Is this fashion foward or are the stylistas running the fashion asylum?

A couple of weeks ago, an online publication that I enjoy very much ran a piece inspired from Paris Fashion Week titled “Stunning Street Style from Paris Fashion Week“. Now, though I am completely aware that the fashions presented on these runways and the looks paraded by the Fashion Week groupies will most likely be unsuitable for the majority of the population and definitely for this over-50 body, I nonetheless love to indulge in the show. The fashion shows, after all, are entertainment just as much as they are marketing tools.I love Rick Owens and love him even more his human backpack stunt which got him a ton of press. Well done.

But this is not about the theatrics presented by the fashion designers on the runways. The more outrageous looks presented there get watered down until they are fit for mass consumption. This is about what is going on outside of shows with the Fashion Week groupies to which we are throwing flowers and glowing praise because of their soit-disant “fabulous” street style.

STUNNING STREET STYLE. UH, REALLY?

I had to roll my eyes when I went through the above mentioned 225-photos slide show that, given the title of the piece, were supposed to demonstrate “Stunning Street Style” in action. First, this isn’t street style. These are elaborately practiced looks worn by almost famous women who are aching to get a mention in a street style blog. As for stunning? Did they mean stunning-beautiful or stunning-distressing? Some of these looks appear to be parodies except that the photographers aren’t in on the joke.

But here’s what I thought of some of the more conspicuously constructed outfits:

TRYING SO VERY HARD

There is a contest going on and we just weren’t aware of it. It’s an interview competition for a who will be the next Cirque du Soleil costume designer. I pick the feather pants lady.

Let’s remember our context: “stunning street style”. Entertaining, colorful, creative? Yes. Stunning? Hummm. Understated elegance is definitely not the look these women are going for. The shoes, the handbag, the textures, the colors, the glasses, the hair, the overloaded combinations… Make it stop. Please! Isn’t it Coco Chanel who had a rule that said “Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off“. Let’s revisit that one, I beg you.

I know that I’d only get smirks strolling down the boulevards dressed like this. My loss.

STREET SWEEPERS

What’s up with these hemlines? Are we back to the middle ages when length of clothing reflects one’s status? I hope that this is not a trend that will catch on. These women are obviously wearing couture pieces. So why are they dragging them all over the pavement? The woman in the shearling coat is breaking my heart. She is literally sweeping the sidewalk. There needs to be an intervention. And I’ll be right there to rescue that coat. And have it altered.

The woman in the orange and pink pant-thing? I’m just really curious about her footwear. These are some mega-platforms she is wearing if her knees provide any indication. And her pants are still too long. Stilts are what she needs.

The woman in the navy outfit. There are actually a couple photos of her in this collection and she looks equally angry in both. I would be too if I couldn’t to take a single step without tripping and then really make a show out of myself. Actually, I think that she’s upset because she realized that she got to the median of the boulevard and won’t be able to cross all the way to the other side without killing herself. Or taking off her pants. It’s too bad about the ludicrous hem length on the pants because I actually really like this outfit. I even like the sleeves which are not quite as impractical as the pants’ length. Still, impractical enough that you know she won’t be cooking her own dinner. Status. Yeah.

A LITTLE SOMETHING CALLED PROPORTION

Let me refer to Coco Chanel once again. She famously said that “Fashion is like architecture. It’s a matter of proportions“. Maybe these women didn’t have a mirror to check to see if the outfit really worked? At least the gal in the red boots seems very pleased with her choices. Ah, the superpowers that a good outfit can provide.

But, be warned. This second set of photos seems to confirm the trend that sleeve lengths is becoming exaggeratedly long. It could be fun. Just not that useful in the kitchen. Or the bathroom. I know, but admit you were thinking it too.

ATHLEISURE BECOMES LAZYURE

This one is ironic. Because these photos were taken in Paris and my Parisian friend was just telling me that athletic and yoga wear are a huge no-no on the streets in Paris. Women go to their yoga studio or gym and change into their workout gear there, never to be caught dead in the streets in their Lululemons. So then, explain the above? I actually love the red coat even though it could be easily be mistaken for a bathrobe. But the two other photos of the pj’s? The clogs really add the final touche.

SPECIAL MENTIONS

This young lady wins the prize for best DIY outfit. Her artful assemblage of macramé doilies needs to be commended. And then the vision to transform this into a coat with added fur trim is… what’s the word… stirring.

I believe that the added Chanel accessories, shoes and handbag legitimize the whole outfit. AmIright?

And maybe extra points for color coordination? Which is weird because matchy-matchy has definitely been proscribed by all other stylistas. She’s a rebel for sure.

Mystery prize. How did this make it to the Stunning Street Style list? Or, it’s quite possible that I’m just not getting this young woman’s progressive approach to fashion. Somehow, the Lurex mock-neck and the knee-highs are just not doing it for me.

I’ll just go sip my iced tea on my porch now and reflect on what I might learn from this.

Ah, fashion. The creativity, the textures, the colors, the combinations, the innovations… all become a source of editable inspiration for my own look. Usually. But with this display, it just feels like the crazies came out. Actually, I just realized that it’s not the crazies as much as the egotists and the wannabes. It’s become a contest for who-outdoes-who, whatever it takes to get that name and photo to appear in that street style blog.

I was really bothered by this because, initially, I took the title literally: Stunning Street Style. But, I can relax now because, this is not street style. Street style is what Scott Schuman photographs. These are performances. Auditions. Not to be confused with style. I feel much better with this understanding now.

Hannah Ewens at Vice had the last laugh and her over-the-top attempts to get her own mention in street style blogs. It was a perfect parody of the Fashion Week groupies.

PS: Despite the laughable stylings mentioned above, Stylecaster has recorded some amazing street style. See them on their Pinterest board.


Originally published at www.thesucculentwife.com on November 13, 2015.