Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Street fashion blogs: Like watching the world go by from a park bench in the heart of the global village

When serendipity knocks, I often follow. That's how I ended up at The Clothes Project -- "Street Fashion Photography from Singapore" -- a blog which left a backlink on my Sitemeter when someone clicked Blogger's "Next Blog" button to end up at my place. That's how I discovered a whole new world of blogging that had previously been invisible to me -- street fashion blogging.

I'm no fashionista, far from it, but I like people and photography, and so I've developed a certain amount interest in street fashion through exposure to T's enthusiasm for the work of Bill Cunningham in the New York Times. That's why I clicked on the URL, and soon found myself surrounded by amateur Bill Cunninghams -- some very accomplished amateurs -- from all around the world. Check out the link for The Clothes Project. It has links to street fashion blogs all over the world, from Austin to Helsinki, from Tokyo to Berlin. And to scroll through their pages really is to feel as if you're in the heart of the global village, watching the passing parade.

I'll leave the analysis to others better qualified than I. Turns out, Slate had an article on the phenomenon last summer, with lots of links.
Whatever the reason for fashion's obsession with the street, keeping an eye on it has never been easy. Strolling around town is tough on the shoe leather, and only insiders know just where to look. The print media, meanwhile, has been of little help. Fashion editors are more likely to devote what pages they have to the fashion establishment (which pays for advertising) than to nameless but chic pedestrians (who don't).

Until now, the best-known exception has been the Sunday New York Times, which for more than 10 years has been running—at a small size, on lackluster newsprint in the Style section—Bill Cunningham's candid shots of stylish New Yorkers. But an exciting new development is making it easier than ever to follow the look of the man (and woman) on the street. Made possible by faster Internet access and cheaper digital photography, street-fashion blogs have sprung up all over the world, and they are quickly proliferating.

In my quick trip around the world, one of my favorites was StilinBerlin -- partly because I've always had a certain fondness for the city, and partly because the photography seemed to have a bit more panache than some of the others. I also liked the sidebar quote from Glenn O'Brien's blog at GQ.
The streets of Berlin, where grunge is a way of life. Funny, I've been thinking about checking out Berlin lately because it's supposed to be a little bit like New York was in the days of rock and wildness, and it has famously cheap rents. Well, if you check out StilinBerlin you'll see that they're not spending their surplus Euros on clothes. But there is a certain charm to the Berlin style. They appear to be totally unconcerned with designerism. Each person seems to be their own designer. They might be wearing things that came out of the trash, but these kids have their own look, and their threads were trashed and abraded and stained personally and not in some factory. That's the way it was in the old days. And that's what style is all about.
StilinBerlin also has an extensive blogroll. Check out the links and see the world.


Anonymous said...

I was excited to come across your entry while searching for new street fashion blogs. We just started one in Salt Lake City, Utah because it seemed like an intriguing place to try (and because we love to people watch). It's great to see new people taking notice of street fashion and enjoying what they find.

ISS Team said...

Yes, it is surprising how street style blogs are popping up all over the world. I love it! Check out areas like Buenos Aires, Bogota, Warsaw and Austin.

We actually run one fromk exotic Istanbul. Take a look at:

Istanbul Street Style


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