Fashion and blogging

I’m not sure how many of you read fashion blogs and street style blogs, but there has been a big discussion in the fashion world after Suzy Menkes wrote about the The Circus of Fashion in the NY Times Magazine. She addressed the issues of the grey areas in fashion blogging and of those who are now professional bloggers, but also put a finger on how the fashion weeks now are all about the street style going on outside the show, rather than in the show.

Two of the blogs I read have written very good replys that I would like to share.

First, The Man Repeller, on blog is a dirty word.

“Outrage, however, because reducing an entire generation of sprouting professionals (the bloggers) to the perpetual black (well, actually neon) sheep of fashion just doesn’t seem very open minded.

On the one hand, Menkes is right. Fashion is changing and it is doing so quickly. The industry no longer belongs to the upper echelon dwellers exclusively and has made room for the amateur groupies to carve their own gold stud-laden paths. Sometimes these paths lead to interesting, innovative movements but sometimes too, they don’t.”

“it’s impossible to deny that the world is changing. Traditional fashion jobs are far and few. Maybe Menkes just doesn’t get it, which is fine. She doesn’t have to. But the hunger and supply for editorship hasn’t dwindled in spite of more unfortunate circumstances for the demand. There is a reason, after all, that Gen. Y–which is only becoming more important as we get older and begin pushing and stimulating our economy–has been dubbed the entrepreneurial generation. Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own. Sure, the training isn’t traditional but my generation is brilliant; we are over-educated and often over-qualified for the jobs that we do take. Tradition and innovation have little to do with one another and in the battle of success and relevance between the former and latter, the latter has proven itself quite victorious.”

“This is my generation, my vocation, my moment that she is reprimanding, and I, too, have a sincere problem with the notion that front row squatting may be based less on excellence in trade and more on social following density.”

Then later my Style Bubble, Susie feels like the sad clown.

She first comments on the previous article:

“What it is though is a beautifully written defense of fashion blogging as a profession, pointing out its shortcomings, its strengths and how it has changed the industry.  It argues with tact and a measured tone.  It ends with a potent question of how do we earn respect if we cannot police our (bloggers at large) own ethics?”

“It’s an ambivalent position that I occupy.  Yes, I am a blogger.  Yes, I dress in a way that can be construed as peacocking.  But I have also worked at a publication.  I now freelance for other publications.  I’ve now been going to shows for a good four years and more.  Increasingly I’ve felt conflicted about what it is that I do.  I’ve cowered in embarrassment when I say I have a blog.  Depending on who I’m speaking to, I’ve also had to add that “Oh, and I write for other publications” just to feel like that validates me as someone who isn’t a complete fraud.  I’ve also strongly defended my content at conferences.  I’ve hopefully gained some respect from designers, editors, stylists and journalists.  You might ask, why does it matter if I’ve not earnt any respect from the industry?  Aren’t you an independent fashion blogger who flouts the rules?  As we all know, that isn’t how it works.  I don’t work within my own parameters or to put a pun on it, in my own bubble.  I have to work with the industry to get the content that I’m after and I’m happier for it.  We can talk about the “good and pure” days of fashion blogging but I remember it as a time when I’d email PRs or designers and get ignored or when I would have to sneakily take some crappy pictures in a shop because it was forbidden to do so.”

“Because the b word has been tarnished – asking us how much money do we make, suspicions that every blog post is sponsored, outfits that have been littered with gifts, accusations that we’re poseurs and not fashion critics, lack of journalistic standards – things, which, I along with others have been guilty of to some degree or another.”

I really love how they both have responded so elegantly, level and after having thought it through.Both their blogs on the topic are well worth a read. But I am also excited about what will happen to the fashion industry now that bloggers are eveidently here to stay.

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