Above: A street-style photo of Zinnia Kumar, 2018. Credit: Nephelae.
Over the last twenty-five years, Central London has lost something of its former wonder for the street-style photographer. The on-going success of the big chains like Zara, Topshop and Uniqlo means that young people on the streets today tend to be dressed more generically than ever before. You cannot sell that much textile product over so many years without it having an impact on the general appearance of sidewalk traffic. These days, street-style photography is still possible, but it feels more and more like just stopping the most eccentrically dressed persons.
There was a time when Paul Weller's sense of style was legendary, mythical, a sort of super-straight Soho Mod cool. For me it is indicative of the times we live in, when Paul Weller, a former style icon, notes Uniqlo as a brand he is fond of: "As for brands, who do I like... I like Sunspel, Uniqlo have some good things sometimes. I haven't really got a favourite shop, I just like wandering around looking in shop windows, picking stuff up here and there (September 2018)."
More people than ever before look "cool" on the street, but it's a manufactured pre-packaged carefully-honed cool that seeks to be cool without ever taking a sartorial risk.
(12 January 2019)