Tom Albo argues over at Esquire that what passes for street style these days is too self conscious and preening to mean anything. The case can be made that the current crop of street style camera jockeys are fashion photographers more than documentarians of “what’s really going on,” but the case that true street style is ever truly “effortlessly cool” is specious. But, as Heisenberg might wonder, were he a Styleforum member, can you observe street fashion without affecting it? Albo defines real street style thusly: “a tough bag, good sunglasses, and solid footwear that helps you dodge the various slow and crazy people in the way… as effortlessly cool as Debbie Harry in the morning.”
Really, this is an excuse to post interviews with two of New York’s most celebrated street photographers–Bruce Davidson (his Brooklyn Gang series documented a group of poor, shiftless teens who happen to look cool as hell) and Ricky Powell (a hobbyist who was in the right place at the right time to catch the rise of NY hip hop on film)–excerpted from Cheryl Dunn’s in-progress documentary, Everybody Street (how meta). There may be a chasm between what these guys (street photographers) do and what The Sartorialist or Bill Cunningham (street style photographers) do, but does that mean “street style” is dead?