How’s that ivory tower, editors of Vogue? Is it shaking yet? Are the cracks getting too hard to patch as they creep up from the masses you try to set yourself against, yet lord yourself above, yet rely on for revenue?
Such a paradox.
I don’t particularly have an issue with you filling pages full of beautiful editorial content, gowns I can’t do nowt but wish to afford, in settings that transport me to inspirational corners that I’d’ve never reached otherwise. I looked to your pages for imagery to stir the melting pot of ideas in my little creative brain, to show me that vast, wonderful scenes were actually feasible, a little bit of magic was possible. I was hopeful that one day I’d be able to do similar things, so I began to try. Countless others, my fashionable sisters and brothers, we all decided collectively that we loved this.
And now you’re telling us (those you inspired) that we’re the scum of the Fashion Earth. ‘Heralding the death’ of it, to use your own words, because those of us who have worked our little cotton socks off enough to be recognised by brands ‘borrow’ or are gifted outfits to attend events. I’m not in the leagues of those you’re probably accusing, but I know how distastefully you look at us when we’re running to cover designers you don’t care about, however large our reach.
It’s funny, really, that you say we’re the death of style when the pages of your publications have systematically been losing what I fell in love with. It’s no longer about the clothes, really, or the art of creating outfits, creating fashion, a celebration of style and innovation and technique. It’s veering towards the clickbait, celebrity lead trends and models that bring nothing to the industry but eager paws on glossy pages. I get you need to sell copies, get that ROI, but the ‘Death of Style’ started with you throwing away what the Old Vogue stood for to try and contend in a world where you feel your relevance eroding.
The Death of Style is probably the furthest from what fashion bloggers (those that I see during fashion week in impeccable outfits, the love of the industry burning in their eyes) are. Admittedly, as with all industries, there are some that exist simply for the perks; the same way achieved targets mean bonuses regardless of integrity or morals. But you can’t paint all with that brush simply because you feel threatened by the passion, the creativity, the innovation that those on the top of their game are displaying.
I turn to blogs more than I turn to Vogue (.com or .co.uk). I pour over streetstyle instagram accounts, and have made some lifelong friends in the photographers that attend each fashion week season. They showcase the everyday wearable versions of the extravagant catwalk. They showcase certain pieces that the brands choose for them to display brand loyalty on that front row. They showcase the cute and the quirky, the actual fashion, and intertwine it with couture, or high-end designer in fabulous shoots. Sometimes for their own sites, sometimes for outside publications. They represent the truest, purest form of style.
They’re basically doing what you do.. just, more accessible, more passionate, more about the clothes and the way they’re worn. Dare I say, they’re doing it better.
I don’t care about the pages of paid-for advertorials that take up more space than the written content. The glossy photoshoots using beautiful gifted clothes to create images. Advertising is imperative for brands that want to maintain basic functionality. What I care about are the editors who effectively shit on the girls and boys they’ve inspired, the blatant hypocrisy of people at the top of their game, tearing down those also at the top of theirs, for doing the same damned thing – minus a title and a pay-slipped salary, but with the added note of asterisks and alert of gifts and sponsorships.
The Death of Style isn’t a fashion blogger who has been asked to wear a specific outfit to show how the collection looks on girls or boys that are not 6ft+ teenagers floating down a runway. Who, due to their consistent attention to their personal style and creation of a brand image that is theirs and theirs alone, sparks the interest of fashion photographers. I’ve always entertained the idea that fashion is a collaborative pursuit – and the relationship bloggers build with brands, photographers and other creatives has created some of the best moments in modern fashion. In comparison, Vogue, you’re very quick to use us, to use those street fashion photographers to your own advantage.
And in repayment you continue to look down on us. You bitch about us behind closed doors and sneer at the fact that we’re making the industry slightly more transparent in compliance with laws around advertising standards and disclosure of product placement.
You describe our relationship with gifted items or borrowed clothes as disgusting, yet your editors do the same thing? Wearing items sent before shows, to shows. Getting photographed on the way to shows (not everyone can arrive by designated car or taxi, since, you know, salaried vs freelance) is also something that happens with your editors – sure they may not be posed photos, or even desired, but you can always decline. I’ve seen plenty of models decline the opportunity to be snapped in or by large groups because they’re late for a show – photographers (for the most part) are very understanding.
The difference between the fashion blogger and the editor is that the bloggers disclose, they let their readers know that their trip to see the latest resort collection was paid for by the brand (or pr representative), and that the outfit was courtesy of. Editors use the relevant hashtags, but there’s no mention of the paid-for nature. There’s very little disclosure there. It translates into editorial credits, whereas bloggers function more overtly.
If streetstyle disgusts you so much, stop featuring it. Simple as. Stop paying for photographers to cover it during fashion months. Stop using the images of street fashion photographers for articles or on instagram for likes. Stop partaking in it yourself. Stop fanning the flames. If there’s no game to play, not featurette, no chance of being seen on Vogue Online as a street-style stars to watch there wouldn’t be this ‘desperate’ fashion circus**.
You can hate the things you create, but you can’t hate the players who find success in it.
The bottom line for me is that when you spit at us, you’re showing the threat you feel. You’re showing that elitism still runs rife and that expanding the circle isn’t something in your line of vision. It directly contradicts the mindset of other Vogue publications, Mexico put a blogger on their cover, Korea and Japan are consistently innovative. Italy is iconic.
By sneering at the bloggers (the new wave of advertising) you’re shunning those that look up to them, you’re saying there’s no room for change. And in turn you’re slacking. Brands are realising the landscape is changing, they’re moving forwards, connecting with and exposing themselves to the next generation.
It’s a very fine line to tread: the want to be relevant and the desire to tap into the younger market, yet not wanting to see those who are better at it because they understand the market they’ve carved out for themselves as editorial positions are so damned hard to get.
Vogue, in all honesty, I’d prefer you sitting in your ivory tower looking down on us all if you’d’ve stuck with what you were doing beforehand. Go back to the focus on the clothes and love of the industry if you want it so badly to remain pure and untainted by new blood. Remain iconic. But don’t go vying for that new blood if you’re not going to treat your competition with the respect they deserve.
there would still be a streetstyle fashion circus, since other publications
publish similar pieces, but seem to find it far less offensive.