The Evolution of Street Style

 ˜What is it that influences what you wear? Maybe it’s the glamour of the catwalk, a favourite model or actress or perhaps it’s the style of those around you?

Traditionally, pioneering fashionistas eyed the runway on the lookout for next seasons’ focal trends but pulling off the evermore exotic looks: space men suits, pyjamas and hair tights are appearing too complex even for the most eccentric of us out there. Over the past few decades, the rise in celebrity culture has had a huge impact upon our style inspiration, whether we realise it or not. No longer do we look to Paris or Milan for our next fashion fix, instead we simply unfold the pages of a magazine or browse the web and attempt to recreate an aspect of Alexa Chung or Blake Lively’s most recent outfit. After all, some of the biggest trends of the last decade have been initiated by the likes of Sienna Miller and Kate Moss, skinny jeans being a case in point.

However, with the extensive use of social media and our constant hunger for seeking out the ‘new’, fashion inspiration is increasingly deriving from a different source altogether- regular, ordinary people. Recently, we have been witnessing the advent of both the citizen fashion photographer- two examples being The Sartorialist and Facehunter, along with the personal style blogger, girls and guys who post photos of their everyday outfits for the rest of cyberspace to make judgements on – FashionToast and Bryanboy being two of the most successful. The influence of this new breed of bloggers has been acknowledged both by high street brands and major designers, with Paul Smith admitting to checking them daily for ideas. Rodic, the man behind ‘Facehunter’ says that he focuses on individualism, photographing interesting looking people rather than spot fashion trends hinting at what makes his work so successful; his images simply provide a spark, a catalyst of inspiration both for the individual reader and global brands to develop a look or even a collection upon.

Mass media have now begun to take note of such blogs’ thriving popularity with titles such as Grazia and Elle constructing their own pages devoted to street style and producing features such as ‘Today I’m wearing…’. This adjustment signifies the changing demands of the public, no longer are we so interested in the inaccessible and far-fetched fantasies of the catwalk, but instead are more intrigued by the realities of fashion and how we can incorporate them into our everyday lives. We want to be inspired by people with lives akin to our own, with similar price ranges and daily demands. After being jaded by largely unattainable celebrity and catwalk style, genuine inspiration from the personal style of everyday people appears to be somewhat a breath of fresh air.

Last term we began our very own series of Oxford street style, snapping chic students out and about in the city. Look out for the new series on our facebook page, beginning in the first week of Michelmas.

5 of the best street style blogs:
The Sartorialist
Stockholm Street Style
Garance Doré

5 of the best personal style blogs:
Fashion Toast
The Blonde Salad
5 inch and up
Fashion Squad

The creator of The Satorialist has released a book featuring the best of street style from his blog