Once upon a time in fashion there existed a period where the path of blogging was a carefully tread one. There were a select few talented individuals who not only had impeccable personal style but also spoke words of substance. Today everyone has very casually and, might I add, a bit recklessly donned the well worn hat of a fashion blogger – a hat that is colossal, bejeweled and swathed in sequins at the same time.
Welcome to the new era of fashion blogging – an endless media landscape of ‘ What I wore’ ‘DIY’ and ‘How to’s’. A flurry of selfies and top angle shoe shots later the re-invented blogger is born. These fledglings are excessive consumers of media, they mix their Zara pants with their Burberry clutches – all with equal penchant.
Fashion blogging today is a serious business. It is a field fueled by popularity and backed by creative representation. Bloggers sign five figure deals with niche as well as established luxury giants on collaborations. They also cash in by selling advertisment space on their websites. Today the blogger is no more a one woman (or man) team, she comes with her agent, her manager and a fully functional editorial & digital team that is clocking in the hours. With the contemporary media landscape swiftly progressing towards digital terrains bloggers are somehow gifted with a unique monopoly. Fashion used to be dictated by what magazines informed us but we no longer wait to skim through trend pages anymore when a blogger is reporting a show live on Instagram.
In a media world dominated by timeliness and the need to constantly deliver fresh content, a familiar and unsettling trend has emerged. When I googled ‘top ten fashion bloggers to follow’ a volley of results were thrown up, some were known legions while others were regular plum princesses in oversized shades and tulle skirts that could easily be lost in a crowd. What makes a blog unique and its content painstakingly real anymore?
The Sartorialist documents beautiful street style images that are editorial worthy. Coupled with great photography and clean aesthetics, Scott Schuman deftly curates local fashion in all its raw unadulterated glory. Another blogger who actually delivers original and amusing content is Leandra Medine of Man Repeller. Her hysterically hilarious writing, devil-may-care personal style makes fashion fun and extremely engaging.
This sense of originality and freshness seems to be lost among bloggers today. They have become desperate seekers of the media limelight, they crave the need to be photographed at the drop of a hat and have turned into shameless publicists of brands. Anything goes, as long as its a Valentino psychedelic clutch paired with Chloe tie-ups and a Dolce & Gabbana lace-dress. The idea of personal style has been conveniently flung out of the window as bloggers have become sheer mannequins being paraded around to publicize the latest collection. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have a consistent style or heap up one too many extravagant things to create a look thats direly distasteful, the point is- it’s Prada. Bloggers such as the Blonde Salad and Kayture who started off quite strong with quirky and graceful individualistic styles have fallen prey to numerous publicity deals. Bloggers seem to be abusing their influential power and their herds of followers by unabashedly incorporating luxury brands into their daily looks regardless of personal style or aesthetic appeal.
Fashion Blogging today is all about swanky resort trips to Marrakech, brunching at rooftop hotels and a photography over-load of the newest ‘it bag’. The days of meticulous curation, relevance and minimalism certainly seem to have evaporated. In an over-exposed media culture these fashion week celebrities seem to rule the roost. Only time will tell how much the longer the intelligent fashion consumer will take to notice the hollow interiors behind the glitz.
Written by: Tanya Mehta