March 7, 2010

stuff about fashion blogging, again

At the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference at NYFW, there was a panel including the Fashionista girls, Susie Bubble, Phil Oh, Bryanboy, and myself, and we talked about-WAIT FOR IT-the future of fashion blogging! Pretty RANDOM topic, if you ask me. There's a video but I'm too afraid to watch it because I probably said some stupid things. But! If I were to paraphrase, I would say we mostly talked about:
-Discretion when it comes to accepting gifts or freebies.
-Advice to new bloggers. (Which mostly came to: write about what is interesting to you. What works for one blogger doesn't always work for another, and writing about the exact same stuff that a popular blogger writes about will go unnoticed since someone else is already doing the same thing.)
-A blogger's place at Fashion Week.
-Hey, remember when we all decided we were the greatest people ever and that blogs were the new everything? Me neither! The media likes the story but it ain't no big thang.
-We can't predict the future of fashion blogging. The same way no one saw it coming, no one knows where it will go.

The big difference between bloggers and journalists isn't the fact that we're using computers. I mean, Cathy Horyn and Lynn Yaeger have blogs, lots of critics write for style.com, and a number of editors, including Hamish Bowles and Andre Leon Talley, write blog posts; but it's not the same as my having a blog - the difference is experience. It's not remarkable that we're using the internet!!! but what most people are pointing out - with me, mostly, since this doesn't apply to the other bloggers that were on the panel - is lack of experience. I haven't gone to journalism school, I haven't had any internships, etc. And I'm 13, which, oh my God, I can't tell you how excited I am to outgrow that number. This, honestly, is what I think is the future of fashion blogging, or at least part of it. The same way teenagers can start a Flickr account and be noticed by a magazine, or a band can start a MySpace and be picked up by a label, blogs will act as jumping-off platforms for people that want to work in the industry.

When I started Style Rookie in March of 2008, only ElleGirl and teenvogue.com would write about blogs. It wasn't a big media thing and having one wasn't an affiliation for Fashion Week, it was a nice circle of ladies and occasional dudes who supported each other and often found themselves saying "Thank you for this post! None of my friends get my feelings about ______." Then some of us started taking opportunities that had arisen, and I spent some money on a Hussein Chalayan dress, and then all of a sudden it was like, JUDAAAAAAAAAAS.

Which is, you know, bizarre. Allow me to direct you to this epic Dave Eggers essay.
So now my inbox and comment section are full of "Can you critique my blog? Can you tell me what to do to get invited to shows? How do I get my blog recognized in the industry?" which isn't a bad thing, I guess (other than the critiquing thing, which like..it's about you and your thoughts. No one is able to tell you what to think or how to explain your thinking to others.) Now blogging is a full-time job for some people and in some cases a segway into the industry but I guess that's the way it goes. And it's sort of a bummer, especially because now I'm far more aware of the number of people that read my blog, and when I take this into consideration when writing a post I feel pressured to sound smarter or fancier when mostly I just enjoy writing journal-like streams of thought (my blog has always been a virtual diary) even though I'm supposed to be writing grand reviews because a newspaper or magazine told whoever to expect that. That's a problem with my own outlook, though, and I still enjoy blogging. A lot. And, thankfully, it doesn't have to be a job for me. When it starts to feel like one, I'll stop.
But I don't think anyone is saying blogs are the equivalent to magazines, or inexperienced bloggers like myself are the equivalent to journalists, anyway. Still, there is nothing wrong with having a range of perspectives. I think fashion is important to discuss.

Which brings me to this recent Isabel Marant quotation:
“For me, fashion shows are not for the public, they are trade shows for the press. It’s time for the press to understand the collection and then spread the information. That’s more interesting than just the image. Everyone wants to be first. It’s too too much. There should be privacy and mystery. There is no excitement about anything anymore as everything is available immediately and all the time – you don’t have to wait for anything. I don’t like the idea of being flooded with image and information. I don’t belong to the generation of spending time on the internet. I think it’s too fast and too fake. It’s like going to a museum on the internet – where is the pleasure? It’s sad because everyone is running after everything, but after what? Everything is too quick. There is no room in your heads for all this information. No one retains anything.”
I think that when it comes to fashion shows being online, it's exposure for a brand. I think that a customer deserves to see the show and get to know the world of that label. I like privacy and mystery too, but there's a fine line between that and exclusivity.

And-TWIST!-I also hate the fastness of the Internet! And the fakeness! I like buying my magazines and zines and having special stuff I can hold in my hand! And this Internet, it makes the already fast fashion very very fast! And it's scary and a lot of it feels very unauthentic and sad. And fast.

But, in five years, the iPhone will be Oldy McOldster from Oldsville, Oldesota. And tumblr then will be like xanga now. Who knows where fashion blogging will be. Point is, things are changing.