I have a theory, should you choose to believe it, that you can rise to the upper echelons of street style stardom through the skilful deployment of a few simple, albeit incredibly sassy, items. Namely: a statement coat (the bigger, the better) and a stellar pair of sunnies (the kookier, the better).
Armed with both aforementioned accoutrements (one: my candy-coloured sheepskin coat, the other: some glasses I customised especially for the occasion and am, subsequently, nuts about), I intended on taking my hypothesis to the streets of London Fashion Week, delivering a first-hand account of my findings. Will I get photographed? Who am I kidding – of course I will! I wonder what front page I’ll be on. The Metro, perhaps? God, I hope it doesn’t rain. I’ll look like a drowned rat. Correction: sheep. Will Anna Dello Russo be there? Will she compliment my outfit? Probably. I bet she’ll ask for a photo with me. Classic, Anna.
But then news spread that PETA had turned up at LFW, megaphones and all, and images of Samantha Jones being doused in red paint ran rampant through my mind.
I changed course. Sat on my bed, with my sunnies firmly affixed to my cranium and my sheepskin coat draped over my shoulders (I’m so method), I mentally bemoaned the missed Anna Dello Russo photo ops that would surely send my career catapulting, while firing off emails to some experts. Is street style formulaic? What methods do fashion folk deploy, if any? Do people attend with the hopes of being papped? What are the photogs looking for in an outfit? How the fuck do you end up in a Vogue photo gallery? I asked, they answered.
First things first: what actually is street style and is there an art to it?
‘Street style for me is exactly what it says on the box. Style shot on the street.’ Meet Amanda, editor of Fashion Fix Daily and owner of the world’s pinkest head of hair (probably). No stranger to street style galleries herself, I quizzed her on the getting ready process. Do you put in more legwork when it comes to Fashion Week? “I think anyone would be lying if they said they didn’t think about what they would be wearing to fashion week. I look at it like I would any event, you want to look your best when going to a wedding so why not when you go to LFW?” Mirroring Amanda’s thought-train is blogger and fellow Fashion Fix Daily editor, Sheri; herself no stranger to a street style gallery or a bottle of hair dye (‘tangerine dream’ is an apt description of her locks): “I plan my outfits just as I would if I was going on holiday or out somewhere nice, while also taking into consideration the weather and general comfort levels. I’ve learnt the hard way that comfort is key at LFW, but as a day-to-day mood dresser pre-planning the day after tomorrow’s outfit can be a hellish task! I try and use pieces I know I feel good in and go from there.”
Lesson #1: Comfort is key, but so is planning.You got that? Let’s push on.
So you’ve decked yourself out in your most exceptional finery, applying wedding-guest levels of planning, and you’re psyched to hit those famous cobbles. (You should be psyched, you look ACE.) Will you have a lens pointed at you? Who knows. Oh wait, this guy does! Cue photographer Miles Drury, dishing the fashion dirt. So to speak.
‘The best shots I manage to capture seem to consist of colour.’ We’re listening, Miles… ‘That is not to say dark and monochrome looks don’t work, it just sometimes comes down to personal preference. Bright colours against the city buildings and pavements always look strong.’
In short: the bolder, the better. Lucky for you, you’re wearing head-to-toe yellow. You’re the brightest you could possibly be! Miles is pointing his camera right at you, WHAT DO YOU DO?! Answer: don’t pose.
‘I enjoy my more candid shots than the posed shots. I think this comes down to how the clothes fall in a more natural manor in candid shots making the overall outcome feel more relatable and fresh. For me, an outfit shot just as someone gets out of a car for a show or someone waiting to enter the venue looks so much better than a posed one.’
Lesson #2: Be cool. Be casual. (But also BE BOLD.)
Finally, is there a secret recipe to street style success? And does my theory hold up? Sheri seems to think so: ‘One singular statement piece really is all you need to nail the street style aesthetic. That one thing that everyone will want to know where the hell you got it or how they can wear it too, that’s the secret to street style.’ Amanda, too: ‘I’m drawn to statement pieces and I think they can make a standard outfit something extraordinary. One coat or hat can transform an outfit and a pair of extravagant sunnies adds an air of mystery; it’s like catnip to photographers!’
And does the photographer agree? ‘I am fully behind this. Street style is not about showing off what you have in your wardrobe, it is just about nailing simplicity and getting across your look and personality, whether that be a bold coat or some class sunglasses.’ It’s Miles Drury certified: sassy-as specs are your gateway to LFW success.
Lesson #3: My theory holds up! (Sort of.) I am a genius! (Not really.) A fashion oracle! (Definitely not.)
Armed with this knowledge, and – let’s be real – your already exquisite taste in clothing, I fully expect to see you in Vogue’s street style archives next season. You are WELCOME!