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Runway to Reality: Do Outlandish Catwalk Designs Really Influence Streetwear?

In the midst of a fashion show, the pure spectacle of it all -- the audience filled with celebrities and editors, the flashing cameras, the otherworldly beauty of the models, the ravishing clothing, the crowds of spectators all shimmying for the best seat -- can be surreal and easy to be swept away in, but even we can admit that, sometimes, the get-ups seen on the runway can be just plain ridiculous. There have been numerous moments when even we question whether what we're seeing verges on wearable art, or is some sort of cosmic joke a la Zoolander. Some looks can be so beautifully crafted and assembled with such finesse they elicit emotional -- even visceral -- responses, but they can simultaneously seem utterly removed from the realities of the everyday world. Take for example Ricardo Tisci's spring 2010 runway show for Givenchy, where boys wore tights/leggings under shorts, star-studded gold lame tops and slick medieval headpieces (above, right). It was a strangely beautiful show where the references were an interesting mash-up of modern-day street culture balanced with a healthy dose of romantic Gothicism, but as you shuffled out of the runway venue, it left one thinking: But who in the hell would wear that?

Street style photographer Scott Schuman's seminal blog The Sartorialist is visually rich and and a constant source of inspiration but today, it took things a step further. Schuman's post showed a young man pausing from a game of basketball (above, left) that he shot yesterday. Schuman notes that to juxtapose these pictures -- one from a high-end luxury label's runway show and one of an urban citizen enjoying some leisurely downtime -- says volumes about the place that fashion has in society and whether or not the concept of runway-to-reality somehow informs our personal decisions. We won't pretend to know anything about the boy on the left -- whether or not he knows of Givenchy or of Tisci's design work from a few seasons back -- but the looks are so similar in silhouette and scope, it feels somewhat gratifying to know that certain designers, in their endless search of modernity and forward development, can influences the masses, whether they're aware of it or not.

Photos courtesy of: Scott Schuman/The Sartorialist & Getty

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