Just a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of previewing the Chloé Pre-Fall 2014 collection at an intimate presentation at Milk Studios. The editors in attendance — myself included — seemed to agree that, while all of the pieces were beautiful, the standouts were the coats. And I had a feeling that I’d be seeing plenty of them on street style blogs when they hit stores six months down the road. Well, I was right, but it happened way sooner than I expected.
This week at the couture shows in Paris, two of the most memorable items from the Chloé collection were photographed on two ladies known throughout the industry as much for their style as for what they do (if not more so): model Elena Perminova (above) and stylist Anya Ziourova (seen right). Perminova is also wearing a pair of heels from the same pre-fall collection.
Since these pieces were shown just over two weeks ago, that means the cloaks both women are wearing are samples, which they were either promptly gifted — common practice among top-tier editors who are big supporters of a fashion house — or borrowed in between editorial shoots. They were not paid for, but the benefits are mutual: Chloé gets great exposure online, and both Perminova and Ziourova add to their street style portfolio and, therefore, their industry cred. It’s a win-win. The only thing this arrangement seems to be lacking? Genuineness.
I hate to reduce the Chloé pieces to mere “street style bait” since they are so exquisite, but I can’t help but think that was the ladies’ motivation behind wearing them, as opposed to shopping current-season pieces, supporting designers that they love and showing off their true personal style. Street style stars looking like they’ve stepped right out of a lookbook isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, but when they’re wearing pieces that were on the runway less than a month ago, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow.
Call me naive, but I still looked at street style photos each Fashion Week believing that they had an element of authenticity. I think this finally changed my mind.