The Importance of Street Style

Personally, I’m bored with a lot of what’s happening in fashion, so I’ve been gravitating more towards the wearable technology industry, where innovation is a constant. I’m tired of seeing editorials consisting of looks styled straight off the runway: yes, Karlie Kloss is a goddess, particularly when she’s dripping in head to toe Chanel, but where’s the fun in that? It’s so obvious.

But where I’ve tired of most mainstream fashion rags and seeing the same designers and looks ad nausea, I still have yet to tire of the brilliant irreverence in the fashion mash up that is street style. Although it’s nothing new, the high-low sartorial mix has really hit its stride, due in no small part to the hipster (how much do you hate that word?) culture, which thrives on that which is different, and yet not. 

In his roundup of 2013 fashion influences, the New York TimesGuy Trebay citesThift Shop,” Ryan Lewis and Macklemore’s ubiquitous ode to Goodwill and its ilk, as the biggest influence on fashion and fashion culture. And with the video racking up over 477 million – yes, million – views on YouTube alone, I can’t say I completely disagree with him.

“We live in a thrift shop culture, compelled by daily, hourly and constantly refreshed trips to the Goodwill outlet that is the web. There we find all the stuff for assembling the “curated” selves who experts say are the new American trendsetters, D.I.Y. solipsists. Like Macklemore, we repurpose, we mash up, we grab things off the sale rack and try it on for size.” 

Anna Wintour was the first to thrust the fashion remix into the mainstream — her debut cover for Vogue mixed Christian Lacroix Couture with vintage denim, although Vogue (American, at least) hasn’t exactly earned a reputation for risk in the past decade.

We like our life curated – our media, our technology, our movies, and now, apparently, our fashion. 

We’ll be taking a look at the street style culture and its origins over the next few weeks. As always, sound off in the comments!

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