History: The Start of a Journey
Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele is the first person who springs to mind when I think Street Fashion. This enigmatic, 80’s Vogue Fashion Editor was one of the first women to really drive the collaboration between Haute Couture and the everyday wardrobe essentials. This meeting of High Fashion and basic clothing was clearly the seed that blossomed into a global realization that fashion is for everyone, anytime and all the time. People could now begin to conceptualize fashion beyond access to unlimited funds or brands and learn the art of mixing and matching. Unorthodox and personal styling suddenly became a trend itself and one’s own stamp of personality was now expected. Fashion trends now called for interpretation – it was no longer lazily left in the hands of the fashion elite to drive trends forward.
Carlyne is known for her early and unique obsession with street fashion and encouraging the average citizen to take fashion into their own hands.
“I love the street. J’adore the street.Adore.” – Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele
Street style began its journey with the help of the fashion prestigious and moved on to become one of the industry’s biggest inspirations. The progression of this movement has helped to advance and evolve the industry as a whole.
Today: The Development of Street Style
Does anyone even remember an era pre-fashion bloggers? Or a time when the Satorialist hadn’t made street style documentation a form of fluid artwork? Believe it or not, High Fashion was once reserved for the Runway. Designers plucked their muses out from the elite group of models and celebrities who were able to perfectly pull off new styles and silhouettes. Simply put, those that worked in the higher spheres of fashion and entertainment were generally the exclusive fashion icons: Models, actresses and glamour gals alike. Although the public were more inspired to make personal fashion statements, it was still predominantly the fashion dictators who dominated the scene.
In later years, thanks to the early ideologies of those like Carlyne as well as the explosion of social media, fashion saw the elusive fashion blogger as the inspirational icon. These bloggers became the vehicle which started to show trends off of the catwalks and on regular frames and faces. Slowly but surely, fashion icons found form in male and female, regardless of race or disposition and the public now began to romanticize about the clothing that “real” people had. A love affair with fashion was reignited in this form of candid photography that captured the style of those not on the runway or in the glossies. It was the beginning of a more tangible expose’ of fashion: People began to notice the outfits that these bloggers were capable of putting on without the assistance of anyone else and a wave of fashion-curiosity was unleashed.
But more recently, fashion’s biggest inspiration has come from the unassuming individuals found on the streets. Street style reporting in itself allows for an exposition of what fashions can be found in the most unexpected and unglamorous places. It simply shows the rest of the world how ordinary people are able to present themselves.
No doubt designers have always taken note of the general public to some degree when drawing inspiration for their lines. However, the fashion laymen have never had as much exposure as they do today. The celebration of street style has moved fashion away from the brands and perfection to a focus on personal style and fashion interpretation. The Street Style movement has made fashion appear to be accessible to anyone, irrespective of status or influence. Joe Soap now has the platform to become the Next Big Thing.
While the average fashion enthusiast still looks to the higher tiers of the industry for advice or inspiration, it has become interesting to see how that person will translate Cara Delevingne’s tomboyish preference, into their own dress.
Future? Street Style on the Go.
Trend Forecasters say that fashion trends are as a result of worldwide considerations and changes. Trends are partly formed due to global circumstance as well as individual environment, so naturally when the world hit a recent recession, international fashion almost subconsciously became more affordable, interchangeable and organic. On a national level, those living within our own country will notice splashes of bead-work and Shweshwe in between the European influence. Street Style is one of the platforms that we use to see this collaboration of local and international trends, fashion wavelengths and Runway interpretation. From the models, to the bloggers and down to the average concert or market goer, the development of personal style is now a global focus.
So who will be the next group of people that define fashion? Who will prove that these forecasted trends and global changes exist? In reality, it’s no longer surprising when the fashion blogger who lives and breathes the word, looks on point while sitting “fro” at Fashion week. It’s not really that impressive when hipsters have mixed their grandma’s jacket with their high tops to roam an art exhibition. Street Style documentation has become posed and static and the spontaneity needs to be rediscovered.
So, in order to take it one step further, street style enthusiasts need to shift their focus to how fashion is moving within communities that don’t have magazines thrust on their coffee tables or internet access at the office. We need to look to those who have to fight for fashion or that don’t have the influences fed to them on a silver spoon. Inspiration needs to be drawn from deep within the streets of our city in order to find out who the new muses are. Fashion needs to be found on the move: Those who aim to look good for themselves without the hopes of compliments or photo shoots. People that still manage to accommodate a sense of personal style within the stresses of a busy lifestyle. Focus should be on those who look striking while running for taxis after a hard day’s work or the outfits that were put together with nothing more than natural style and a keen eye for this subconscious wavelength that fashion rides.
Look out of the windows when driving through the CBD and watch fashion live and breathe within the bustle, in its purest and most unassuming form. Genuine street style is on the run within these areas and this concept demonstrates the circular journey of fashion. The trends that are originally found in the hubs and on the street will ultimately trickle their way back down to the very same people who ignited them.
No doubt that one’s own inspiration comes from many influences but none so big as their country or city. This is something that can be observed within these communities: Exciting nuances of cultures, languages and history worn on the clothes of its people. In order to keep the intention of street style reporting alive – which is to convey an honest and transparent version of evolving trends – we need to look to those who show style and flair in an everyday environment. Those who take the time to look their best while on the go. The hard workers and the fast paced city slickers who bring back street style to its true and unpretentious form.
This fashion, the city, these streets, those people – J’Adore.