As a certified fashion junkie, I regularly trawl the internet’s plethora of street-style sites to get my latest fix. But when I stumbled across Lookbook.nu, I knew I had finally found the site that would quench my insatiable appetite for all things style-related. Hailed as an ‘international social experiment in style’, it was borne out of the phenomena of street-style blogs such as The Sartorialist and Facehunter. The basic concept is the same – chronicling everyday people who have an uncanny flair for fashion, going about their everyday lives – yet Lookbook.nu has cut out the middle man role of the style-spotter and has empowered people to showcase themselves. Thus, it has successfully married two of the most influential forces in fashion today: bloggers and street-style.
Even the name is testament to the DIY attitude that currently dominates the fashion world – Lookbooks are traditionally the name given to the photographic portfolios of fashion photographers, models and clothing lines’ seasonal collections. It is a powerful and liberating mantra – Who’s to say normal people can’t have their own lookbooks showcasing their styling talents?
While some might find the concept of a website whereby people effectively post pictures of themselves for others to complement rather self-indulgent and conceited, Lookbook.nu is, in my opinion, the total antithesis of this. Although it may be invite-only, it is less of an exclusive club and more of an inclusive, encouraging online community which fosters a healthy attitude between users, who can comment on and hype each others looks according to their originality and styling. Negative comments are strictly prohibited.
Users, guys and girls alike, range from 14 year old novices who simply like dressing up in their parents’ retro hand-me-downs to blogging power players such as Rhiannon Leifheit of leiebemarlene fame and Annemiek of mode d’amour. My personal favourites are Frida Johnson and Callie S. Frida hails from Sweden and her style exhibits that awesome Scandinavian care-free attitude to dressing. A mere 15 years old, Callie’s look displays subtle maturity without compromising on its playful charm. And her photos have an impressive editorial aesthetic, akin to i-D shoots.
Indicative of the site’s growing influence, it recently teamed up with high-street giant American Apparel to produce a booklet featuring Lookbook.nu members’ outfits which have stamped their own signature look on key AA peices. Featuring people from all over the world, the booklet pays homage to the sheer level of fashion talent and diversity that exists. It also epitomises how saliva-inducing, unique looks can be created using the high-street.
I strongly urge anyone with the slightest interest in fashion to have a browse on Lookbook.nu. However, I am obliged to issue a health warning with this recommendation: Enter at your own peril…Loss of countless hours highly likely.
Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to get my hands on that elusive Lookbook.nu invite, but until then I’m happy just style-perving.
words Frannie Barrett