If you feel like you didn't see much of street style starlet Taylor Tomasi Hill this past fashion month, that's because you didn't.
Tomasi Hill is deliberately avoiding photographers, repeating outfits and slipping in and out of shows à la Anna Wintour, according to our sources. The reason? She reportedly wants her position as Moda Operandi's artistic director to be taken more seriously.
To be fair, this doesn't mean she's gone altogether. Tomasi Hill did a photo diary for Harpersbazaar.com over fashion week, and was featured on Style.com.
But her dialed-back presence should not go unnoticed, as she's not the only one in that first crop of street style stars to selectively avoid the spotlight. W contributor Giovanna Battaglia will actively avoid photogs if she's with her boss, Stefano Tonchi; she doesn't want to keep him waiting. (Although sometimes, like when she wore Rochas's floral house coat days after it hit the runway, she still welcomes photographers.) And while Vogue Paris editor in chief Emmanuelle Alt is polite to the hoards of snappers, she is scarcely as active as when she was styling Balmain circa 2007 and would wear head-to-toe Balmain looks to the show.
The reason behind Tomasi Hill's decision seems simple enough. In order to get respect as a stylist and artistic director, she's got to stay on the perimeters of the "fashion circus." But it's also a case of biting-the-hand-that-feeds-you in the most direct way. Would Tomasi Hill even work at Moda Operandi if she hadn't become a street style star?
"I've personally worked with some editors who have gotten work from being photographed," Tommy Ton told Fashionista editorial director Leah Chernikoff at Lanvin's 10th anniversary show last October. (We asked Ton for comment on this particular story as well, but have yet to hear back.) "They also see the potential in being photographed and seen on these blogs because it does create jobs for them as well. It helps build their brand image."
However, it seems that the craziness around street style has diminished the benefits. "Who knows, in a few years maybe they'll start barricading the arrivals," Ton continued. "But then will the editors go on strike, saying 'why should we have to dress up?' When did this become a fashion show inside a fashion show?"
Of course, there will always be ready-and-willing subjects outside of fashion shows: The new crop of street style stars, including Miroslava Duma, are proof. But is Hill's alleged decision to step away indicative of something bigger? Is a "return to modesty" nigh?
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