Trends crop up pretty often all over the place. Be it trends in culture, in society, in food, in technology or, one of the most obvious, in fashion. Fashion trends are often easy to pick up on because they’re highly visible, being right in front of us everyday as we walk down the street.
Thus, trends in fashion can filter through other facets of the industry, creating trends in other areas such as fashion photography. Now, when I say this, I’m not referring to the photographing of trends, i.e. animal prints are on trend so every editorial has to feature them. I refer to trends in the style of photography that is shot, for editorials, advertisements, etc.
Anyone noticed the proliferation of streetstyle ads being used by several retailers this Fall? Walking past Banana Republic I noticed their store windows filled with photos of models shot street style, and then onto Cole Haan, also store windows filled with people shot street style. Then today I decided to browse Club Monaco’s latest looks online. First thing to pop up on the screen? The Fall 2010 Lookbook shot by street style photographer Garance Doré. Don’t get me wrong, I love Garance’s blog and her shooting style, and I quite enjoy street style photos.
But is it maybe a little much when every other retailer you pass by is featuring the same style of photos in their advertisements? Garance and The Sartorialist have their own, yet very similar styles in their street photography. In fact, I would say that about many street style photographers. While each can try to tweak things here and there to make it their own style, they’re all essentially photographing the same thing, stylish people on the street, therefore it can be difficult to really differentiate ones style of photography. Often, street style photographs by any photographer will look quite similar next to another, Tommy Ton and The Face Hunter aside I would have to say. Can you tell the difference in the above? Who shot them and for which retailer?
So, is this good or bad? I suppose it depends on how you look at it. While I think it’s great that street style photography has become so popular, I think it can be tricky when it starts to filter into mainstream fashion brands, being used in ads and the like. Why? Because unless you’re brand is VERY distinct in and of itself, the ads are going to look very similar and may be less likely to make the brand stand out. Cole Haan and Banana Republic for example are fairly similar in their style, so looking at a Cole Haan ad next to a Banana Republic ad, both shot in the same style, may not be so great for the brands themselves even though they may be lovely photos and definitely in keeping with current trends.
Furthermore, when I look through various magazines, I want to see a variety of editorials, not several that all look the same and could easily be swapped out for one another.
Thoughts? Noticed any other trends lately?