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Homeless Chic

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Runways & Trend Setters Channel Fashions of the Flat-Broke

— July 7, 2009 — Fashion
Inspiration often comes from the street, but this time, it’s from the gutter.

After ‘granny chic’ rose to popularity, street fashion bloggers and other urban observers have been focusing their attention on what homeless people wear, depicting them as ‘inspirational’ sources of style.

Model and designer Erin Wasson claimed she finds inspiration from the homeless. “The people with the best style for me are the people that are the poorest. Like, when I go down to Venice beach and I see the homeless, like, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, they’re pulling out, like, crazy looks and they, like, pulled #### out of like garbage cans.’” She’s not alone!

There is even a website - Homelesschic.com/ - dedicated to cataloging “images of people living on the street that exhibit a unique sense of personal style.”

But the creators would like to suggests that “in no way is this effort made with the intention of mockery, but rather as a source of inspiration and social study.”

To a greater degree, “The Crazy Robertson,” a label inspired by John Jermien, a 50-something homeless man who dances on roller-skates up along Robertson Blvd, in Beverly Hills was launched in 2007, started a controversy. Many thought it was too close to Zoolander - Ben Stiller’s tongue-in-cheek look at fashion. For those who haven’t seen this film, the ‘bad’ guy, Mugatu, launches ‘Derelicte.’ The fashion collection is introduced as “a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.”

In real life, Diesel Black Gold’s Fall 2009 collection bears striking resemblances to Derelicte and ‘real street fashion.’

It’s ironic for people that are made to be, and feel, invisible to now be the interest of the collective eye.
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