As the owner of a predominantly black and white, pattern-free wardrobe, it was surprising to say the least when, scrolling through my Pinterest feed, this image caught my eye. Especially as it was Diletta Bonaiuti’s striking floral knit that had captured my attention. And I couldn’t quite get it out of my head.
So when I saw it for a second time, courtesy of Instagram, worn by the editor of ES Magazine Laura Weir, I knew it had to be mine. But who made it and where was it from? I had no idea.
Having exhausted Google – I searched every combination of ‘floral’ ‘white cross’ and ‘knit’ you could possibly think of, and everything in between – I resigned myself to trawling the online stores in the hope of striking it lucky. And lucky I was. The piece in question was from J.W. Anderson’s Resort 2016 collection, and a few clicks later it was being couriered from Browns in London to deepest Kent, via Farfetch.
Once the search was over, and the beloved knit was finally mine, I then backtracked, curious to see how the designer had styled it for his Resort presentation. And it struck me that had I seen the piece on Vogue Runway first, rather than in Tommy Ton’s street style snap, I don’t think it would have had such an impact. In fact, I’m certain the knit wouldn’t now be proudly hanging in my closet.
Compare the relative ease of scrolling through your Instagram or Pinterest feed to see how an item has been styled for ‘real life’ by a favourite blogger, to endeavouring to translate a designer’s runway looks or an editor’s glossy magazine shoot into something more every day.
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The success of street style photography, and personal social media feeds, is in the way they complement the more traditional fashion images, such as catwalk looks and editorial shoots, by showcasing designer pieces in everyday situations – both Diletta and Laura had styled J.W. Anderson’s knit in a way that I, and my style, could readily relate to, compared with the clashingly-colourful and quite eclectic runway-ready look. They are also another great source of inspiration, bringing to our attention brands that we would perhaps not typically turn to for a fashion fix – this is my first J.W. Anderson purchase.
And it’s not just designer brands that are benefitting from this digital phenomenon – I spent most of the winter in a pair of black leather boots, cut perfectly close to the ankle, that I had tracked down to Topshop after spotting them on the feet of a Swedish blogger.
While there is increasing talk, much of it justified, about how much ‘real life’ these candid shots now actually portray, their ability to create desire for an item, and subsequent impact upon how we dress, cannot be denied.
Image Credits: @tommyton / @laura_weir / vogue.com