I thought I would give a little insight into what its like as a street photographer at fashion week for those who have not witnessed the chaos that it is.
Streetstyle photography is becoming ever more popular, so much so that fashion week in any of the four cities is overrun by those trying to get photographs of the hottest style icons in fashion. Its a crazy mix of the commissioned photographers, the bloggers, the paparazzi, the students, the perverts and the tourists...not to add the catwalk and front row photographers too. Some of them are absolutely crazy, some are a bit aggressive, some creepy, some are the friendliest people you could meet, some are the most irritating too and some just blend in and do what they do. I'm not quite sure which boxes I tick....I'll leave that to those who have to endure my company or harassment.
It seems now though that with all this photographic attention, the fashionistas have a lot more pressure thrust upon them. They are expected to dress exceptional, to change their outfits as much as possible and to allow enough time to walk the 500yards through the photographers to get to a show, which isn't easy when you're on a schedule. If you play the game, you can become celebrated as a fashion icon all over the world. If you don't, its going to take a lot of parties and breakfast meetings for everybody to know your face.
It can be an expensive game to play too. The outfits are not cheap and although those at the top of the ladder get loaned and given items for the fashion shows, if you're at the bottom and trying to work your way up, you better hope Daddy ain't a rolling stone! I love fashion week. I love the theatrical atmosphere and I love seeing the amazing people in amazing clothes. But is it really an accurate reflection of 'street' style? Most of these items are hidden away until the next fashion season (if they're still on trend of course) and are not really what makes it onto the street corners of your average home town.
It can be a very judgmental popularity contest too. I have witnessed some people arrive and look fantastic, but be completely ignored as there is somebody perhaps more popular near by. These ladies and gentlemen who are ignored are usually the ones who keep their heads down and do the hard graft behind the scenes of the magazines and fashion houses, the buyers, the writers and the assistants. Yet at the same time you can witness a student or blogger arrive in head to toe super brand designs and be surrounded by 40 photographers who instantly turn them into a celebrity across the blogosphere and online mag world. As for individuality in the photographs, that's for you the viewers to decide if any of the street photographers can really create something any different to the next person who is stood right next to them with the same camera and the same lens, shooting the same person you've just stopped and arranged a pose with. (I calculate you're lucky if you get 7 secs to photograph somebody by yourself).
I just want to finish by saying that I really do love fashion week and the fashion world. You just have to remember that it's just a form of escapism and to never take it too seriously. We all need something to escape to and why not make it beautiful clothes and crazy people? Anyway ramble over, here's some pictures!