Ten Rules for Getting Shot By Street Style Photographers
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1. More is more.
The runways love minimalism right now, but no one ever got attention by being minimal (see: Lady Gaga, John Galliano, Anna Dello Russo). So pile on the accessories. Stack bracelets up to your armpit. Make sure they sparkle. Even connect them to your necklace — which you also need and which also must sparkle — with a leopard Roberto Cavalli dog leash. If you are not five pounds heavier from all your jewelry, go back, and add more jewelry. The borrowed Danni Jo choker I wore and the stack of bangles that were mostly borrowed (and included a big sparkly Juicy Couture piece, so there) were photographed up close just as much as my borrowed Miu Miu booties.
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2. Wear designer.
KMart has billboards around the city that say, "Money can't buy style." Money may not buy class, but it can definitely buy you style. I had two very recognizable and expensive designer items: the Chanel bag and the Miu Miu glitter pumps. The glitter pumps we borrowed from Miu Miu, which I’m in a privileged position to do, but the bag was courtesy of The Cut boss lady Stephanie Trong, who is the bag addict to my shoe addict. The designer items make you look expensive, and everyone knows people who look expensive are likely to be someone. If in doubt, wear Prada (the provenance of my shades), because that's what the devil wears.
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3. Don't wear all designer.
Clothes look more interesting when taken out of context. My magical outfit included jeans by Kasil and a white shirt by +J — both very affordable items. That is not to say that you should wear your side-slit chiffon evening gown to the shows in February with your metallic open-toed sandals — a look I saw photographed last Fashion Week when there was snow on the ground. But we are in that recessionary age of closet shopping, where the cool thing to do is wear whatever you have lying around. So: worn jeans, your boyfriend’s shirt, your ex-boyfriend’s shirt, that snarling wolf T-shirt you stole from you 9-year-old Star Wars–obsessed male cousin. Doing something special with your look is as easy as pairing a Chanel bag with something like that.
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4. Wear lipstick.
Street-style all-star and Harper's Bazaar editor Joanna Hillman wears a very specific shade of red lipstick every day. Make sure yours is a little orange-y neon, but not so orange-y neon that you look like you forgot to wipe the rave off your face from last night. Citizen Couture even put this crop of me on their homepage one day, probably very much due to the lipstick (mine was T. LeClerc Satin Lipstick in Rouge Vibrant), which made me look less like a snow woman than a person who makes her paleness work for her.
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5. Be thin.
The rule isn't fair, nor is it news, but it is true: Fashion likes thin, as anyone who lives on Earth knows. Of course photographers like thin street-style subjects — they also like thin models, and whether a girl is on the runway in next season’s Marc Jacobs or on the street in this season’s Armani, they’re doing the same thing: modeling. Just look at the other subjects who landed on the same page as this photo on Team Peter Stigter's fifth day of NYFW shots.
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6. Be very tall.
If you are naturally tall, wear high, high heels. (My Miu Miu heels probably put me at around 6’ 1” or 6’ 2”.) Towering over people is a great way to get noticed as a woman, especially when you’re wearing bright red lipstick and a bunch of sparkly objects around your neck. Just try to avoid heels that are so challenging they make you walk like a drunk person, if you actually want people to think you’re sophisticated. This photo of me being a giant (which you can see by comparison to my friend on the right) was re-blogged from Citizen Couture to numerous other sites, including Dust Jacket Attic.
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7. Don't want to be photographed.
Well, of course you want to be photographed, but if you make yourself too available, there’s no thrill in the chase for the photographers. Walk swiftly, with purpose: You have a fashion show to go to!!! This is your serious job career thing that you do very seriously! And you don’t have time to preen for someone with a camera who — oh me? Stop for just a moment? Oh, okay. Oh, the necklace? Danni Jo, thanks. No, I can’t remember where the bangle is from. Another shot of the shoes? Walk back and toward you again? Okay, but that’s the last time! So so busy with this fashion show stuff! You get the idea.
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8. If you're thirsty, go to where the water is.
You’re not going to get photographed if you spend all your time around the corner from the photographers. Walk into the biggest flock of them you can find and act as though it’s an accident (see: rule no. 7). There is a ramp next to the stairs leading up to the Lincoln Center tents flanked by street style photographers that people walk down when they could much more easily take the gigantic empty steps. But wherever you are, once one photographer takes your picture there, lots more will surround you and snap away. It’s the same with celebrities on red carpets: If one person shoots someone, they will all think she’s someone, even if she’s no one, and take her picture, too. No one wants to be the one guy who didn’t take Demi Lavato’s picture because they had no idea she was a thing. Somehow, the Citizen Couture placement made me a "thing" enough to become most popular on this Street Style News website, which is, sadly, not high school.
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9. Pose. At all times.
Not just when someone is taking your picture. Some of the best street style shots from Fashion Week are of people walking that aren’t posed posed, but are still posed, because anyone getting photographed by someone knows it’s happening and is going to try to look a certain way while it does. And if a photographer asks you to stop or walk toward them or jump, do it! Just don't do it for so long that you seem desperate. Here, outside the Marchesa show at the Plaza, Marie Claire's photographer used 30 seconds and a red traffic light to turn his back to oncoming traffic, crouch in the middle of the street, and photograph me standing in the middle of the street as I searched for my car.
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10. Hire a car.
This is for practical purposes. High heels hurt, and even with a car to minimize walking, I was clomping about like a drunk cripple in them by the end of the day. The day of my experiment it was also terribly hot and humid outside, and I went to the Rodarte show, which took place in a space that they had decided to turn into a sauna just for the occasion. The all-in-one fashion-show-spa experience might be great for Beyoncé, who could have only looked sexier in her minidress in the front row with a little sweat on her decolletage, but bad news for a girl like myself in long sleeves and jeans, covered in metal jewelry. The air conditioning in the car was there to keep me from unattractively sweating through my clothes. If you can say one thing about Carine Roitfeld’s carefully documented street style, it’s that she never has pit stains.