We don’t need no Streetstyle Columns!


image by Serge Bertasius Photography/freedigitalphotos.net

I never quite understood fashion, and I am quite far from considering myself well dressed. My outfit usually consists of jeans, a t-shirt or a collared shirt and a matching jersey or cardigan on top. If I want to go business, I wear black trousers, print shirts and blazers in various colours. (Black or beige for serious, teal or ruby for young & fresh.) If I want to ‘go crazy’, I choose colourful tights underneath short skirts. Yes, tights in bright colours is my definition of a fashion statement. So, there, you see what I mean when I say I am not a fashionista.

And as far as I know, hundreds of women are the same. So, why on God’s earth does every single woman’s magazine have a streetstyle column by now? I mean, what does it do? A streetstyle column shows what average people wear every day on the street. When they go to work, to college, to the supermarket or for lunch – whatever. Some people working for these magazines, I suppose a photographer and a trainee, take pictures of people they consider well dressed, take notes about where the clothes are purchased from and hand their findings over to the magazine. And they print this crap. Why would I care what other people, who are the same as me and nothing like me, wear? When I buy a fashion magazine (twice a year, when I visit my mum and forgot to pack the book I’m currently reading), I want to see the impossible outfits that nobody wears to work or at the restaurant. I want to see Lady Gaga in a dress made out of tin foil and empty yoghurt cups. I want to see the 500 Dollar sweater with glued on Swarovski crystals that nobody I know would actually buy. I want the full program, photos where you can see that two hairdressers and three make up artists weren’t enough, so they still had to use Photoshop on the pictures. When I ‘read’ one of those magazines, I want to dream. I want to fantasize about wearing expensive dresses with killer heels and bright red lips, I don’t want to look at normal looking people wearing normal clothes that you can buy at H&M or in a second hand store. They don’t inspire me, and you want to know why? Because they all look the same! It doesn’t matter if the intern of the magazine walks around in Berlin or gets sponsored with a ticket to Sweden or Seoul or Paris. The people in those photographs all wear what has been published in the very same magazine last season. They took the advertised trends and made them wearable, which is basically what everybody does, instinctively.

The thing is: I already know about the huge gap between the clothes fashion magazines try to sell and the clothes the average person can afford to buy AND wear. I know about the gap between photoshopped faces that look like plastic and the average face, with eyes a little too narrow, ears a bit too floppy and a shiny nose. I don’t need the magazine to tell me that those gaps exist (and are mainly produced by the magazines themselves in the first place), I can think and look around for myself. I don’t need a photographer working for the streetstyle column to tell me, that I don’t have to feel bad about myself for not leaving the house dressed like a model every day: ‘Look, all the others wear normal clothes, too.’ Yes, I know that, thank you, person with the most insignificant of all the insignificant jobs in the world. I go outside as well from time to time, you know, and I tend to look at people when I do. So, please, please, would you do the proper shootings again? It doesn’t have to be – no, it shouldn’t be! –  with anorexic models, take healthy looking girls and boys by any means, but wrap them up in the most expensive, impossible-to-wear outfits you can find, for fuck’s sake!