What makes a street style starlet? Is it her fearlessness in the face of fashion, her ability to pull off the latest runway trends? Or, is it the fact that she has a photographer trailing her around Lincoln Center, asking her to pose just-so in that sunny spot over there? This New York fashion week, we wanted to find out for ourselves.
As a girl who has sadly (sadly? Sure, we'll go with that) never been the subject of an actual street style snap, I was up for the challenge. The plan? Have our resident street style snapper Ashley start shooting me outside of the shows in hopes that her "interest" in what I was wearing might catch on with the other photogs, hungry for some fresh street style meat. So did they take the bait, or leave me pacing in circles around the Lincoln Center fountain wearing brainwave controlled cat ears?
Read and find out.
Photos: Ashley Jahncke
Day 1 Inspiration: Choupette Lagerfeld
We'd had these amazing battery-operated, brain-wave-controlled Necomimi cat ears made by Japanese company Neurowear lying around our office for some time now (doesn't everyone?), and NYFW seemed like the perfect time to take 'em out for a test frolic. Naturally, I accessorized my new ears with a feline-friendly ensemble of leopard on leopard. Street style isn't about subtlety, and after all, cats are everywhere in fashion lately--so it felt like a natural fit! And was it ever: The photogs at Lincoln Center were all over me like cats on catnip. Or whatever it is that cats go nuts over (milk? Docile mice? Clearly I'm not a cat owner).
It was like everyone had suddenly realized the dearth of cat-walkers (literally) on their own blogs. So I did what my muse Choupette Lagerfeld would do--I clawed at the air. I made a few meows. I channeled my inner Posh Spice and did that weird pointing-pose thing. Two people approached me for interviews, and a little girl wanted to pet my ears (which are supposed to wiggle around based on my thoughts and emotions). Ashley could hardly keep up with the sudden high demand for me. Me! Meee-ow.
Was the attention addicting? It's hard to say. I was painfully aware of my ears moving independently of the rest of my body, and the fact that, well, I was dressed like a cat. Plus, the resulting photos were enough to make me invest in a pair of ultra strength Spanx--and hire Tyra Banks as a personal posing instructor.
Day 2 The Inspiration: My #FashionWeekProblems, duh!
For the second challenge, our experiment became a study in contrast. I was still amazed by the overwhelming response to my cat ears, and I wondered what would happen if I were to wear the most basic of outfits to strut outside the shows. Enter, my glorious #FashionWeekProblems tee from K-Mart, which I paired with some unassuming dungarees (I'll call jeans dungarees 'til I die, btw), black rubber flip flops, and a 3-day unwashed bun atop my head.
I felt the weight of a thousand glaring, disapproving eyes on my bosom as I climbed the stairs to Lincoln Center. How do people wear graphic tees in normal life and still retain a shred of dignity? I don't think I want to know. As Ashley started snapping my photo, several other 'togs turned to aim their cams at me before quickly deciding my get-up wasn't worth their digital memory. It was all a bit sad, really--was being ignored by the street style photogs truly the worst #FashionWeekProblem off all?
It wasn't a total bust--I got some much-needed cardio from walking slowly back and forth around the scene, hoping someone would stop me. And right when I'd about given up, a Jeremy Scott x Adidas sneaker donning gent, whom Ashley was shooting IRL, actually dared to say he liked my shirt! And not only that--my sartorial choice inspired him to share with me his own #FashionWeekProblem, which involved a broken shoe and a hot glue gun. Or something. I was too excited that someone cared about my special outfit to actually listen to what he was saying.
Day 3 The Inspiration: Marc Jacobs fall 2012
We were shocked--shocked!--when we failed to see anyone rocking one of those humungous, furry Stephen Jones for Marc Jacobs hats from last season outside the shows at NYFW. So in order to spare the rest of you that same shock (shock!), we chose to bite the bullett and be that person. Of course, real Marc Jacobs x Stephen Jones is a little out of our budget. So we turned to the next best thing: Amazon.com, which rewarded our exhaustive search with this floppy, furry, seriously fabulous little leopard printed number.
I was feeling especially confident on this day, having realized earlier that I'd unwittingly dressed myself in a Marc Jacobs spring 2013-esque stripy bodysuit--two MJ trends at once? Why ever not. I popped on my topper the second I exited the Columbus Circle subway and was immediately inundated with compliments (and maybe a few glares) from passers-by. You might think I'm joking--I was in shock, too. On my walk to Lincoln Center, I was praised by both men and women for my choice of outlandish and extremely pet-able accessory... It was like a narcissist's dream. Not that I would know.
Once we arrived to LC, the reaction to my ode to Marc was a little lackluster. It was coming on evening which, Ashley informed me, isn't ideal for photographing. The courtyard (veranda? Quad?) was dotted with simple-dressed folk--apparently, no photographers equals no outlandishly dressed editors and bloggers. Hence I concede that the lack of attention to my fancy hat was due entirely to poor timing--though I did attract one lone cell-phone-pic taker (enjoy that one, buddy!). Plus, I found my new favorite hat.
Day 4 The Inspiration: Donna Karan spring 2013
For our final experiment at the end of fashion week, I wanted to try out a new makeup trend that went gangbusters on NYFW runways: Pink eye. I specifically took inspo from the Donna Karan show, which I felt most accurately reflected what I saw in the mirror throughout most of fashion week anyway. But the second I completed my homage to DK (which I achieved by way of magenta lipstick smudged on my lids and lashes), it became clear that this look didn't quite work outside the tents.
Oh well, too late for that. I popped on some shades and headed to LC, but not before I ran into Joan Smalls leaving Michael Kors. "OMG don't look at my eyes," I cowered, standing in her shadow of perfection, to which she replied, "it's very Donna Karan." She got it. She gets it.
At LC, Anna Dello Russo was so taken by my inspired look, she stopped me for a picture! Kidding. Actually, she was standing (posing?) in the middle of the road and was more than obliging when I approached her. And she said absolutely nothing about my fashiony case of pink eye. Maybe it was more wearable than I'd thought?
Yeah, no. I looked like a total crazypants. But did it translate into getting photographed? Aside from Ashley, I noted about two cell-snappers and one person with a legit camera on my eye-diseased trail, which, by the way, was WAY harder to get off than I'd expected. I was definitely that girl wearing sunglasses home on the L train at 8:30 at night. And I definitely, definitely feel a little tinge of sorrow for whoever's poor blog my zombie pink-eye look has since infected.
Click through for more pictures of our little NYFW experiment...