Photography / Weekly Reading Reflections

READING REFLECTION | Questioning the authenticity of street style with Jean Baudrillard’s “The Precession of Simulacra” (Week 7)

Week 7 | Baudrillard, Jean. “The Precession of Simulacra.” Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006.

At first, I found it difficult to apply Jean Baudrillard’s “The Precession of Simulacra” to my creative process or to the topics I’m investigating in my MRP. However, I was able to take a liberal interpretation of one of Baudrillard’s discussions in this text and apply it street style photography and street style blogging.

Baudrillard writes, “pretending, or dissimulating, leaves the principle of reality intact: the difference is always clear, it is simply masked, whereas simulation threatens the difference between the ‘true’ and the ‘false,’ the ‘real’ and the “imaginary’ “.

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, I believe that street style as it is seen in mainstream fashion media is no longer predicated on authenticity or an authentic expression of personal style. It has developed into the “simulation” of street style.

In that post, I wrote, “it seems that today’s definition of street style has shifted thanks in large part to the fashion blogosphere. I would argue that street style as it is portrayed in the fashion media (online, in print, etc.) is more of an aesthetic than anything else.”  Ruth de Ferla also writes, “what [is being paraded] as street style — once fashion’s last stronghold of true indie spirit — has lately been breached, infiltrated by tides of marketers, branding consultants and public relations gurus, all intent on persuading those women to step out in their wares”.

With this in mind, I found easy to think then the ‘realness’ of street style has been threatened by its simulation, since by its definition  street style photography is so closely aligned with real life (i.e., real people with their own personal style photographed in an everyday environment) and has now begun to be simulated in fashion publications (editorials inspired by street style photography, brands paying for certain people to be photographed in the clothes etc.). Street style as it has been proliferated in fashion media occupies a space in both the ‘real’ and the “imaginary’ and has perhaps become a fabricated reality.

reference

Baudrillard, Jean. “The Precession of Simulacra.” Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks. Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006.

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