Julie Fredrickson of Almost Girl, blogging from Bryant Park
"The impact [blogs are] having is the idea that the whole population is taking control and ownership of fashion."
Constance White, eBay
who is afraid of the fashion blog collections coverage?
it is definetly a new global trend, a chance for the 'everyday person' to express their viewpoint
here a very interesting article (and pic) from wwd.com.. by Cate T. Corcoran
NEW YORK - Fashion bloggers have snuck into the tents at Bryant Park this fashion week, and they're not always polite about the shows they see.
The first blogger to comment live from inside the tents was Julie Fredrickson of Almost Girl on Friday morning, who called the John Bartlett men's collection "just slightly odd" and said the "combination of lumberjack bearded men with Tobias Wolf Old School was not a look I can really grasp."
Lesley Scott and Rachel Porter of Fashiontribes were also planning to blog live from the tents on Friday afternoon.
Bloggers are a small but growing presence at the shows. Most do not post live, but comment on what they see later from home.
While the number of bloggers who actually make it to the tents is small, there is an enormous, and growing, number of fashion and shopping-related blogs: about 2 million, according to Technorati Inc., a research firm that tracks blogs online, or slightly less than 10 percent of the 2.7 billion blogs the company tracks. (That number includes blogs in languages that use the Roman alphabet and that contain anything fashion-related, including sites such as Pink Is the New Blog, which focuses on celebrities.)
"Fashion used to be very dictatorial," said Constance White, style director of eBay and a former fashion journalist, speaking at a panel on fashion blogging hosted by glam.com last week. "The impact [blogs are] having is the idea that the whole population is taking control and ownership of fashion. As we used to say at The New York Times, 'Our jobs are in jeopardy.' Everybody's a fashion critic.Everyone can comment on whether Reese Witherspoon should have worn the same dress that Kirsten Dunst wore before." Perhaps in five or 10 years, blogs will have the power to make unknown fashion designers into stars, she said.
Fredrickson, who is 22 and graduated from college in December, started Almost Girl about a year ago. She plans to work full time for Fashiontribes as soon as the shows are over.
"It's my first time at fashion week," she said Friday. "It's very exciting. We put up five or six posts from the morning shows already."
She plans to attend about four shows a day; the one she is most looking forward to is Doo.Ri. Fredrickson gained admission to the shows through Fashiontribes, whose editor and publisher, Lesley Scott, has been attending fashion week for about four years as a freelance stylist. Scott started Fashiontribes last May.
Bloggers see themselves as truth tellers in a world where the truth is hard to come by.
"What we offer is a personal point of view," said Scott. "I love magazines, but they can come across as corporate. Also, you get the speed [with blogs]. People like the snarky elements."
"If you're a junior writer at Vogue, you can't write a scathing review of Oscar de La Renta," said Kathryn Finney of The Budget Fashionista. "Whereas, as a blogger, I have a lot more flexibility because my boss is me. Last year, I was really mean to Nicole Richie, but she did look like an anorexic spoon. I'm being honest, and everybody else is talking about how fabulous she looks."
Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist posts photos of street fashion and writes about his visits to showrooms of unusual men's wear brands, two topics not much covered in the mainstream fashion press, he pointed out. Like many of the fashion bloggers, he has experience in the industry and inside connections. A former showroom owner and retail salesperson for such stores as Valentino, he is a full-time dad of two little girls and goes out hunting for pictures on the weekend when his wife, a design director at the Limited, can watch their daughters. "It's like a reality show," he said.
Getting access to the tents can be difficult for bloggers.
Finney's first time was in September 2003. "I think they thought I was a print publication," she said. "It's really hard unless you have a connection. I think they're afraid bloggers will expose how ridiculous they are. I love fashion, but sometimes it gets pretty ridiculous." Her first time in the tents, she shadowed Robert Verdi of Fashion Police and picked up the goodie bags he didn't take.
Imaginary Socialite is popular with the fashion assistants at Nanette Lepore, who is doing her own blog from her studio this week and posting on glam.com.
"It's really fun," Lepore said in a telephone interview. "I'm not that hip on the Internet, but blogs are fun and we talk about blogs all the time. There are different blogs here the girls always follow. Mostly, it's for the humor." So far, Lepore has written on glam.com about the grueling hours during fashion week and revealed that her staff eats bagels rather than seaweed.
The stereotype of a blogger is a lonely soul sitting in her bedroom , sending her innermost thoughts to anyone who will read them in cyberspace, but blogs are increasingly taken up by the mainstream. In June, Finney has a book coming out about how to be glamorous on a budget called "How to Be a Budget Fashionista" from Ballantine Books.
About 11 percent of Internet users read blogs regularly, according to a study by the Tides Center called the Pew Internet & American Life Project. About 70,000 new blogs are created daily, according to Technorati.
"Obviously, she [Finney] had a huge fan base following her postings and an audience already in place," said Duffy. "It's a new vehicle to drive book sales."
Fredrickson also has a book she hopes to publish, a chic-lit novel based on the idea of Prada and Plato meeting. Her agent recently dropped her, saying the book was too intellectual. "I'm sure someone will be interested," said Fredrickson. "Smart comedy is always popular."
the blogging idea is an interesting one, but one of the girls, almost girl, posted this the other day about the challenges of live blogging:
I began the Fashion State of The Union by saying I was concerned. Midway through Fashionweek let me just say I am still concerned but for perhaps a different set of reasons.
There are many reasons to be interested in fashion, issues that I have enumerated time and time again here on this blog. But I feel like a broken record every time I say it because I am just on repeat and it isn’t getting us anywhere. But I am coming to the conclusion that Fashionweek is not one of the reasons to be interested in fashion.
I am not convinced that I am seeing anymore than any other fashion blogger by having access. In fact, in some ways I feel I am at a disadvantage because my first analysis will come from a quick impact and not a careful study of the collection. I remember promises for quick runway review turnarounds and instant photo access but we haven’t delivered and consequently all we have to offer is our emotional response. Realistically that probably isn’t enough. All of you can see the collections up on Getty two hours after I have seen them and probably do a better job recounting it.
I, on the other hand, have struggled to find internet access, spent time agonizing over where to plug in my laptop and recharge, and generally spent a lot of time and effort dealing with issues that real journalists and photographers don’t have to deal with because they have a support system in place. In other words: they are professionals. I am not. I am a girl with a voice, a viewpoint, and a desire to communicate. Again and always I am still “almost” but “almost” has value.
Because I do not want to say that blogging fashionweek doesn’t have value. It does! I want people to hear my experiences if only to disabuse them of the notion that getting into the tents will be a magical experience. The only reason it seems exciting is because it is exclusive. You want access because you can’t have it. I don’t even have particularly good access, just a badge that gets me in the door. I can fight my way into many shows but too often the attitude has been we will just watch it from the monitor. To which I say no dice.
Many people involved in new media and fashion were upset by yesterday’s WWD article because the focus wasn’t there for many people that have heavily vested interests. Which is really a shame because I think that in time fashion blogging may grow up and become a valuable part of the fashion reporting system. But then again I can understand why Almost Girl was a focus in the piece because the uncomfortable picture I am projecting is of interest to many people. Other types of content that simply mimics traditional press may not have that appeal.
So does fashion blogging suck?. Well yeah a little bit. But it isn’t because we aren’t doing serious reviews of the shows but rather focusing inward on ourselves or the spectacle of the tents. To the contrary, it is because we are trying to be too much like the traditional press in our coverage. Because as Millionaire Socialite reminds us, fashion allows us to play with our identity and drives us towards new experiences. Fashionweek deals in a particular commodified form of identity with expectations, ideals, and pitfalls. Acknowledging this will only make fashion blogging stronger.
Thus I say I will not post another inane collection review about the colors, the makeup, or the tailoring of a collection. Let Suzy do that for you and do it yourself with the Getty Images. I will deal with the identity of Fashionweek and all of the attendant experiences that come with that. Fashion isn’t two clicks behind, but certainly still one, and even if it were instant I don’t know if it would be adding any value. Diminishing returns happens pretty quickly in the fashion world.
the last time i went to the shows (f/w 04), i didn't have a laptop, so live blogging was a non-issue...
i did postings as part of "state of the fashion union," and i've also been posting reviews as part of ny fashion week, but i think i suffer from the same problem almost girl talks about...
it's a bit too much like "traditional" fashion coverage...
but then again, i'm not at the tents to comment on what else is going on...
the general circus of fashion week...
i think my takes are interesting, as a young, professional minority woman, but i'm not sure if that aspect is coming across either...
It's hard to tell where it is going, as the Manolo said it's a new medium and there is no prescribed way to do it...
I do reviews because it is fun for me. Like Kimair says, everyone has a very individual take on the shows, though I'm not sure my interpretation is interesting to anyone but me... I'm on the lookout for what designers do right, what they do wrong, from the point of view of a design student trying to learn from the whole fashion week thing with a view towards making myself a better, more savvy designer. For me it is educational, and that's why I enjoy reading other blogger's takes on it as well... by editing only our best picks we are playing "tastemaker", and if that is kind of similar to traditional media I think that's fine, because I think it demonstrates that everyone is capable of making their own reviews and choices. It's especially fascinating to watch when multiple people respond to a certain trend or look - it's like seeing a germ of consumer response that's about to snowball.
Still, I think that blogging is still developing it's voice, and I think overall the best voices are also the most honest ones... the ones that showcase the individual writing it and their own unique personal voice, rather than taking a very "magaziney" sort dictatorial "expert" tone instead ... there are bloggers who analyze fashion from legal, economic, philisophical, working-woman, student/young person, fashion insider, multiple backgrounds which is refreshingly diverse compared to traditional journalistic coverage. The successful blogs "own" their point of view and tone instead of borrowing it from another more "established" media. It's a very subtle but noticeable distinction.
I think the most critically different thing about blogging is that it does not necessarily lend itself towards being a moneymaker... blogs are a great way to get stuff to happen indirectly (for instance I've received freelance illustration opportunities) but are very challenging to incorporate advertising or paid subscriptions without compromising the unique voice of the blog or the willingness of the audience to read. The strongest blogs maintain their "independent" voice even when they incorporate advertising, but it requires a certain critical mass of readership to really work.
I noticed a lot of people in the "MAC Lounge" with laptops, but wasn't sure what they were doing. It seems like nowadays, everyone belongs at the shows, but half of them aren't really there to work. As Constance White said, 'Our jobs are in jeopardy.' Everybody's a fashion critic. It all goes against those who have put their time in at different places to really earn a seat at the shows.
As Constance White said, 'Our jobs are in jeopardy.' Everybody's a fashion critic. It all goes against those who have put their time in at different places to really earn a seat at the shows.
There's that side of it too, I can't discount that.
...though now that everyone has the virtual access... so it's not just a matter of earning seats anymore. I catch all the shows here and all over the internet, I've never been to New York or earned a seat... we're all critics... Perhaps it's the speed and quality of image transmission means we make up our own minds here on the Fashion Spot instead of waiting for the reviews. Blogs aren't the root cause of why the reviewers' jobs are in jeopardy, just another symptom of the age of information.
^ agreed.. speed of information equals democratic exchange...
sometimes i come to laugh loud with all the uber strict criticism some 16 year old may express a narrow minded view on a collection, but even this reaction is of much importance to the industry.
no matter how 'clueless' the 'reporter' its the reaction that counts, and bloggers as much as forumers express this reaction.
regarding the shows, agreed with comments above.. after seeing a couple of shows even a 17 year old can fail to see the glamour.. why travel , moan and wait when withoin two hours of the actual event you can have 'access' at the comfort of your screen.
i've covered quite enough shows to be almost bored to attent them anymore but out of sheer nostalgia..
ahhh the web
From the Los Angeles Times
Designers refashion for Internet Age
By Valli Herman
Times Staff Writer
February 3, 2006
FOR the first time ever, fashion is getting really wired. As New York's fall 2006 ready-to-wear fashion shows get underway today, high-profile runway presentations will be streamed live over the Internet, blogged by insiders and enthusiasts ó complete with up-to-the minute cellphone photos and videos ó and even podcast. For the first time, shoppers, buyers and fashion dreamers will get a virtual front-row seat inside the tents at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, beginning with Kenneth Cole this morning at 9.
A few weeks ago, the show organizers, IMG Worldwide Inc., acted quickly to enable live video streaming of most of the 70 shows the company produces, so fashion followers will be able to see Marc Jacobs' latest the same moment Anna Wintour does.
The move represents an effort by IMG to marry new media to its content of sporting events, international fashion shows and other entertainment vehicles, said Fern Mallis, IMG vice president. Fashion, it was decided, was the best place to start.
"It's got beautiful women, sexy, great-looking clothes, fun, buzz, celebrities," said Mallis. The runway shows, along with interviews and backstage action, can be found at http://www.imgfashionworld.com . IMG is working with MSN Video and Sprint Wireless to provide additional programming via Sprint's new multimedia handsets and at http://www.msn.com for a month after the shows. IMG is considering similar multimedia access for the shows it will produce during L.A. fashion week this March.
Not surprisingly, bloggers will have a higher profile at the shows than ever before. They'll provide their own commentary and imagery, via digital cameras and video, for both major and minor designers, potentially giving niche players broader exposure.
The L.A.-based site http://www.pajamasmedia.comwill post and link to the best work of nearly 30 bloggers at the New York shows, said project editor Hillary Johnson.
"Part of the idea is to challenge the blandness of mainstream fashion coverage," Johnson said. "We are going to talk about what style means culturally and parse the meaning of how fashion reflects where we are in society now."
Though technology might be seen as horning in on what has always been the exclusive purview of the fashion editors, that doesn't bother the designers. Throughout the 1990s, the industry battled attempts to post images of its runway collections on the Internet, fearing counterfeiters and a loss of exclusivity. But now clearly it recognizes the promotional potential of the Web and other new media.
Karl Lagerfeld has cast a definitive blow to those old fears ó the highly anticipated New York debut of the Karl Lagerfeld/Lagerfeld Collection, which will close fashion week, will be the first major fashion show to be podcast. It will be available free at the iTunes Music Store at http://www.itunes.comand linked to http://www.karllagerfeld.com minutes after the show concludes at about 9 p.m. Feb. 10. On the podcast, the kinetic 67-year-old who designs for Chanel and Fendi will offer an edited review of his show, which occupies a time slot that's often given to visiting fashion dignitaries. His show is being produced apart from the shows that IMG is streaming onto the Internet.
Clearly, the fashion industry is amid a revolution. Executives now host panel discussions, including one this week called "Blogging Is the New Black."
On http://www.style.com , a new tool called "My Lookbook" has become to fashion what the queue is to Netflix, the wish list is to shopping sites and the play list is to the iPod. It allows users to scan outfit-by-outfit photos of hundreds of runway collections, select favorites and save them into a "lookbook" or list.
Candy Pratts Price, the site's executive editor, said the organizing tool allows designers, retailers, consumers, editors and fans to be virtual fashion editors by creating their own visual stories and even sending shopping lists to stores or stylists. The site, a joint effort of WWD and Vogue, expects some 37 million page views during New York fashion week, which will conclude with the Chado Ralph Rucci show at 7 p.m. next Friday, as fans seek to know what's next.
"That's the beauty of it," said Pratts Price. "You can be in Honolulu and say, 'Oh, I wonder what Calvin is doing.' At any hour, you can learn what length we are going to be wearing next fall. That fashion victim is desperately wanting to know."
__________________ reality television... "warps the minds of our children and weakens the resolve of our allies"