This morning I woke up and opened Instagram, as I do every other day. Though today, my feed was flooded by opposing argumentative responses to a US Vogue article. Noticing that these responses were strongly defending the role of both bloggers and street style photographers, I instantly took to finding the piece online. What I read from US Vogue was both saddening and disappointing.
US Vogue’s ‘Ciao Milano!’ article discusses Milan’s recent Fashion Week. Amongst discussions about favoured collections and revolutionary pieces, each contributing editor makes frequent comments about the schizophrenic nature of the street style concept, mainly targeting bloggers. Controversial comments are made about this massively trending aspect of the modern fashion industry, for example: ‘note to bloggers…please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style’, ‘the professional blogger bit, with the added aggression of the street photographer swarm who attend them, is horrible, but most of all, pathetic’, ‘it’s all pretty embarrassing – even more so when you consider what else is going on in the world. (Have you registered to vote yet? Don’t forget the debate on Monday!)’
These type of comments extremely sadden me. As an undergraduate English Lit student and aspiring editor, Vogue is the magazine that I have long admired and wish to work for, so to read these comments criticising two aspects of the industry which I thoroughly involve myself in and enjoy, is belittling. Yet what US Vogue fails to state is that, in making these comments, their writing becomes rather hypocritical. Prior to this article, US Vogue have portrayed nothing but support for bloggers and street style photographers, as they feature those ‘oh so famous’ street style pictures across their website and Instagram feed during every fashion week. ‘Your daily street style inspiration is here’, ‘see the best street style ensembles out of Milan’ and ‘spotted on the street: the best looks from #MFW’ are just a few of their recent captions which highlight the importance of the street style concept – quite simply, it is a form of inspiration! And bloggers have made this street style concept renowned due to the publicity surrounding them. People are inspired by an image connoting every day life, so seeing a blogger figure on the street who has built something from nothing is undeniably inspiring and influential.
Furthermore, the article talks about the pointlessness of wearing certain chosen clothes for the intention of being photographed and receiving ‘likes’ on social media. Yet US Vogue continues to promote ‘Insta-Famous’ influencers such as Kendall Jenner, who features on the 2016 September Issue with the caption: ‘the face that launched a billion likes.’ And she was photographed wearing Gucci, Galliano, Prada and Vetements clothes that were chosen for her for the intention of gaining attention and sparking influence. These names are also worn on the street, so if both aspects of the industry are promoting designers through artistic images of their clothing, what’s the problem? Everything is about influence in the fashion industry, and influence is found through imagery. Whether it be imagery from the catwalk or every day life outside, both inspire.
I believe fashion, in particular Vogue, is about honouring artistic craftsmanship. Of course, these editors do honour the design craftsmanship of Gucci and Versace in their article (and very rightly so), but craftsmanship is not solely limited to designers in the fashion industry. Craftsmanship is applicable to photographers, influencers, bloggers, stylists and of course magazine editors! So why should one aspect of the fashion industry belittle another when it similarly serves as a form of art, and similarly promotes clothing though photography like in a magazine? In publishing this article, US Vogue have undoubtedly received a great deal of publicity and attention to the magazine, due to its controversial nature. However, criticising an aspect of the same industry which they have long fed into through promotion and which serves as a vital part of modern fashion is disappointing, to say the least. Of course, it is crucial to honour the traditional and core aspects of the industry, so assessing new collections from iconic houses is vitally important. However, living in an age where the death of print is a saddening possibility, it is wrong to mock bloggers and street style photographers who epitomise fashion in the 21st century.
So, whilst I was originally going to post the following street style images from London Fashion Week as another presentation of my recent photography, I now do so in response to US Vogue’s lack of respect for bloggers and street style – essentially the modern fashion industry. I hope my images below will highlight the artistic nature that is associated with both bloggers and street style photographers! As, in anything associated with fashion, they are encompassed in art and creativity.
I hope that you all enjoy my following LFW street style photography! Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.
Faye-Isabella London Fashion Week Street Style Photography
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