Marita Moloney casts her eye on the street style at home and abroad.
Described in the Fashion and Style section of the revered, powerhouse publication that is the New York Times as “fashion’s last stronghold of true indie spirit”, the spotlight on street style has never shone so bright. With the various Fashion Weeks around the globe now finished, the fashion world has been feverishly reporting and dissecting the looks from the runways, scrutinising the trends that dominated and the designers that took centre stag
However, the show outside the show took place in a variety of outdoor style parades on the pavements, competing with the glamorous extravaganzas on the catwalks. Photographers frantically focused their lenses on the assortment of industry virtuosos, celebrities and fashion enthusiasts who showcased their personal individuality to style lieges everywhere, and often the displays eclipsed those happening centre stage. This can be seen by the vast array of editorials featuring in countless magazines, as well as online in websites and blogs, with brilliant sites such as streetpeeper.com and thesartorialist.com becoming increasingly renowned.
Fashion bloggers are quickly gathering pace in competing to make their mark in an industry that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, and are becoming valuable assets for designers who can use their escalating status to advertise and expose their own wares to a large audience. These bloggers, as well as the ordinary person on the street (albeit an impressively stylish, creative or impeccably groomed individual), are influencing these designers, who find their eclectic ensembles refreshing and inspirational.
The four fashion capitals each have their own idiosyncratic style, with the combination of high street and designer brands, as well as vintage pieces, all coming together to create some exciting looks. Paris is known for its chic, streamlined sophistication, with the locals choosing classic, muted colours matched with simple shapes and accentuated with a put-togetherness echoing the city’s founding masters of fashion such as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. Milan weaves a tapestry of luxury, and its natives take pride in rich, sumptuous shades and fabrics, where more is definitely more when it comes to making an impact in the street style stakes.
New York and London, however, are where the real stars of everyday style truly shine. These perpetual “cool kids” of fashion bring out the most outrageous, diverse and eclectic melange of fashions around every corner; cities where the emerging talent in fashion is vibrant and electrifying. It is often difficult to thread the fine line between directional and ridiculous style, but there it becomes less important to distinguish between the two; everything goes. The creativity of not just the fashion scene, but also the art and music worlds generates a veritable mix of charismatic style that is showcased by young and old.
It is undeniable that our closest neighbour London has therefore had an influence on Irish dressing. A plethora of young, up-and-coming Irish designers as well as our very own fashion week in the capital are attributing to a more distinctive, eye-catching sartorial sensibility that oozes hipness. As a nation, we successfully undertake the challenge that is balancing being cool while remaining warm – no mean feat. It should be noted that just because our fashion choices may be less out there than our counterparts, it doesn’t mean that we are any less stylish; there is an inimitable, characteristic aesthetic that represents our uncanny eye for style.
To finish with a quote from Coco Chanel herself which has never held such relevance as it does now; “Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”.