Mercedes-Benz Spring 2013 Collection at Lincoln Center
I realized my last post title was deceptive since the photos where from a few years ago. This week, I managed to shoot outside the shows twice and the adventures continued. Lincoln Center seems to be a much better location than Bryant Park because the long pathway from the street to the entrance allows for plenty of photography opportunities. I almost feel bad for the celebrities, models and fashionistas who have to navigate the walk in six inch heels with dozens of photographers snapping away. But the location change is nothing compared to a major cultural shift in the last three years or so. First, let's rewind back to my last post where I described the scene three years ago outside the shows. At the time, there were only a handful of street fashion bloggers, Hanneli, Jak and Jil, The Sartorialist, and a few others who mainly shot with more professional-grade DSLRs like the Canon 5D. While they certainly dressed well, especially Hanneli, the photographers mainly focused on shooting those coming out of the shows, especially celebrities or models.
Now lets fast forward nearly four years later. The iPhone and Canon Rebel have been out for a few years and it's nearly become the norm for people to carry around a $500 piece of machinery on their necks or in their pockets. With Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter, everyone has a fairly robust social media presence, perhaps even a popular blog. And with Pinterest, Gilt, and Etsy, it seems that everyone has access to trendsetting designer pieces that they put together in head-turning ways.
That brings me to this week where I saw first hand how the photography industry and fashion world has been flipped on its head. While the fashion show attendees were often demurely dressed professionals, some seeming to purposely avoid attention, the photographers wore brightly colored, edgy, ensembles that screamed for attention. If you were thin, tall, well dressed and beautiful, you were bound to have a cluster of photographers surrounding you. If you were average looking but wore a quirky, well-styled, funky outfit, you could command the attention of the eager photographers. And like the NY Times pointed out today, everyone readily answered who they were wearing. While a celebrity like Kelly Osbourne or Kimora Lee Simmons occasionally caused a mass stampede, the real stars of the Lincoln Center runway were the bloggers, fashion students and anyone else who wanted their 15 seconds of fashion fame.
In fact, this image sums up the experience entirely. The word "meta" comes to mind as I captured my friend, a photographer, who eagerly captured the scene with her adorable four month old son happily attached to her front. People were so enthralled by her son, and her passion for photography that they photographed her while she was photographing others. And others were so delighted that she was now getting her 15 seconds of fame, that they photographed the photographers who were photographing her. And the cycle continues.