Street fashion–that is, fashion of the everyday stylized young adult–has seemed to carve its own place in the fashion world very recently. There are plenty of factors that play into its expansion over the decades: the rapid fire emergence of the Internet as media and a means of expression, the accessibility of more expensive, quality end fashion lines and houses, and even the recognition and adoption of “underground” fashion styles by designers (see: the Harajuku trend.)
The real bread and butter of street fashion, however, are the actual people–those who are brave enough to capture their own personal style and label it “fashion,” although such ideals widely differentiate. However, that is street fashion’s inherent appeal: the trade of the extraordinary for the ordinary, for no rules, for as little or as much glamour as you want. Fashion is general, but with an underlying current of stability; street fashion is as rigid as your blazer or as flowing as your skirt.
More importantly, street fashion is accessible, even despite fashion’s embrace of the Internet and technology. Street fashion allows for the promotion of all body types and style sensibilities. Countless blogs are dedicated to parts or all of it, social media is obsessed with it and this means good things for those participating or otherwise engaged with it.
The Internet in particular is be praised for this important factor: it is limitless, (almost) just as accessible and is valued for being able to connect millions of people to the trends and fashions that they love. The Internet is more than revered for its power to be able to create communities and challenge the ideals and rules of other long-time established ones, so it makes sense that street fashion would utilize it in the way that it has.
I am intrigued most by the shift of power that comes with recognizing and heralding street fashion. What does street fashion mean for the “legends” and faces of fashion proper, which comes complete with money, time and abstract idealization? Obviously the economics of the fashion industry has lacked in the aftermath of the entrepreneurial expansion of street fashion. However, the societal power of fashion–its ability to dictate the trends of lower-end fashion and in general–has been affected tremendously.
Make no mistake, trends are still present in street fashion, as nothing escapes societal influence and the media. It is very often that you find others copping the same hat or the same-styled skirt; this is inescapable.
Still, street fashion wildly differs: among race groups, among countries, among and more. Its versatility is what keeps it going; if people can feed off each other (and they do), then street style will continue to expand.
I, for one, am wildly interested in what will happen in the future to street fashion. What will continue to saturate and inspire it? What will change it? What will expand it? How will it become more accessible to newer generations who are more familiar with the Internet that the Haus?\