Street Style, what is it?
Barcelona is one of the most cosmopolitan and best dressed cities in the whole of Europe. Street style refers to everything you can find in the streets, so it goes without saying that it has nothing to do with what models wear on the catwalks or what they wear when they attend an important event. Moreover, it focuses on what people choose to wear on a daily basis, whether it’s when they go to the supermarket or have a coffee with friends.
It’s a concept that has become more popular over the last few years and it mainly concentrates on what ordinary people wear in the streets. It’s an important phenomenon as it serves as an inspiration to many designers nowadays. “Coolhunters”, people whose job it is to make observations or predictions about new styles and trends, work for small and big companies and get inspired by these people in the street. The new styles that they encounter can then be sold on to a specific brand and this new style finally becomes a trend.
I’ve been living in Barcelona for nearly a month now and the one thing I realised when I moved here is that people don’t give you looks for wearing something specific when you’re out and about. People here dress as they wish and don’t really care about what other people think. Not that they are embarrassed, but more the fact that they feel confident about what they’re wearing and don’t mind showing it off. I finally feel that I can dress as I wish because the lifestyle here is very different to the U.K. While studying in Guildford, you’d probably only ever see me in black jeans and a jumper or a hoodie because it’s too cold to wear anything else. Living here means I can dress as I wish and feel good about it at the same time.
Furthermore, living in Barcelona means I have witnessed some awe-inspiring outfits worn by ordinary people in the streets. Whether it’s a cool jacket that they add to their outfit, or a pair of shoes that stands out, street fashion is definitely evident here. That goes to say that Barcelona has a wider variety of shops. Even though a lot of people love Zara, and that’s fair to say being it’s a Spanish brand, Barcelona has a wide range of smaller boutique shops that are almost aimed at street fashion. These shops are more unique, more quirky, and usually a bit more expensive. Worth it if you want to stand out, right?
A little bit of history of street style
Street style is usually associated with a young culture and most of the times it can be seen in big urban cities. As we all know, street style today is dominated by cool brands such as Adidas and you can be guaranteed that you will see the “trainer style” taking over street wear. What makes it even more attractive is the fact that many celebrities commonly wear these types of shoes, making it even more desirable and a bigger trend.
At the beginning of the 20th century, women slowly started deciding that they would say goodbye to corsets and start taking the initiative to model different clothes in the streets. In the 70’s, the New Yorker Bill Cunnigham, one of the pioneer and legendary photographers of street style, came about. He toured New York on his bicycle taking pictures of the best styles so that he could publish them in his section of the New York Times. He found trends in the photographs he was taking and this was done just by taking informal pictures of different people.
Nowadays, thanks to Instagram, Twitter and many blogs, street style has gained even more awareness. Bloggers like Chiara ferragni are photographed everywhere due to the way they dress. Street style has become very influencing and will continue to have a positive impact in the future.
Text by Isabella Panayiotou
Picture research by Isabella Panayiotou and Juliey Pham; featured image from thefashiontag.com.