Wednesday, August 31, 2011

reflection: musings on fashion blogging #3

There's an ongoing thread at the Fashion Spot that's kept my interest for the past month or so on the topic of fashion blogging. I've had a few things to say about this topic in the past, but a newly discovered revelation has really garnered my attention.

Exhibit A:
from Facebook group, Il Covo delle SoloAvvilite

Before I begin, I want to state that I don't read The Blonde Salad, nor do I know anything about Chiara except that she got invited to Cannes this year, which made me very jealous. In fact, I don't read any of the blogs that she supposedly copies because none of them give me intellectual fodder. (I like my fashion photos to be accompanied with ramblings on consumerism, sexism, racism - essentially anything with an -ism at the end.)

Exhibit B:

Chiara's interview starts at 2:30.

At the same time, I do have to ask who the fuck invites a girl like this to a fashion show and then asks her for an interview in which she describes everything as "nice." I'm going to cut her a break on the "it was a little bit less edgy and fashion than woman's shows" [sic] and "there was less checks than usual; it wasn't so much Burberry" [sic] because English is not her first language. I am going to suggest grabbing a thesaurus and finding some synonyms for "nice." But I have to draw the line on the description of "ethno-chic." First, what is that supposed to mean? And second, is that a word you would EVER use to describe BURBERRY?

When I heard "ethno-chic," it made me think of the late 90s/early 00s when designers LOVED to put "Chinese inspired" designs down the runway. I'm talking cheongsam/qipao detailing, dragon printed silk (seat covers at Chinese restaurants), even the pointy hats - which, in my opinion, is one of the most extreme forms of sartorial racial objectification that I've encountered in the fashion industry. (There are probably more, but I wasn't around to experience or view them on the runway, so I'm going to discount them for this argument.) Her use of "ethno-chic" is probably a nod to Bailey's use of ikat prints, but the underlying presumption of the Burberry Prorsum FW '12 show is still undeniably modern prep, which is the image both Burberry and Bailey present consistently. The entire scenario just highlights that Chiara (and many other popular fashion bloggers) is an extremely inadequate fashion journalist (because that's how she got into the show, right, as press?) as she's only capable of parroting descriptions she must've picked up from other writers without the sense to pair the proper buzz words with the right designers.

In regards to her copying other bloggers: as a product of the 21st century, I know that there is very little that's artistically original in this society. All the great things seem to have already been discovered (e.g. pop art, mini skirts, adhesive nail polish), so I can sympathize with the plague of maintaining (or creating) originality. But you can be unique without resorting to plagiarism. Maybe what she's doing is totally unconscious and that she ends up mimicking other bloggers as a result of being saturated with images. Maybe she does it because she has no originality of her own and just purchases items that are popular at the moment. I don't begrudge her for either reasons, because that's what the term "mass market" means. But it's obvious from her popularity that this is what people want to read, so instead of disparaging her, shouldn't we reprimanding the "readers" of her blog?

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  1. you know, I really don't get the chiara craze either, but if that's what inspires people in the blogging community there isn't much anyone can do about it. I do think though that is you are interested about fashion and designers then you should obviously know more about it. The truth is, in fashion there are two types of bloggers, the ones who really love fashion and the ones that just love posting pictures of themselves and posing for a camera. I love that you wrote your honest opinion about an issue NOBODY really talks about.

  2. I honestly do not get the hype surrounding this girl and most of these popular fashion bloggers *cough* fashion toast *cough* none of them are doing anything interesting with the clothing they own. I think people still visit due to the perceived glamour of the lives that they lead. Even Susie bubbles style is becoming more 'normal' these days.

  3. Wow.... that's insane, I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if she gave credit to these other bloggers, but it's pretty much fashion plagiarism...

  4. I LOVE that you address issues like this and how fickle the blogger world can be. Just wish this "Fashion Salad" realised that people are on to her... yeesh.


  5. Glad to know I'm not the only one who finds theblondsalad's immense popularity totally puzzling. Granted she's an incredibly good looking girl with a body to die for, but it's bizarre that no matter how expensive her shoes/accessories/bags are, all her outfits still look like something straight off a Forever21 mannequin. I don't think she knows how to dress; she just seizes whatever fleeting trend is taking over the blogosphere, wears it to death, and it's on to the next.

  6. i always love your criticism of fashion blogs because you present your points so well. nothing is original, but that doesn't make innovation impossible.

  7. Hmm very interesting...
    Love your blog!

    Love from Seoul,

    p.s. im VERY jealous of your Balenciaga cut-out boots! lol!

  8. I think people will gravitate towards just about any opportunity that'll allow them to spectate the lives of the glamorous. Why do you think our generation is so driven by celebrity culture? We have this freaky weird fascination with people who lead very different lives (i.e. one of privilege), and will jump at the chance to be "included," even if it's only through a computer screen and a comment box.

    While it kills me a little bit on the inside that Chiara continuously gets invited to Cannes, front row at Burberry, private designer showrooms and the like, it really does boil down to her readers fueling the fire. With all the comments and hits she gets on her site each day, she's like a marketing goldmine. And I guess you can't really blame companies for wanting to get in on that, nor can you blame her for accepting all the perks... but it also means her hoard of readers will just keep coming back. It's a neverending vicious cycle.

  9. Since I have found your blog I have been obsessed, quite frankly I love your ramblings. I find the bloggers that aren't immensely popular are the ones that actually have somethings to say. Thanks again for an enlightened post!

  10. The real celebrities are more gracious and down-to-earth than many of the so-called star bloggers. I can't bear them.

  11. hahaha probably because she's so tall

  12. thanks for this post. chiara can't dress at all. and yet she still gets invited? meh.

  13. Now if I only had chiara's social media savvy, I could become big too! I kid. But anyhow great post- I don't really check either Chic Muse (once in a while) or Blonde Salad.
    I guess each reader finds out which blogs resonate the most within themselves and for me those are Dead Fleurette (thanks to you), Garance Dore and Park and Cube!
    While I'd like to say they aren't original, I can't help but look at myself and ask the same question.


  14. I have photographed her in NYC last feb..
    She is a darling
    lee x

  15. I wish I could embed gifs in comments, but basically...

    I'm always on the lookout for new blogs, just in search of something interesting, but alas, most of them are straight up craptastic.

  16. she really irritates me. i think i read her blog twice, and then i just realized that she's completely vapid. and as a print journalist, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little to think that PR flaks would stick her in the press section. i think all the flaks have a blogger section in their rolodexes now.

    i can only assume that she's such a copycat because the same brands are doling out the same freebies to certain bloggers, so they end up with the same stuff. and then the bloggers end up imitating each other bc they absorb each other's styles and vomit it onto their blogs. well, that's what i hope at least, because it would be pretty cruel if she were doing that on purpose.

  17. wow,
    I don't read the blonde salad but reading this post was very cathartic. LOL

    I'm beginning to love yo blog.

  18. Nice! You sum up my thoughts on her nicely. xx

  19. This is freaking hilarious. Just scrolling through the posts on your blog. Not reading everything yet as it's 1am and I'm about to fall asleep - so just sucking in the photos. But this I read and this is too funny and too true. Well said. xx