Sunday, February 21, 2010


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

 As I may have mentioned, I recently joined Twitter. Whilst I can grasp the simple task of a Facebook status style tweet, I haven't yet mastered the twitpic or the direct message etc, so have been attempting to pick it up by reading the tweets of the people I follow. In the last couple of hours there has been much discussion (mainly amongst the well known bloggers) over this article from The Global Herald.

Yet again the editors versus bloggers debate is being wheeled out with the latter being described as 'awkwardly dressed pseudo-fashionable young things who were pushing themselves towards the free press patisserie with aplomb'. Sigh. Like many teenage girls who aspire to inhabit the world of fashion journalism I never fantasised about writing online. I fell in love with the tangible aspects of the magazine. The smell of the pages, the cool smoothness of the cover, the weight of the printed product, which seemed to denote substance and knowledge of subject. But things change. The first time I meet the Fashion Editor at Large she told me ‘print is shrinking. Online is now the future’ – And just like that I knew I had to embrace a new medium for my passions. Whether bloggers carry clout in the industry is no longer debateable – they’re usurping front row seats at Dior couture right from under the noses of seasoned fashion journalists – but just how erudite and relevant their opinions are seems to be a constant point of contention. 

Maybe the reason the so-called ‘Tavi backlash’ has been ignited is because, whilst we all enjoy her insightful musings, some of her harsher critics simply believe she is not qualified to write for POP and schmooze back-stage at the Paris couture shows. In their view it’s all about knowing one’s place in the fashion pecking-order, or as Robin Scott says 'There is a food chain at work here, and those with dot blogspot or dot wordpress in their domain name should know that they are at the bottom of it.' 

But seriously, what about our very own Fashion Editor at Large and other seasoned writers who take up blogging? It adds a whole new dimension to the blogosphere. 

Scott does make some important points - some print journalists who take an anti bloggers stance need to understand that 'the very blogs they deride ... are read by far more – literally millions more – people than their own articles will ever be'. We need to address the issue of space at fashion Week in terms of the quality of the attendee's output as well as quantity of readers they draw. It's a complex task. 

Do you know what the most widely read magazine in the UK is? Take a Break. Yes Take a Break! It gets almost one million readers per issue, sells two copies every second and is the 4th biggest selling magazine in the world! It has a far far greater number of readers than say Vogue or ELLE, which fall near the bottom of the pile in terms of monthly sales. Sometimes things surprise you. Blogs are extremely widely read, and the well written ones are extraordinarily influential. 

All the nay-sayers have to eventually accept that things move on, and that print and online can co-exist. Way back in the day photographers were banned from catwalk shows and journalists had to be a dab hand at sketching the collections. Now we have Tavi, Bryan Boy, Suzie Bubble et al bridging the gap between mere mortals and the ethereal people of fashion society with their commentary.  It’s progression, and that is what this industry is all about.

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