The media circus industry insiders like to call Fashion Week is a veritable cornucopia of street style photographers and their wildly dressed subjects, the latter of which sport clothing that those outside of the fashion industry would never in their wildest dreams don in public. It would be no surprise to see feathers, leather, and even pleather in an ensemble that also includes silk or lace. Silhouettes range for floor-grazing ball gown skirts to the most micro of mini skirts, and the accessories paired with such attire are a mashup of furry purses, unthinkably high, brightly hued stilettos, and jewelry that would make the Queen of England pale with envy. In summation, you have to dress crazily to be photographed at Fashion Week. Out of this well-known fact was born an experiment. In pursuit of street style photographer attention, I dressed in an array of costumes ranging from the simple to the utterly outre throughout Fashion Week, and observed the attention I was paid by photographers — or lack thereof.
Considering the sheer volume of famed fashion bloggers, designers, and celebrities on the street at Fashion Week, I did not expect a significant amount of snapping from the sartorial paparazzi. What I did find was that the craziest costume receives the most attention, regardless of who is sporting it. From denim to dramatic dresses, my findings on dressing to impress the Fashion Week photographers are below.
Outfit One: Contemporary Casual
Far and away, I received the least amount of attention sporting my casual, monochrome getup. As much as I adore my basic grey tee and skinny jeans, they do not a street style photographer-approved ensemble make.
Outfit 2: Ladylike Allure-Adjacent
I sprinted into my first Fashion Week show sporting a patterned midi skirt and crop top accented by cat eye frames and pointy-toe heels, convinced that this ensemble would be just insouciant enough to capture the attention of waiting photographers. It did not. Despite the high proportion of on-trend pieces, the outfit simply wasn't bizarre enough to elicit attention.
Outfit 3: '70s Bohemian Extravaganza
After gaining what amounted to no attention whatsoever for my previous ensembles, I steeled myself to test-drive the ultimate ensemble: a complete '70s-inspired look. I dared to don a bohemian chiffon skirt and a shoulder-baring, lace-embroidered blouse paired with a rugged brown belt and a fedora. Much to my shock, I was quite literally hounded by the street style paparazzi. "Let me see some movement in the skirt!" one yelled as I exited the show. Flashbulbs went off for what seemed like hours but likely only lasted 30 seconds before lauded fashion bloggers Jenny Bernheim and Rachel Parcell descended on the scene. In donning attire I had deemed too eccentric for quotidian occasions, I somehow managed to briefly convince the fashion industry's top photographers that I was, in fact, someone of interest.
My conclusion? When it comes to Fashion Week attire, go big or go home.
Images: Cameron Bertron