Suzy Menkes isn’t the only one who thinks street style blogs have gone too far.
In February 2013, the fashion critic penned an article for T magazine titled “The Circus of Fashion,” in which she claimed fashion weeks have become a “celebrity circus of people who are famous for being famous.” Sure, there’s something to be said for the outrageously dressed show-goers, who include not only fashion bloggers, but celebrities, editors, and models off-duty as well. Yet even more could be said of the street style photographers that have initiated, and in ways, instigated, this strange publicity. People like photographers Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist or Jak and Jil’s Tommy Ton snap photo after photo of wildly clad women, who are known for no reason other than being bonafide stars of the aforementioned blogs, transforming them into high-fashion celebrities overnight.
Over a year later, the spectacle has yet to diminish.
While Suzy Menkes has moved on to tackling other fashion issues, an anonymous Twitter account has picked up the baton of fashion-week criticism and, in half a year’s time, has already amassed over 11,000 followers.
The Sarcastialist, as it is aptly named, tweets photos from blogs like The Sartorialist or Jak & Jil alongside its own, made-up captions of what’s really going through these people’s heads. The humorous language clearly pokes fun at the fashion week display while also presenting the men and women seen outside shows in London, Paris, Milan, and New York, sporting ensembles that cost more than most people’s yearly rent, as just like the rest of us. Take, for example, the photo of Cara Delevingne (wearing her “Last Clean T-Shirt” top) alongside Georgia May Jagger; The Sarcastialist caption reads, “Mum where are you? No, as if we can get the bus—we’ve got all kinds of heavy shit to carry.” Or an image of Russian fashion editor Miroslava Duma sporting a multi-colored outfit, which is captioned, “Yet another outfit fucked—fell asleep on the floor & the baby had all the pens out me bag.”
With the tagline “A picture says a thousand words. I’ve only got 140 characters, so I’m summarizing a bit,” the man behind the social media account (who signs his emails “S”) tells The Daily Beast he’s not necessarily trying to “[make] a serious point.” Rather, he explains, it’s a way of “making my mates laugh,” while simultaneously working to highlight the fact that street style extraordinaires, like Anna Dello Russo or Giovanna Battaglia, for example, are real women at the end of the day—albeit in better clothes.
“I’ve followed a few of the street style blogs for a while and I think that some of the photography is really good,” he says, admitting that he has no prior experience or relationship with fashion except “working in the Liverpool branch of Top Man when I was 18, but that was more like being in the ‘making tea and tidying up hangers’ industry.”
“Something that always bothered me was the idea that the people in the photos were living this effortlessly stylish life, while I could barely be arsed ironing a shirt once a month,” S says. “I don’t think it’s the people in the photos that are different from us, just the way they’re presented. They all have to clean the sloppy stuff that used to be salad off the bottom of the fridge, or go to the shops for their Nan’s scratch-cards, just like we do. I wanted to show a bit of that.”
The captions are amusing (with a clear English tone) and, according to S, are meant to bring more interest to the people in the photographs themselves, rather than “the clobber they’re wearing.”
When asked if he shares Menkes’ opinions regarding the fashion week circus and its blogger clowns, S is quick to jump to their defense, again emphasizing that the Twitter account is strictly meant as humor and in no way a form of social commentary. He’s also definitely not trying to convince the street style stars to dial back their sartorial shenanigans.
“I think people should go even further if that’s what makes them happy,” he said when asked if he thinks people take their clothing too far. “Who are we to say that someone shouldn’t pop a hole in a nice Ikea rug and wear it as a poncho, or go to the office in a pair of waders? As long as they don’t get their arse out near a school it’s up to them, isn’t it?”