Are Stylists Bound for Obscurity?

Take one look at the popularity of the web’s leading street style sites and it’s immediately apparent how much of a premium is put on styling: not much. Consider American Apparel: the brand recently opted to forgo hiring models or professional stylists, choosing street style shots from Lookbook.nu of anonymous faces donning AA instead. And, as a recent Daily Beast piece points out, the same is happening in Hollywood. Rather than spend $8,000 a day on hired help in the form of Rachel Zoe, young starlets are taking styling into their own hands. From Marion Cotillard and Kirsten Dunst to Blake Lively, the bevy of silver screen beauties dressing themselves these days is growing.

Meanwhile, the online porthole where ‘everyone can be a stylist,’ Polyvore is doing such good business it has garnered a substantial profile in the latest issue of the New Yorker. To boot, “fashion magazines are widely perceived to be snake pits, but the Polyvore community values kindliness, mutual affirmation, and tact.” So, what does this mean for the professional stylist? While Polyvore and street style sites can by no means replace the Grace Coddington or Camilla Nickersons of the world, their territory is without a doubt being infringed upon. And it’s much in the same way that fashion writers’ world’s are being invaded by bloggers. Meaning, styling has become increasingly democratized with a spotlight on the potential for talent in the unlikeliest of places. But w

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