As fashion month concludes in Paris, this season has brought about an incredible amount discourse and dispute among those in the fashion community. I feel people are coming to grips with the benefits of being real or at least there seemed to be a brief five-minute break from the charade.
My favourite part of the discourse was the one which involved the magazine editors at Vogue taking a swipe at fashion bloggers and Instagram famous people who get paid by big brands to advertise their clothing. I don’t know what instigated the editors’ verbal attack, but it was ironic coming from people who work for an establishment that does exactly the same thing and people who practice in the blogosphere. However, I sensed the green-eyed monster at work – people always seem to get annoyed when ‘civilians’ establish themselves in the fashion community. The dispute highlights the hierarchy that exists and how uncomfortable people get when the scene becomes more accessible.
I wondered to myself what my stance on the issue would have been had I just been solely focused on my blog, The Online-Runway, and was not writing for this news outlet. Some of the arguments were inclusive of the fact that bloggers are heralding the death of street style because of the sheer volume of paid and strategic photographs from fashion week that are solely the initiative of brands and not the individual’s style. Maybe I would have been biased and argued the point that if celebrities are getting paid to wear clothes, then why can’t I.
The difference is, in all honesty, bloggers represent the independent voice and when that voice gets controlled by big brands, we can’t call them fashion bloggers anymore. So yes, they are heralding the death of street style. Most don’t even update their blogs anymore. They focus solely on pictures as opposed to opinion and pictures. I know, shallow.
I can understand both sides of the argument, so maybe we shouldn’t call them fashion bloggers anymore. I feel we have reached our style peak because of them. Though the talent from designers is undeniably there, I also feel that in the digital age, those who have been bestowed with the fashion integrity of telling us what’s going down, have been somewhat creatively lazy in their actions. Perhaps this is the reason why we feel we have reached a style peak, or, as I would like to call it, a fashion dead end.
I also don’t necessarily think magazines and their editors, who primarily depend on advertising gigs to sustain themselves, are any different. But I feel it is more detrimental to style bloggers, whose followers trust them to be independent. Readers knew that they would go to magazines if they wanted to be advertised to and to blogs if they wanted the truth; that is changing.
I guess we are all more or less tired of the industry stuffing products down our throats by any means necessary. But my question is, is this the end of the fashion blogging evolution? Paid gigs take away from the authenticity and makes it difficult to strike a balance.
Seeing the tit for tat arguments on Twitter and popular fashion sites was interesting and entertaining. I think it was the most I have ever hit refresh on my browser in recent times. Quite frankly, if nothing else, it highlighted more than ever the greed, envy and shallowness that we allow within ourselves in the name of fashion.
Fashion, like it or not, is a social symbol and ultimately, though the editors can hide behind their glossy magazine and the bloggers behind their staggering social media followers, their candid display was like a playground argument about who gets more attention than whom. It is not like this never existed before, but now everything is more vivid and real and easier to monitor. No wonder members of the creative arts despise us, we come off as a petty bunch.
From Paris my favourite collections were Chloe, Jacquemus and Rihanna’s Fenty by Puma.