Friday, 2 May 2008

The Facehunter-ing Sartorialists (Pssst, that's you)

Once upon a time not so far, far, away, celebrities influenced the way we looked. We poured over pictures of them in magazines and watched their interviews on TV, all the while pretending to be interested in their latest release (when what we were really doing was dissecting and analysing their outfits to the minute detail. Remember buying the Posh and Becks wedding issue of OK magazine for the 'articles'? Or still buying heat for the TV guide?).

However, recently there has been a shift away from this behaviour. More people than ever are looking at the everyday person on the street, using 'real' people for wardrobe inspiration. Blogs like The Sartorialist and Facehunter make this voyeurism easy (and more importantly, prevent us from getting lamped for staring at individuals that just have something). Should we find this move away from celebrity fashion towards civilian style surprising though? The great Sartorialist himself (Scott Schuman) admitted, "The reason I started the blog was because I was not feeling inspired by the guys I was seeing in magazines. I was wanting to refine my own style so I went out with my camera and started taking pictures (initially of men) that I thought would help me and inspire me in my choices". Obviously, Scott is not alone in his thoughts; his site is classed as one of the most influential design blogs in the world and now receives a staggering 70,000 hits a day.

The evidence definitely suggests that the A-Listers have lost some allure to Joseph/Josephine Public on the street. But why is this?

OK, time for some speculatory work... The rise of the celebrity stylist is a big factor (and according to my fella, the fact that any Tom, Dick, or talentless Harry can be a celeb these days, but enough of that for now). You see, Misha, Li Lo, J-Lo, Keira, Demi, Kylie, Jessica (which ever one of them comes to mind), I could go on and on and on; they all have them. No longer confined to photo-shoots for magazines, stylists are now grooming / dressing (delete as appropriate) our starlets young and old. This all seems hunky dory until you realise that all of Hollywood and her Husband is being dressed by the same few people (most probably Rachel Zoe), and that this means they are all carbon copies of one another. The very people whose looks we once tried to emulate to the very button, now bore us to tears (or at least to the direction of the internet). Now of course, I am not so stupid that I don't appreciate that these celebrity/stylist combos don't sell clothes. Because they do, by the shed-load. Keira Knightly on a red carpet is worth millions to the designer that dressed her. However, while they may sell the dress, these duos don't influence how we wear them anymore. We now look much closer to home for that inspiration.

So, yeah, wrap up that Olsen style scarf, I'll take it! But you know what? I shan't put it with some skinny jeans and a boy style blazer! No! Teaming it with a stripy tee and some wide leg turn-ups is what's getting me going these days...

Now to conclude, what have we learnt today? 1. It is OK to buy OK magazine for the 'articles'. 2. It is OK to buy a dress that looks a bit similar to the one Rachel Bilson wore that you saw when reading the 'article' as long as you style it in a different way. 3. It is OK to stalk people on the streets if it is in the name of fashion.


Image: top right from

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