Vanessa Friedman ON THE RUNWAY JUNE 26, 2016 This is the age of street style, an era when we talk about “the show outside the show”: the people who dress to be photographed by the growing hordes of snappers on the sidewalk waiting to capture the ever-more exaggerated fashions necessary to stand out from the peacocking crowd and bestow upon them their fifteen minutes, or seconds, of fame.
Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, has often been quoted as saying “We all dressed for Bill.” It’s a lovely and genuine sentiment — both fashion and society are peppered by women whose dream was to be photographed by Bill, and having him take your picture became a much-coveted seal of approval — but the truth is, he wouldn’t have wanted anyone to dress for him.
He himself dressed the part.
Harold Koda, the former head of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, once told me that the debate over whether fashion belonged in the museum had been resolved when the powers that be started seeing fashion as a decorative art that represented popular attitudes and mores — toward beauty, craft and society — at a specific moment in time.
They recorded the casualization of life, the rise of the cause ribbon, the advent of the “It” bag and the problem of global warming (What the hell do you wear when it’s summer in January and snowing in April?).