In an age obsessed with “that was so five seconds ago” social media, street style photography has joined the snackable, easy to digest media we consume on a daily basis. As a society, we routinely become addicted to something. Then as it gets overexposed and over saturated , we get bored. We move on.
The same is true in fashion. Once something is being done by everyone, its ‘cool' factor is lost. Now that practically the entire fashion universe has a smart phone and some kind of style (good or bad), street style photography is filling up every blog, fashion website, and fashion news site. What was once a curated, influential, and refined art (a la Bill Cunningham), has become commercialized and abused (i.e. preconceived shoots that come off as natural). So, like harem pants, sweat sets, and sneaker wedges, has street style had it's moment? Is the moment coming to an end? And if so, what's next in the trend forecast?
Trends tend to be cyclical, especially in fashion. Once we get sick of something, we move in the opposite direction from what we are sick of. What are we sick of? The shallow, substance-less, uncredited, unidentified, mass influx of snap shots of ‘fashionistas' posing on the streets. What do we want? A little more insight. What's behind the beauty on the street with the Cambridge satchel bag? What does she do for a living? What's on her coffee table and in her closet?
It seems that now that we have been bombarded with the faces on the streets, we want to get acquainted with their lives and style. Sites like The Coveteur, Style Like U, Backyard Bill, The Selby, and An Afternoon With — and even broader sites like Refinery 29 — are picking up on the trend.
Recently, an article in FMM described how online users' patterns are changing: social networks used for “quick fixes” are becoming obsolete, and instead consumers are seeking a deeper and more fulfilling experience (both on and offline). The trend of shallow clicking is ending, and users are now more interested in challenges, meaning, and understanding. Advertisers have caught on to the changing tide, switching their tactics to aim towards enriching experience, according to the article's research.
As advertisers make the move to more fulfilling experiences, they will start investing into sites that will fulfill the need for richer content. Combine that with with the fascination of the ‘behind the scenes' street style, and viola! You are left with a site that provides solid photography, street style (or style of “the people,” non-editorial), and that little something extra to keep readers feeling satisfied.
So what will happen to all the street strutters outside the Rodarte show, waiting for their snap of internet fame?
Anna Dello Russo recently told the Telegraph, “In the beginning [being photographed for street style] was a little embarrassing. But sometimes now I think: ‘Oh, if I do not get photographed I will be miserable’, or ‘Oh my god, the outfit does not work any more.'” In response, Fashionista posted an article with a psychology expert weighing in, “There should be a mindfulness in this highly media saturated world,” said Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D., who is the senior editor of the Journal of Media Psychology. “There are casualties who do get that sudden affair with stardom and get addicted to the adrenalized experience, then find themselves shut off cold turkey.”
How do you feel about the over saturation of street style photography? What do you think is the next big thing?
[Image Credit: Shutterstock]