Fashion: Applied Street Style Shilling.
Sep 19 2012
In case there is anyone out there still labouring under the mistaken assumption that street style is anything other than an elaborately staged advert for brands, I encourage you to take a look at online fashion emporium My Theresa's "Learn The Secrets To Getting Snapped This Season" feature. It is probably the most direct application (and the least subtle) of the phenomenon described in detail in the recent New York Times piece on the subject I've seen to date.
Click on the link and you land on a page that features the very pieces worn by the subjects in the street style shots. Now, just to be clear, if you really love the item in question and think it would be a great addition to your wardrobe, then by all means go forth and indulge! Just understand that your street style inspiration is not the independent style maven you thought he/she was and that he/she was most likely paid to be snapped whilst wearing the piece in question. It is no different in other words than buying an item displayed in the adverts and editorial pages of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar.
If, as an informed consumer, you're not bothered by the subterfuge, then that's perfectly fine too. Personally, I believe that some form of disclosure should be required of bloggers and their subjects when they have a direct or indirect financial interest in the process. It's a question of transparency and trust between bloggers and their followers.
Finally, if you believe that purchasing the items featured in a photograph and published on your favourite street style blog will actually get you photographed by The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton or any of the other street style bloggers, just remember that they're probably too busy photographing their paid subjects to even notice you.
The Luxe Chronicles
P.S. If you're interested in experiencing truly independent street style, I highly recommend The New York Times' Bill Cunningham. As far as I'm concerned, no street style blogger can rival with his finely honed eye for style. Not even close.