Emma Grady, February 19, 2012
While the fashion set has their eyes on the season ahead--New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 has only just wrapped, after all--a bike style blog has their sight on looking back. Called Downtown From Behind, creator and photographer Bridget Fleming's website takes viewers on an intimate tour of the city streets on wheels, sharing snapshots of downtown neighborhoods and the people who ride them.
On Howard Street, model Martha Hunt strikes a pose in a Studded Warrior Cut Out Bustier by SENA New York.
Getting noticed in the overpopulated street style world that Bill Cunningham glorified in the pages of the New York Times--and that The Sartorialist and Garance Doré popularized on the web--isn't easy. For a street style blog to be successful these days, it needs to have an angle.
Downtown From Behind' spin is solely dedicated to photos of people on bikes, shot in the same consistent frame. And while other photographers roam the island of Manhattan, you won't see Fleming uptown: "Downtownfrombehind is a photographic series capturing subjects riding their bike from behind on some 200+ streets, avenues and lanes below 14th street in New York City," according to the website.
Perhaps this angle is what kept her from covering street style at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week's home uptown at Lincoln Center.
“It’s a nonportrait portrait,” Ms. Fleming said of her snaps, according to The New York Times. “The shots are composed as if the biker has center stage, but the street and the whole collection are the stars.”
What Downtown From Behind does--whether it intends to or not--is show how a more sustainable form of transportation is stylish and beautiful. Street style photographers influence the way people dress in New York. Gone are the days of anonymously donning a fabulous outfit for an afternoon stroll in the park. There could be a photographer at any corner--and if there's not men and women turn their camera on themselves and publish it on their blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Case in point: people dress to be noticed. Call it petty, call it materialistic, but it has its place in the fashion world, of New York, and of social media.
So will an upswing of bike style blogs inform people's transportation decisions? I don't know the stats but I'd be willing to bet that it can. What do you think? Share thoughts in the comment section, below.