fatigue. Posting cool pictures of cool people just stops feeling as rewarding as it did before. You start to wonder just what it is you are doing — what it all means, what it's all for. And once you sink deep enough in that shit, it's hard to pull yourself out again.

I'm going through something of a slow period right now myself. It's not quite as existentially-weighty as the one I just described, but it's producing the same effect: less new content on my blog. As you know, I've been slowly depleting the fruits of past labors, i.e. stuff I shot at last New York Fashion Week, like this post. But I think the cause of this blogging fatigue is a fairly common one: the knowledge that a new fashion month is about to be upon us. Soon, hundreds of bloggers will descend upon New York, London, Milan, and Paris to brave the cold and shoot style stars in their less-than-weather-appropriate attire. We will spend our days on foot and in taxi, running from one runway show to another, calling out the names of models, editors, and buyers, so that they'll turn around and pose for us for a few seconds. I — like plenty of other bloggers at this very moment — am storing up energy. Street style hibernation. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

More Shots from Outside Ralph Lauren, New York

Nothing like a good metal grate to signify street style. Washington Street, the setting for Ralph Lauren's two shows at New York Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2014, was full of 'em. Those, and UPS trucks, freshly dispatched. Seems like the bigger the name behind a show at NYFW, the more remote the location. Power is measured by one's ability to make others come to them.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fashion Week Hoopla

It's cold and snowy, and I haven't had the time or the energy the last couple of weeks to hit the streets of Philly and shoot street style. I've had to draw from my stock of Fashion Week photos instead. And now I'm running out of those too. Or at least, ones I feel like putting up. I still have lots more photos from Fashion Week, plenty of them featuring style stars of the moment, editors, models, etc. But they all just feel like more of the same to me.

In a recent op-ed for Business of Fashion, writer Max Berlinger asks, "Whatever happened to the 'street' in street style?" Interest in street style images, he suggests, continues to grow. New street style blogs pop up all the time, and more and more fashion publications put up street style images on their websites. And as that happens, we are bombarded with a steady stream of "images featuring tony editors, buyers, and other fashion insiders captured at the world's major fashion weeks."  "But there’s a pointed lack of inspiration in these pictures," says Berlinger." "Too often, they reflect a highly merchandised construct that merely reiterates the seasonal themes dictated, top-down, from the industry to consumers, at the expense of true personal style. Sometimes, they are even part of a premeditated marketing plan."

Berlinger probably overstates the influence of the industry over street style photography. Many bloggers and style stars at the events do get free clothes to parade outside the runway from major designers and labels. And many magazines pay for images from various bloggers and photographers. But street style is too unwieldy a thing to be firmly under the industry's control. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many breathy articles in the fashion press on "The Circus of Fashion" Week and the industry's efforts to kill it. Street style, no doubt, maintains a relationship with the fashion industry, but it is a messy, tempestuous relationship.

That said, it's hard not to feel that something is lost as the lens of street style photography is turned away from "the street" and towards sidewalks outside runway shows. As Berlinger claims, something of the "immediacy" and "authenticity" of street style photographs has been compromised. 

But not all is lost. There are still plenty of good street style blogs out there that feature people far off the runway: Streetgeist in LA, On the Corner in Buenos Aires, Breaking Fad in New York, and my all-time favorite, Hel Looks in Helsinki. I will, of course, continue to shoot "real people" on the streets of Philly. I'm just waiting for it to warm up a bit first. And then, come February, I'll be back out on the sidewalks outside the runways of Fashion Week. And I too will be swept up in the show.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NYFW Street Style: After Dianne Von Furstenberg

It snowed yesterday in Philly, and not just a little. We broke records, set new precedents. My neighborhood has disappeared beneath a 13-inch blanket of white. And right now, it's 3 degrees outside, with a windchill factor of -14. I am not leaving my house today. 

So here, snow-trapped people of the East Coast, is a picture of happier times — the last days of summer, and one of the last days of New York Fashion Week, when short dresses were everywhere, scarves were merely for decoration, and flowers and polka dots burst from our clothing, as if the world were just so rich with color, pattern, and texture, why not add more? It's not like we're going to run out. We used to be warm once, long long ago. I can almost remember what it felt like.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Melissa Liebling-Goldberg, 22nd St, New York

Melissa Liebling-Goldberg is Fashion and Beauty Director of PopSugar. I shot her down the street from the Kate Spade show this past September. The wall behind her is one of my favorite backdrops in New York. It's right next door to the Comme Des Garçons shop in Chelsea, and was obviously commissioned to look like a spontaneous work of street art.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Down the Street from Rodarte, 22nd St, New York

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Philadelphia Street Style: Stephanie, off 5th St

Philadelphia punk harcore

Philadelphia hardcore punk cut offs

Stephanie does punk like a Southern Californian, with American-Apparel-style high-waisted cut-offs,  traces of Rockabilly and metal, and just a touch of thrift-store granny chic. It's enough to make me nostalgic. 

Here, she's wearing a band T-shirt for the hardcore act No Quantums, a jacket from Wet Seal that she got when she "was like 14," some cut-offs from Philly AIDS Thrift ("maybe Levis?"), and, of course, a pair of classic Doc Marten boots. When I asked her about her style, she said, "I don't know. I kind of wake up and throw on whatever." But she does tend to wear shorts year-round, she elaborated, along with tights and high socks. "I guess it's kinda grungy," she concluded about her style. "But only kinda," I added. The teddy bear backpack I didn't see until the photo shoot proper was over. I had to snap one more shot.

You might be able to guess this, but she listens to a good deal of punk rock, doom, and hardcore. She's also affiliated with a hardcore venue called Sam's Vegan Steakhouse in South Philly. Check out their facebook page here

Monday, January 13, 2014

Philadelphia Street Style: Alexis, Chestnut St

For some reason I was in the mood to shoot old-school street style today, "straight up," with a graffiti-covered metal grate in the background. Alexis was the ideal subject to satisfy the need.

Here she's wearing a jacket and sweatshirt from Forever 21, a T-shirt you can't see from Hot Topic, jeans from Pac Sun, and boots from Romwe. She describes her style as "punk rock but also chic," explaining that she likes to dress up sometimes. As for music, she's been listening to I See Stars, City of Color, and Hearts and Hands lately. 

Funny how saying that someone is wearing something from Forever 21 tells you almost nothing about their sense of style. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Model Off Duty: Larissa Hofman, 15th St, New York

I am so aching to get out on the streets of Philly and shoot! But the weather and my teaching schedule are not cooperating. So instead of the quirky, edgy "real people" I typically feature on this site, you'll just  have to settle for a stunning international model with remarkable bone structure instead.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

NYFW Street Style: Outside Rodarte in Rodarte, 22nd St

This charming woman, whom I shot outside the Rodarte show on 22nd St, was happy to show off her Rodarte dress and Rodarte barbed-wire bracelets. She wears them well. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jenny Shimizu, Outside Rodarte, 22nd St, New York

I didn't know who model/actress/director Jenny Shimizu was when I stopped to ask to take her picture. I just thought she was badass. Not everyone can pull off this casual of a look at Fashion Week. And not everyone can get away with denim sweatpants either. Clearly, Jenny can. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chinese Designer Yomi Xi, Outside J. Crew, Lincoln Center

I found Chinese designer Yomi Xi's name via Facehunter. Thanks, Yvan! She's wearing outfits she designed in both pictures. 

Could have sworn I posted this image months ago, but couldn't find it anywhere on the blog. So, here it is (again?).

Monday, January 6, 2014

NYFW Street Style: Susie Bubble, Milk Studios, 15th St

backpack sunglasses bun susie bubble

Friday, January 3, 2014

Fashion Writer Lynn Yaeger, Outside Jason Wu

Thursday, January 2, 2014

In the Cage of the Spotlight: Model Off Duty Behind Lincoln Center, New York Fashion Week

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NYFW Street Style: After Diane Von Furstenberg

I stopped this young woman shortly after she had arrived at Lincoln Center. No one was paying attention to her, even as they scoured the new arrivals looking for the stylish among the many. She seemed quite delighted to be asked, all shy smiles, and anxious poses. It was one of those rare moments at Fashion Week where you feel like you've made a real —albeit short term — connection with another human being. By the time I was done taking her picture she was surrounded by photographers, and she staid surrounded for at least the next hour or so afterwards. I would catch glimpses of her occasionally as I wandered the plaza looking for new subjects to shoot. Her poses grew more confident, and the shy smile grew bolder and more assertive. I watched her transform from another stylish member of the crowd into a sought-after model.