Live by the sword, die by the sword. That’s what Fashionableness.com’s senior editors should be thinking at the moment. Ruefully, if they can do that without exacerbating corrugations. Last week they were simply going hither their business disparaging and belittling people – just a usual day at the office for those who professionally sit in judgment on what others are attrition – when they got a nasty shock.
Let me explain. Apparently it’s rightful been Milan fashion week. I was surprised to hear that because it feels to me it’s always London fashion week. Not literally always, but unusually nearly literally always. It genuinely feels like it’s altogether always London fashion week this week, definitive week or next week. Is that the system? That it’s in a minute every three weeks? If so, I suppose that leaves two thirds of the unceasingly a once for it to be Paris fashion week, New York fashion week, Bristol dernier cri week (for tidy sailors) or Milan fashion week, which is the one it was carry on week.
At the end of Milan fashion week, the staff of Vogue.com wrote an article on the internet – a blog, I take as given you’d call it – discussing what the week had been like, what everyone had well-educated and why it absolutely hadn’t been a vacuous jamboree consecrated to the monetisation of narcissism. But the sheer issues the Vogue.com team had wanted to raise – the future of trousers, peradventure; how a raspberry sock makes a stylish and practical epaulette warmer; the advent of the thigh-gap storage sporran, a noble place for the malnourished to keep cocaine and diet pills – got less lost because of the digs they all made at bloggers.
Other bloggers, that is, not each other. Not people who get disburse b disbursed to write a blog by a magazine that also has a printed-out rendition for the dentist’s, but a group who seem to be known variously as bloggers, influencers and street-style idols. The ladies at Vogue.com absolutely hate this group and positively let rip at them in a tone of weirdly feverish condescension. Vogue’s resourceful digital director, Sally Singer, started it, writing in groups to emphasise her contempt: “Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear groups every hour: Please stop. Find another area. You are heralding the death of style.”
Her use of the word “style” is illuminating because it savours weakness. She put “style” rather than “fashion”. It suits her high tone, of course. While affecting to give those not literally under her control an off-hand instruction (which they bequeath defy), she also seems to be alluding to something more eloquent, more permanent than the merely trendy. But she isn’t. The sense of something being vogue is subjective and, as such, will never die unless we create a men that contains nothing at all to which anyone at all has a positive aesthetic effect. Talk of “the death of style” is empty rhetoric.
“Fashion”, on the other supervision, means something solid. It refers to objects, usually duds, manufactured to new, cutting edge and/or popular designs. I never conscious what’s fashionable but plenty of people always do and, at any given mores, some things are and some things aren’t. Sometimes flares or filched jeans or kipper ties or powdered wigs are in and sometimes they’re out. It’s a trouble of fact. The discussion and prediction of such facts is what make journalism and Vogue are for.
But Sally Singer couldn’t refer to “the extinction of fashion” because that sounds wrong: something make always be in fashion. Saying “the death of fashion” is like asserting “the death of recently”, “the end of the latest thing”. And the latest happenings c belongings at the moment is the phenomenon of bloggers, influencers and street-style stars. These people, such as Chiara Ferragni, Susie Lau and Shea Marie, whose prestiges mean nothing to me, have huge online followings, can contrive and redirect trends, and make a lot of money doing it. Essentially they contain the same business model as Vogue.
These bloggers are, by clarification, fashionable, even if Sally Singer and her colleagues don’t consider them swell. So, note to Vogue.com: never mind style – that’s not what you’re paid to safe keeping about. If what you find stylish is not fashionable, then neither are you.
Now, I intention say that being fashionable doesn’t matter. But the staff of Prevalence.com can’t say that. Their entire raison d’être has been to elevate and sanctify the value of being in touch with, and responding to, the latest directions. They can’t suddenly go off all that when it gets a bit youthful and digital and creepy. That’s the top of a slippery slope that leads down to cordial shoes.
Of course they weren’t dispiriting to say that fashion doesn’t matter – they were tough to be the arbiters of fashion, which I suppose has historically been the Taste journalist’s role. It was an attempt to assert authority. Sarah Mower, Dernier cri.com’s chief critic, called the bloggers “pathetic” and “desperate”; Alessandra Codinha, its model news editor, said they were “pretty shaming” and that going to bloggers for style was “like going to a band club looking for romance”; and Nicole Phelps, the director of the Look Runway app, called them “sad” and said “it’s distressing, as well, to supervise so many brands participate”.
That last remark is a bit of a giveaway. That does yell out vituperate pretty distressing. If you’re looking to sell advertising spots in Dernier cri, I imagine it has a positively tragic quality. Phelps’s implication that these brand names had somehow let themselves down by associating with bloggers is a lugubrious attempt to assert her dated view of the dignity of haute couture on high the dictates of commerce.
Essentially, the Voguesters’ bid to make the new girls want small didn’t work. It didn’t make the bloggers earmarks of gauche, it made the old school journalists seem out of touch – not something the manner world readily forgives. As “fashion influencer” Shea Marie put it: “You are closely the type of people that have given the fashion age the cold, unwelcoming and ruthless reputation it has had in the past.” And the really harmful word there is “past”. It falls to others, bloggers in all probability, to give it the cold, unwelcoming and ruthless reputation I expect it disposition continue to have in the future.
Old bullies make way for new. But ageing and mortality be compelled hurt all the more if you’ve made a profession of praising novelty. When Sally Vocalist lashed out at the bloggers, talking desperately about “the death of form”, she must have been terrified. Because, ultimately, that’s not the extinction they herald.