Man Repeller recently posted a piece about the uninspiring nature of London Fashion Week’s street style, and I have to agree. Leandra Medine, the sites creator and author/fashion genius extraordinaire, expanded it to all of the fashion week’s street styles this season and attributed it to the boom then fade of the 2010’s fashion blogs and online personalities. I, however, feel it is about something different. It is well known that fashion is cyclical and that trends rotate with the seasons, but as social media and fast fashion have bombarded the industry with instant feedback and new trends faster than fashion houses can create them, there has developed a chasm between the styles we see on the street: the thoughtfulness seen at New York Fashion Week and the exuberance of effortlessness at LFW.
Street style shots from LFW read similarly: thin young socialites wearing an impossibly short somethings with impossible shoes and impossible jackets hung over their shoulders, the whole outfit culminating in something more than my yearly salary. What is lacking here is not the clothes or the brands, it is not the styles or the shapes, but the effort. Rolling up to Fashion Week in what looks like last nights party clothes is not necessarily bad taste – it is, after all, making a statement – but it is uninteresting. The “I couldn’t care less” look, punk or otherwise, is one that we have all seen before from Marc Jacobs cerca 1995 to Michael Kors 2012. It reads like an encounter with someone remarkably similar to an ex – thank you but no thank you. That look, that feeling, while once exciting has since been outgrown.
This is not to say that effortlessness has died at NYFW, it just comes in smaller doses. It is seen in the confidence with which one pulls off white jeans and a Matrix-esque brown leather trench. It is seen in the perfect pairing if clashing prints and textures and the actual no makeup faces that pull them off. What separates LFW from NYFW, then? Intention. The United States is often criticized for our career driven society, but the street style at NYFW this season incurred a level of professionalism that seemed to withstand the enormity of the event despite the afore mentioned changes of social media and fast fashion. The Jenna Lyons-esque layering was wholly welcomed this (chilly) season in New York and it gave the overall impression that those attending thought about it ahead of time and were actually excited to go. (When was the last time we have gotten excited about anything?)
Perhaps my criticisms are reflective of my life right now, perhaps I am looking in the wrong places, perhaps I am missing the point entirely – that punk and the “I woke up like this” vibe will always live on in London – but I do not think that is the truth. I am over trying to wake up like that. What is so wrong about the thoughtful presentation of ourselves? No one does wake up with that perfectly imperfect disheveled but not too messy look anyway.