Once upon a time, if you wanted to know what was stylish or what to wear during the coming season, you opened GQ, Esquire , or Harpers Bazaar . You went to a cool store, or flipped through fancy catalogues. The content of these glossy pages and shops was determined by an elite group of purchasers, editors, and photographers. They went to fashion proves twice a year in New York and Europe to decide what you wanted and what you could buy. They picked everything for you.
Sound like Meryl Streeps monologue in The Devil Wears Prada ? It more or less is. The movie was released in 2006, just before Garance Dor picked up a digital camera, stood outside of those manner displays, snapped pictures of what she saw, and posted them on her eponymous blog. Over the next decade, Dor would create the template for what became known as street style blogging, open the world of high fashion to the masses, and eventually usurp the very manner world she documented.” She established quality blogging ,” tells Yvan Rodic, a fellow blogger known as the Face Hunter.” She was the beginning .”
She established quality blogging. She was the beginning.Yvan Rodic
This week, as models stalk catwalks in Paris, Dor celebrates the 10 th anniversary of garancedore.com and her emergence as one of the highest-profile style arbitrators in the digital( and real) world. Its hard to believe that she only picked up a camera because she felt bad about her wardrobe. An illustrator by developing who started a blog in 2006 to showcase her run, Garance moved to Paris from Marseilles in 2007 and suffered a rude sartorial waken.” I was probably one of the most stylish daughters in Marseilles, but I got to Paris and I was the least. It was a disaster !” she tells with a chuckle.” And then one I day I decided I wanted to document style and learn about it .”
She began photographing women whose style she admired.” I was ensure all these cool girls ,” Dor says. After asking granted permission to take their image, shed post the photos on her blog with dreamy narratives about the woman’s seem and attitude. She also posted things from brands she loved, fostering readers to enjoy the beauty and design without worrying about the four- and five-figure price tags. Within months,” the blog became super popular in France ,” she tells, and not only with readers. She remembers how brands and stores would report, Oh shit, Garanceyou talked about those gasps and we sold out the same day !”
Ten Years of Street Style
In September, 2008, Dor decided to” keep the energy going” and flew to New York for style week for what she calls personal research.” I was very interested in the American sense of style ,” she tells. When she arrived outside venues to photograph the fashionable types flocking to the reveals, she encountered a handful of street style shooters like Rodic and Scott Schuman, who went by The Sartorialist.” There was not so many people shooting ,” says Rodic.” Blogging was not yet a thing. People were quite surprised to be photographed outside a style demonstrate .”
It was during that season that I encountered Dor for the first time. She was a shy French girl who asked if she could take my picture between displays. I was holding an apple and wearing Keds with a neon pink sweater. She liked that I had an apple. (” I remember precisely the photo I took of you ,” she says eight years later.” How you stimulated me feel .”) She called the photo” Pink Apple ,” and it’s this emphasis on impressions that helped distinguish Dor. Her contemporaries( at the time, all men) largely preferred a photojournalistic style. Dor was a storyteller. She was more connected to the French style of blogging at the time,” which was all about your personal diary ,” she says.
Paul Martineau, a photo curator at the Getty Museum, attributes Dores success to this approach.” What strikes me about Garances work is that its not overly self-conscious ,” he says.” That builds it feel very fresh, natural and easy. And I believe people are comfortable looking at these images. They believe,’ I could wear those clothes, and be in that place.'”
Dor also knew Photoshop and learned HTML, which helped her enhance the site.” You recollect in the beginning images were super small? My blog always appeared better. It was so easy !” WordPress was, and remains, her platform. Dor also made sure to publish her blog in English and French.( This required a translator every day, nearly in real time .) This uncovered her to a much larger audience. Her real accomplishment of determination, however, was insisting that the comments on her site from both languages meet in the same place.” For me ,” she tells,” blogging at that time was really about people having a real conversation .”
Conversation was not something the fashion industry was in a position to offer. Magazines worked top-down.( Ensure: Prada, Devil Wears .) So too did communication between decorators and their customers. Of course, clients could vote with their wallets–but that was so far down the line, and so slow, and so expensive.
Street styleblogs at first and then social mediahave really broadened the sphere of influence past fashion magazines.Scott Schuman
On the Internet, Dor learned, having a voice is free.” Street styleblogs at first and then social mediahave really widened the sphere of influence past manner publications, tells Schuman, who became Dors companion for a few years. Back then, there were really simply style magazines and people really merely talked about Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar . But after that it really spread out. And you had a lot of different voices and a lot of different people that the public was interested in. So where before you had just a few voices , now you have a lot–a lot, a lot of voices .”
Before long, Dor and her fellow street style blogger enjoyed followings larger than those of publications that had been in business for decades. Major style houses did the math. Within a few seasons, these foreigners observed themselves moving from the periphery of the most important point style shows to the front row, rubbing shoulders with–and, in some cases, replacing–the fashion royalty whose styles they admired and captured on the street. Dor, the fan girl with her digital camera, became the establishment.
Her ferociously loyal, and fast growing, audience followed her wherever she went-via tweets, Facebook updates, and blog posts.” I dont believes in duplicating content ,” she tells of her various platforms.” They are all coordinated, but they tell different stories .” The way houses banked on her loyal following. Eventually, designers and retailers paid for access to Dors audiences, and those of her fellow bloggers. Compared to an ad page in Vogue , bloggers were a bargain. Plus, their connection to their readers was much more direct, personal, immediate–and effective in starting conversions. Dor and her pioneering street style bloggers generated an entirely new space, offering readers access to the world of high fashion and turning an exclusive closed experience into a broadly accessible one.
This doesnt come without a cost. If Dor and her contemporaries left the door open for other digital influencers, platforms like Instagram blew the door off its hinges.” Instagram has revolutionized fashion, building new celebrities and creating new powers ,” she says.” A lot of it is real, a lot of it is not .”
With extreme the differences in quality, content and motivating,” its a double-edged sword for photographers like Dor ,” Martineau says.” Its all been opened up to just about anyone, so how do you recognise yourself among the hundreds of thousands of images that are cropping up everyday? Its more democratic, but its more difficult to have lasting attention.
Yet here is Dor, celebrating 10 years. She now utilizes a studio with 10 employees, including a photographer, to spread her run across different platforms. She is working on her second volume, about Wellness, and she hosts the podcast series Pardon My French .
” Its a good moment ,” she says,” to have a stronger voice than ever .”
Street Style Timeline
October 6, 2010