They Said/We Said: Has Anna Dello Russo unintentionally spurred an overhaul of the street style photography industry?
While we have always been fans of authentic street style photography, we do have to agree with some points its critics make; namely, the fact that what used to be a chance encounter between photographer and subject on the streets has devolved into a deliberate spectacle, with some industry types spending weeks meticulously planning trend-laden outfits in the hopes of getting snapped at fashion week.
A Telegraph interview with Anna Dello Russo, one of street style’s most-snapped stars, pretty much sums up the direction street style is now headed in: “In the beginning it 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 anymore,’” she told Telegraph.
Fashionista recently tasked a couple of psychology experts with delving into the psychology behind that quote. Their observations seem to link the desire of ADR types to be photographed with a sense of relevance (something that used to be tied with their work, not their Internet fame).
Stuart Fischoff, the senior editor of the Journal of Media Psychology, told Fashionista that many attention-seekers base their self-worth on how others perceive them, so if they’re photog-bait, their sense of well-being goes up. The issue is that the thrilling moments in the spotlight can become addictive—if you become old news, it can feel like being cut off cold turkey.
Not only that, with industry heavy-hitters like GQ, The Cut and Fashionista publishing critical pieces about the “media circus” surrounding fashion week, it will be interesting to see what happens with Anna Dello Russo et al if street style photography ends up puttering out. Will the street style stars’ industry presence take a hit if they’re not “relevant” as judged by street style blogs?
What do you think: has street photography (and its subjects) lost that authentic edge that once made it so appealing, or is it simply due for an update?
Hayley Phelan, Fashionista news editor: “Industry wannabes, dressed in over-the-top fashions, walk by ‘casually,’ desperately hoping to catch the eye of a photographer. . . fashion week used to be a civilized industry event.” [Fashionista]
Will Welch, GQ senior editor: “It was fresh, it was democratic, it was inspired. But now it just feels lame. Here’s why: When the street-style trend went nuclear, all the accidental ‘Who, me?’ un-self-consciousness that once made it so fresh was tainted.” [GQ]
Nicole Stafford, photo editor: “The great thing about the oversaturation of street style photographers and the narcissists (haha) who love the cameras outside of shows is that when it comes to doing their jobs—be it as photographers or editors— true talent and style will always rise above the rest.”
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