Archive | Opinion RSS feed for this section
October 4, 2012
January 10, 2012
Audience at the Emporio Armani Spring/Summer 2012 show
You know the awkward moment when people who don't have anything to do with fashion shows feel entitled to dictate who has the right to sit front row and who doesn't? Usually the sole purpose of their relevant, well-informed remarks is to downgrade one of the groups of people who – much to their chagrin – frequently do find themselves sitting front row no matter what anyone thinks. Editors and bloggers still seem to be favorite targets, though I think it's high time for people to realize it's pointless to keep adding fuel to the "bloggers vs. editors" debate. You don't compare apples to oranges either, do you? (Much to my chagrin, people do not realize.)
The thing with individual opinions on who should (not) sit front row is that unless you actually have an impact on how the seating chart will be arranged, nobody cares.
A view I encounter ever so often is that bloggers should be banned from front rows by default because unlike editors, journalists and buyers, they don't do any "real" work. I think it's rather cheeky to act like you know better than the person responsible for the seating chart. Essentially, you assume fashion houses are incapable of picking appropriate guests. Fashion houses aren't stupid. Every person attending the show is there for reasons beneficial to the brand. When they seat Rumi and Bryanboy in front row, it's because they'll tweet and post photos from the show on their blogs, transmitting the brand's message and aesthetic to an audience of hundreds of thousands. The same goes for non-major bloggers like yours truly, except our audiences are smaller.
Bloggers do the same as editors, buyers and journalists: promote brands. This is why we don't exactly have to point guns at PR people's heads to be invited to shows. It's a reciprocal situation, and it's up to each fashion house who they decide to put in their front row. There's no "should" that applies to all of them. It only depends on how interested they are in global online coverage and promotion.
(I mentioned editors as "targets" in the first paragraph because I've heard ambitious bloggers say front rows should be bloggers-only, which is ... not how this industry can work.
The other side of the coin and all, though more harmless than the one I discussed.)
December 7, 2011
To celebrate 100 followers on Bloglovin (thank you!), I've written a continuation of one of Dressful's most popular posts: 20 sarcastic tips to become a popular fashion blogger.
1. Be model pretty.
2. ... Better yet, be a model.
3. Stand pigeon-toed in outfit photos and pose with your head tilted at a 45 degree angle.
4. Post outfits composed entirely of gifted pieces.
5. Wear pieces you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole if they weren't gifted.
6. Wear the same pieces as all other fashion bloggers to show off your unique personal style.
7. Add 3 to 5 (same) links to your blog below an annoying spam comment. (by Eva from Fashionista's Diary)
8. "Curate" your clothes collection. If you don't know what that means (and who really does?), use the verb "curate" extensively whenever you talk about fashion.
9. Lots of fringe on your bag, jacket sleeves and pants. When in doubt, add more.
10. Adopt a "French chic" / gamine / garçonne minimalist look.
11. Re-create (copy) outfits worn by popular fashion bloggers. Tweet them the link to the post.
12. Always wear the same make-up. Five bonus points if it doesn't suit your facial features, your outfit and/or the time of the day.
13. Boast around wearing your Alexander McQueen skull ring. (by Elisa from Style Bizarre) – Ditto YSL Arty rings.
14. Use a cute fluffy animal as an accessory in outfit photos.
15. When they're doing a feature on your style, list at least one piece from a collaboration you did with whatever brand as "must-have".
July 28, 2011
I like it when clothes from H&M, Asos or Zara look like Dior. It pokes fun at high fashion's exorbitant cost* and proves that the impression given by clothes (expensive/cheap, put-together/random) depends entirely on the wearer. So actually, I like it when people wear clothes from cheaper brands like they're Dior (I'm using Dior as example because recently someone said my old Zara top reminded him of this brand, an outstanding compliment both to me and the top). It denotes a true understanding of fashion spiced with self-confidence and desire to make the clothes your own. To let yourself be the princess or prince at all times.
I'm sure most of us know instances when, say, this girl at school wore a scarf around her neck and pulled it off so well she made it a trend. In just a couple of days other girls started wearing a similar or even the same scarf. Of course, the scarf never looked so great on other girls. The secret was not in the scarf but in the girl and the way she wore it. Other girls couldn't achieve the same magic with the scarf because it's not what you wear, it's how you wear it.
On the other hand, even an exquisite Dior gown can look very much unlike Dior if you're not in the right mental place to wear it. Remember those thousands-of-dollars red carpet outfits that didn't work despite the best celebrity stylist, the most precious Harry Winston jewelry, the beautiful Louboutin pumps? You'd think it's impossible to go wrong with such sought-after pieces at your disposal. Wrong. Fashion can help immensely, but it cannot guarantee you that you will look amazing.
Since I know that how I look depends more on myself than my clothes, I don't believe in stratification of fashion. Zara tops and Yohji Yamamoto blouses are equally important in my closet. What I seek in clothes is not an expression of love for a certain brand or style, but a refined, dignified manner and character, the same qualities I wish to exude when I am wearing them.
* not to say the prices are always too high, though the crazy hole-ridden Balmain top will always remain questionable
April 20, 2011
The issue of rail-thin models is one of the most recurring in fashion, but despite heated debates and unwordly remarks that would be terrorist attacks on said models' hearts, nothing ever changes. The latest to jump on the bandwagon of complaint was designer Hervé Léger. He said he doesn't do catwalk presentations for his Hervé L. Leroux label any more because models nowadays are too skinny and too sad.
"... If I had to go back to catwalk presentations I would be in a panic because today people are so out of touch with the reality of everyday life. Already the models I find are too skinny, too sad. And I knew the age of the super top models, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford, who were always lively and smiling. Today you go between several défilés and you will see the exact same type of girl - it just doesn't inspire me."
Hervé Léger is most famous for his invention (or, rather, popularization, as invention in fashion is always questionable) of bodycon dresses in the 1990s. It's no surprise he thinks today's models aren't a good match for his dresses because they undoubtedly look better on women who are not very, very thin. However, as a designer, he has the possibility to set a great example by using lively and smiling models in his catwalk shows instead of simply giving up on catwalk.
Many people feel alienated by skinny models. Would they appreciate such a mindset shift? No doubt.
The problem with skinny models/women/anyone lies in the subjectiveness of "thin". What is thin? Where do you draw the line? The answers to these questions are different for each one of us. This is why I felt upset when a few years ago they banned skinny models (below a certain BMI) from Madrid Fashion Week in order to promote a healthier image. A lot of models starve in order to meet their agencies' requirements, but some are naturally skinny. Are you going to tell healthy models to put on weight? What sense does it make to put them out of work?
It's just another set of standards, no less hypocritical than the demand to be thin. We're people, we're not made in factories and sometimes we don't meet standards. Not even all factory-made products do.
If I were a designer, I'd be pretty pissed off if someone told me I shouldn't use this or that model because she's too skinny. High fashion is art and it must have absolute freedom. I don't think models have to look like "normal" people (let's not go there and attempt to define what "normal" is though). The problem arises when people don't realize the distinction between the so-called fantasy and reality, when women see an ad in a magazine and believe the young, beautiful and skinny model clad in a $10,000 worth of clothes and accessories is what they should aspire to.
This is not entirely the fashion industry's fault though. Not enough people actually follow fashion for the thin model-induced dilution of our self-esteem to spread widely. It's the media that takes those "epitomes of perfection", adapts them and feeds them to the masses, e.g. promoting a thin celebrity as a beauty ideal, endorsing dieting tips and suggesting you buy revealing clothes (that will require you to lose weight). There are billions of dollars behind our insecurities.
Beauty ideals have been changing extensively throughout history, and I believe one day the cult of thin models will decrease. It will most likely stem from a radical shift in the general fashion aesthetic, meaning fashion will have a different significance and function than it does today.