On The Street

Maria Bobila

“On the street” can be perceived as a derogatory phrase. “Working on the streets” or finding something “on the street” can depict someone or something as cheap or without morals. However, the streets are where we go to find our greatest inspirations and our best discoveries of unique takes on fashion. “Street Style” is a term familiar to many fashion insiders, referring to pictures of eye-catching individuals from all over the world posted on blogs.

Blogs such as The Sartorialist (thesartorialist.com) and Facehunter (facehunter.blogspot.com) give viewers the opportunity to see high- and low-fashion items put together in a creative and organic way. We also get a sense of a certain region’s culture in trends and styles, from Japan’s eccentric Harajuku ensembles to the chic and classic choices of Paris. With the click of a camera and an immediate image upload onto a street style site, one’s outfit suddenly becomes a spectacle for anonymous spectators all over the world to admire, critique and follow. We view these images that are resourced from cities like Shanghai, New York, London and Milan within the privacy of our own homes, then take a few steps to our own closet and emulate the muses whose style catches our eye.

The Sartorialist and Facehunter are two of the most visited street-style blogs around. According to The Sartorialist’s biography, he captures style “in a way that most designers hunted for inspiration.” The Sartorialist explains, ” rarely do they look at the whole outfit as a yes or no, but they try and look for the abstract concepts of color, proportion, pattern mixing or mixed genres.”

The Sartorialist notices tiny details, such as the color combination of a woman’s outfit or the tailored fit of a man’s suit, which he elaborates on by including short comments with his photographs.

According to Facehunter’s Web site, his idea for his blog is “eye candy for the style hungry.” Facehunter simply posts photographs of individuals he sees throughout his travels, which recently included Men’s Fashion Week in Paris and the streets of London.

If surfing the ‘Net for style isn’t your thing, there are also published books with pages upon pages of inspiring, and even entertaining, ensembles. Check out “Fresh Fruits,” which includes extraordinary images of Tokyo street fashion, or my personal favorite, “Street” by the editors of Nylon Magazine, which includes not only Tokyo street fashion but also street fashion from other capitals all over the globe. New York Magazine has also put its feature, “The Look Book,” into paperback by publishing over 200 of its collected street style images from all over Manhattan, as well as interviews and store listings.

Therefore, “on the street” should not be understood as depraved but as an opportunity for fashionistas to practice what they do best: dress up and look good, not only for themselves, but for everyone else out there.